Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Readers Advocacy: Book Talking Your Library

National Library week may be over, but the Advocacy and Legislation Committee wants to help you keep the party going at your library.

Picture books set in the library highlight the joy and importance of reading. For young children these books guide conversations about familiar experiences and reinforce the relevance of a library in their lives. In short, these books advocate for the library.

Below is a limited selection of picture books celebrating the library. Create a display or book talk these titles and let your families inspire their own advocacy for libraries at home! What are some of your favorite picture books that celebrate all things library? Comment below and help our list grow!

A Library Book for Bear
by Bonny Becker. Illus by Kady McDonald
Candlewick Press, 2014

A curmudgeonly bear does not want to go to the library. After all, he as seven perfectly good books at home. When his friend Mouse persuades him to visit the library he discovers more than he could have imagined. This story highlights the lengths library lovers will go to in order to help someone understand what libraries can do for them, and help find their just-right book.

Image taken from publisher website

Biblioburro: A True Story from Colombia
by Jeanette Winter
Beach Lane Books, 2010

Luis Soriano is a Columbian school teacher who wants to share his love of books with folks who don’t have access to them. Each weekend, he and his donkeys Alfa and Beto, make the trek high into the mountains where he brings books and storytimes to communities without libraries. Luis reminds us that just one person can make a difference.

Image taken from publisher website

Building Books
by Megan Wagner Lloyd. Illus by Brianne Farley
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2018

An avid reader and an avid builder are encouraged by a school librarian to try out each other’s passions. This leads to some truly awe inspiring book-based architectural design. A fanciful book, this story reminds us of the library atmosphere we’d like to facilitate.

Image taken from publisher website

Chicken Storytime
by Sandy Asher. Illus by Mark Fearing
Dial Books, 2016

Why did the chicken cross the road? To attend library storytime! Everyone loves this library programming staple: children, their families, and the town’s chickens! This vibrant, silly book celebrates the flexibility and creativity of librarians and reminds us that storytime is for everyone.

Image taken from publisher website

By Yuyi Morales
Penguin Random House, 2018

A tale of immigration, family, and dreams. Morales’s picture book uses beautiful mixed media illustrations to tell her own story of coming to a new country with a new language. In it, we also see the vital role a library can play in making a young family feel at home.

Image taken from publisher website

Madeline Finn and the Library Dog
By Lisa Papp
Peachtree Publishing Company, 2016

Madeline desperately wants a gold star from her teacher. But, stars are for good readers and Madeline firmly believes that she never will be. Enter Bonnie, a fluffy library therapy dog. Bonnie is a great listener who doesn’t laugh when Madeline’s words don’t come out quite right. Eventually, Madeline gains the confidence and skills to earn her star. Thanks to he hundreds of read-to-dogs programs at libraries around the county, many real-life Madeleines gain the confidence they need to read.

Image taken from publisher website

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
by Anika Aldamuy Denise. Illus by Paola Escobar
HarperCollins, 2019

An inspiring picture book biography of Pura Belpré, New York’s first Puerto Rican librarian. She transformed library services through outreach, bilingual programming, and writing (when she discovered that there were no books available for her young patrons in Spanish, she made her own). A Spanish-language edition, Sembrando historias: Pura Belpré: bibliotecaria y narradora de cuentos, is also available.

Image taken from publisher website

Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree
by Naoko Stoop
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2014

In this book, the third Red Knit Cap Girl story, a young girl builds a do-it-yourself library inside the nook of her favorite tree. This story expands our understanding of what a library is and encourages readers to cozy up and build their own.

Image taken from publisher website

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library
By Carole Boston Weatherford. Illus by Eric Velásquez
Candlewick Press, 2017

This beautifully illustrated biography centers on Arturo Schomburg, an Afro-Puerto Rican law clerk and curious book nerd who lived in Harlem. His unyielding dedication to collecting materials that highlight work from Africa and the African diaspora would eventually become the important Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Image taken from publisher website

The Not So Quiet Library
by Zachariah Ohora
Dial Books, 2016

When a five-headed monster smashes around the library loudly eating books, Oskar and his bear Theodore step in to save the day. It turns out, even for monsters, books make better stories than snacks. Luckily, this book isn’t aimed at discouraging curious book gobbling babies, its target audience is a couple years older.

Image taken from publisher website


This was a team effort of the Advocacy and Legislation Committee: Brigid Gallagher-Sauter, Barbara Genco, Nate Halsan, Sarah Okner, Erica Ruscio, and Joel Shoemaker.  

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