Cover image for The library book
The library book
The library book
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publisher Info:
New York, New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division, [2017]
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations, music ; 27 cm
General Note:
Includes music on endpapers.
Using the lyrics to Tom Chapin and Michael Mark's "The Library Song," this picture book celebrates the magic of reading and of libraries.


Call Number
Material Type
E CHAP New or Popular Picture Book

On Order



What's the best way to cure a gloomy day? A trip to the library! Based on the hit song by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark, here is an affectionate, exuberant, uproarious celebration of books, reading, and--SHHH!--libraries!

The rain is pouring, Dad is snoring, and the same old stuff is on TV--boring.

What is there to do today?

Go to the library, of course!

Who will we meet there? Let's find out!

Author Notes

Tom Chapin is a renowned singer/songwriter, known for music that teaches the young and old. Some of his songs, such as Family Tree, Moonboat, Mother Earth, Billy The Squid, Zag Zig, and a concert video, This Pretty Planet: Tom Chapin Live In Concert, have been recognized with awards from the American Library Association, Parents' Choice, the New York Music Awards, the National Association of Parenting Publications and Parents Magazine. Around The World And Back Again and In My Hometown, received the Parents' Choice Award and were each nominated for a Grammy Award. A collection of environmental songs titled This Pretty Planet also received a Grammy nomination. Great Big Fun for the Very Little One, received the 2002 Parents' Choice Gold Award.

Chapin has also been the host of ABC-TV's Peabody and Emmy Award winning children's show, Make A Wish, and he later hosted National Geographic's Explorer series on TBS. Chapin narrates a series of children's books to benefit the Humane Society of the United States, and reads them aloud to kids at on the internet. Another narration, Mama Don't Allow, won a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children. It was also named a Notable Children's Recording by the American Library Association.

Chapin also works on behalf of many charitable organizations. He has joined Save The Children and is a member of the Board of Directors of WHY (World Hunger Year), which was founded in 1975 by Tom's late brother, Harry Chapin.

Chapin is a contributor to National Public Radio's Morning Edition, creating and performing topical songs poking fun at social and scientific trends in the news.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-This picture book uses the lyrics of "The Library Song" as text, then adds digital and pencil illustrations to share a young African American girl's extraordinary visit to her neighborhood public library. The pictures have a nostalgic feel, with the girl in a dress and large round glasses, the white female librarian wearing heels, skirt, jacket, and ribbon-tied blouse, and the library itself full of tall dark wooden shelves. With the card catalogue, date-due stamps, and absence of computers, the setting feels old-fashioned. The point of the song and the story is to introduce a string of beloved book characters, such as Winnie-the-Pooh, Curious George, Madeline, the Cat in the Hat, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and others. Adults will appreciate the mention of authors such as Roald Dahl and Philip Pullman, referenced on book spines. As the girl happily reads away the rainy morning, more and more characters sing and dance around the library, inviting all the library patrons to join in. The "shushing librarian" stereotype humorously is turned around when the girl asks the librarian to stop singing so that the girl can read in peace. VERDICT Although librarians will want to offer other resources in addition to the ones mentioned, this title is a fun read-aloud that will familiarize young children with the library.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Singer-songwriter Chapin follows The Backwards Birthday Party, also illustrated by Groenink, with a second picture book adapted from his extensive catalog: in this case, "Library Song" (written with Mark) from his album Moonboat. "I'm going down to the library,/ picking out a book, check it in, check it out./ Gonna say hi to the dictionary,/ picking out a book, check it in, check it out," sings a brown-skinned girl with round yellow eyeglasses as she runs through the rain. Beyond the rows and rows of waiting books, several classic children's book figures soon appear on the scene, including Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Babar, the Cat in the Hat, and Mother Goose. Even the serious librarian gets caught up in the increasingly rowdy fun, earning her a "shhh!" from the girl, who is ready to start reading. It's a book that could easily be used in elementary school classrooms before visits to the library, and readers will enjoy spotting recognizable characters in Groenink's cozy illustrations. This celebration of reading and libraries is sure to charm those who love both. Ages 4-8. Illustrator's agent: Stephen Barr, Writers House. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* This cheerful picture book opens on a rainy Saturday morning. While her dad's snoring and her brother's watching TV, an African American girl walks down to the library. Looking around, she spies old friends (Winnie the Pooh, Sleeping Beauty, Madeline, the Cat in the Hat, etc.), who all want to go home with her. Soon a happy crowd of fictional characters is parading down the street. On the wordless last page, the girl's on her bed, reading contently beside Winnie the Pooh. Written in 1989, with upbeat lyrics, natural-sounding rhymes, and a catchy tune, the song The Library Song creates a surprisingly good text for a picture book. The words can be read aloud easily, as the cadence is evident when the words are spoken, but the effect is more magical when the words are sung (the tune is readily available online). Groenink, the illustrator of Evan Kuhlman's Hank's Big Day (2016), brings the song to life on the page through his pleasing pencil-and-digital artwork. From the rainy-village street scene to the library interiors to the child's cozy bedroom, the pictures are well structured and full of intriguing details for children to find and enjoy. Fun for story hours and satisfying for reading one-on-one.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2017 Booklist