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Quiet! There's a Canary in the Library
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Quiet! There's a Canary in the Library

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  237 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Cary knows what she would do if she were the librarian. She'd invite all the animals into the library and share her favorite books with lions, bears, peacocks, and monkeys. But the trouble is, not all animals get along with each other. That's where Cary's trouble begins in this lively story from the creator of Corduroy.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published November 12th 2009 by Puffin Books (first published 1969)
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Aletheia Ubben
Jan 26, 2015 Aletheia Ubben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quirky, light, clever story that captures the imaginings of a child. (Aletheia's review: I helped hold the book! However Mom was slower than usual at turning the pages...)
Karissa Kelly
Quiet! There's a Canary in the Library is a story about a girl named Cary who goes to the library every Saturday. As she's reading her book, she imagines what she'd do if she was the librarian. First, she would have a animal and bird day. All the animals could come in and read whatever book they wanted. She'd let in a canary, lion, elephant, porcupine, mice, and many more animals. However, when the mice came in they scared the elephant which made the porcupine touch the lion who was extremely ti ...more
I thought this book was so cute and funny. It is about a little girl who is reading a book about a zoo at the library. She is sitting at a table with two boys, and as she is reading her imagination goes wild. She gets the idea to have a library for zoo animals. At first all of the animals are being quiet and reading like they should be. Then a few mouse run in, and they cause chaos. She is trying to get everything under control when the canary beings singing. All of the animals start listening t ...more
May 31, 2011 Carrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOL!!! Those of you who know my knickname at work is Carrie Canary will understand why this is so funny. A little red haired girl goes to the library every Saturday, and as she reads her book she dreams up the way she would run the library if she were in charge. The ending is absolutely perfect.
Thanks to Sadie for leaving this precious book in my locker.
Whenever I think of Don Freeman, I always think of Corduroy the Bear (which I've somehow never read), although I did enjoy his book "Fly High, Fly Low". This book was adorable. Although a little long, I think it would be great for a toddler storytime on reading or the library. Cary is a young girl who loves going to the library and picking out books to read, recommended by Mrs. Curtis the librarian. One day, as she is reading a book about the zoo, she imagines that she is a librarian. The first ...more
Jun 04, 2009 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, 2009, library
This is a fun book about a little girl imagining she ran the library and all the animals who would come and visit to read books. It's silly and fun, and has Don Freeman's cute illustrations. We really enjoyed reading this book together.
Traci Bold
May 17, 2016 Traci Bold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every Saturday, Cary visits the library as it is her favorite place. She settles herself down with a zoo book and finds herself day dreaming about being a librarian and hosting 'animal and bird day' where animals and birds are all welcome.

A lovely book by author/illustrator Don Freeman who uses special words for actions of the animals in each instance a new animal is mentioned, connecting the reader with the animal a little more intimately.

Published by Viking Books.

#entertaining #PB #animals #li
Rosa Cline
Jun 15, 2016 Rosa Cline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids, library
Such a precious book! You can tell it was written a few years ago as it's not the 'same ole same ole' that most of the newer books are. Mr Freeman does a wonderful job on the storyline and the illustrations. A little girl goes to the library (which encourages children to go and enjoy the library) and visits with the nice librarian and then sits with a book with some other boys just enjoying being there. Her imagination takes off with her and she imagines she's the librarian and she has an animal ...more
This book is older - originally published in 1969 - and I think that accounts for some of the dislike we ended up feeling for it. The rhythm of the writing is unsteady and rhymes in some places but not in others. It's uncomfortable for the reader and can be dissonant for the listener.

The story is cute enough, if a bit lacking in something to engage the reader. And the illustrations are pretty standard for the era. All in all not a great book. We won't be reading it again.
Jul 26, 2015 Naomi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am shocked I love Don Freeman's Corduroybooks, but this one did nothing for me. Young girl imagines a library for animals and then it goes haywire. Pretty predictable and boring overall.
Aug 26, 2014 kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, kids, picture
you can tell this is an oldie via the illustrations and the way the story is told. I don't get the title though, yes it's about being quiet in the library and yes there is a canary, but it's not just about a canary. why the title? overall it's good enough though
Jared White
I grew up with the Corduroy books but I had never seen this one until today and I really enjoyed it. A little girl reads a book about a zoo while at her library and allows her imagination to take flight. She imagines she's the librarian and has a special day when just "animals and birds" can come to browse...but when you have that many animals in one place things can get a little out of hand. A very cute story and, though the pictures aren't excellent, they're fun.
Rain Misoa
Jul 26, 2015 Rain Misoa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE WHO LOVES BOOKS!
Recommended to Rain by: Library
Shelves: childrens-books
Cute fun read about being in a library!

To read my full review, click here.
Mar 15, 2015 Joy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book from my childhood! I purchased it recently and enjoyed it all over again. It is obviously dated, but still charming. :)
Aug 10, 2013 Jayna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
All ages

A little girl imagines what it would be like to be a librarian and to have a bird and animal day at the library. At first everything is going well and all of the animals are behaving themselves, but after the arrival of a group of mice all of the animals are agitated. Luckily a canary sings to the animals, calming them down and Cary tells them it is time to go home.

You could use this book for a story time about libraries or zoo animals. You could also talk to the children about what the
Sep 24, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very cute book for kids who love animals or libraries. Lots of puns. Adorable.
Jan 27, 2016 Ginnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1000-by-k
so charming!
Oh how cute.
Emily Farmer
Dec 04, 2012 Emily Farmer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kindergarten and 1st graders
Cary wishes she was a librarian so that she can have an animal day at the library. When she dreams of her day there are giraffes, bears, lions, horese, cows, etc. When the mice show up then all the the animals make a reckus. The canary is the one to quiet them all down. Then she realizes she talked out loud and woke up from her dream. This book was just a cute story with semi good pictures.
Dec 04, 2009 Meghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice story about Cary and her trip to the library. She imagines what she would do if she were the librarian - host an Animal and Bird Day. The book was published in 1969 and something about the overall pacing of the story and muted illustrations indicate its age.

Edited to add that I used this for a Kindergarten class visit and it was a HIT.
Aug 14, 2013 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun picture book about the power of imagination & the power of books. I love the scene when the little girl thinks, "If I were a librarian I know what I would do," and then goes on to have a special day in the library just for animals.

It would make a fun read aloud for younger elementary students who are new to a school library.
Feb 20, 2010 Libby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give it 4 stars (I'd probably give it 3), only to remind myself that my 1.5 year old son really really likes it- mostly because he just really likes animals. I'm unsure why this is the title, but I like the crayon illustrations and I love the little girl's hair when she imagines she is a librarian.
Jan 21, 2013 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Fun story about Cary, who wishes she were a librarian. Cary decides that she would invite animals into the library too, which is a great idea until the mice show up! The Kindergartners loved this one! A clever book from the author of CORDUROY.
Katie Fitzgerald
Read during Pre-K class visit on 4/18/13:

Read at Family Story Time on 6/15/13:
Jul 02, 2008 Bethany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-book
I love this book. Seriously. Love. It's now one of my standard books to read to classes/daycares that are taking tours of the library. Animals where they ought not be? Count me in.
Apr 16, 2009 Rakisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: k-2-read-alouds
If you love the classic children's books of Don Freeman, you'll love this incredibly adorable book. It would be perfect for K-2 grade class visits to the library.
Sep 01, 2012 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't love the stereotypical librarian bun but quite charming. I don't know why I always worry about what I'll find in a Freeman book--they're always enchanting.
Dec 28, 2007 Tricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read aloud about libraries/animals with animal sounds and exclamations. Girl imagines animals in her library if she were librarian. Cute. Viv loved it.
Apr 20, 2012 Angie rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-kids
Coruroy is one of my very favorite books and I'm delighted to read another lovely tale by Don Freeman. This on is for all the little future librarians.
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Don Freeman was a painter, printmaker, cartoonist, children's book author, and illustrator. He was born in San Diego, California, attended high school in Missouri, and later moved to New York City where he studied etching with John Sloan.
Frequent subjects included Broadway theatre, politics, and the circus. He was also a jazz musician, and the brother of circus entrepreneur Randy Freeman.

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