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In this sweet and adventurous picture book, an unusually literary fish leaves the safety of her bowl to explore her library home for the first time.
When Mr. Hughes finds a fish all alone in the library and names her Library Fish, she knows she’s found her true home. Library Fish makes friends in the library and on the bookmobile, checks that books are returned, and absolutely loves story time, when she can listen to all kinds of stories and poems, meet unforgettable characters, and travel around the world and even to other planets!
But one day, everything outside is covered in snow and no one comes to the library. Will Library Fish be brave enough to venture outside her fishbowl for the very first time and explore the library she calls home?
About the Author
Alyssa Satin Capucilli is the award-winning creator and author of the Katy Duck series and the bestselling Biscuit series, which has sold over twenty-four million copies. A dancer as well as a writer, she lives with her family in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
Gladys Jose is an illustrator and storyteller. She graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2012, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, specializing in graphic design. Gladys is the illustrator of Library Fish, Fresh Princess, The Elephants’ Guide to Hide-and-Seek, and the Once Before Time chapter book series.
PreS-Gr 3–When a goldfish in a bowl mysteriously appears on the library doorstep (the mystery will be clear to readers), the librarian, Mr. Hughes, calls her Library Fish. From then on the sweet little fish takes an interest in library happenings, keeping an eye on the comings and goings at the circulation counter and listening in on story time. Through these stories, Library Fish imagines herself going on all kinds of wonderful adventures, far beyond her outings in the bookmobile. When a snow storm closes the library for the day, and even Mr. Hughes fails to appear, Library Fish must seek out new stories on her own. With her head protected inside her own water bubble, like a diving helmet in reverse, she can safely explore the world outside of her bowl. This is Library Fish’s moment to shine as she puts on her own special story time, reading dramatically to the bookmobile truck outside, who happens to love new stories just as much as she does. The illustrations are both cozy and amusing. They immediately bring to mind the sights, smells, and sounds of a public library visit. Seeing Library Fish use her fins as little legs or imagining the bookmobile exploring the ocean floor are sure to prompt a chuckle. Mr. Hughes is brown, Library Fish is a coppery orange, and the rest of the patrons are wonderfully diverse in dress, skin color, ability. Their equally diverse reading preferences showcase the fabulous potential and scope of community library offerings. VERDICT A story of a lovable and adventurous library goldfish which is as worthy of praise as the public libraries (and bookmobiles) she adores, this will find a home in every collection.–Alyssa Annico, Youngstown State Univ., OH
— School Library Journal
One day Mr. Hughes, librarian, finds a fish in its bowl outside the library door. He is not sure where it came from, but he wastes no time declaring his desk the new home for the Library Fish. Library Fish loves the stories Mr. Hughes reads and observes each book that is borrowed and returned. She also gets a special joy from going on field trips on the Book Mobile where Mr. Hughes helps children find just the right book. When a snowstorm closes the library, Library Fish decides to bravely read the books on her own. She flips and flops until she lands outside her bowl and explores with delight the many stories and illustrations contained in the books. After a long and wonderful night Library Fish knows the storm is over and returns to her bowl on Mr. Hugh’s desk. This cozy picture book would be a fun read-aloud during story time. The imaginative illustrations highlight the warmth, comfort, and enjoyment that reading and libraries can bring and could ignite many fun discussion ideas. - Susan Black, Retired School Librarian, Arlee, Montana
— School Library Connection
When a fishbowl is left on the library stairs with a note saying its occupant loves stories, Mr. Hughes (the librarian) gives the goldfish a home on the circulation desk. She quickly acquires the name Library Fish and becomes a fixture of storytime and bookmobile outings. Then one morning it snows so much that no one comes to open the library. Library Fish doesn’t want to stay in her bowl without any stories, so she tries different tactics to escape, finally blasting off while wearing a mini fishbowl helmet. After reading a few books, she and her buddy Bookmobile take off for an evening of fantastical adventures before returning to their library home. Detailed illustrations incorporate both whimsy and realistic details, which depict Mr. Hughes with light brown skin and feature children of diverse abilities and races. This imaginative read celebrates the magic of stories and will be at home with library-centric tales like Michelle Knudsen’s Library Lion (2006), Daniel Kirk’s Library Mouse (2007), and Brian Lies’ Bats at the Library (2008).
Readerly adventures await an aquatic bibliophile in Capucilli’s imaginative celebration of libraries. From the moment Library Fish shows up on the checkout counter with the tag “loves stories,” she becomes a beloved member of the institution’s inclusive community, even accompanying the librarian, portrayed with brown skin, on bookmobile days. When a snowstorm unexpectedly keeps the library closed, the intrepid goldfish goes in search of her own stories, leaping from her bowl in an astronaut-like bubble helmet (“filled with all of the possibility of a great story”), submerging herself in storytime favorites, and then sharing them aloud with her fellow library-dweller, the bookmobile parked just outside the window. Jose’s textured digital renderings cleverly incorporate collage, with bits of text peeking out beneath fantastical sequences of Library Fish’s magical escapades. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
— Publishers Weekly