The Midnight Library: A Picture Book Review

Last year, I compiled a list of picture books that are suitable for highly sensitive children. The reason why I did this is because a lot of the books that we read might, for one reason or another, lead to inconsolable tears or questions that are much too deep for bedtime. The list is actually based not only on our own recommendations and experience but also that of the wonderful mothers and fathers of highly sensitive children who are in the private online communities I’m part of. I’d asked them then what their favourite books were, went to the public library and tried to read all the ones I could find, and made this list available to all those who have the same struggles we do (click here for the list).

I’ve very recently added The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara to the list.

This sweet book is beautifully illustrated, using just a few colors, which is surprisingly charming. I could look at those pictures for hours, searching for those fun little details, and studying all the cute characters.

The story is about a little girl and her three owl assistants, who all run a library that only opens at midnight and closes when the sun comes up. The author/illustrator introduces a whole bunch of animal characters who visit the library, some noisy, some sensitive, some very slow, but all of them fans of reading.

The story doesn’t have a fancy, intricate plot, which is not a bad thing at all. I loved the simplicity of the story itself, which is basically just a description of the Midnight Library and the fun that everyone has on a typical night, until the morning comes.

Sometimes the absence of depth in a book can be very refreshing. Not much thinking or processing required, no big questions, no tears. Just fun and smiles while we all imagine how much fun it must be to visit a library after midnight.

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