Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The lonely book by Kate Bernheimer illustrated by Chris Sheban

Do you ever wonder how books arrive in our school library?  There are so many ways.  I might read a review or see a book in a shop or a student might suggest a new title.  One of the ways we find terrific books is via a very special bookseller in Sydney - Kate at Bloomin' Books.  Her selections are always such treasures. While I was away in 2012 she sent The lonely book and so this week I picked it up knowing I was in for a treat.

When the book (the hero of this narrative) is new it is very popular in the library passing from borrower to borrower "it hardly ever slept at the library."  Years and years pass and the book is now over looked and left on the shelf until one day it is found on the floor and borrowed by a little girl who rediscovers its magic "Daddy!' she whispered. 'This is the most beautiful book I've ever read.  Can I take it home?"  The last page is missing but this does not worry the little girl.  She is able to imagine her own happy ending.  The little girl keeps renewing the book but one day she accidentally leaves it behind at the library and a helpful volunteer places it in the basement thinking it is meant to be part of their book sale.  "And the lonely book missed Alice.  Though all the books were kept tidy and safe in the basement, it was very dark.  The book was lonelier than it had ever been."

Finally the day comes for the book sale.  It is raining.  Alice and her dad arrive at the sale.  Will she been reunited with her special book?  Everything about this book is special - the story, the emotional journey undertaken by the book itself and the gentle water colour illustrations.  This book will be one of the first I read to our students this year.

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