In today’s blog I wanted to talk about (ok rave about) Picture Books for Older Readers! If like most people when I mention these books you think, ‘What is she on about’ well hopefully I will try and shine some light on it for you. I will also be looking at one of my favourite Picture Books for Older Readers ‘How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel written by Wendy Meddour and illustrated by Rebecca Ashdown.
The school library where I work has a large section devoted to these books we call them KS2 Picture books. We have worked hard to try and convince both the children and the adults that it is perfectly acceptable for them to read Picture Books and there is so much enjoyment to be had by doing this. They offer a challenging read with the illustrations and the text providing plenty of material for them to think about and understand. I find it really difficult when I hear parents make comments about Picture Books being too ‘babyish’ for children and telling them to put them back. There are so many sophisticated books out there, if you make them available and encourage children to read them it will open up a whole new world of enjoyment for them.
At school we also take part in the fantastic Hamsphire School Library Service Illustrated Picture Book Awards for Year 5s each year, in order to demonstrate how fantastic they can be. This year’s winner was ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers which is a totally amazing book and I’m looking forward to reviewing the follow up, ‘The Day the Crayons Came Back’ in August.
Now moving on to the main event, ‘How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel I love this book because shock horror as the title suggests Rapunzel isn’t rescued by a prince instead it’s the library which saves her.
The story tells the tale of Rapunzel who sits in her tower block not going anwhere as she has ‘nowhere to go’ and ‘nothing to prove’. Everyone visits Rapunzel and tries to get her to let down her hair as the lift has broken but she just won’t move, even the prince comes by and tries to entice her but ‘she didn’t think much of her prince at all.’ You can’t really blame Rapunzel the Prince does look a bit too smooth and a little bit in love with himself.
All is not going well for Rapunzel, until everyone climbs the stairs to help her and the postman gives her a letter to read and she finds out she has a job at the Library!
It is the Library that saves Rapunzel, she leaps up fixes the lift and now has a purpose in life. Working at the library changes her life as she learns four new languages, how to play chess, cross -stitch a dress ‘and all because of LIBRARY BOOKS‘
This beautifully told tale with sublime illustrations is like a love letter to libraries and the importance of reading. It is a true celebration of a strong female character deciding her own destiny and realising the joy that comes from library books. Every child that I have read this too or recommended has loved it as well which says all that needs to be said!