Book Review: The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara

Where can you find the perfect book after the sun goes down? The Midnight Library, of course!

Photo via Pan Macmillan at
Photo via Pan Macmillan at

The little librarian and her three trusty owl assistants work hard every night to find just the right book for each animal that visits the library. Everyone loves how quiet and peaceful the library is, until . . .

. . . a band of squirrels thinks the library is a concert hall.

. . . a wolf weeps in agony from the stress of a sad plot. (Sometimes I need the little librarian to help me get to the happy ending, too!)

. . . a tortoise refuses to leave until he finishes his book. (Hurray for library cards!)

Kazuno Kohara’s simple storytelling and kid-friendly linocut illustrations make this a delightful read aloud for story time at the library, for bedtime, or naptime — especially considering the little librarian and her assistants have their bedtime story during the day! This book is also the perfect gift for anyone who loves books and libraries, and/or librarians! (Hi Denise!)

The tension in the story is quickly and easily resolved, and the subtle lessons about what libraries are for and how to behave in them are gentle and unobtrusive — all of which help make it perfect for the younger set.

The strong lines in Kohara’s work lend themselves to drawing practice — I think many children would find sketching sweet-faced owls easy and fun. Oh wait. That’s me — I think I would find it easy and fun.

This is another book I picked up at Powell’s in Portland based on a staff recommendation. I love that they don’ t just recommend books — they offer a discount on their staff picks. AND — they list the names of their employees so if you find a book or 2 recommended by the same person, you can search *just that person’s recommendations.* As a former bookseller, I find that empowering to both the bookseller and the customer. (Yes, I now have a huge crush on Powell’s.)

P.S. This book is still available at a discount, as of 7/22.

Author: Keri