The Inside Outside Book of Libraries

Common Sense Media says

Fascinating look at many types of libraries.





What parents need to know

Educational value

A good overview of all the places kids can find books and how they work.

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book is meant to inspire a love of libraries as places of exploration and discovery. Taking a unique perspective, it explores libraries of all types and sizes.

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What's the story?

This is a journey through libraries big and small that serve different commununities in different ways. Illustrations and simple text describe the libraries themselves and their holdings, as well as their cultural significance and/or importance.

Is it any good?


From the splendor of Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., to the simplicity of the single- roomed traveling bookmobile, libraries provide valuable access to books, tools, and information to people all over the world. Most of us know about the neighborhood library and the world wide Web, but how many of us know that ships and prisons have libraries, that special libraries exist for people with special needs? For explorers? For people who need tools?

The Inside Outside Book of Libraries provides a valuable glimpse into the immense variety of libraries, and makes the important point that "the value of a library is measured not by the floor space or number of books but by the usefulness to the community it serves." This book is part of illustrator Roxie Munro's Inside-Outside series, which also includes books on New York City, Washington, D.C., Texas, and Paris. All are marked by intricate architectural detail that makes the illustrations worth studying carefully. The accompanying text, clearly written by Julie Cummins, examines an inventive array of libraries that will broaden any reader's appreciation of resources available to us all.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about each of the different types of libraries and its value to the community. What kinds of libraries do you have in your community? Which have you visited, and what did you find there?

Book details

Author:Julie Cummins
Illustrator:Roxie Munro
Book type:Non-Fiction
Publisher:Dutton Children's Books
Publication date:January 1, 2008
Number of pages:48
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7
Read aloud:4
Read alone:8

This review of The Inside Outside Book of Libraries was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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