The Midnight Library

Kazuno Kohara. Roaring Brook, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59643-985-6
For children whose early bedtimes make them feel like they’re missing all the fun, Kohara (Here Comes Jack Frost) offers a gentle middle-of-the-night fantasy. Her library for nocturnal creatures is open all night, staffed by a young librarian with braids and her three assistant owls. They take good care of their animal patrons, guiding a noisy band of squirrel musicians upstairs to the activity room and encouraging Miss Wolf to stick with the story she’s reading, despite the traumatic part in the middle (“She was crying so much her tears fell like rain”). The ringing of a bell lets everyone know that dawn is coming, and they have to go home—even the tortoise who insists that he has to finish his book first: “I only have 500 pages left!” Kohara, a skilled visual storyteller, creates intricate linocut prints whose black outlines are accented with ochre and midnight blue. She switches nimbly between big spreads, sequential panels, and cutaway views. The curves of the library’s doorway and its black spiral staircase give the pages just the tiniest taste of charming gothic gloom. Ages 3–6. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/14/2014
Release date: 06/17/2014
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-250-83510-9
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-230-73609-2
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