Home » Book » LIBRARY LION by Michelle Knudsen

LIBRARY LION by Michelle Knudsen


“A deluxe edition celebrating ten years of a beloved classic: the New York Times best-selling ode to that wonderful place, the library.”

When I was a child, the public library had rules, and they were followed, no matter what! The librarian was always circulating herself to make sure that we obeyed the rules and helped us find books to read.

Miss Merriweather, the head librarian, runs her library as she wants…with rules that are to obey.  One day, a lion wanders in.  When Mr. McBee sees the lion walk past his circulation desk, he runs to Miss Merriweather’s office.  He tells her there is a lion in the library. She reprimands Mr. McBee for running in the library and then asks if the lion was breaking any rules.  “Well, no,” was Mr. McBee’s answer.  She told him to “…leave him be.”

After sniffing the card catalog and rubbing his head against the new book collections (habits of cats), the lion goes to sleep on the beanbag in the story corner.  (What a delightful drawing this is!)  “No one was sure what to do.  There weren’t any rules about lions in the library.” 

The lion loved story hour.  Miss Merriweather could not make the lion budge so she put him to work until the next day’s story hour.  He dusted the encyclopedias with his tail, licked envelopes for overdue notices, and he let small children stand on his back to reach books above.  He makes a fine backrest for children listening at story hour.  He seems to be a great addition to the library with his big padded feet quietly walking around.


One day, an accident occurs and the lion helps in the only way he knows.  Can the library rules be broken for a good reason?  You will have to read and see…or is that read and roar?

I LOVE THIS BOOK!  The art and the story are just great for a good story time whether at the library, at home, or in the classroom.  Of course, it does not hurt that I am a (retired) children’s librarian!! 

Age Range:  4 – 8 Years

Awards & Honors

• A New York Times Best Seller
• A Junior Library Guild selection
• School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2006
• Amazon.com’s #1 pick for their list of the Best Picture Books of 2006
• Nick Jr. Family Magazine’s Best Books of 2006 (“Most Droll”)
• Publishers Weekly Cuffie Award
• Oppenheim Toy Portfolio 2007 Platinum Award
• 2006 Wilde Picture Book Award
• Child Magazine’s Best Children’s Books of 2006
• Winter 2006–2007 Book Sense Children’s Picks List
• 2007 Book Sense Book of the Year Children’s Illustrated Honor Book
• Irma S. and James H. Black Honor Book for 2006
• 2007 Time of Wonder Award winner
• The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association 2007 Picture Book of the Year


Michelle Knudsen has worked in libraries in New York City and Ithaca, New York.  She is a freelance children’s book editor and writing coach and a member of the MFA faculty in the Writing for Young People program at Lesley University.  She is a New York Times best-selling author of 45 books for young readers, including the picture book Library Lion (illustrated by Kevin Hawkes), the middle-grade fantasy novels The Dragon of Trelian and The Princess of Trelian, and the young adult novel Evil Librarian, which was awarded the 2015 Sid Fleischman Award for Humor. Her most recent book is the picture book Marilyn’s Monster (Candlewick, March 2015), illustrated by the wonderful Matt Phelan. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.  You can find Michelle Knudsen @ http://www.michelleknudsen.com

Kevin Hawkes is the illustrator of more than forty books for children, including The Three Mouths of Little Tom Drum by Nancy Willard; Weslandia and Sidewalk Circus by Paul Fleischman; and Handel, Who Knew What He Liked and Me, All Alone, at the End of the World by M. T. Anderson.  Kevin Hawkes lives in southern Maine with his wife and children.  He can be found at http://www.kevinhawkes.com

Library Lion was chosen as the featured cover art by the Association of Booksellers for Children’s 2006 program, “Books Make Everything Better.”  Here’s a look:


Each year, ABC supports the association’s national literacy campaign with a poster promoting the importance of reading in child development. For the past twelve years, this campaign has been known as the “Twenty Minutes A Day” campaign and has taken on a new life with wider age appeal as the revamped, “Books Make Everything Better.” The illustration will also grace the cover of the ABC Best Books for Children catalog. The poster will be printed and distributed prior to BEA — each member store receives free posters for distribution to their customers and reading community. The ABC Best Books for Children catalog is printed and distributed in September and is expected to have a circulation over 400,000. Selected books by the illustrator are also featured on the inside front cover of the catalog. Hooray!

Library Lion was also featured on the cover of Candlewick’s Fall 2006 catalog!

Editions have been/will soon be published in the following countries/languages:

• United Kingdom
• Australia
• Japanese
• Korean
• Taiwan (Complex Chinese)
• Simplified Chinese (Mainland China, excluding Hong Kong and Macao)
• Italian
• U.S. Spanish-language edition
• France
• Spanish
• Catalan
• Dutch
• Finnish
• Hebrew
• Slovenian
• Hungarian
• Turkish
• Russian


Book Information:


Publisher:  Candlewick Press

Publication date:  07/28/2009

Edition description:  Reprint

Pages:  48

Product dimensions:8.80(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.20(d)


17 thoughts on “LIBRARY LION by Michelle Knudsen

  1. I think I read this book a few months back – it really is gorgeous. You may want to check out Margaret Wild’s “The Stone Lion” they would make for a good text-set.


    • Yes, it is great! And to think I never knew about it until they brought it back for the 10th anniversary! I retired 12 years ago and missed it! But it found me! That lion!!


  2. I can’t believe I have still not been able to find this book! When we get to the states later this year, it will be one of the first on my library check-out list for sure! Thanks for being a part of Booknificent Thursday this week on Mommynificent.com! Always great to have you!


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