Featured Friend: The Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
The Lion and The Librarians:
. . . Mr. McBee decided to put his pride aside and make amends by finding the lion. Off he set in the dark and rain until he circled all the way back to the library where he found the lion looking longingly into the library.
“‘Hello, Lion,’ said Mr. McBee.
The lion did not turn around.
‘I thought you might like to know,’ said Mr. McBee, ‘that there’s a new rule at the library. No roaring allowed, unless you have a very good reason– say if you’re trying to help a friend who’s been hurt, for example.'”
The next day, Mr. McBee entered Miss Merriweather’s office.
“‘I thought you might like to know,’ said Mr. McBee, ‘that there’s a lion. In the library.'”
Now Miss Merriweather couldn’t help but break the rules too– she ran down the hall and joined the children in welcoming back their friend, the lion.
“‘Sometimes, there was a good reason to break the rules. Even in the library.'”
Interacting with the Story: Become Friends with Library Lion:
Feel, Relate, Imagine, Explore, Navigate, Develop, Share
Below is a FRIENDS list of activities for you to use with your audience.
F How do you feel when you go to a library? Excited or restrained? Why?
R How do you relate to the lion’s struggle of following the rules?
I Imagine you could have any zoo animal come to your story time and be tame. Which one would you pick to join you and why?
E Explore your local library and while there, ask your librarian if you can help her by volunteering to sort books, help children discover books, or even dust the shelves (but not with your tail!)
N Nagivate your surrounding cities and indentify local libraries. Go to a story time or activity at several different libraries, especially over the summer break.
D Develop a list of the top three rules for your audience (classroom, home) and have the children tell you why those rules exist and give example scenarios of when they may be need to be broken.
S Share this story with your librarian at your school or town by writing a thank you note including the title of the book and description of how he/she makes the library a special place for your family. Your librarian will appreciate this gesture!
Now as an adult, I enjoy the library more than ever. Taking our kids to find books is like an opportunity to re-do this part of my childhood. I’m like a child at an amusement park wanting to ride everything, over and over again. We max out three library cards on each trip and renew our favorites over and over again. Our children get to see a “childlike mommy” being thrilled as we buckle down into a book together. Come and join us!