Picture Book Review: So You Want to Build a Library by Lindsay Leslie, illustrated by Aviel Basil

Cover image by Aviel Basil, to be published by Raintree Publishers,
3rd February 2022

I am always attracted to a book with “library” in its title and therefore requested this picture book as soon as I saw it on NetGalley. Having spent some time looking at library design as part of my professional librarian course, I give So You Want to Build a Library a big thumbs up; author Lindsay Leslie and illustrator Aviel Basil have totally captured the playful, interactive aspects that attract youngsters to the library and keep them returning!

The story follows the vivid imagination, obviously fed by her reading habit, of a young girl who believes that:

There is no better place on Earth than where stacks and stacks of books are kept – the LIBRARY


…and who wishes to build her own, with an impressive number of extravagant features. As she chooses her location, gathers materials and  friends, including a helpful giant, and begins to build, her whimsical design cannot fail to delight. The simple text is colourfully brought to life by fantastic, full page illustrations in an ice-cream palette and I found myself longing to curl up in the “biggest, cushiest, floofiest chair” with a chilled treat from the sundae bar and a book! Everyone is catered for in this inclusive temple of books, from dragons to teeny, tiny fairies and I’m certain that young readers if not older librarians will be enthralled by the idea of zip lines and water slides!

A charming picture book for children of 3-6 which presents a lovely image of the joy and adventure to be found inside the library and the books within.

So You Want to Build a Library  is due to be published on 3rd February 2022. I am very grateful to Raintree Publishers and NetGalley for allowing me access to an advanced electronic edition in exchange for an honest review.

3 thoughts on “Picture Book Review: So You Want to Build a Library by Lindsay Leslie, illustrated by Aviel Basil

    1. Thank you Anne. I am looking forward to seeing a printed copy next year, it certainly looks lovely on the iPad. Incidentally, I now have my own copy of How the Library Saved Rapunzel, thanks to your super review. I love it!


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