Sharing Books and Authors, with an emphasis on Mysteries.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Sunday Salon - Bats at the Library
I've reviewed a few picture books during the year, but I finally found the one book I'd recommend this year. If I was buying one picture book to read to children from four to eight, Bats at the Library, written and illustrated by Brian Lies, would be it.
Lies' illustrations are dark, softly lit, and perfect. Each page is a short poem that furthers the story. Lies doesn't talk down to his readers or listeners. At one time, he says someone left a window ajar, and gives the reader the chance to explain the word. The text is a perfect length for reading to groups of children.
Bats at the Library starts on an autumn evening, when the bats have eaten, and they're bored. Then someone brings word that a window is open at the library. And, the bats fly into an old-fashioned looking library. (However, a careful examination on one page reveals a bat using a computer.)
There are so many details on each page. There are old-fashioned library lamps on tables. When the author mentions old bats, he shows them with glasses. And, the bats reading "guides to fancy foods," are reading insect books. The illustrations are also humorous at times, such as when the bats are copying themselves.
The storytime scene with all the bats is charming, and leads to the perfect ending. Book lovers, readers and librarians will all appreciate this story and illustrations. And, how can anyone resist an author whose picture is upside down on a book about bats?
Remember, I'm not a children's librarian, but Brian Lies' Bats at the Library is my favorite picture book this year.
If you'd like to see a sample of Brian Lies' illustrations for this book, check out his website, www.brianlies.com
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.