- Book Style: Toddler storybook with a moral twist
- 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
- Age Target: 2 – 6 years old
The Old Library Cafe tells a story about an older couple who have a dream to open up a bakery. Sadly, neither of them really know how to start out a bakery and so each of them go about it in their own way. Each one is successful; 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 teaching our toddlers a clear message about the power of knowledge and learning. It’s a great little moral-based story that has a clear age range from the young age of two all the way to six (and you could probably read it to kids a little older too).
One of the best things about The Old Library Cafe is the fact that there are really two stories going on throughout the whole book. As mentioned previously, both grandparents go about trying to start the bakery in their own way. This is different than other stories and I like it because my little guy was stayed engaged all throughout the book as a result.
A quick discussion about the illustrations: Tara Tabares, who is the daughter of our author (I love that it’s a family affair), illustrates the book in a way that matches the characters and the setting with the pictures we see. Tara uses what I would call an older style of illustration and coloring. It just seems to fit our older characters and in turn, the Old Library setting.
There’s also an incredible amount of liveliness to our character’s faces in the illustrations. It’s amazing what our illustrator was able to fit into these relatively simplistic characters, and I can promise that your little one will pick up on their facial expressions. Additionally, there’s a few extras in the illustrations that you’ll notice: a mouse animation spread across the entire book, and the sharing of objects between frames on a page (see what I mean below).
I always love books that provide messaging and/or morals, and this book gives a pretty clear message about knowledge, learning, and the power of those things. The book shows your toddler that there are many ways to complete most tasks and there is also a great lesson about the fact that you can always learn something new about someone.
In case it’s not already clear, The Old Library has tons of lessons and morals to share with your toddler; it manages to do this in a pretty simple way, as the story is just told without overtly explaining the lessons. Your toddler will simply pick up on the lessons and the moral of the story as you read it with them. Obviously, you can speak with your child about the lessons (I always do), but I bet they’ll pick up on these ones with just a little prompting.
The Old Library can be had for about $15 (paperback or hard cover). While that’s a little on the higher side of the books we normally look at, I am still recommending this book as a buy. There are a lot of ways you can buy the book, too, as our author has it on three different sites. Here they are:
Thanks for reading,