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Book Review: Fables

By John Rodgers

Spring is just around the corner and so is National Library Week (April 4-10), which is an annual celebration that shines a spotlight on the essential role that libraries play as safe spaces devoted to open access and continuous learning. The theme for 2021, “Welcome to Your Library,” promotes the idea that libraries offer unlimited resources and opportunities for each member of the community, whether they prefer to visit in-person or virtually. From books and movies to technology or free family programming, the library has something for everyone.

This year’s National Library Week honorary chair is actress, author, and activist Natalie Portman, who celebrated the publication of her debut picture book Fables last year. Illustrated by Janna Mattia, Fables revisits three classic stories – The Tortoise and the Hare, The Three Little Pigs, and Country Mouse and City Mouse – and plays with them just enough to make these retellings feel justified without betraying the spirit of the original tales. Fables is best enjoyed when read aloud as a family, as early readers may require help adjusting to the rhythm of Portman’s rhyming.

Sequoyah Regional Library System is celebrating National Library Week with a fine forgiveness program and a new reading challenge on Beanstack. People of all ages can sign up on Beanstack, individually or as a family. Complete different literacy activities, explore what the library has to offer, log finished books, submit reviews and recommendations, and earn digital badges along the way. Digital badges allow participants to enter a prize drawing to be rewarded for their reading.

Additionally, readers familiar with Overdrive/Libby can now borrow eBooks and audiobooks from SimplyE, a separate app that gives library cardholders the option to borrow from a different catalog of more than 100,000 titles in just a few steps. SimplyE and Overdrive/Libby each have different selections, so feel free to browse both using a library card. Visit to get started. Happy reading!