Stella LouElla’s Runaway Book – Lisa Campbell Ernst

This book is slightly ironic to me – I have a children’s book on a claim return at the library right now. I know I returned it, but they haven’t found it yet. Amazing how those books just run away!

In “Stella LouElla’s Runaway Book,” we read about her experiences with a frisky book. Just like magic, her book disappears, and it’s due by five o’clock. She races through the house, looking everywhere she can think. It’s not in the tub, or by the cereal boxes, or in her toy box. Her dad suggests that she look the last place she remembered having it. She goes out to the hammock, only to discover that it’s not there. Her brother Sam reports having seen it – he found it by the hammock and left it by the mailbox.

Stella and her father (and Sam) dash to the mailbox. The mail carrier, Mr. Hanson, is there, and he says the book got mixed up with his mail. He read it and enjoyed it, and then left it at the house on the corner, thinking that’s where it belonged.

Stella, her father, Sam and Mr. Hanson go to the house on the corner and talk to the girl who lives there, Tiffany Anne. She read the book and thought it was great. She also thought it might have been reported missing, so she gave it to Officer Tim when she saw him.

Stella, her father, Sam, Mr. Hanson and Tiffany Anne go in search of Officer Tim. He liked the book too, and left it at Wanda Lynn’s diner.

Well, I’m sure you’ve guessed that Officer Tim joins the parade and they all go to the diner, and then to the fix-it shop, and then to the Bed Bazaar, and then they hunted down a baby in a stroller, and then a troop of Boy Scouts. It seems like everyone in town is helping them look for the runaway book.

Finally, Stella goes to the library, dejected. She tells the librarian that she has lost the book, but the librarian pulls it out, saying that she found it on the bench outside. The book isn’t lost after all, and the best part is, everyone in town had the chance to read it. Isn’t that the best part of having a library, after all?

Now, let’s see. I guess I could look all over town for my missing library book. But you know what, I am pretty sure I returned it. I think it’s stuck in the book drop somehow and will get found eventually.

(This book was published in 1998 by Simon and Schuster and was illustrated by the author.)

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