Back in September I attended a webinar with the librarian's librarian Nancy Pearl. She was doing a virtual book tour for her most recent work The Writer's Library (which I have not yet read). She said something that I wish more people would take to heart: "Any book your haven't read is a new book". I have never understood the obsession some people have with buying some hot new book, as if there aren't literally millions of other things they could be reading while they wait for their turn on the waiting list at the library, or until the book is available in paperback. During the Q&A someone asked about library-centric books and it was here that I learned about Rufus M.
Pearl specifically said that the first chapter was especially worthwhile for demonstrating the magic of getting a library card. Although the book was published in 1943 this was indeed a "new book" to me. And I imagine even almost 80 years after its first publication that the first chapter will still resonate with anyone who has earned the privilege of getting their first library card. I wonder how many people remember that moment?
Rufus is tasked with making sure his hands are clean, and learning to write his name before he can get his own card and check out a book. The librarian makes clear both that she wants Rufus to have a card, and that having one is a serious responsibility. She is kind yet firm in her insistence that Rufus learn to sign his own name in order for him to get his own card.
There is a bit of "shushing" action in this chapter as well.
There are a dozen other episodic chapters in this work, the library is mentioned again in a few of them. This work will likely appeal to those who enjoy Beverly Cleary's works.