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Please Bury Me in the Library    by J. Patrick Lewis & Kyle M. Stone order for
Please Bury Me in the Library
by J. Patrick Lewis
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2005 (2005)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

If the title of this book doesn't grab readers, the picture on the jacket guarantees it. Three winsome (albeit skinny) mice are perched on a dark library shelf, holding a mouse-sized candle, with an open book resting against an apple-core for support. Their big-eyed look says, 'oh, my, we've been caught!' But, what better place to be arrested than in a library? Kyle M. Stone's illustrious illustrations pair mice, men, women, and other beings with J. Patrick Lewis's fifteen poems in Please Bury Me In The Library. The title page shows a woman asleep in bed, covered with books (I can just imagine the dreams she must be having.)

I like the divine poem on the front lapel that begins, 'Please bury me in the library / In the clean, well-lighted stacks / Of Novels, history, Poetry, / Right next to the Paperbacks'. Then there's 'Flea-ting Fame' which introduces, 'the famous Otto the Flea, / A fly-by-night, / Who dared to write / His Ottobiography?' Book don't just grow on shelves, they also grow on trees, as 'Necessary Gardens' testifies - 'Libraries / Are / Necessary / Gardens, / Unsurpassed / At / Growing / Excitement.' The testimony of 'Great, Good, Bad' is also worthy of note, 'A great book is a homing device / For navigating paradise. / A good book somehow makes you care / About the comfort of a chair. / A bad book owes to many trees / A forest of apologies.'

I hope I've given you just enough to entice you to you forage through the rest of Lewis's poems that glorify reading, language, and especially that wonder-of-wonders - the library and its attendant librarians. 'Ab-so-lu-tas-ti-cal' Even the Acknowledgements are set to rhyme! If you're an avid reader like me (with book piles higher than I can count) you just have to have Please Bury Me in the Library amongst your stacks.

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