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If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don't!
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If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don't!

(Magnolia says DON'T!)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  681 ratings  ·  138 reviews
The third book in the bestselling Magnolia Says Don't! series, which started with If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!, is another loud and cautionary tale of what not to do--this time, at the library!

If you see a poster that says "You Can Do Anything at the Library!", it is NOT giving you permission to put on a circus! But Magnolia doesn't see any pro
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  681 ratings  ·  138 reviews

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Tina Haigler
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
This is a cute book that teaches kids why big energy can be a bad thing in a library. The art is good and the story made me chuckle. My favorite part was seeing the librarian's different faces throughout the pages, especially when things get out of hand. I would recommend this for ages 4 to 8. ...more
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Have you ever wondered what might happen if you got the inkling to bring a circus to your local library? Wonder no more, as this book tells all and interprets what is REALLY meant by "you can do anything at the library". From tightrope walking and cannon blasting, every child ought to be aware of how to get around some of those library rules and what to do if ever put in the predicament of finding yourself in the middle of the Big Top beside your pile of Big Books. Neo laughed so much in this bo ...more
May 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: picture-book
Oh hey, a book about a library by someone who apparently hasn't been in one in about thirty years and still thinks they are quiet places full of nothing but books. ...more
Rod Brown
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
The first of the Magnolia Says, "Don't!" series that I did not fully enjoy. While it has some good moments, Magnolia is just too obnoxious to the people around her and violates the sanctity of a library. Too far, Magnolia, too far! ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
I wanted to like this book. It seemed cute and fun, but I didn't really enjoy that I kept wanting to contradict it. You CAN be noisy in the library. You CAN clap and cheer. Plus, some of our programs are akin to having a circus in the library and only fun came of it. ...more
Steve Holden
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the latest in this cute series I recently discovered from Elise Parsley (Magnolia DON'T) and most likely the reason (new release) that the previous ones were all nicely displayed for the taking! For that reason, I'm very thankful for this release because I've missed out on this cute new take that connects imagination, silliness, and simple connections. Magnolia sees a sign that says "You can do anything at the library." I love spending times at libraries - a favorite hobby - but Magnolia ...more
Mark Baker
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, 2018
Magnolia has noticed that sign at her local library proclaiming that “You can do anything at the library.” She takes that as an invitation to put on a circus for the kids in the library. Of course, they all need to be quiet – this is a library after all. But really, what could possibly go wrong?

This is another delightfully silly picture book as Magnolia shows us just why the library and the circus shouldn’t mix. Adults and kids alike will enjoy the story, and the pictures by Elisa Parsley add to
Luanne Ollivier
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don't! is the third book in the 'Magnolia' series by Elise Parsley. Parsley is both the author and illustrator.

Magnolia has previously brought an alligator to school and a piano to the beach. So is a circus in the library a good idea? Well, the poster says...."You Can Do Anything at the Library!"

I work in a public library and have a small grandson who adores being read to as well as visiting the library so this newest book was a great fit fo
Cat Fithian
Jun 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
Meh. I get what she's doing here, but the stereotypical "quiet in the library" joke is tired, IMHO. ...more
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
"If you see a poster that says 'You Can Do ANYTHING At The Library!' it means you can sit and read a book and use your imagination. It does NOT mean you can bring in a whole circus."

Love the opening line.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Library behavior is addressed. This is a little confusing, because our young heroine seems to be getting away with some pretty rowdy behavior. But it does have an actual plot, and I'm sure kids love the humor. The posters that say "You can do anything at your library" do indeed need to be re-written.

In response to a one-star review: Yes, I know we don't say 'shh' anymore nor do we just read dtbs. But neither do we do high-wire acts or send shelves toppling like dominoes....
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: library, childrens, humor, 2017
This is the third book in the Magnolia says DON'T! series by Elise Parsley. I'd read the second book, If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don't!, but did not realize it was part of a series until now. I will have to see if I can find If You Ever Want To Bring An Alligator To School, Don't! next.

The storyline has a circular argument that is quite reminiscent of the classic tale, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (and the subsequent series it spawned) by Laura Joffe Numeroff.

The book is sl
Shaye Miller
Oct 14, 2019 rated it liked it
I somehow missed the first two books in this series of cautionary tales, so I'll have to hunt them down. But that doesn't mean I couldn't appreciate book #3. Magnolia is determined to start her own circus in the library after reading a sign that says, "You can do ANYTHING at the library." But time after time, she runs into problems with various components of her circus. Young children will enjoy the catastrophes and can discuss what the sign actually means in the context of the library. The illu ...more
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, illustrated
A-DOR-A-BLE. And as someone who has worked in the Children's Department, it's also a little terrifying. It's a fun, silly read that subtly promotes proper library behavior. I love the illustrations and the font; each page is entertaining, from the text to the pictures. Highly recommended, particularly for library story times. ...more
Danielle H
Maybe I'm just too close to my library being a circus, but I didn't care for this. ...more
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Kindergarten-Grade 3
Shelves: read-with-kids
Read with Kindergarten and THEY ALL LOVED IT!! I don't think this have ever happened before. BABOOMBA! ...more
Jo Oehrlein
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A story about the things that go wrong when you hold a circus at the library.
May 02, 2017 rated it liked it
A little girl sees she can do anything at the library, particularly bring a circus to the library! But when she explores this brilliant idea things get a bit dicey!
Jillian Heise
Will be a fun one to use to review library expectations at the start of the year.
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a GREAT book! Funny story and drawings about the library and it is so cute that you don't realize at first that you are reading about the rules in the library. I loved it! Great read aloud book for teachers and librarians and parents who want to teach their kids how to behave in the library. ...more
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Wow, this author hasn't been in a children's section recently or probably a library for that matter. Most libraries that I've visited run more on the Community Center model than on the "sacred spaces full of shh-ing" model. ...more
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Really fun but also hit a little too close to home with library insanity lol
Kristina Jean Lareau
Great opening line, the rest... Naaaw.
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Parsely, Elise. If You Ever Want to Bring a Circus to the Library, Don’t! Little, Brown and Company, 2017. $17.99. Content: G. PICTURE BOOK.
The poster read, “You Can Do Anything at the Library” and Magnolia did just that. She brought a circus. She twirled and leaped, but asked the audience to hold the applause, because you need to be quiet in a library. She dressed up like a clown and got a pie in the face and tried to hand out concessions. But she learned that you can’t clap, cheer, or hand out
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
For me, this one didn't work as well as the two earlier books in the series, because too much of the humor depends on one joke, which is trying to do noisy things quietly because it's a library. If it was really a problem, wouldn't the librarian have said something about it when she was dragging a bleeping CIRCUS CANNON into the room?
The good parts of this story were when Magnolia was trying to do fun things in her version of a circus, and when she entertained the small children out of booing he
If you see a sign that says "You can do anything at the library", don't take it literally. This sign merely means that with the books and your imagination, you can do anything. It doesn't mean you can bring a circus into the library. Who wants to perform in a circus when everyone knows you can't clap or cheer in a library? And you definitely can't have concessions. And who wants to get booed because your cannon act is a dud? No, the crowd would be just as happy if you read a book out loud. Unles ...more
Becky B
Magnolia reads a sign at the library that says, "You can do ANYTHING at the library," which Magnolia interprets as an open door to bring in a circus show. She soon learns, though, that perhaps having fun and adventures in stories is what the sign meant...because a circus in the library turns out to be a disaster.

I feel like there are always those students at school who try to take signs literally and don't take in the context or just apply common sense. This is a great book to use to address tha
Amanda Brooke
This book is hysterical. My students know I loved reading it because it has a shelving cart in it - I bug them all the time to put books away there. You have to pre-read this book before reading it aloud so you get the Boos right. You don't want to accidentally boom. I like to stop at the point when Magnolia reads, "who's that trip trapping over my bridge?" and point out that they look just like the kids in the book. Also, you might practice your Carol Burnett voice before reading the line about ...more
Randi Triantafillou
This story I rated as fair, it shows how an individual has to get creative when faced with challenges. In this story Magnolia tries to entertain an audience with a circus at the library but it doesn't go as planned, so she has a plan B which is to read a book to her audience. Magnolia has success as she reads to her audience in the library and learns that the library is not a place for a circus. I feel Magnolia had a learning experience and this could show children how they can learn from their ...more
In the end pages, the librarian changes a misinterpreted sign that says: "You can do 'anything' in the library" (meaning in your imagination- as Magnolia discovers when she tries to perform her circus in the library) to "You can read a nice quiet book in the library." Wow, this one hits close to home. May be a good one for introducing "be safe" in the library, or virtual field trips...

Once again, Magnolia gets lots of laughs (or the librarian's reactions gets lots of laughs!).
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Magnolia says DON'T! (4 books)
  • If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!
  • If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don't!
  • If You Ever Want to Bring a Pirate to Meet Santa, Don't!

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