Extolling literature's transportive properties, this picture book follows a child who discovers a magical purple tome at the library. As the brown-haired kid sits, absorbed, turning the book's pages, surprising characters begin appearing in the inclusively populated library. After narrowly missing capture by two pirates and a hungry lion, the young reader is "almost trampled by a herd of wild elephants/ and then almost stomped on/ by a big baby dragon," with wilder characters successively wreaking havoc. After the child leaves, hand in hand with a caretaker, another walks by with an elderly guardian and notices, then begins reading, the purple book. The motley fantastical cast reappears, emphasizing the universality and transcendence of a good story. Mack's cartoon illustrations include fun details (the elephants have scooters and patterned helmets) and bold color choices that impart a sense of modernity. A gently humorous reading adventure. Ages 3-7. (Sept.)Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
K-Gr 2--A young white boy reads a book in a library, and the story comes alive; the library quickly is taken over by stampeding elephants, diaper-wearing dragons, butterflies, and even a UFO. The boy remains oblivious of the shenanigans occurring around him. Only the threat of a kiss, every young boy's worst nightmare, snaps him out of his reverie. Of course, it was "just a story," the chaos in the library symbolic of the vivid images a book can conjure in the imagination. Mack's illustrations are bright and colorful. He is able to pack the page with personality and movement without overwhelming the flow of the book. The boy reads independently, which may inspire younger readers to do the same. On the back flap is an illustration of a young Black girl, who also appears at the end of the story to carry on the conceit. VERDICT The thrill of reading has been well documented, and this book doesn't unfurl new territory; recommended for larger collections where the Mack's work is already popular.--Chance Lee Joyner, Haverhill P.L., MACopyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.