Librarian Must-Haves

As a teacher with a limited budget and also an avid book lover, it was imperative to start out each school year with the how to treat a book speech.  My preschoolers especially needed an in-depth, multiple day course- usually paired with visual aids- in order to prevent me from taping up damaged books all year long.

Along with how to treat books, I also wanted them to understand the power books can have. In hopes of developing life-long readers we; crossed genres, lived in a literacy rich classroom, read aloud and independently, and spent countless hours reading, writing, drawing, and acting out stories.

Recently I stumbled upon some great books that would’ve definitely been placed into my book talk planning bucket.  These picture books teach the wonder and importance of books and should be added to every librarian’s must-have list!


The Boy and the Book by David Michael Slater is a wordless book with a simple message – treat books kindly! A young boy, unsure of what to do with books, begins by tearing and crumpling pages of a blue book he happens to come across.  On a second trip to the library the boy is again drawn to the blue book.  This time it appears he may be taking some second glances at the pages but then again begins to rip them out.  With the help of some friends blue book is able to escape to a higher shelf just out of reach.  As the blue book looks down and sees a sad face he decides to allow the boy one more chance.  A sigh of relief is had as the boy looks carefully at the pages and even begins to read some of the words.



The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson tells the story of Lewis Micheaux Sr. and his dream that became a reality when he opened the National Memorial African Bookstore in 1930’s Harlem. His feat wasn’t without struggles though.  He started with a mere 5 books but continued growing his collection until he was able to sell carts of books on the streets.  Bankers refused to give loans for a black bookstore stating that “black people don’t read” so Lewis raised the money himself.  Once the bookstore opened it became a destination for many African Americans, including famous visitors such as Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X.  Many of Lewis’ coined phrases are weaved throughout the text displaying his character and leaving readers with his inspiring messages during a troubled time in history.   “Books will help him clear the weeds and plant the seeds so he’ll succeed – this house is packed with all the facts of all the blacks all over the world – Knowledge is power. You need it every hour. Read a book!”     …Lewis Micheaux Sr. 



In Billy’s Booger, William Joyce writes a childhood memoir about how his school librarian starting him on the path of writing his first book. Billy is a unique child that strives to make the most ordinary events extraordinary by adding his own creative flair.  When his librarian held a contest challenging students to create their own book, Billy was more than thrilled to give it a shot.  After extensive research, Billy had finished his book about a “super booger” that would blast out of the nose to help in difficult situations.  (Readers will be delighted to find Billy’s booger book embedded within the pages) Although Billy’s book did not win the contest it did win as the “most checked out book” and that was enough to start Billy Joyce on the journey to become William Joyce, academy award-winning filmmaker, author, and illustrator.


The Boy and The Book by David Michael Slater. 9781580895620. 2015. Gr PS-K

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. 9780761339434. 2015. Gr 2-4

Billy’s Booger by William Joyce. 9781442473515. 2015. Gr K-2

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