- Book Style: Moral based storybook for children
- Reading Level: 2 (Read with Help due to: some mid-level vocabulary)
- Reading Length: 7-10 minutes (FYI – we never account for toddler questions)
- Illustration: Sketches, cartoonish, simple
The Old Library Cafe is a moral-based storybook for toddlers and children. Veronica R. Tabares tells a story about a little old couple who want to open up a bakery. Unfortunately for them, neither of them really know how to start and they each go about trying to start in their own way. Each one is successful in their own way and in the end, we learn that the grandmother has built an incredible machine that makes their business wildly successful. At the end of the story, our author wraps up the story by giving your children a clear message about the power of knowledge and learning…which I love.
Probably my favorite thing about this book is the fact that there are really two stories going on at the same time. As I said before, both grandparents go about trying to start the bakery in their own way. This is great because your child will stay engaged as both story lines are furthered on each and every page. The juxtaposition of their two methods is just plain fun.
As I said, the book gives a pretty clear message about knowledge, learning, and the power of those things. It also gives a pretty clear lesson about how there’s “more than one way to skin a cat”, so to speak. Finally, there’s also a great lesson about the fact that you can always learn something new about someone.
In case you didn’t notice, the book is rife with lessons and morals; there’s nothing I like more than a book that gives solid lessons. What’s more, this book doesn’t hit you over the head with the lessons/morals. It simply tells you a story and lets your child figure them out on their own. Obviously, you can speak with your child about the lessons (I always do), and I’m betting they’ll pick up on these ones with just a little prompting.
Now then, let’s talk about the illustrations. It’s funny, because our illustrator’s work is done in such a way that you might overlook this part of the book. Tara Tabares (amazingly, the daughter of our author) illustrates this book in a way that matches the characters and the setting with the pictures we see. It’s an older style of illustration and coloring that I feel goes hand in hand with our older characters and what I can imagine is an older bakery.
There’s also an incredible amount of liveliness to our character’s faces in the illustrations. It’s amazing what Tara was able to fit into these relatively simplistic characters, and I can promise that your little one will pick up on their facial expressions.
All that said, I can easily recommend that you pick up this book. It’s a little on the pricier side (About $15 for either a hardcover or a paperback) but I’m still clearly recommending it. There are a lot of ways you can buy the book, too, as our author has it on three different sites. Here they are:
Until next time, Smash, Crash, and Learn!