Library Notes: I like big books

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 20, 2022

By Paul Birkhead
Rowan Public Library

I like big books. I like their pages chock-full of large drawings or photographs in fabulous color, and I like to watch library patrons check them out to take home and enjoy. It always puts a smile on my face when I see school-age children plunk a gigantic book about dinosaurs up on the counter and then want to carry it out to the car all by themselves.

If a child you know is in love with fairytales, planets or dinosaurs, you need to let them explore Rowan Public Library’s juvenile collection. Over in the J 398.2 section are folktales, fairytales and fables of the world. A very large and colorful book that can be found there is “Mythologica” by Stephen Kershaw. Kids of all ages will enjoy the artistic renderings of characters from Greek mythology. Not far away is the section on astronomy and cool books such as “When the Stars Come Out: Exploring the Magic and Mysteries of the Nighttime” by Nicola Edwards. This big book explains how different habitats and the animals that live in them react as day turns into night.

Many children become fascinated by dinosaurs at one time or another. If there is any subject that deserves a hefty book, it is dinosaurs. From the gigantic size of their bodies to their large spikes and massive teeth, these prehistoric creatures instill a sense of awe in anyone who studies them. If it happens to be checked in, take a peek at “The Big Book of Dinosaurs” by Angela Wilkes. You just know from the toothy grin of the T-Rex on the front cover that it is a book that will hold your attention.

Adults like to page through large books as well. Sometimes those items are found in what is called an Oversize section but most times they are sprinkled throughout the stacks. In fact, quite a few of them will be found on the bottom shelves where they can actually fit.

There are more super-sized books on dinosaurs in the adult section, but there are also extremely large books on automobiles and farm equipment as well. For instance, “Pickup Trucks: A History of the Great American Vehicle” by Justin Lukach has some great photos inside as does the book titled “Classic & Collectible Tractors.”

Subjects of study in the natural world also spawn immense volumes in the library. You could spend hours turning the beautiful pages in “Wild Africa” by Alex Bernasconi as well as “Butterfly” by Thomas Marent. In the new non-fiction section at the South branch of the library, a bright red cardinal on the front cover of “Birds” by Tim Flach always catches my eye when I walk past. Then, close by is “Ocean: A Global Odyssey,” a National Geographic publication authored by Sylvia Earle. Inside the book are some glorious photos of the world’s oceans and the magnificent creatures that inhabit them.

If you like big books, with large, colorful drawings and photographs inside, check out some of the plus-size items in Rowan Public Library’s collection. Your arms and back might not appreciate you lugging them home, but your eyes and mind will.

Paul Birkhead is a librarian at Rowan Public Library. 

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