Library Lion

Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

library lionThis was a huge favorite in my house for many years.  A lion, a library, friendship, and some rules – a wonderful story.

One day a lion walked into the library.  One of the librarians, Mr. McBee, saw the lion and ran to a different part of the library to tell Miss Merriweather, the head librarian.  Mr. McBee did not believe a lion should be in the library.  Mr. McBee ran into Miss Merriweather’s office.  She advised him not to run in the library.

“But there’s a lion!  said Mr. McBee.  “In the library!

“Is he breaking any rules? asked Miss Merriweather.  She was very particular about rule breaking.

“Well, no,” said Mr. McBee.  “Not really.”

“Then leave him be.”

The lion wandered around the library, and finally fell asleep in the story corner.  When it was time for story hour, the story lady started reading to the children.  The lion woke up and listened to the stories.  When story hour was over the lion waited for another story, then roared when there weren’t any more stories.  His loud roar brought Miss Merriweather out of her office to see who was making the noise.

“If you cannot be quiet, you will have to leave,” she said in a stern voice.  “Those are the rules!”

A girl asked Miss Merriweather if the lion could come back for story hour the next day if he promised to be quiet.  The lion stopped roaring and looked at Miss Merriweather, who said that a nice quiet lion would be allowed to come back.

The lion came back early the next day.  Miss Merriweather told him that story hour started at 3pm, and that he could be useful until then.  She asked him to dust the encyclopedias until story hour.  The next day the lion came back early again.  He helped Miss Merriweather lick the envelopes on the overdue notices.  Soon, the lion came every day – doing things to help, then waiting in the story corner for story hour.

One day Miss Merriweather stood on a stool in her office to get a book from a high shelf – and reached up a little too far.  She fell.  She asked the lion to go get Mr. McBee.  The lion ran to the circulation desk and tried to get Mr. McBee’s attention.  Mr. McBee (who still did not approve of lions in libraries) ignored him.

“Finally, the lion did the only thing he could think of to do.  He looked Mr. McBee right in the eye.  Then he opened his mouth very wide.  And he roared the loudest roar he had ever roared in his life.”

Of course, Mr. McBee jumped up and ran to tell Miss Merriweather that the lion had broken the rules.  He discovered that Miss Merriweather had fallen and broken her arm.

The lion knew he had broken the rules, and he knew that meant he had to leave.

The next day the lion did not come to the library.  He didn’t come in the many days that followed.  Miss Merriweather was sad – she missed the lion.  Eventually Mr. McBee went looking for the lion, found him (sitting outside the library, looking in), and told him that there was a new rule at the library:

“No roaring allowed, unless you have a very good reason – say, if you’re trying to help a friend who’s been hurt, for example.”

The lion came back to the library the next day – and was welcomed back by happy children and librarians, and a very happy Miss Merriweather.

“Sometimes there was a good reason to break the rules.  Even in the library.”

Enjoy sharing this book.  My daughter always wanted to make the sounds for the lion roaring (a sad roar for the end of story hour, and a REALLY loud roar for getting Mr. McBee’s attention).