Inspired by a true story, The Lost Library Book is just that – the story of a book that was lost for over a hundred years, only to be found again in the most unlikely of places.
Amanda Bell’s story provides a window into one of Dublin’s most secret places – Marsh’s Library, established in 1707 as the first public library in Ireland and hidden away beside St Patrick’s Cathedral. The library itself is at the heart of story – as well as the missing book that is discovered and returned by sheer luck – and Bell’s prose is almost reverent in its description of the hallowed place.
The muted colours of Durand-Wietzel’s palette evoke the subdued and secluded atmosphere of Marsh’s Library itself, capturing the otherworldly feeling of the ancient building. Text and illustrations together create a compelling sense of the unique nature of the building, and of the legends and mysteries surrounding it, simultaneously opening it up to the reader’s imagination and preserving its historical and cultural status.
Literally a literary fairy tale, Amanda Bell’s charming little story is as delightful as it is engaging. A must for any reader who appreciates the magic that can only be found in libraries and between the pages of old books.