Author Archive

The Miniature World of Marvin & James

June 13, 2014

The Miniature World of Marvin & James written by Elise Broach and illustrated by Kelly Murphy

This beginning chapter book (with really large text size and plenty of sepia-toned drawings) is quirkily charming and perfect for a reader just starting chapter books.

It features characters from the author’s novel, Masterpiece, which I have not read, so this was my first introduction to the boy James and his best-buddy beetle named Marvin. In this story, James goes away for a week so Marvin is forced to play with beetle cousin, Elaine. Their adventure inside a pencil sharpener where they frolic in pencil shavings and nearly get caught, is great fun!

This is the first in a new series.  I am looking forward to reading more.

If you think you or your child would like this book, leave a message in the comments section below for a chance to win a free, hardback copy of the book!  One winner will be chosen at random on Friday, June 20, 2014.

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New Board Books

May 15, 2014

There are so many good board books for babies!  These are the small books with the hard, cardboard pages and they are perfect for little hands.  There are a few new ones that are standouts.

Try the Creature books by Andrew Zuckerman.  I particularly liked Creature Colors.  The color appears in text with a photo image of an animal of that color.  For example, a page has the word “blue” (in blue font) and a gorgeous image of a blue parrot, so the reader can say the word and prompt the child to fill in the word for the animal…the interactivity is built right in!

 

New Leo Lionni board books are also appealing, with torn paper illustrations and titles such as When? and Who?

 

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It’s an Orange Aardvark!

April 30, 2014

aardvarkIt’s an Orange Aardvark! by Michael Hall

Carpenter ants, complete with colorful hard hats, are “wrrr-” ing away inside a stump, making a hole for a window, when one of them worries that the hole will allow an aardvark’s long tongue to poke in and eat them.

Once the hole is complete, one of them sees something orange!  Could it possibly be an orange aardvark?

Another hole reveals blue!  Is it an orange aardvark wearing blue pajamas??  With each hole and color discovered, the aardvark grows more menacing.

So is there really an aardvark, or are all those colors something more beautiful and not so scary?  Well…the answer is not so clear.

Enjoy this colorful picture book with die cut holes and clean, bold illustrations and see what you think:  Is there really an aardvark?

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Paperboy

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 www.planolibrary.org

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