October 02, 2012

The Lonely Book - Review

I love the way my three-year-old picks books at the library. She runs at a break-neck pace, pulling anything that looks interesting or has substance (and by "substance" I don't mean it in the metaphorical way, I mean in the "it has mass and can be picked up" sort of way) off shelves and plopping them in the basket below the stroller. I rarely even see what the titles are before we get home. Limiting her to ten books or less is often impossible.

Many of these "choices" result in myself being required to read aloud boring or uninteresting or inane stories (or sets of words and phrases that appear between two covers but cannot, with any truthfulness, be called a "story") over and over again.

Some few, however, result in rare gems. After a trip to the library last week, I have had to make an addition to my list of "all-time favorite children's books."

Joining ranks with the likes of "The Polar Express," "The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey," "Ben and the Porcupine," "William and Grandpa," "Arabella," "Stopping By Woods," "A Child's Book of Poetry," and "Owl Moon" comes:

"The Lonely Book" by Kate Bernheimer, illustrated by Chris Sheban.

It's new, published this year (2012), and it is fabulous. If you have a young child I highly recommend getting a copy and reading it to them. But I warn you, if you are a lover of books; if books have often been your best friends, if some of your favorite memories are ones of your parents reading out loud to you when you were young, and if you've ever stayed up late re-reading a favorite book, or slept with a favorite book under your pillow... then you might want to keep a box of tissues nearby! My almost-four-year-old was a little perplexed by my inability to read past the catch in my throat a few times during the story.

This book is beautiful. Not only is the story one that resonates with a book-lover like myself, but the illustrations are also gorgeous. It's rare for me to find a new book or story that I love as much as the old ones that I have loved forever, but this one is an instant new favorite.

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