Skip to main content

Library Mouse: Home Sweet Home by Daniel Kirk

I don't often review more than one, and usually the first, book in a series, but Daniel Kirk and his Library Mouse are a happy exception. Back in 2010 I reviewed Library Mouse: A World to Explore, the third book in the series, and took the opportunity to talk about all three books as well as Kirk's other books, many of which are favorites with my kids. Besides being a talented illustrator and author, Daniel Kirk is a songwriter and musician and happens to have created some kid's music I can actually stand to listen to, Go!, which has some classics and some great new songs (Ice Cream Truck is my favorite) that are all about transportation. And, his newest Library Mouse book, the fifth, is so wonderful that it deserves it's own review, especially since, like all the books in this series, it stands alone perfectly fine and is interesting and engaging on its own. If you have read the rest of the series, then I know you'll enjoy it even more!

Sam the Library Mouse loves reading and writing. His best friend Sarah loves exploring and having adventures. When the mice notice the books in the library that they live in are being boxed up, they do some exploring and discover that the library is undergoing a renovation. This leads them to a dictionary to learn what "renovation" means. Sarah sums it up by saying that it means that "the two of us will have to go exploring and find a new home." When the mice finally find a quiet place to call home, if only temporarily, they are faced with the challenge making the half-empty attic feel cozy. The two decide to each build a house, one for a library mouse and one for an explorer who has adventures. Of course, this means hitting the books. Sam decides that he wants a classical look and builds a house that could be found in ancient Rome. Sarah builds a yurt! But the houses just aren't quite right. Sam and Sarah hit the books again and end up building ten more houses before settling on just, and I mean JUST, the right house. You will love what Sarah comes up with! And, you'll also love what Sam and Sarah do with the reject houses once the library is open again. Best of all, Kirk includes an "About this Book" that has photographs of houses in the styles that Sam and Sarah worked in along with brief, kid-friendly details about the houses!

So many times a picture book character becomes a series franchise and the quality of the books takes a nose dive (you know who you are, picture book characters. . .) That is not the case by any means with Daniel Kirk and the Library Mouse series at all. Of course, I am probably biased because this is a series of books ABOUT books and I am the kind of person who believes that there is a book that can address any issue that comes up in life and Sam proves that, five times over now. But Kirk's series isn't just for book lovers. The story lines and characters in his books are infinitely appealing, even (as I have witnessed) to kids who have been reading chapter books on their own for years. I hope you and your family will take some time to sit down with Sam and see what I'm going on about!

Daniel Kirk and Library Mouse, singing songs about books, no doubt!


Source: Review Copy

If you enjoyed Library Mouse: Home Sweet Home or 
just have a thing for architecture, don't miss these 
AMAZING picture books!


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…