Friday, October 24, 2014

PPBF: The Midnight Library

Today's Perfect Picture Book Friday pick

The Midnight Library
Written and illustrated by Kazuno Kohara
Roaring Brook Press, 2014
ages 3-6

Libraries, Spooky, Helpers

"Once there was a library that opened only at night. A little librarian worked there with her three assistant owls."

The midnight Library keeps unusual hours. It opens when the sun goes down. The librarian does her best to accommodate her strange assortment of patrons including a fox, a wolf, a dog, some cats, a dawdling tortoise, and a band of noisy squirrels. The little librarian manages to find a solution for everyone's needs, as most librarians do. She even finds time to read a "bedtime" story to her sleepy owl companions as the sun rises.

What I Love:
The illustrator has created a following with her wildly popular Ghosts in the House! I have to confess, that is not one of my favorite books. But a book about a library is irresistible, and the initial concept caught my attention, too. I loved watching the patrons milling around in the stacks. I smiled at the little librarian's helpful suggestions. I found the spare text heartwarming, with plenty of kid-appeal.

Kohara's graphic prints give the library the right touch of quirkiness. The bright colors will be a hit with the preschool crowd, but adults will find them equally hard to resist. Maybe I'm just nostalgic (the black on neon reminds me of the 60's classic Happiness is a Warm Puppy.)


from Art Of Domesticity
1. Julie Danielson offers an additional sneak-peek into the stunning illustrations of The Midnight Library.
2. has some teacher resources available for The Midnight Library as well as Kohara's Here Comes Jack Frost and Ghosts in the House!
3. These toilet paper roll owl ornaments aren't quite like the library assistants in the book, but their clever design and bright colors evoke the same playfulness.
Thanks to JustJENN
4. Try your hand at a haunted gingerbread house or library like the one from JustJennRecipes.
5. Why not help your local library organize a Library Card Drive? Offer author storytime or signed bookplates to direct more traffic to you favorite branch.
6. In keeping with the spirit of the art, teach your preschoolers easy printmaking techniques from Blissfully Domestic, InnerChildFun, or TinkerLab
7. Look for these other Perfect Picture Books at your local library.

Reviewed by Erik
Reviewed by Catherine

Reviewed by Beth
Reviewed by Vivian

For more night-time escapades
Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday
for October 24, 2014, available on Susanna Leonard Hill's blog.


  1. Such a sweet pick!

  2. Adorable. As an ex-librarian I can't get enough library story books.

    1. Cool! I didn't know you used to be a librarian. This book shows how the rest of us view you: our heroes.

  3. What a clever plot for a book, Joanne! I've always wanted to have a night in one of our Chicago museums. Since I worked as a school librarian for four years, I had ample opportunity to stay after hours. ;-} Thanks for sharing!

    1. Classic Frankweiler Syndrome! I wouldn't mind camping out at the Smithsonian, or haunting my local library in the wee house, myself.

  4. Owl assistants have to be the best!!! Love the activities, especially the owl ornaments!

  5. Very cute story. Great resources. Thanks!

  6. I love a good library story! And I haven't come across this one! Thanks!

    1. Your fans at the library should enjoy it. Thanks for visiting!


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