A Big Surprise for Little Card, by Charise Mericle Harper, illustrated by Anna Raff; Candlewick Press, 40 pages, $16.99, ages 4-7.

In a tidy residential tower of cards, every paper-based inhabitant has a job–Round Card is a price tag, Wide Card is a postcard, and Tiny Card is a prize redemption ticket. Only Long Card and Little Card haven’t learned their destinies. One day Little Card receives a letter informing “L.C.” that he is to become a birthday card, and he rushes off to birthday-card school. Unfortunately, the letter was meant for the other L.C., Long Card, and though the mix-up is soon cleared, there’s no time for re-education. Little Card is immediately sent to a girl named Alex to be her brand-new library card. Together the pair discover the joys of the library, and though shouting is frowned upon, they find plenty of wonderful reasons to celebrate libraries, making everyday a Happy Library Day. Just Grace series author Charise Harper’s ode to her own Vancouver Public Library is expertly matched by Anna Raff’s (World Rat Day) exuberant mixed-media collages. Librarians everywhere will certainly bookmark this as a sweet, slightly nutty addition for story-times dedicated to explaining the function and importance of libraries.

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