STARRED REVIEW
September 2022

The Twilight Library

By Carmen Oliver, illustrated by Miren Asiain Lora
This exquisite picture book, perfect for bedtime, envisions a night spent among nocturnal creatures in a truly unique library.
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When darkness falls, nocturnal animals and insects get busy hunting, foraging, building nests, carrying on conversations and . . . visiting their local library. In The Twilight Library, author Carmen Oliver and illustrator Miren Asiain Lora dream the dark away with these critters amid the cozy collection of a truly unique library.

Oliver’s text is a storyteller’s delight. She opens the book with sparse phrases, but as the story unfolds, her narration blossoms into lush descriptions and meticulously polished turns of alliteration, repetition and rhythm. Like the finest silken spiderwebs, Oliver’s prose is delicately woven, each word chosen with care, and her tightknit sentences create a feeling of safety and comfort.

Meanwhile, Asiain Lora tucks readers into a soft berth on the forest floor and provides a bug’s-eye perspective on the vast gloaming sky above. Perhaps the most striking aspect of Asiain Lora’s art is her use of color. Muted background tones give the spreads a dusky feel, ideal for snuggling up close. Bursts of light and vibrant hues pop and glow wondrously against this backdrop. 

Insect-averse readers will find themselves charmed by Asiain Lora’s gentle-faced creatures—especially the bespectacled arachnid Night Librarian—while dedicated bookworms will be envious of the library’s spiderweb bookshelves. As the Night Librarian reads aloud, the library becomes an enchanting realm where everything is warm and welcoming and happy. 

The Twilight Library is a perfect bedtime read. It contains no grand declarations, no sweeping adventures and no high-minded morals. It has only one simple thing to say: Cuddle up, relax, let go, and for a moment, just imagine.

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The Twilight Library

The Twilight Library

By Carmen Oliver, illustrated by Miren Asiain Lora
NorthSouth
ISBN 9780735844964

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