The Library Fish Learns to Read

S. & S./Paula Wiseman. Feb. 2023. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534477070.
K-Gr 3–Library Fish’s bowl is located on the circulation desk of a busy public library. From this prominent location she can observe who is visiting and what is happening. Her favorite part of the day is when the librarian, Mr. Hughes, reads a story to the young patrons. One day he shares a tale of a dog who learns to read. Library Fish is enthralled and motivated. Determined to learn to read, she employs everything she has learned from Mr. Hughes. Every night, her head encased in a bubble filled with water, she embarks on a self-taught quest. Starting with the alphabet, progressing to phonics, and using context clues, she teaches herself to read. Upon becoming a reader, she hints that she will now use her new skills and teach her friend the bookmobile the joy of reading also. The appealing digitally rendered illustrations portray a diverse group of library patrons. Mr. Hughes, a male librarian with brown skin, serves as a great role model. Library Fish, while a fantastical creature, should prove relatable to young students for her tenacity, curiosity, and good nature.
VERDICT Describing the process of learning to read and the joy found in storytelling, this book will find its way into every niche and nook for sharing with students in a school library setting.

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