Book nerds love making connections. Really, who doesn’t enjoy bringing together different things they love into something joyful? Maybe you like fly fishing and great literature – can you find a poem that fits your mood perfectly when you’re out on the stream on a fine day and the fish are hungry? Yes! Maybe you favor gardening and baking – can your squash become a chocolate dessert? It can!
It doesn’t always work, though, which is why sequels to books like Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library make me a bit nervous. Escape was quirky and goofy, an homage to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, complete with wacky Mr. Lemoncello who sought out book and puzzle lovers to bring some joy to a new library. There were puzzles, lots of them, and mentions of favorite books, and kind words about librarians.
So, although my son grabbed Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics as soon as he saw it and didn’t give it up until he was done, I wasn’t initially convinced. Then, 48 pages in, I came across my favorite Neil Gaiman quote ever in a rebus, and really, that’s all it takes for me. I don’t know if that’s an exceptionally low standard or a high one, but throw in my favorite Neil Gaiman quote and a puzzle, and you’ve got me at page 48. Sure, the story is action-packed. Yes, there are mysteries and bad guys, snobs and ethical choices, mistakes and community-building. All of that is fun. But the love of books and libraries, the puzzles, and the true friends? All liowabrarians dig that stuff.
Can you figure out my rebus? Part of it comes from the book – all credit to CG for working a brain into “librarian”. The solution? THIS BOOK IS FUN FOR LIBRARIANS. Perhaps not as creative as working in Neil Gaiman, but true, so true.
Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein