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Friday, August 30, 2019

The Book Hog, by Greg Pizzoli. Disney-Hyperion, 2019. $17.99 ages 3 and up

"He came to a long, low
building, and he smelled
some books inside.

He snuck through the
stacks, adding several
books to his pile.

But then a soft voice said,
"Would you like to join us
for storytime?"

I am a bit like The Book Hog. I, too, love books; like him, I have too many. Is that even possible, I ask as I write that sentence? I'm not sure. The difference between us is that I do know how to read. I do it all the time, and wish I had more time in a day so that I could actually read even more.

The Book Hog just loves books. He loves how they smell and feel. He really likes the ones that have pictures. He keeps collecting and collecting: yard sales, garbage cans, book stores. His secret is something he NEVER wants to reveal.

The Book Hog does not know how to read. He never learned how to do it. It makes him sad. One day, while out on a search for more, he discovers the library. He smells the books inside, enters and picks some from the shelves. Luckily, he also meets a librarian. An invitation to read with said librarian causes some fear; it also sparks a grand plan. Off he goes. 

Miss Olive is delighted with his willingness to share his books; she reads him story after story. Imagine The Book Hog's surprise that listening to those books and watching Miss Olive read them results in an even greater love of books. Finally, he knows their many wonderful stories.

There is much enjoyment to be found in a careful look at the illustrations. Watch as squiggly lines on book spines change to words once the Book Hog learns to read. A timely homage to the library and those who work within its walls ... and to reading itself.

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