It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.

These two picturebooks demonstrate how the library is not only home to young boys and girls and adult readers, but also to fearsome creatures such as a dragon and a wolf!

Mind Your Manners B. B. Wolf

Written by: Jude Sierra Illustrated by: Otto Seibold
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2007
ISBN: 0375835326 (ISBN13: 9780375835322)
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

In this story, the fearsome wolf of your fairy tales is shown to be growing old and living in a retirement home called the Villain Villa Senior Citizens Center along with other retired ogres and alligators.

It appears that all he looks forward to each day (in his jogging suit and comfy slippers at that) are bills and more bills from his previous misdeeds as can be seen in the image above. But then, one day, he also received a lovely invitation from his friend, the librarian aptly named Miss Wonderly, for their “annual storybook tea.”

I love the image above, particularly the one on the right, as the reader gets to have this aerial view of Mr. Wolf reading his invite like some kindly old grandpa. While he worries about the fact that he is not really a tea-drinker, Mr. BB’s friend, the Crocodile, assured him that people don’t usually go to a tea for the tea, but for the cookies.

To prepare for the event, Mr. Wolf made certain that he read “The Etiquette Book” just so he would be reminded of proper decorum and will not embarrass himself when at the library.

What he did not know, however, was that there were other people invited – namely the three little pigs, the gingerbread boy, and Little Red Riding Hood – along with a host of other characters as you can see in the image above. Can you spot a few more (I spy Elmer!)? How this host of characters reacted towards each other, I shall leave for you to discover. This will be a fun book to introduce to young readers who are already familiar with the stories alluded to in this book. I enjoyed the intertextuality and the laid-back – very retiring – flow of the narrative.

Return Of The Library Dragon

Written by: Carmen Agra Deedy Illustrated by: Michael P. White
Published by: Peachtree Publishers, 2012
ISBN: 1561456217 (ISBN13: 9781561456215)
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

I tried to put the first book in this series on reserve from our library, but it did not come through. Regardless, this still turned out to be a pretty stand-alone reading material that is rife with puns and refreshing witticisms that truly made me smile. The endpapers alone are a clear testament to this book’s homage to the library:

The story begins with an announcement in the School Library Times indicating that Miss Lotty, the librarian, is “checking out” and retiring after many years of service.

What she didn’t know was that her retirement signalled a major change in the library, especially with the appearance of a certain Mike Crochip (hehe), who emptied the shelves of all books, replacing them all with fancy gadgets, e-readers, and computers. The children were visibly upset:

Clearly, this is a not-too-subtle poke at how libraries are gradually being transformed into media centers, and slowly doing away with physical books that require a great deal of space. Despite the crystal clear message conveyed about the need for children to “unplug” while inside the library (naturally, Miss Lotty turned into the fierce dragon yet again to drive home her point), what I enjoyed most in this story were the visual puns – seen in little codes such as the twists in the book titles as seen in the covers or the spine (see above).

Whether or not the library’s transformation would indeed turn out to be disastrous, I shall leave for you to discover.

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

8 comments on “[Monday Reading] A Wolf and a Dragon Inside The Library

  1. Return of the LIbrary Dragon looks so cute. I hope you enjoy reading your books.

    My It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? post.


  2. Mind Your Manners looks super cute! I don’t know The Library Dragon either, but it also sounds great.


  3. Both books look great. I love finding new fractured fairytales!


  4. It seems wolves like to read! I feel like I’ve read at least a couple books or more about them in libraries! I guess they need to learn better traps or more recipes for their food!


  5. These look like charming books, Myra – plus they will make you chuckle, which is always good.


  6. Pussreboots

    Speaking of library dragons — there’s L-M, the wvyverary — a half dragon / half library character from the Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland series.

    Come see what I’m reading


  7. The wolf book reminded me of Winston the Book Wolf who likes to eat books. Do you know it?
    I like your second book so much I just put a hold on The Library Dragon.


  8. Both of these books look awesome – great finds! 🙂


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