Author Archive


April 24, 2014

Paperboy by Vince Vawter

I am listening to this book and it is making me want to hang out in my car a lot more than usual!  Lincoln Hoppe’s narration of the main character and his stuttering dialogue is so touchingly done, I wonder if I would have been quite as enthralled by the book if I read it instead of listened to it.  As the boy throws papers and goes to collect each week, he gets to know many of the people on the route.  Hoppe brings to life Mr. Spiro, who treats the boy to real conversation and challenges him to think.  He lends a southern accent to the housemaid and a drunken slur to Mrs. Worthington that makes each character come alive.

I highly recommend this audiobook version!  Here’s a description of the book to get you interested:

An 11-year-old boy living in Memphis in 1959 throws the meanest fastball in town, but talking is a whole different ball game. He can barely say a word without stuttering, not even his own name. So when he takes over his best friend’s paper route for the month of July, he knows he’ll be forced to communicate with the different customers, including a housewife who drinks too much and a retired merchant marine who seems to know just about everything. 

The paper route poses challenges, but it’s a run-in with the neighborhood junkman, a bully and thief, that stirs up real trouble and puts the boy’s life, as well as that of his family’s devoted housekeeper, in danger. [from Goodreads]

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Sensational Seuss

March 7, 2014

seuss1The Plano Libraries are celebrating Dr. Seuss all next week during Spring Break!

Join us for fun family events at all libraries…and when you visit, be sure to put in a guess for Where in Plano is Cat in the Hat?   Look for the photo of Cat in the Hat at any of the 5 libraries, guess where he’s at, and you may win a prize if you guess correctly!

Here are the spring break events:

Monday, March 10 @ Davis library, 3pm:  Make oobleck and a hat, and discuss Bartholomew and the Oobleck (Please note: registration required!)

Tuesday, March 11 @ Harrington library, 2pm: Bring a snack and a pillow and watch the movie The Lorax!

Wednesday, March 12 @ Schimelpfenig library, 2-3:30: Create a Cat in the Hat mask! (come and go event)

Thursday, March 13 @Haggard library, 2pm: Pin the (green) egg on the plate and make a Cat in the Hat hat!

Friday, March 14 @ Parr library, 3pm: Enjoy a Seuss-tastic carnival with games and activities!

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Binny for Short

February 18, 2014

Binny for Short by Hilary McKay

Belinda, better know as Binny, is a feisty 11-year old who is upset at her dad’s death, but more so at the loss of her dog.  Since Binny considers the loss of the dog to be all the fault of “horrible Aunty Violet,” Binny bursts out that she wishes Aunty Violet would die.  When the aunt does unexpectedly die, it ushers in more change in Binny’s life, and Binny doesn’t like it one bit! Her struggling family inherits Aunty Violet’s run-down house by the sea, where Binny makes a frenemy out of Gareth next door.  Her younger brother, a 6-year-old scientist in the making, loves their new home and provides much of the humor in the book, while the calming presence of her sister and mother even out Binny’s emotive self.

What is so lovely about McKay’s writing is her depiction of family life as messy, joyful, funny and so much more.  There is a sense of completeness in the story as well, when the loss of the dog becomes a surprising connection between Binny and Gareth, and the reader is aware of the true nature of the maligned Aunty Violet, long before Binny realizes it.

Binny is telling her story, just as her father used to tell her stories, bringing his influence on Binny full circle and helping to heal the wound of loss in her life.  This charming chapter book, with its spitfire main character, will appeal to readers in grades 3 and up.

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New booklist!

January 22, 2014

2x2It’s here:  the 2014 list of 2×2 books is now available!  I am pleased to be on the committee that helped choose this list of 20 titles for age 2 to grade 2, and I hope you’ll enjoy sharing these books with a child.

Plano libraries add a spine label to 2×2 books to make them easier to identify, but be sure to ask a librarian to help you locate particular titles.  

Later in March, parent-child activities will be available to accompany the books on the list.  Plano libraries attach these activities to the inside cover of 2×2 books.

Did you know that reading aloud to a child is one of the most important things you can do to get your child ready to read?   Give the 2×2 list a try and start sharing quality books with your child.

Enjoy!  -rb



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Loony for Literacy

January 17, 2014

Sharon and Gloria talk about a book’s title and author:

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A Yuletide Favorite

December 25, 2013

christmas treeMerry Christmas!  

One of my favorite Christmas picture books, an old standby from 1963 which has since been re-issued in full color, remains a fun read today.  I hope you enjoy it, too.

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree

“Mr. Willowby’s Christmas tree
Came by special delivery.
Full and fresh and glistening green–
The biggest tree he’d ever seen.”

That was the trouble. The tree was so tall, it couldn’t stand up straight in his parlor. Mr. Willowby asked his butler to chop off the top of the tree. What happens to the treetop? Where will it be for Christmas? Snuggle up with this story and follow along through a forest full of friendly creatures who get to share in a bit of Christmas joy (from Scholastic).

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Libraries closed

December 23, 2013

hollyThe Plano Public Library System will close at 5 pm on Monday, December 23 and will be closed December 24-25. We will re-open on Thursday, December 26 at 9am.

Happy Holidays!

You may still access us online at

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Loony for Literacy

December 19, 2013

Sharon and Gloria have a conversation…narrate your day with children.

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Baby Bear Counts One

December 10, 2013

Baby Bear Counts One by Ashley Wolff

Mama Bear answers each of Baby Bear’s curious questions about animal sounds by revealing what the animals are doing to prepare for winter.  Then baby bear counts them, from one woodpecker up to nine geese and, as they near their den, ten snowflakes.  Mama and baby bear settle down for the night while “the snowflakes keep falling—too many to count.”

The repetitive refrain on each page, along with gorgeous full-spread linoleum block illustrations make this counting book a standout for reading aloud and counting.


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Loony for Literacy

November 22, 2013

Sharon asks Gloria a question.

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