Barbara Bottner tells the story of Missy who does NOT like books. No matter how hard Miss Brooks, the librarian, may try, Missy can not be won over. Each week, Miss Brooks introduces another fun theme from Halloween poetry, to St. Patrick’s Day leprechauns, even groundhog day, but it does not move Missy one bit. Until finally, inspiration strikes and Missy discovers something she wants to read about.
Bottner, B. (2010). Miss brooks loves books! And I don’t. New York, NY: Random House.
This was a fun way of introducing the idea that not everyone likes the same kinds of books. In a laid-back and entertaining way, Barbara Bottner (and illustrations by Michael Emberley) conveys that reading in all its many forms and subject matter is to be enjoyed. This is not a story that preaches to children, rather it showcases all the different topics there are to read about. (Spolier alert!!) In the end, for our protagonist Missy, that turns out to be warts featured in the classic children’s book Shrek! by William Steig. And Miss Brooks celebrates with Missy her discovery of the niche where she can find things she likes and wants to read even if they are not the “norm” for a young girl. A note about the art by Emberley: He does a great job of supporting and expanding on the text. He brings to life all the happenings of Miss Brooks’ library and the stories shared in whimsical and light-hearted fashion. I liked this book and would recommend it especially to those children who don’t believe there is anything out there for them to read!
Professional Review: From The Horn Book
“A first grader finds her school librarian’s passion for books “vexing,” to say the least. The free-spirited Miss Brooks communicates her love for books by dressing up in costumes ranging from a Wild Thing to Abe Lincoln, but while the rest of the class participates enthusiastically, the little girl remains unmoved. She also dismisses her classmates’ book choices: “Too flowery”; “Too clickety.” But when her mother brings out a book about an ogre with warts — William Steig’s Shrek! — she finally meets a book she can love. In Emberley’s ebullient pencil and watercolor pictures, Miss Brooks’s engaging personality shines through in her colorful clothes and her wild hair, while the little girl’s stubbornness is reflected in her wearing the same outfit day after day. This celebration of books and the need for kids to find the right book will make a great story to read during Children’s Book Week — and every week.”
Lempke, S. (2010). Miss Brooks loves books! (and I don’t) [Review of book Miss Brooks Loves Books! and I don’t, by B. Bottner]. Horn Book Magazine, 86(3), 62-63. Retrieved from http://www.hbook.com/horn-book-magazine/
I think this could be a great “kick off” book for a story time “season” that features different genres of picture books. The whole theme for the story time could be discussing how people have different likes and dislikes. Then that theme could be expanded each week by exploring a topic and having everyone try to check our one book for that topic. This would probably work best in a school setting where there is a pre-determined number of students the librarian could work with. If done in a public library setting, it would be important to pick topics that are fairly broad so there would be plenty of books to go around.