My daughters seem to be able to small out cute books and they particularly enjoy reading books about books so they were well pleased when they spotted 'Delilah Darling is in the Library' which is written by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Rosie Reeve. It features a quirky main character (Delilah) who reminded us a lot of Lola of Charlie and Lola fame. Therefore, if your child likes those books, this is also likely to appeal although I have to say that Delilah is not quite as endearing as Lola - but then again, what character could be?
Delilah is probably about six or seven and possesses an incredibly over active imagination. She likes to tell everyone that she is a queen from a land far away and her mother forever has to put people straight about this fact! Unsurprisingly, in this book, Delilah visits the library with her younger brother and the French au pair who looks after them. Although she is quite entranced by all of the books, she does not necessarily like the way things are organised in the library and insists on telling the librarian that things are differently where she comes from. This includes being served free sticky buns and having a trapeze provided in order to reach the books on the high shelves! Her ideas are very comical and my daughters love the strange things that she comes up with.
Not so the librarian though who is most disapproving and seems in danger of losing her patience. Luckily, Gigi, the au pair, decides that it is time to leave before Delilah can cause any real damage.
This is a hugely entertaining book for both adult and child and Delilah as a fun character. Like Lola, she has a funny way of saying things but I suspect a lot of the humour is probably lost on young children. For example she does that thing that lots of kids do which is to get her words completely wrong. For example she calls the au pair an old pear and the librarian is 'Library Anne'. This is funny for adults but I guess that a lot of children would agree with Delilah that these are the proper names so therefore they wouldn't get the jokes.
Regardless of that minor point though, there is a lot of humour that they will get in this book and they will probably love many of Delilah's misdemeanours! The humour in the story is also displayed in the fabulous illustrations which alternate between showing what is going on in the library and what is going on inside Delilah's head. Delilah is also quite a cute looking character alongside her little brother who she refers to as Smallboy. Like the Charlie and Lola books, this book really focuses on the children and the adults are only there to act as foils for Delilah.
The author also seems to have a lot of fun with the layout of the text. The words form shapes and swirls over the page and appear in different sizes and sometimes all in capitals for effect. It's a good visual experience on every page and very enjoyable to read.
Overall this is a great book for small children and one that is sure to fire up their imaginations as well as promoting a love of books.
It is a very smart looking hard cover book published by Puffin and has a RRP of £10.99. It's definitely worth adding to the collection.