Thursday, December 8, 2011




Summary: Miss Brooks Likes Books (And I don’t) is a story about a young girl searching for a book that fits her. Miss Brooks, the school librarian, has asked that all the students find a book that they enjoy and share it with the class dressed as a character from the book. Though there are many different stories to choose from, Missy can’t seem to find anything as opposed to the other children who love the assignment and present their stories in full costume. Finally, the girl discusses the issue with her mother and they, together with Miss Brooks, find a book that makes her want to read and even dress up.

Citation:  Bottner, B. (2010). Miss brooks likes books (and I don’t). New York, NY:

Knopf Books for Young Readers. 

Impression: This book really resonated with me, because helping reluctant readers find a book that they actually want to read is the best part of my job as a youth services’ librarian. The illustrations are fun and filled with small details just waiting to be explored. The reader can recognize the references to other beloved children’s classic books in the costumes and this can spark young readers to want to explore those books as well. The main character is slightly androgynous and this helps the impact not be diminished on either gender. The character is also delightfully real and makes the book the success it is.


Lukehart, W. (2010, February). Miss brooks loves books [Review of the book Miss brooks likes

books (and I don’t), by B. Bottner]. School Library Journal, 76. Available from School Library

Journal website:

All children need a librarian like Miss Brooks. Her love for reading flows from every fiber of her lanky, quirky self. When not happily immersed in one of the colorful choices from the mountains of books surrounding her, she is dressed as Babar, a Chinese dragon, or a groundhog her puppet-clad arm popping through a hole on the page. She shares stories with a diverse group of young people, and all are captivated except for one. This first-grade narrator believes Miss Brooks is a little too enthusiastic to the point of being "vexing." During Book Week's student presentations, the overall-clad girl with large, round spectacles and a woolen beanie finds the other kids' books "too flowery. Too furry. Too clickety. Too yippity." When her mother observes that she is as "stubborn as a wart," interest is aroused, Shrek is discovered in the pile supplied by the librarian, and the transformation begins. An ogre costume and stick-on warts for the whole class complete the conversion to bibliophile. Children will delight in Emberley's spirited watercolor and ink renderings of literary favorites from The Very Hungry Caterpillar to a Wild Thing. Bottner's deadpan humor and delicious prose combine with Emberley's droll caricatures to create a story sure to please those who celebrate booksand one that may give pause to those who don't (or who work with the latter).

Idaho has a family reading week each year and this book would be a great one to plan an early literacy event around. The program could begin with the book being read aloud to the group, many of which could reluctant readers, and then the librarian could have pulled the other books referenced in Miss Brooks, like Shrek. It could also be part of a display on themes of literacy, libraries or books in general. The display could consist of other simple and fun books that appeal to reluctant readers. This would also be a great book recommendation for any parent struggling to find a great read for a reluctant reader.

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