Such a Library, a Yiddish Folktale Re-Imagined

Written by Jill Ross Nadler
Illustrated by Esther van den Berg
Published in 2020

I love retellings, as evidenced by the fact that I own several different versions of multiple different stories, so I will admit I may be a teeny bit biased in favor of books of this type.

Such a Library is a a fresh twist on my favorite Yiddish folktale. In No Room for a Sneeze and It Could Always Be Worse we have more traditional takes with the animals crowding into the already crowded house.

Here we have Stevie at the library taking a break from the noise of his house. But it’s not as quiet as he wants. Unfortunately, every time he speaks to the librarian about making the other people be quiet the library gets a little louder and a tad more chaotic.

In addition to being a re-imagining instead of a retelling, the rhythm of the building chaos at the end of each section is reminiscent of The House that Jack Built. The use of onomatopoeia is exceptionally fun for engaging children, and as as it repeats they can participate in the telling.

The art is vibrant and adorable. I love how the characters are expressive and the nod to the original story with the animals sneaking in the background is hilarious.

Overall, A+ for enjoyment, art, and the cleverness of the re-imagining.

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