cover image Library Lil

Library Lil

Suzanne Williams, Angela Williams. Dial Books, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-1698-8

""I bet you think that all librarians are mousy little old ladies,"" opens Williams's (Mommy Doesn't Know My Name) jovial tale of a spunky, book-loving girl who grows up to become a charismatic librarian. Though Lil plans a storytelling festival and stocks the stacks with new books, no one comes to check them out. The town's residents are too busy watching TV, which to her ""was an evil that ranked right up there with poison ivy and mosquitoes."" When a storm knocks out the electricity for two weeks, the resourceful bibliophile hooks the population on reading as she pushes a bookmobile (whose battery is ""deader than a pickled herring"") through town, using muscle power acquired from schlepping stacks of books as a child. Her awesome strength also helps the woman make book lovers of a barely literate motorcycle gang--a humorous feat that won't be lost on reluctant young readers. Kellogg's wit is in full evidence in his waggish illustrations, prepared using ink and pencil line and watercolor washes. Adding to the sparkle of Williams's narrative are such spectacles as multiple TVs lighting up the windows of every single house and the bikers, in a pig-pile on the library floor, fighting for a copy of Beverly Cleary's The Mouse and the Motorcycle. Lighthearted yet illuminating, this is a volume bound to lure kids from the TV screen. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)