Skip to content

‘An easy addition to a read-aloud collection for preschoolers or young elementary students.’ Libres Books Reviews The New LiBEARian

The lovely team of librarians from the Oakland County area, who share their reviews at Libres Books, have dived into a very fitting picture book, The New LiBEARian, by Alison Donald and Alex Willmore! Published in the States by Clarion Publishing.

Summary: The kids are waiting patiently for storytime, but the librarian, Mrs. Merryweather, is missing. They travel through the library, which is alive with adventures spilling out of the books (space aliens, pirate ships, airport runways), to find paw prints and honey spills. Behind Mrs. Merryweather’s desk is a bear wearing a “Librarian” name tag, who dutifully follows the children back to the Kid’s Corner to read their book. Just as the New Librarian is getting engaged in reading the children a scary story about bears, complete with growls, roars, and stomps, Mrs. Merryweather returns, fresh from cleaning up a lava spill in the Ancient History section. It turns out that the New Librarian is a recent escapee from Goldilocks and the Three Bears, along with another character who makes a cheeky appearance on the last page. 

Straight Talk for Librarians: This lovely picture book, set in a bright and colorful library complete with festive posters on every wall, has both a spirit of adventure and a vibe that radiates comfort. Children who have experienced the joy of a good storytime will relate to the diverse array of kids in the story as they anticipate the event, and subsequently become impatient for it to start. The book includes many humorous components, like the lava spill, and the bear trying to eat several of the library books, though many of these moments are not discussed and are simply included in the images. The amount of text per page and age of the children depicted suggests that this book is best suited to pr
eschool aged children, though older kids who have enjoyed storytimes in the past are likely to enjoy the book as well, and may spot more of the visual cues than younger children. The inclusion of a non-threatening bear, delightfully dubbed the “LiBEARian”, will add an element of excitement without any fear, and the twist at the end, if noticed, will leave kids wanting to read the book again immediately. An easy addition to a read-aloud collection for preschoolers or young elementary students.

Take a look at their fabulous Libres Book page for all reviews!
Fancy reading The New LiBEARian for yourself, at school or in the library – you can pick up a copy here!