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The Library

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  2,925 Ratings  ·  302 Reviews
Meet an unforgettable bibliophile

Elizabeth Brown doesn't like to play with dolls and she doesnt like to skate. What she does like to do is read books. Lots of books. The only problem is that her library has gotten so big she can't even use her front door anymore. What should Elizabeth Brown do? Start her own public library, of course! With charming verse and watercolors Sa
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 10th 1995 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published January 1st 1995)
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Library Lion by Michelle KnudsenThe Library by Sarah StewartThe Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians by Carla  MorrisThe Library Dragon by Carmen Agra DeedyLibrary Mouse by Daniel Kirk
Picture Books about the Library!
2nd out of 120 books — 146 voters
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Best Children's Books
237th out of 3,705 books — 5,367 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 04, 2012 karen rated it it was amazing
sorry, balmer, this book is charm city.

everything about this book is wonderful. usually, i am not a fan of books in rhyme, but this one is not cloying at all, and i love love love the illustrations. especially this one:

i am someone with plenty of injuries from multi-tasking.

this is a story about a woman who has "too many" books, but honestly, if you can still vacuum, you do not have too many books. the crazyperson in me looks at all the unused space in that drawing and thinks - "nahhh, you're
Quite possibly the most perfect book ever written about a book lover.
Jun 04, 2009 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: book-lovers
A sweet, humorous poetic tribute to the love of books! The illustrations are marvelous with lots of charming, amusing touches. Stewart's poem flows smoothly (for the most part) and makes a cohesive, interesting and touching story without succumbing to the "gimmicks" of many tales told through rhyme. I did find that the portrayal of Elizabeth was a bit stereotypical--book-lover who has no interest in dating, like to sip tea surrounded by kitty-cats, ends her days a spinster, etc. However, I did f ...more
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
Jul 12, 2014 Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: bibliophiles everywhere, old and small
Recommended to Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship} by: karen
The cosy, old school hand-painted illustration of a book-cluttered hall in karen's review together with the title The Library enticed me to grab this, appropriately, from my local library. I'm so glad I did!

Yes, I'll grudgingly admit I'm not a child anymore, but I'm well aware of these new soulless block-colour, crisp-lined, computer-generated illustrations which frankly offend my senses, that seeing something lovingly created the old fashioned way warms my heart and fills me with child-like gl
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Elizabeth Brown is the ultimate bookworm. She doesn't play with dolls, dance, or go on dates. Instead she reads, buys books, and reads. Eventually Elizabeth Brown is faced with the dilemma that has stumped many book lovers...what do you do when your house is so full of books that you cannot fit one more?

Stewart shares the story of Elizabeth Brown in verse. Her poetic lines are complimented by softly hued, engaging water-colored illustrations, as well as, smaller black and white pencil drawings c
Ashley Elliott
Jun 09, 2016 Ashley Elliott rated it it was amazing
Read this aloud to my siblings last night and remembered just how much I adore it. If you love books AT ALL, you should totally read this because it probably describes you perfectly. ; )
Lisa Vegan
Dec 11, 2008 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all who like to read, those who enjoy books, bookstores and/or libraries
Recommended to Lisa by: Abigail A.
This is an utterly charming book. The illustrations and story are both wonderful and work so well together. This book is created by a wife (story) and husband (illustrations) team, and I was captivated.

I probably identify too much with the main character (who seems to be based on a real person) and who accumulates way too many books but finds a creative solution to her predicament. Maybe someday…
Emily Woodard
Aug 07, 2015 Emily Woodard rated it it was amazing
I liked The Library.

I liked Elizabeth Brown and I liked that she liked to read, read, read. I also liked all the books that she had.

I would tell my classmates to read The Library. I would say, "Please read it! It's good, good, good."

I give The Library five stars and only one poot.
Matti Karjalainen
Dec 30, 2014 Matti Karjalainen rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Kirjastoihmisille.
Recommended to Matti by: Menni
Sarah Stewartin kirjoittama ja David Smallin kuvittama "The Library" on kuvakirja punahiuksisesta Elizabeth Brownista, joka putoaa eräänä päivänä taivaalta laihana, likinäköisenä ja ujona. Elizabeth pitää lukemisesta: hän lukee vuoteessa, käydessään ostoksilla ja jopa harrastaessaan päälläseisontaa. Deittailukaan ei vedä vertoja lukemiselle.

Elizabethin eteen tulee lopulta perustavaa laatua oleva ongelma: kirjat täyttävät kaiken tilan. Mikä neuvoksi? Kirjaston perustaminen, tietysti! Sen jälkeen
This is one of my all-time favorite books. My favorite little independent bookstore when I was in high school was called The Paper Bag Princess, and one time my mom went in without me and the owner called her over. "This book reminds me of your daughter," she said. "You have to get it for her!"

(I had a big poofy perm and glasses at the time.)

My mom did get it for me, and it became my favorite thing in the world. I would read it over and over, until I had it memorized, because this was me! I want
Sydney Thomas
Apr 18, 2016 Sydney Thomas rated it really liked it
Shelves: wow-books
The Library is a story about a girl named Elizabeth who from a very young age has a great love of reading and books. From day to night she has her nose in a book and loves becoming engulfed in the stories. As Elizabeth grows, so does her love for reading. As she moves and collects more books, she gains a collection that is too large for her to keep herself, so she donates them to her town for all people to be able to read.

I absolutely love this book. I think it tells a fun story about one perso
Dec 21, 2015 Heatherblakely rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1. We are all Elizabeth Brown.
2. She basically ends up in a house like the one in The Aristocats, and that's my life goal. House of books and cats.
3. There were cats all over this book.
4. I love this book.
R. G. Nairam
Aug 21, 2015 R. G. Nairam rated it really liked it
Apparently, I am Elizabeth Brown.

She didn't want potato chips,
She didn't want new clothes.
She went straight to the bookstore.
"May I have one of *those*?"
Katelyn Snell
Jun 09, 2016 Katelyn Snell rated it it was amazing
Read this book YEARS ago. It has a treasured place in our family library. We may need a new copy soon :)
Mar 13, 2012 Jenny rated it liked it
A nice tribute to Mary Elizabeth Brown. Written in verse, Elizabeth Brown is a reader. A voracious reader and book collector. I enjoyed the story and most of the illustrations, however, I was overwhelmed by one page with an illustration that showed her home covered in piles of books ("When volumes climbed the parlor walls/And blocked the big front door/She had to face the awful fact/She could not have one more.") My grandmother was a hoarder and I found this quite disturbing. I don't know that i ...more
Apr 13, 2016 Ruth rated it really liked it
That odd feeling when you realize that you are the character in the book and she is you...
Aug 22, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
This book has been mentioned numerous times in the past days, and I am lucky to have found it at my library! It tells the story of a young girl named Elizabeth Brown who reads and reads, in fact she grows up doing the same thing, reading! David Small's illustrations are delightful, filling the pages with Elizabeth's books so much that one thinks there can't be any more on the page! Too many books can be a problem, as so many of us know, and this story solves that dilemma quite happily. I can't w ...more
Megan Cureton
The Library is a book about a girl named Elizabeth. She doesn't like to play with dolls or anything else, all she likes to do is read books. Over the years of her reading books, she had collected so many that they simply cannot fit in her house any longer. Because of this, she opens a library where people who love to read just as much as she does can come and read her books. I thought that this book was pretty good but it wasn't one of my favorite. While I was reading, I wasn't excited to turn t ...more
Danie Plott
Sep 02, 2014 Danie Plott rated it really liked it
Written in memory of a real life librarian named Elizabeth Brown, “The Library” brings the reader into the life that we all expected our childhood librarians to have led. Elizabeth Brown starts reading from an early age and is content to spend her whole life reading books, and was uninterested in all the normal things girls do growing up. Elizabeth is often absent from the world around her because her nose is always in a book. Together, Stewart and Small create a goofy and lovable character that ...more
Gwen Haaland
This beautifully illustrated children's book tells a true story in rhyme. The story is based on Elizabeth's Brown's life, which revolved around books and reading. SPOILER ALERT: In the stunning ending, we learn that in old age, Elizabeth donated her home and lifetime collection of books to her town to create a town library. Inspiring!
Jul 13, 2012 Cheri rated it it was amazing
Shelves: readandstillown
I was just remembering how I brought this book to ALA with me a few years ago because David Small was signing his new book Stitches and I hoped he would sign my favorite picture book. Little did I know his wife Sarah Stewart was nearby and I got to meet her, too.
Anne Slater
Aug 23, 2012 Anne Slater rated it it was amazing
I bought it for the cover (my daughter at age 14), for the subject (she and I are both librarians).
I gave it as a gift because it was so beautifully written and magnificently illustrated.

Having just been reminded of it, I now need to buy another copy.
Another good one by this author and illustrator. With this book, the format is a rhyming poem and has humor in its words. Pictures are humorous, too. I just can't help wondering exactly WHAT is being said about avid readers?
Feb 18, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jacob, ellie, mom, dad
We love this book. At times it feels as if our house may become "The Library" which is pretty cool :)
...krb 2/25/15

Read this much favored book again..krb 2/18/16
Jan 17, 2015 KatRi rated it liked it
Beautifully illustrated children's book about book lovers and libraries. The main character was quite stereotypical but then again, the book was written 20 years ago.
Shannan Dahlka
Sep 01, 2015 Shannan Dahlka rated it really liked it
I loved this clever and very well-illustrated book about Elizabeth Brown, the ultimate book hoarder. It was written in rhyme in a way that was charming and smooth, different from others in the genre which tend to be predictable and utterly annoying. The illustrations are detail orientated and the message of the book was not overly mushy, although it did warm my heart. My one concern with this book is the perpetuation of the "cat lady" stereotype: an unmarried, cat-lady book fiend. I wish the boo ...more
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Aug 18, 2012 Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, 2012
Not sure which Nerdy Book Club pal recommended this book but I loved it. I could so relate with the main character.
Colby Sharp
Feb 21, 2012 Colby Sharp rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Rereading this book after meeting David and Sarah on Saturday made the book that much better.
May 15, 2016 Haizelbear rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ed-230h
"The Library" tells about a woman who loves to read. One day, she finally has so many books in her house that she can't buy any new ones, so she donates all the books she has to the town she lives in. I really enjoyed the poetic aspect of the text. The illustrations look like they were watercolor. I thought it was clever how there was a black and white picture next to the text on each page that related to it - sometimes in a comical way. I can relate to this book, because I also love books and r ...more
April Thompson
Jun 28, 2014 April Thompson rated it really liked it
This book made my heart smile. BIG.
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Different ideas 1 4 Sep 07, 2014 07:46PM  
  • The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians
  • That Book Woman
  • Library Lil
  • The Library Dragon
  • Miss Dorothy and Her Bookmobile
  • Tomas and the Library Lady
  • Miss Brooks Loves Books! (And I Don't)
  • Library Lion
  • The Little Red Fish
  • The Midnight Library
  • Please Bury Me in the Library
  • The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq
  • But Excuse Me That Is My Book
  • The Lonely Book
  • Book! Book! Book!
  • A Library Book for Bear
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  • Bats at the Library
Wife of famed illustrator, David Small, Sarah Stewart has written a number of children's books. She grew up in Texas, and lives in Michigan with her husband.
More about Sarah Stewart...

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“Elizabeth Brown prefered a book to going on a date. While friends went out and danced 'till dawn, she stayed up, reading late.” 0 likes
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