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Thursday, August 30, 2012

To PROTECT the books, we must SHARE the books...

Why hello there!
Welcome back to another EXCITING day here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers…where the reading is always hot and fresh right from the literary oven.  *blows steam from book*  Quick reminder….two contests still up and running here on the site so be sure to check out the right hand sidebar before you leave for all the details.  Now, down to business…

Today’s post is a two-fer as in TWO reviews for the post of one!  I don’t do this often, but when a series presents itself and someone apparently didn’t post about the one book once upon a time (*glares at self*), the PERFECT opportunity is presented to right the miss and get YOU acquainted with two titles you need to read to believe.  Both books come to us from the fab folks over at Peachtree Publishers (Hi, Emily!) and with the second one just making its debut, there’s no time like the present to get the literary ball rolling.  Without further ado, today’s books of choice are from wit and wonder of author Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by the creatively drawn mind of Michael P. White….

When Sunrise Elementary School advertised for a thick-skinned librarian with a burning love of books, Miss Lotta Scales knew she was perfect for the job. Who could guard books better than a REAL dragon?
"She kept a fiery eye out to make sure no one removed any books from the shelves.... The very thought of sticky little fingers touching and clutching, pawing and clawing, smearing and tearing her precious books just made her hot under the collar."
The teachers, singed and scorched, formed a delegation. But not even sweet Miss Lemon could convince Miss Lotta Scales that "the library belongs to the children."
Fortunately, nearsighted Molly Brickmeyer stumbles onto a copy of Snuff the Magic Dragon and reads the tale out loud. Her storytelling beckons the children back to the library and brings them face to face with the Library Dragon. Can an open book temper the flames of the school's hotheaded librarian?

Really…can you IMAGINE if your librarian was REALLY a dragon?  I’d say there would be a far shorter line at the entrance or at least more folks donning suits of armor.  I’d play Joan of Arc and don the suit because NOTHING stands between me and my books.  *grabs jousting stick….oops!  Wrong end!* 

Miss Lotta Scales has good intentions at heart….she just wants to keep the books safe.  NO fudgy fingerprints on the pages.  NO tattered covers showing up from abuse and mis-use.  NO lost volumes that need replacing.  She simply wanted her library in order and for it to stay that way….but alas, she didn’t realize that not EVERY child will use a book as a hockey puck. Not EVERY child will tear at pages and write in the margins.  Some children simply want to embark on an adventure and let their imaginations do the heavy lifting.  Some children thoroughly enjoy reading and being read to; the shared experience enriching both parties along the way.  Some children even look up to librarians that are perhaps a bit overprotective of their domain and realize that underneath it all, beats the heart of a literary friend that will last through a lifetime of reading.  It takes one special little girl to open Ms. Lotta Scales’ eyes to the possibilities she was ending for the young readers in her care.  With her help, she is able to find a happy medium, allowing others to discover the worlds within the pages she protected and continue to share the enjoyment that reading brings to all those willing to take the journey.

Now for book 2….

After 557 years of faithful service, Miss Lotty is retiring from guarding books. But before she can check out of Sunrise Elementary for good, disaster strikes. Someone has ordered all the books removed from the library and replaced with machines! It's enough to make Lotty feel a little...dragon-like.
When she bursts into a fiery rage, only one thing can make her shed her scales: assurance that someone will fight to keep her precious books in the hands of Sunrise's children. Miss Lotty is convinced she'll have to battle the Cyberbeast herself, until a surprise visit from her old friend Molly Brickmeyer reassures her that the library is safe for now and will remain a place where kids can UNPLUG, for the love of books.

Sound familiar?  I know it does when I think about our local bookstore.  Ebooks this and ebooks that and…I understand the need for them, even the desire to have them (hey, I’ve read them too!) but there is a time and place for everything and the invention of a NEW WAY of doing things shouldn’t make the other an outdated form, at least in this case (we’re not talking 8-Tracks here).  I LOVE “unplugging” after a long day at work.  The time I spend reading a paper book is part of my “Me time”…my escape from whatever may be hampering, hindering, or haranguing me in life.  It’s a joy that can be done wirelessly in the sun, or a quiet room in a big comfy chair.  It’s an adventure that takes no gas to become a part of nor air miles to reach the final destination.  No batteries required, nor instructions needed….all there is is YOU and the BOOK.  *sigh*  Anywho…back from my literary fantasy and into the story…

Ms. Lotty’s concern is completely understandable and with her ire up, she becomes lost in the grip of transforming into her dragony self once again.  Thank goodness for the new librarian!  She helps guide Ms. Lotty down from her fiery heights with the wisdom of youth (a phrase not often able to be put to use) and the hands of understanding.  She comes to realize that with a little help from her friends the torch CAN still be passed to the next generation while ensuring the flame glows brightly for all to see calling readers far and wide to the adventures that await them within the pages of a book. 

Though both tales are filled to the brim with heart felt sentiment from a true reader, they also have many unexpected laughs and smiles to share.  From the titles of books on the shelves to the posters that line the walls, the name plate on the desk to the expressions on the faces of those readers in potential peril, each illustration contains something more than first meets the eye.  Let us not forget the final smile du jour when Molly announces her official title…I won’t spoil it for you, but it will warm your heart.  ALSO, be sure to check out the inside of both the front and back cover of the print book!  Why? Because!  They are covered with bookish quotations from more than a few notable names…many of which I’m certain will be showing up randomly here and there as bookworms the world over discover this little gem.

In conclusion, two wonderful stories fit for readers of all ages, shapes, and sizes.  There’s a dragon, books, technology, and the like….but most of all, there’s a celebration of reading regardless of its form and an acknowledgement that there is room in our bookish worlds for one and all.  So how will you be reading today?  Grabbing a book off the shelf or a file from the old ereader?  Wherever your wandering eye takes you, I wish you happy reading!

Review copies received courtesy of Peachtree Publishers.  (THANKS!)  For more information on these titles as well as their complete catalog,  feel free to click on the links embedded in this post, check out their website, like them on Facebook, check out their blog, or follow along on Twitter.  To discover more about author Carmen Agra Deedy as well as her complete body of works (she also wrote another of my favorites…The Cheshire Cheese Cat), seek out her official site or the Twitter feed of her site manager.  If illustrations are your forte (and these are completely wonderful in their own unique way), Michael P. White and his assembly of creature creations can be found online at his official site.

Until next time…


Melissa (My words and pages) said...

A library is a dragon! :D Sounds cool. :D Thanks!

Alexia561 said...

Sounds adorable! Love the idea of a dragon protecting the library!

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