My mom is continually sending our family books, despite my insistence our bookshelves are overflowing! For Christmas she sent The Midnight Library and though it is aimed at children younger than my own, she knew what she was doing because the 13 and 9 year old were both charmed by the story.
The Midnight Library is a love letter to librarians, libraries, and the purpose they serve in the community. The titular library opens at midnight and closes at dawn. It is run by a little girl and her three assistant owls, serving the animal community by helping each creature find the perfect book. Normally the library is a quiet place but tonight a band of squirrels have come to the library and start playing their instruments. Instead of chasing them away, the librarian leads them to the activity room where they can practice without disturbing the other library patrons.
Later in the night it appears that a leak has started in the roof letting rain come in. However it is a wolf crying because the book she is reading has come to a sad part and she can’t continue. The little librarian leads the wolf to the reading corner and reads aloud the rest of the story to the wolf. For she knew that the book had a happy ending and the wolf just needed some support to finish.
As the sun is starting to rise, it is time for the library to close however a new tortoise patron is reluctant to leave because there are still 500 pages left in the book he is reading. The librarian explains checking out books, makes him a library card, and sends the tortoise off to happily read the book at home. With that done the librarian and her assistant owls tidy up the library before finding one last special book, a bedtime book for her to read the owls as they fall asleep to the rising sun.
Kohara did the illustrations and they are just as the cover is, with bright yellow pages, bold blacks and dark blue accents. It is a rather cheerful book to look at. The illustrations of the animals enjoying the library are a delight. I recommend it for all young children but especially to those with a love of visiting the library.