The Library Fish

S. & S./Paula Wiseman. Mar. 2022. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534477056.
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.–

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