cover image A Library

A Library

Nikki Giovanni, illus. by Erin K. Robinson. Versify, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-358-38765-7

Poetic lines sing libraries’ praises in this brief tribute from Giovanni. Framed by first-person narration describing a trip to the Carnegie Library, spare verse builds on the phrase “A library is:// a place to be free/ to be in space.” Chromatic digital renderings by Robinson accompany the text, layering geometric shards of color and light. In one spread, the Black-presenting narrator stirs batter while the same figure reaches in through a window to take a cookie (“to be a cook/ to be a crook”). Another depicts a trumpet being blown alongside a blueprint-like depiction of the instrument (“to be blue/ to/ be/ jazz”). When the bookworm returns home, chores yield to cozy moments reading while snuggling a rainbow-hued blanket—an uplifting conclusion that’s aptly suggestive of books’ appeal. An author’s note concludes. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)