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The Picture Book Buzz

The Book Without a Story - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

I couldn't help myself this week. I found two great picture books. So, I am doing two #PPBF posts this week.

Ever find a book that you read over and over? Maybe so many times that it had to be taped together (or heaven forbid, a replacement found)? A book that you tried to sleep with, hugged to your chest, and cherished? Then this book is for you.

Or, perhaps, could you be one who believes that everything talks? Someone who loved Toy Story and The Velveteen Rabbit. Maybe you believe that the books in the library are more magical than anyone else knows. Then this book is for you, too.

The Book Without A Story

Author/Illustrator: Carolina Rabei

Publisher: Egmont (2019 in U.S.)

Ages: 3 and up



The magic of books, encouraging readers, and imagination.


A celebration of libraries, books and the joy of sharing stories, perfect for sharing before bedtime. When the library closes, and the last librarian has gone home to bed . . . the books come alive and tell stories of their adventures. But Dusty the book has never been borrowed and dreams of finding someone to share his story with . . .

Will he find his perfect reader?

Opening Lines:

The library is a place that is full of stories.

There are all sorts of stories to read there.

Funny stories,

scary stories,

sad stories

and there are also . . .

. . . the stories that books tell about you!

Why I like this book:

Imagine, the books on the shelves having a sharing time once the lights go out! What a delightful premise. Well, if stuffed animals, toys, and crayons can come to life, why not books!

This story is more than just the tales "leaking" out of the books, as has occurred in other library picture books. It is the anthropomorphism of the books themselves. A look at what it feels like to be an adored, over-read book, or even neglected book.

Text & image © Carolina Rabei 2019.

One poor book, Dusty, sits on the highest shelf, never seen by a child. Never opened, he isn't sure what kind of book he is. The other books, led by the pop-up book on Paris, devise a plan to get Dusty in front of a child.

Text & image © Carolina Rabei 2019.

When Jake, a reluctant reader skilled at drawing dinosaurs, notices Dusty's cover, it is love at first sight. Carolina's depiction of the dawning realization of the wonder of books on Jake's face and his clutching Dusty to his chest (when told he could borrow the book) are priceless. Carolina's ending has all the feels, but I won't give it away.

Text & image © Carolina Rabei 2019.

This is a great book to encourage kids to find their "true love" of a book. Carolina includes diversity not just in the human cast, but in the books. You'll find travel, math, space, trains, the ocean, fairies, birds, insects, and of course dinosaurs books come to life in this amazing library. It's a great way to show kids that there exists a book on any topic they enjoy. Carolina's beautiful, colorful digital images resemble soft chalk drawings. Be sure to check out the carts the MC and his sister use to tote books to and from the library! I so want one. I think this would be a great story time book at libraries and schools, as well as for bedtimes.


- go to the library and see if you can find a book on one (or more) of your favorite topics. Ask a librarian if you have trouble finding one;

- what else would you like to see come to life and talk? Write a story or draw a picture about this; or

- how would you design a children's library area - so that none of the books got ignored like Dusty?

- pair this with Building Books by Megan Wagner Lloyd, illustrated by Brianne Farley (Alfred A. Knopf 2018) another book about a reluctant reader discovering the magic within books.

How are they similar? How are they different?

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

If you missed it, check out Carolina Rabei's interview this past Tuesday (here).

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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