BooksForKidsBlog

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

A Friend In Deed: Dear Librarian by Lydia Sigwarth

MAY I TELL YOU A STORY? IT HAPPENED WHEN I WAS FIVE YEARS OLD.

MY MOM AND DAD AND FIVE BIG SISTERS AND ONE LITTLE BROTHER ALL HAD TO LEAVE COLORADO AND MOVE TO IOWA, WHERE GRANDMA LIVED.

Dad finds a job, but there was not enough room for all of them at anyone's house. At Grandma's house, there was a park but no friends. There was not enough room for all of them to stay at Aunt Lydia's house, already full of things that break, or in Aunt Lydia's cozy but tiny basement, three to a sofa and three to the bed.

NOWHERE WAS HOME FOR ME.

But one day Mom takes them to a new place.

THE LIBRARY.

There was a big sunny window with a puppet stage there and so many books. There were toys and cozy pillows for reading alone. But just up those stairs, there is a big round desk, which becomes her favorite place to be with a friend called the Librarian, someone who, with a hug, finds the perfect book about princesses and reads it to her in the special reading spot on the floor.

In these days a library with a librarian whose job is to find and read a special story for a lonely child can become a home big enough for everyone, in Lydia Sigwarth's gentle story of displaced people with a place and a space beautifully realized in the intimate artwork of Romina Galotta, for everyone, in her Dear Librarian (Farrar, Strous and Giroux, 2021).

Yes, there may be a perfect book for a particular child in a library, but there is also a warm welcoming public place for everyone, each with his or her own need for a sunny, friendly spot to be alone or together. Publishers Weekly says, "A gentle ode to the effect one person can have on another, and what a library can offer a community."

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