Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Where is Our Library? (A Story of Patience & Fortitude #2) by Josh Funk, illustrated by Stevie Lewis

Where is Our Library? (A Story of Patience & Fortitude #2)
written by Josh Funk, illustrated by Stevie Lewis
Henry Holt & Company, 2020, 40 pages

I just love a good New York story and what could be better than a New York City story about the New York Public Library? And that is just what Josh Funk has written. Where is Our Library? is his second book starring those two lovable library lions Patience and Fortitude and a love letter to the NYPL's 92 library branches, as well as a visit to some iconic bookish landmarks in NYC.
It all begins late one night when most New Yorkers are asleep. Patience and Fortitude leave their perch and begin their nightly visit to the children's reading room in the 42nd Street library, anticipating a night of reading some good books, but when they arrive, much to their surprise and dismay, the books are all gone.

Baffled and disappointed, Fortitude immediately comes up with a plan and the two companions head out the library door and stealthily take to the streets, heading toward Times Square. No finding the library's books there, they head uptown to Central Park, through the zoo, past the carousel, arriving at the Alice in Wonderland statue, where Alice points them in the direction of the Hans Christian Anderson statue. Hans' suggestion: a list of branch libraries they should visit. Which they do, traveling from Harlem to Chinatown, and even along the High Line, but they still have no luck finding their books. By now, dawn is breaking and Patience and Fortitude need to return to their perch in front of the Schwartzman Building.

Do our literary lions find their missing books before the sun comes up? Yes, indeed. They have been moved across the street to the newly renovated Mid-Manhatten branch on Fifth Avenue and East 41st Street. That branch, Patience and Fortitude learn, now houses the Children's Library.  

Where is Our Library? is a mystery, an adventure, and an announcement. It is written in a rhyme that never loses its rhythm, an important point for a read aloud. Not only does this story make a good read aloud, but kids will really like seeing some of their favorite books on display in the various branches that the two lions visit. You might also notice that the plays shown on the Times Square pages are all kidlit related, even if the timing of their being performed and the present is a little off. And, thanks to COVID-19, most people never even knew that the renovated Mid-Manhatten branch has been renamed the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library until recently.
I read Where is Our Library? as an eARC but I still found the illustrations fun and energetic. I loved Lewis' depictions of the city at night, but I think my favorite is the two page layout of Patience and Fortitude walking through Central Park and all the familiar places they pass though. For those who aren't familiar with New York, the author has included an informative list of all the places the library lions visit.

You can also download a fun 12-page activity kit courtesy of the publisher HERE 

AND you can register for a storytime event WITH author Josh Funk and illustrator Stevie Lewis. Click HERE for details and to register.

This book is recommended for readers age 4+
This book was gratefully received from the author, Josh Funk 

OCTOBER 27, 2020

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