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Please, Louise

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  267 ratings  ·  61 reviews
A library card unlocks a new life for a young girl in this picture book about the power of imagination, from the Nobel Prize–winning author Toni Morrison.

On one gray afternoon, Louise makes a fateful trip to the library. With the help of a new library card and through the transformative power of books, what started out as a dull day turns into one of surprises, ideas, and
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (first published September 1st 2013)
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3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  267 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Jun 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
I understand the message the author was trying to convey, but the execution was all wrong. Too heavy and dark in the beginning and the book ends strangely in my opinion. Also a new library card was not mentioned anywhere in the story, but is mentioned in the description. Really did not care for this one at all.
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Age: Kindergarten-2nd grade

I wanted to love this book because, hey, Toni Morrison, but there are some...complications. The beginning of the book depicts Louise, a girl dressed in a rain coat heading to an undisclosed location. We are told that she is "sometimes lonely or sometimes sad" but the narrator offers uplifting (but not poetically pleasing) reassurances to her uncertainties with the world. The artwork is dark and oftentimes scary, perhaps allowing the listener to see what Louise sees. Ho
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
What a 'meh' story. The text has the potential to be of interest, but focuses on details that I can't imagine most children finding fascinating. "Scary thoughts are your creation/ When you have no information." The rhymes don't feel at all poetic, we don't know why Louise would be lonely or sad, and while any librarian can support the premise of finding refuge and joy in books and libraries, there are so many books that do this better. The illustrations serve the text - no fault there, and they ...more
Jillian Heise
Oct 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
The illustrations are beautiful, but this story just didn't quite work for me as a whole, even though I really wanted/expected it to because of the author. Parts of it worked well, but the complete overall story arc didn't quite connect enough for me. I appreciate what was trying to be done, but I don't feel like that message came across clearly enough, and I didn't quite get the ending. The repetition almost hindered the story in this case, and the writing at times confused me.
Beautiful book about the magic of reading.
A little girl, afraid of the world and with an imagination that leaves her feeling scared, visits a library. She discovers the joy of reading and sees the world as a bright and joyful place. "She can understand what she feels, since books can teach and please Louise."

I know a lot of people are excited about a picture book by Toni Morrison. This is a good but not outstanding picture book that's best for preschool through first grade.
Edward Sullivan
Mar 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
A good message in an unfortunately poorly written book. Strickland's appealing illustrations provide some relief.

What is not to love about this book? An ode to reading and libraries that uplifted the sagging corners of my cynical heart.

Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cute picture book. My kids loved it.
Jul 26, 2014 rated it liked it
One comes to this book with high expectations given the mother/son author team combined with the wonderful artistic talents of illustrator Shadra Strickland. It was only the illustrations, however, that didn’t disappoint me.

Louise is a little girl who gets some advice from an unnamed adult, who assures her that “If you are sometimes lonely or sometimes sad, know that the world is big but not so bad.” Louise may be frightened, but “Scary thoughts are your creation when you have no information.”

I wanted to like this book more because, hey! Libraries! but this book starts out with such scary, dark undertones. I get what the author/illustrator is trying to do, to showcase the library as a vessel for escaping and for knowledge, but I feel like this type of sentiment could be expressed in a better way, in a different story.

And also, it's in the dreaded half-rhyme scheme, which doesn't make sense to me. Some stanzas rhyme, and some don't, and it throws the whole rhythm off.

Also, the descr
Mary Ann
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Loved the illustrations, but the plot arc and use of title phrase was not satisfying. The final page really didn't work for me. Sad, because I love the theme, the illustrations.
Taya Bower
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
The main character a little girl Louise begins to go on an adventure. As the book continues it is really gloomy and Louise needs somewhere to go so she pops into the library. Louise picks up a book and starts to read and read, before she knows it the rain has stopped.

This book is a great way to show that the library and books are a great thing. Sometimes it is hard to get students to read so it makes it easier for students to see reading as fun. This book's illustrations and rhymes creates an ir
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
The story begins with a small girl who is frightened of shadows and has a glass half empty perspective. Then, as she arrives at her local Public Library, her small dark lonely world is gloriously expanded by the world of books, and her perspective changes to one of wonder and delight. After all, books make the best companions, expand our thinking, deepen our knowledge, encourage us to dream and provide an escape from reality, through the boundless imagination of others.
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Man, I really wanted to like this book more than I did. Text by Toni Morrison? Ills by Shadra Strickland (whose work I first discovered on her etsy page)? Yes, please, Louise! Alas, the choice to rhyme made too many of the lines seem forced, and while I love the notion of a library offering refuge from the storm, I didn't dig the idea that Louise was afraid of everything.
Seema Rao
A book about a child walking to a beloved library to enjoy the books and their stories told in wonderful rhyming text and watercolor/ pencil illustrations.
Micah Hendriksen
Love this book! All about learning more about the world through books!
A story about how books and stories can help us conquer our fears and see the world differently. The rhyme and meter is a bit awkward in places.
Kyra Hahn
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: storytime
Picture book with lyrical text about finding refuge from the rain at the library.
Katie Dicesare
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Love the message in this book--imagination, beauty and happiness in reading
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-alouds
Lyrical lines celebrate the library and everything great stories can do for a child.
A young Asian girl looks worriedly out the window, then cautiously emerges and sets off down the street. Rain is threatening, as is her gray environment—a barking dog, hunched over man, abandoned house, junkyard—and she walks timidly along. The narrator encourages her to think more positively, “Scary thoughts are your creation/when you have no information.” She enters a library, her “shelter from any storm,” where she is transformed into an absorbed, eager reader, sprawled on the floor, smiling ...more
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. I am deliberately trying to build a collection of children's books that reflects the diversity of our world, and I was excited to find a picture book written by Toni Morrison. Unfortunately, I didn't love the text. I loved the message - things can seem scary if you don't know anything about them, but some information can help you understand what's really going on and then things aren't so scary. I'm a librarian - I love this message! I love that Louise goes to the lib ...more
This is a delightful picture book that is a celebration of libraries and books! Yay! Everything is dark, gray and scary as Louise walks along the street on a rainy afternoon. As soon as she enters the library, the mood lifts. "Here is a shelter from any storm. In this place you are never alone." The double page illustration, rendered in watercolor, gouache, pencil and crayon, shows bookshelves full of books and a checkout desk. My favorite illustration shows a close up of Louise's face as she is ...more
I love this one! The story begins by encouraging Louise that while the world is big, it isn't always bad. Louise is walking through the rain and seeing dangers and scary things in everything she sees - an old house, the bird in the sky, a little dog. She is encouraged to take notice to things and enjoy them. She arrives at her destination where she can be safe, happy, and enriched - her library! This story is beautifully written (hello, we're talking Toni Morrison here!). Slade Morrison (Toni Mo ...more
Poetic text brings a young girl from darkness to light as she discovers the power of libraries and using her imagination to change her perspective.

Watercolor, gouache, pencil, and crayon illustrations do a great job of representing the shift that happens in this book. Many common fears are depicted (haunted houses, strangers, dangerous animals etc) and the artwork gives readers a childlike view of each item as well as the overwhelming fear of the unknown.

An inspiringly good read aloud for PreK-2
Lisa Mcbroom
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I just want thank Toni Morrison for bringing me back my childhood innocence. Many a day I spent a rainy day in the little library in my hometown escaping in the magical land of books. When I would take my books home at night I would put them in front of the air conditioner and the breezw would turn the pages of the books. That would lull me to sleep. I read on the blurb this was based on a childhood memeory of Toni Morrisions . You can definetely tell. It gives you that wonderful bittersweet, ha ...more
I found this book to be incredibly pleasant and lovely to read. It is about a little girl who is afraid of the world because she doesn't know about it, but when she discovers the library and the books that are in it, her world expands and she becomes happier and more confident/content. This book is beautifully illustrated with a wonderful message - it is written in rhyme and has a wonderful premise that will make it a favorite on anyone's shelf!
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: edrd-314
This is a great book for students to develop a love for reading just like Louise. Louise traveled each day in fear in many things, and finally stumbles upon a library where she falls in love with books, and is no longer scared. I think this is a great book for students to use to compare to their life. What do they fear, and how can reading help? How can they compare their love for reading with Louise?
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Toni Morrison (born Chloe Anthony Wofford), is an American author, editor, and professor who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature for being an author "who in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."

Her novels are known for their epic themes, vivid dialogue, and richly detailed African American characters; among the best k
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