Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. I have a special connection with today’s featured book. Some of you might know that my very first real job was working in a library while I was in college. I remember we had those big metal boxes and I had to pack them with books that had been returned to our branch of the Brooklyn Public Library…but they were originally borrowed from a different location and needed to be sent back. For me, it was magical no matter what job they gave me to do because all through my childhood, libraries were like a second home. And so, when I heard about THE LOUD LIBRARIAN, I knew it was a book I’d want to share with all of you.
THE LOUD LIBRARIAN
Written by Jenna Beatrice
Illustrated by Erika Lynne Jones
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (April 11, 2023)
Themes: Be yourself, libraries, SEL
Synopsis: From Amazon:
A little librarian with a larger-than-life voice finds her place in this sweet and uproarious picture book about being true to yourself—no shushing required!
Penelope is perfect for the job of student-librarian. Friendly? Check. Helpful? Check. Book lover? Check. There’s just one snag. Penelope is…LOUD. Bookcases may topple and the ground may quake at the sound of her voice, but Penelope is determined to prove she’s perfect for the job and stay true to herself. Can a little librarian with a big voice find a place where she belongs?
Why I Love This Book:
1. It’s about librarians – who are some of my very favorite people!
2. I love SEL stories where kids deal with their emotions and discover who they are and how to move forward in this crazy world!
3. I love the vivid kid-friendly diverse illustrations!
Make Your Own Library
Kids love big boxes – they can become planes, cars, houses…and even libraries. What a great idea for young children to have a special place to keep books that belong to them – or perhaps a place to keep library books so that when it’s time to return them, we know where they are. Find detailed instructions here: https://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-and-experiments/make-a-cardboard-mini-library
And now that you’ve got a great activity to do with the kiddos after you read the book, let’s find out a little bit about the author and illustrator of this wonderful story! Fortunately, Jenna and Erika stopped by to chat about their paths to publication for this book.
The Loud Librarian’s journey to publication is an example of how it takes a village to raise a book! I applied for a mentorship through #PBChat, founded by Justin Colón, and was incredibly lucky to be picked by the wonderful Lindsay Leslie. Lindsay donated her time to mentor me and to help make The Loud Librarian submission ready. Lindsay taught me so much about storytelling and I’m so grateful to her for believing in this story.
At the mentorship showcase, this story was requested by several editors and an offer was made by Atheneum/Simon & Schuster. It was an absolute dream come true! And would not have been possible without the generosity of the kidlit community.
And here’s a little bit about Jenna:
Jenna Beatrice is a children’s author, lawyer, and mom. She began her legal career as a lawyer for children before becoming a litigator and a trustee of a children’s advocacy center. As an author, Jenna now shares the joy of reading with young children. Jenna lives in northern New Jersey with her husband and their young son. The Loud Librarian (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, April 2023) is her debut picture book. To learn more about Jenna, please visit her at jennabeatrice.com.
General Book Order:
For Signed Author Copies:
And now it’s Erika’s turn:
I signed with my agent in November 2020. I started one freelance project the same week. Just as I finished up in March 2021, the opportunity to do The Loud Librarian came across my desk! I said, “YES!” The timing and the nature of the story was perfect.
But sometimes, when everything seems to be going smoothly, challenges happen.
While illustrating The Loud Librarian my father became ill for several months and passed away. Thankfully I was able to drop everything and spend precious time with him over the winter holiday. I am grateful he got to read a version of the story with my complete sketches during our last Thanksgiving together. He seemed so proud and to finally “get” what I was up to as far as my career was concerned (LOL). I was able to dedicate the book to him and my mom. I know they are both beaming.
And here’s a little bit about Erika:
Erika Lynne Jones is a children’s book author/illustrator and educator. She loves using cut paper collages to tell inclusive stories that affirm children and bring them joy. Erika lives in the Dallas area with her husband and three daughters. The Loud Librarian is her debut picture book, please visit her at erikalynnejones.com.
For Signed Illustrator Copies:
Dear friends, I’m so happy that Jenna and Erika shared some of their journey with us. And they are also offering a giveaway of a copy of THE LOUD LIBRARIAN! Please leave a comment for a chance to win – maybe you can tell us which library you went to when you were a kid. And please remember that the best way to show authors and illustrators that we love their books is to buy them, review them, tell friends about them, and ask our local libraries to purchase copies for their collections. Believe me, librarians will definitely want copies of this book!!!
We all love librarians, loud or quiet!