Thursday 13 August 2020

The Lost Library

 The Lost Library by Jess McGeachin (Puffin Books) PB RRP $24.99 ISBAN 978 1760892715

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

When Oliver, an avid reader, moves to a new home, he finds a book behind his bedroom cupboard which has a message asking the finder to return it to The Lost Library. His neighbour Rosie suggests putting it into the returns slot at their local library. However, the two are plunged instantly through the floor where they find the lost library, but of course they, too, are lost. Rowing a boat, they pass many sections of the library until Rosie gets them safely to shore. Here they find themselves surrounded by a forest of books. At the top of a tall bookshelf, Oliver spies a way out. However, the bookshelf is really a Bookshelf Dragon which snaps and snarls at being disturbed. Rosie saves the day by reading a book to it until it falls asleep. Finally, the friends find a way out of the strange land they are in.

This story requires a noticeably big stretch of imagination, but it is helped in part by the illustrations which show, for instance, when Oliver and Rosie finish falling, a double-storeyed library with numerous arches. There is also an ocean on which the two sail, passing creatures such as a toucan and a snake. Later, after passing through a forest of rich reds, there is a dragon made up of books with a staircase on its spine (which leads back to the local library). 

The Lost Library, a magical story, which is basically about the power of the imagination, would suit readers aged 5 years and older. 

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