Skip to main content

The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara


I was instantly drawn to the illustrations of Kazuno Kohara when I was working as a bookseller and discovered the paperback edition of Ghosts in the House! back in 2010. Ghosts in the House! is the rare Halloween-themed picture book - one that captures the spirit of the holiday while also offering just the right amount of spooky for little listeners. Kohara's book was a joy to read at story time that year and made it onto my list of Halloween books worth buying, which you can read here.


Kohara's linocut illustrations offer bold, black, textured prints accentuated with one or two colors and ver very visually appealing, as are her characters, who have a childlike resourcefulness that shines through in every book. In Ghosts in the House!, a little witch and her cat solve the problem of a haunted house by washing the ghosts and hanging them out to dry like sheets, then turning them into all sorts of domestic delights, from tablecloths to quilts. In Here Comes Jack Frost, a mopey little boy discovers the joys of winter when he finds a new friend. 


Kohara has a way of perfectly pairing her illustrations and story and it is exciting to see her work her magic in her third picture book and her first non-holiday themed work.


Being a book lover and a newly minted elementary school librarian, The Midnight Library is an absolute joy to read, over and over. But, you don't have to be a book lover to enjoy The Midnight Library. Kohara fills the library with wonderful animal characters, each with different quirks, tastes and habits when it comes to books...




The Midnight Library begins with the librarian and her three owl assistants preparing to open the doors to the Midnight Library. As the patrons come rolling in, the little librarian and her assistants help each and every one find just the right book.


However, not all visitors to the Midnight Library seem to understand the way a library works . . . There are musical squirrels who disrupt the quiet and a wolf who weeps uncontrollably over the sad part of her book. Finally, there is a slow-reading tortoise who refuses to leave the library until he finishes reading his 500 page book.


Flustered at first, the little librarian and her assistants find the perfect solution to this (and every) dilemma! The Midnight Library ends on the perfect note with the librarian and owls retiring (up a circular staircase) to their cozy home where they prepare for bed (as the sun rises) by reading a book of bedtime stories!


Once again, Kazuno Kohara delivers a beautifully illustrated sweet story that has the feel of a classic. The Midnight Library is sure to have a place on the shelves for years to come!




Source: A Bookstore!




Comments

Miss E. Laneous said…
I can remember being fascinated by little books about ghosts. These illustrations are enough to make me want to frame the pages or make greeting cards out of them!

Popular posts from this blog

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret) The Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…

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…

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!

Be…