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Saturday, September 3, 2016

A Big Surprise for Little Card, written by Charise Mericle Harper and illustrated by Anna Raff. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2016. $21.00 ages 5 and up

Little Card loved everything
about birthdays. He loved
the decorating, the games,
the cake, and the presents.

But most of all Little
Card loved the singing."

Birth - days are a spe - cial
day, you're one year
old - er, hip hoo-ray!

Living together with all of his card friends, Little Card understands that, as they grow up, each is given a suitable job. There are only two cards who haven't achieved their full potential - Long Card and Little Card have not yet grown into their destiny. Then, Little Card gets his special letter:

"Dear L.C., Congratulations! You are a birthday card. Your training starts tomorrow."

Was any card ever more excited? I think not. As expected, Little Card is a quick study and extremely happy with his lot in life. Just as he is settling into his new duties, he learns that a mix-up in the mail has given him Long Card's destiny. He is assured that he will find his new job satisfying ... and immediate. No school prep this time!

His exuberance and birthday training is quickly quashed when he finds himself inside a library, under the tutelage of Miss Penny. Quickly, he is introduced to his new owner, Alex. Together they explore the many joys of being in a library, and having a library card. Little Card even shares a soft and quiet song about it.  As they check out and leave the library,  Alex shares a very special surprise with her new 'little' friend.

The mixed-media collages are adventurous, in keeping with the joy that Little Card brings to his assignment. I love the double page spread that shows Alex and Little Card organizing a rainbow-hued collection of cleverly titled books, ready for reading and borrowing.

It is fun to read aloud, and would be perfect to share before you accompany your students to the library for the first time in this new school year.

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