Building Books

illus. by Brianne Farley. 32p. Knopf. Oct. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781524773670.
PreS-Gr 2—Katie loves everything about building with blocks—the little click they make as they snap together, the way they wobble and sometimes crash, and the feeling she gets when she creates something new. Her brother Owen feels the same way about books—their smell, the sound of rustling pages, and the feeling he gets when he reads a new book. One day at school, the siblings get into an argument about which is better, building or reading. The school librarian offers each of them a stack of books—one for Katie to read and one for Owen to shelve. Left to their own devices, Katie begins building bridges and towers out of her books, and her brother begins to read. But when Katie's castle topples, she becomes absorbed in an engineering book and then another about cities, and so on. In the meantime, Owen, daunted at the task of shelving so many books, begins to build. The pair uses most of the books on the shelves to not only read together but to create something fantastic, much to the librarian's dismay. The fanciful illustrations are rendered in ink and gouache and finished digitally against a white background. The endpapers feature an intricate array of white and colored books and blocks of different shapes and sizes.
VERDICT This is a fun read-aloud with a great message about the powers of reading and making. Recommended for all collections.

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