“Picture books are two to three times as likely as parent-child conversations to include a word that isn’t among the 5,000 most common English words.”

This is what Dominic Massaro, of the University of California, Santa Cruz found when studying language and literacy.

Of course, there are many reasons to read aloud to our children. Through read-alouds, children learn not only vocabulary, but also sentence structure and prosody. It provides a much-needed pause in our busy schedules and gives parents and children and teachers and students something to relate to simultaneously, opportunities for discourse, ways to engage in emotions and ideas.

I had never heard of Library Lion when I stumbled upon it in my local thrift store, but I was immediately enthralled by the illustrations.

And of course, with the topic being libraries, I immediately took it home with me!

Library Lion is a sweet, engaging story about a lion who begins visiting his local library. Everyone is shocked at first, but he turns out to be a helpful friend to both the rule-following head librarian, Miss Merriweather, and the children who frequent it as well as immensely interested in attending the daily story time. Even lions love a good read-aloud! However, trouble strikes when the lion must choose between following the library’s rules of using a quiet voice and walking and helping a friend. As the story concludes, characters learn lessons of humility, forgiveness, and acceptance.

One of the things I really appreciate about this book, other than the charming story itself, is the length. I’ve found it difficult to find books that go beyond the typical picture-book length of just a handful of words per page, but stay underneath the somewhat overwhelming length that more resembles a small chapter book. Library Lion is a lovely happy medium between the two; a little longer for your more attentive listeners or flourishing early readers, but not so long that it becomes a burden to the reading parents or teachers.


Are you a teacher or SLP looking for educational targets? Check out the educational version of this post here!