For many of us entering a library, whether it's for the public, a school or even our personal collections, it supplies us with a sense of homecoming. In this space, an infinite number of stories are housed. They enrich and enlarge our imaginations. Through them we travel into the past, present, and future with greater understanding and compassion. These stories give us answers to questions while leading us to more discoveries and answers we didn't even know we desired. Armed with the truths they provide, our knowledge of our planet and its inhabitants, plant and animal, grows. Not only does our knowledge grow but so does our admiration for the complexity of intertwined systems functioning every second of every day.
For those of us who have spent most of our adult lives serving patrons of all ages in libraries, we are witness to the remarkable moments when readers are connected to the story they need or want. We not only listen to them with our minds, but also our hearts. This is how bridges are built between books and readers. When that bridge is built, when that connection is forged, something nearly indescribable happens. We see it in their eyes, their demeanor, and their body posture. It is joy. This joy is wonderfully expressed in words by John Schu and in artwork by Lauren Castillo in their first collaboration, This Is A Story (Candlewick Press, March 14, 2023). This book shows us the power of story, our stories and the stories of others.
This is a word.
They are single-page pictures and glorious two-page visuals. We are brought as close as possible to each setting, giving us a personal, participatory experience. For the words,
This is a book on a shelf . . .