The Midnight Library



Little-girl librarian helps animal friends in sweet story.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Celebrates books and libraries and reading. Teaches young readers about the different areas of a library (the quiet room, the activity room), how to choose a book, and the advantages of having a library card.

Positive messages

Reading is fun! Librarians are helpful. Libraries are places of pleasure, with space both for quiet reading and for noisier group activities.

Positive role models

The little-girl librarian and her animal assistants cheerfully help all the animal visitors to the library, meeting all their different needs.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Midnight Library is a charming tale of a young pigtailed librarian and her animal friends. It’s set in a library open only from "midnight to dawn," and the very appealing three-color, blocky art has an old-fashioned feel that underscores the fun and mystery of the midnight hour. The story is simple: The little librarian helps out the animals who visit the library, directing noisy squirrels to the activity room, comforting a lone wolf who's reading a sad story, and issuing a library card to a slow-reading turtle. The tone is sweet and gentle, and everyone's a reader. 

What's the story?

A little-girl librarian and her three owl helpers assist other animals in THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY, which is open only from "midnight to dawn." When the squirrel band plays loudly, they're ushered into the activity room. When a wolf is discovered crying in the stacks, they encourage her to keep reading until the happy ending. When a turtle still has 500 pages to read, they issue him a library card so he can finish his book at home. And, when the sun comes up, the little librarian reads a last, bedtime story to her now-very-sleepy owl assistants.

Is it any good?


Both the illustrations and the story in The Midnight Library are full of charm. The bold, blocky art is strikingly eye-catching. The little-girl librarian is charmingly pigtailed. The animals who visit the library all are pictured with their snouts in their books, engrossed in their reading. And, since the story ends with the little librarian reading her owl assistants a bedtime story, it's perfect for bedtime or naptime.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about libraries. What are the different things we can do there? Have you noticed different rooms or areas? What can you do in the activity room? How should you act in the reading room?

  • Do you like happy books or sad books, or both? What are your favorite types of books?

  • Do you have a library card? Do you want one? How do you get one? What can you do with it?

Book details

Author:Kazuno Kohara
Illustrator:Kazuno Kohara
Genre:Picture Book
Topics:Friendship, Great girl role models
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:June 17, 2014
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):3 - 6
Read aloud:3 - 6
Read alone:6 - 7
Available on:Nook, Hardback, Kindle

This review of The Midnight Library was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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