The lost library by Jess McGeachin
Penguin Random House Australia, 2020. ISBN: 9781760892715.
(Ages: 4-8) Jess McGeachin's previous book Fly is a gentle story about a little girl trying to fix a bird's broken wing. The lost library is an equally gentle story about a boy trying to return a book back to its owner. Simple, unfussy, minimalist illustrations lend this fantastical tale a mystical quality. The adventure begins when Oliver moves to a new house and finds an old book fluttering behind his bedroom cupboard. He isn't really too surprised by its magical qualities but is more interested in its inscription 'Please return to: The Lost Library'. His new neighbour Rosie takes him to the local library to see if the librarian there can help but as soon as Oliver drops the book into the returns slot he and Rosie are whisked away on a journey through the depths of the lost library.
Despite feeling trapped and lost and encountering some nerve-wracking situations the journey feels peaceful, especially when they find books along the way to help them (a book about sailing when they are stuck in a boat on a stormy sea, for example). Rosie has a lovely calming influence on Oliver and is patient and persistent.
This is a lovely story about the power of books and the wisdom they impart and how small connections can form the foundations of a new friendship. There is also a dragon to find on each page, that will encourage children to go back and reread. Themes: Reading, Friendship, Imagination.