A Glorious New Picture Book Perfect for Celebrating International Children’s Book Day

Three cheers for children’s books!  April 2nd is International Children’s Book Day, and I have the perfect book to help you celebrate this year: Books Make Good Friends by Jane Mount.  I absolutely LOVE this picture book!  It so beautifully captures the spell that reading can have on people, especially children, and it does so with remarkable illustrations, text and creativity.

First of all, this book is complete eye candy. Jane Mount is an author and illustrator known for her depictions of the spines of books. (See the cover of the book to know what I mean.) On each page the spines of hundreds of actual children’s books leap out at us in tantalizing ways. The main character of this picture book is Lotti, a shy child who initially finds her only friends in books…tons and tons of books, and we get to see all of them here!

There is so much to look at on each page. If Lotti tells us about a book she’s reading, there is a little book review to further entice a read. She also interacts with the reader, posing questions such as: “What are your favourite books to read when you want to escape from real life?” She throws out this inquiry as she presents us with a stack of her favourite adventure stories, including Artemis FowlPaxInkheart and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.  There are lovely little Easter eggs throughout for avid readers of children’s books as well. For example, her cat’s name is Ramona (an homage to Beverly Cleary’s iconic character) and a spider similar to Charlotte pops up on several pages leaving Lotti web messages just like in Charlotte’s Web.

I read this book with my two sons, who are tweens (ages 10 and 12). As they don’t read picture books much anymore, I wasn’t sure what they would think, but we all had so much fun finding the spines of books that we’ve read together and making a list of books that we all want to read in the future. I even have a few children’s chapters books that I’m eager to devour now!

This book is one that is worth many reads: to take in Lotti’s story of blossoming through books, to explore all of the different genres that she suggests, and to play a little “I Spy” on each page looking for the hidden gems. I imagine this book will be read aloud and shared with joy in many a library, classroom and home, as books like this one truly do make good friends.

(And adults, if you fall as hard for this book, as I did, Mount has also created a lovely book for us entitled Bibliophile. It celebrates all things books, including book lists, beloved book stores and interesting libraries. I recommend checking it out as well.)

Kelly I.
Library Assistant, Main Library

Kelly has the great pleasure of spending her time as a Library Assistant at the Main Library. Her favourite things about working at WPL are getting to experience amazing new books all the time, and then write about some of her favourites for the Check It Out blog. When she is away from the library, Kelly loves spending time with her family, who are big into hiking and taking in the great outdoors. Kelly majored in art history at university and so she also loves to immerse herself in all things arts and culture. Her favourite way to spend a Sunday is at an art gallery and then lounging at a café afterwards with a latte in one hand and a great book in the other.