The Right Guy For the Job: A Review of A Big Surprise for Little Card by Charise Mericle Harper, illustrated by Anna Raff

I never had one.

Where I came from, you didn’t need one.

A library card, that is. In our cozy little town of 800, you didn’t need a library card to check out books. With an honest face and an “I know where you live (wink)” you could check out several books, and the jolly old librarian always knew you’d get them back. It’s how things worked in the small town.

So when I saw shows on TV where kids needed library cards, I was a bit confused. Eventually, it was explained and made sense. In most places, library cards are the keys to unlocking so many doors of possibilities. And then, oh, how I yearned to have a library card. I always wondered what it was like. Thankfully,  Charise Mericle Harper and Anna Raff have collaborated on a new book, A Big Surprise for Little Card, which captures the pure joy of ownership of a card.

Little Card doesn’t always know he is a library card. He knew he would have a special job, and when the day his special letter came, he was elated to find out he was a birthday card. This seemed perfect for him- he was loud and proud and very jubilant.

And, he played the part of Birthday Card quite well…. until Long Card broke the news that the special letters got mixed up. Little Card was now being sent to the Library.

Not losing heart, Little Card greets the staff at the library with a hearty, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”, and after being scolded, “HAPPY LIBRARY!” Miss Penny introduces Little Card to Alex, and the two instantly click. Children will be roaring with laughter as they see Little Card bounce around on a due date stamp when he first meets Alex.

Little Card and Alex realize together the joys of the library, and books.

Little Card’s personality captures that of the spirit many kids have when leaving the library. A sense of total joy and complete happiness as they grab hold of their new books, ready to embark on new adventures.

This book is another example of an author/illustrator match made perfectly. Anna Raff’s illustrations of Little Card and his adventures truly capture the gleeful spirit of Little Card. There is much to look for throughout the illustrations. I especially enjoyed all of the book titles in the “rainbow of books.”

Any child who does not have a library card will be demanding to go out and get one after they get their hands on this Candlewick spring title from Charise Mericle Harper and Anna Raff!



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