Dear Librarian

Farrar. Jun. 2021. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780374313906.
PreS-Gr 3–In a love letter to all librarians, but one in particular, the author tells the story of a difficult period in her family’s life. For her, a young white female narrator, finding a place she feels safe has been elusive. Her large family moves to a new state and stays with relatives while her father searches for a new job and a new home. One day, she and her family visit the public library, and she recognizes her special place. She also finds a new friend, the librarian, who is attentive to the homesick child. This experience motivates the child, when she’s grown, to make a deliberate career choice. In a picture book based loosely on the author’s own life, and first told on the radio show, This American Life host Ira Glass provides the foreword. Galotta uses an array of media, including watercolors and colored pencils, to lovingly reflect the heroine’s inner emotions and thoughts in the details and background on each page. Nearly all the characters are white, although in school scenes or more contemporary scenes of the library, some diversity is introduced.
VERDICT This touching story celebrates the joys of friendship, finding a home, and the power of libraries. Pair with similar picture books such as Sam McBratney’s Will You Be My Friend? and James Dean’s Pete the Cat Checks Out the Library.

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