When I was a child I loved going to the library. For me it was a magical place that was full of stories and new possibilities. I have been lucky because I have always had access to libraries, and my daughter has had the same privilege. Both of us have always had many books of our own as well that we can pull of the shelf whenever we please. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be a child who does not have books to read.
Today's picture book is about just such a child who lives in a remote village and who owns only one book.
Illustrated by John Parra
For ages 5 to 7
Tricycle Press, 2011, 978-1-58246-353-7
Ana is a little girl who loves to read. Every day, after she has done her chores, Ana sits down with the one book she owns and she reads it. Ana’s teacher gave Ana the book for being an excellent student, but now the teacher has moved away and Ana and the other children in her village no longer have a school. They also no longer have access to new books.
One day Ana hears the sound of a donkey brayin,g and when she goes outside to find out where the noise is coming from she sees a man and two burros coming up the road. The man is carrying a sign that reads Biblioburro, and his two burros are carrying books. The man explains that he is a librarian, and his two burros, Alfa and Beto, are carrying his library.
After the librarian reads the children some books, he invites them to choose a few books to borrow. In a few weeks he will return to the village so that children can exchange their borrowed books for new ones.
Ana is thrilled to have new books to read, and she shares the new stories with her little brother. Several weeks go by and Ana waits and waits for the return of the Biblioburro. She begins to worry that the librarian and his moving library will never come back to the village.
This memorable book is a fitting tribute to the men and women around the world who have found creative ways to get books into the hands of children. Based on the true story of a man who delivers books to Columbian village children using two burros, this story perfectly captures the passion that many children have for books and stories. It shows readers how books fire up a child’s imagination, and how they inspire children to be creative in their own way.