Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Delilah D. at the library

Delilah D. at the library

Jeanne Willis
Illustrator:  Rosie Reeve 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Clarion, 2006   ISBN: 978-0618781959

Delilah D. likes to tell everyone that she is a queen from a faraway land. She has a little brother whom she calls Smallboy, and a French sitter, and she loves books. So when her sitter says that it is time to go to the library Delilah is delighted to go. When she gets there Delilah tells everyone that in the land where she is queen they give away free cupcakes in the library. Naturally her announcement causes quite a stir with all the other children who think this is a wonderful idea. The library lady does not think this is a good idea at all and wants Delilah to read quietly somewhere and to stop making such a ruckus.

Unfortunately it would seem that all the rules that they have in the library here are quite the opposite of the rules that they have in the libraries where Delilah is queen. Here you mustn't run or shout. You can't eat in the library and you take the books you want to read away. In Delilah's land you bring your blankies to the library and have your books read to you by a beautiful princess. Clearly life in Delilah's land is very different, and many of the library patrons are in favor of Delilah's rules and ideas. The poor library lady is quite at her wits end and she wishes that she were somewhere very far away - in outer space perhaps?

Any small child with an active imagination and a fondness for bending the rules will warm to Delilah in no time at all. Here is a little girl who has decided that she is a queen of a faraway land and that is the idea that she is sticking with. One cannot help admiring her for her sheer determination that she is not going to waver from her story no matter what the grownups say.