Kids Review: Yours in Books (Julie Falatko)

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About This Book:

Owl just wants some peace and quiet to read his books—alone. But when the forest youngsters ruffle his feathers, he enlists the local bookshop owner to send him handpicked books to help cope with the chaos and the mess. It’s not long before Owl discovers Squirrel and learns that just as important as solitude are companionship and community. Told entirely in letters, this charming picture book celebrates books and bookshops, letter writing, and love.

 

*Review Contributed by Karen Yingling, Staff Reviewer*

The Hundred Volume Wood
 
Owl wants his home at the top of a tree to be quiet, but the neighborhood children are too loud. He writes to B. Squirrel at a nearby bookstore to inquire about a variety of books to help deal with the problem. The two have an 84 Charing Cross Road type of correspondence, with jokes and gentle ribbing going back and forth. Instead of repelling the neighbor children, Owls books seem to bring them closer into his orbit, and with B. Squirrel’s recommendations, Owl is soon doing crafts and activities with them. He even ends up baking with them, and everyone know that once you give a baby bird a biscuit, there’s no escaping! Eventually all of these new diversions give rise to a full blown party, to which B. Squirrel is invited. After the party, Owl has made he peace with his LACK of peace, and takes himself to the bookshop to visit Bessie with some of his young friends in tow.

The illustrations use forest based browns and greens with bright pops of color, although I enjoyed that the endpages felt very much like the E.H. Shepard line drawings for Milne’s Winnie the Pood books. The facial expressions are delightful, and Owl slowly morphs from a grumpy character to the avuncular overseer of his neighborhood’s brood. There are plenty of details in the illustrations so that young listeners can be asked to search and find a variety of items, which is always a fun thing to do with a book.

 
Good Points:
 
Falatko’s Two Dogs in a Trench Coat series has a bit more slap stick humor, but Yours in Books has more gentle amusement. There’s more of a Lobel’s Frog and Toad vibe; I’m sure if Owl and Bessie the Squirrel continue their adventures, there might be a little more of that sort of snarkiness.

While I am more like early Owl, and would rather scare off the children so that I could read without their infernal noise (after all, I teach in a middl school, so I would much rather sound proof my house than make milk toast with the neighborhood chipmunks), the message that friendship is worth cultivating is a good one for young readers.

There are a large number of picture books about books, and this is a great addition to titles like Small and Stewart’s The Library, Papp’s Madeline Finn and the Library Dog , Funk’s Lost in the Library, and Knudson’s The Library Lion. I’m not sure why so many children’s library books figure lions (other than alliteration, and perhaps the New York Public Library statures), but I think that a book about books and reading should definitely feature an owl!

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*