Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

The Book Without a Story will make you want to hug a book

The Book Without a Story, by Carolina Rabei, (Sept. 2019, Kane Miller), $12.99, ISBN: 9781610678797

Ages 4-7

The library is full of stories – including the stories that the books tell about us people! When the library in The Book Without a Story closes for the evening, the books sit around and share stories: who borrowed them last, where they went with their person, what they did. Poor Dusty has no story to tell, though: high up on a shelf, no kid is able to see Dusty to borrow him! The other books come up with a plan to get Dusty in front of a little girl named Sophie, that they just know will love Dusty. But the next day, when Dusty lands – PLOP! – in front of Sophie, she’s distracted and leaves Dusty on a table… where her little brother, Jake, starts turning pages. It turns out that Dusty is a dinosaur book, and Jake just LOVES dinosaurs! Jake borrows Dusty, and comes back to the library with his own adventures to tell, and it turns out that Jake’s been talking about his adventures too: Dusty is book of the month!

This is the sweetest story about book lovers, and one of the first things I learned in library school: there’s a reader for every book. This is a great library visit read-aloud, and a wonderful storytime read-aloud. The library is filled with warm colors and sunlight streaming in through the windows; even the closed library looks inviting and welcoming in the evening, when the books gather to relate their adventures. The books demonstrate teamwork and empathy to reach Dusty and get him a reader, and when Jake and Dusty come together, it’s just adorable; we see how a good book can transform a reader: Jake tells everyone within earshot about Dusty, conducts his own storytime, reading the book and using dinosaur action figures as props; and reads the book “in the car, at the kitchen table, in the bath… and secretly at night”. I love the nod to the kindly librarian who explains to Jake that he can take borrow Dusty, when the end of the day arrives and he’s still reading – some of the best moments I have here at my library are when I tell kids that they can take the books home “to visit” for three whole weeks! Endpapers show a gathering of books on the opening endpapers, and Jake and the library kids (and pets) reading and playing dinosaur dress-up.

An adorable pick for readers and book lovers, and one that will send your readers running to the library. (But please, don’t run when you get here.)


I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading ( I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (, where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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