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Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good ... More

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Author: Debbie Ladd

Illustrator: Shaun Nakasone

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Deb on Air Books, 2009

Material: hard cover

Summary: Oh, no! All the books in town are missing their last pages! At the library, at the bookstore, there are no endings anywhere. The mayor hires Investigator Robbins to solve the mystery. Robbins finds the thief: an elf named Ethan! Ethan explains that he loves books so much, and the endings are the best part, that he feels compelled to eat the endings so he doesn't lose the story. Robbins let's Ethan know that he can keep the story in his mind and in his heart, and he can replay it from there whenever he wants. That way, the other townspeople can read the books, too. Ethan apologizes and, as a "punishment", he gets to read to all the children in school from now on. This is a humorous mystery for young readers.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 7

Age of Child: Read with a 4-year-old boy.

Young Reader Reaction: I don't know if he really liked the book, because I didn't get more than halfway through the book before I gave up. See my response, below.

Adult Reader Reaction: The concept was novel, and the illustrations were fun, but the text was verbose and over-written. I did not like the book. This is a 62-page children's picture book. Each event is drawn out much longer than it needs to be, so the pace is laboriously slow. I got so bored with it I gave up on it after about 15 pages, and skimmed the remainder of the book in order to write this review.

I would love to see this author return and edit the text down to about 1/3 to 1/4 of it's current length. This could be simplifying the story/plot, or even just trimming some of the paragraphs out. I was excited going in to the book, but the length and convoluted nature of the text could not keep my interest.

Pros: The characters love to read and can be a model for young children.

Cons: The text is long-winded to the point of losing the reader's interest.The text is divided into 4-line rhyming schemes, and often the text is extended to 3 or 4 times the length in order to keep with the pattern.

Borrow or Buy: Skip this book in its current form. If the author re-writes and trims it down, this has the potential of a great read.


Educational Themes: Use the illustrations and a simplified story to show kids reading can be fun and memorable.

Notes: The author donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, reading, mystery

Date(s) Reviewed: February 2012

Other Reviews: No Critics Reviews or reader feedback found at the time of this review.


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