Author Archive

Two Speckled Eggs

August 22, 2014

 

Two Speckled Eggs

Two Speckled Eggs by Jennifer K. Mann

Ginger is excited about her birthday party.  Her mother insists she cannot exclude anyone from the invitations, but Ginger thinks Lyla Browning is weird.

This is a great story about friendship.  During the party games and the cake, Ginger begins to get a new perspective on Lyla, and when she opens Lyla’s present she discovers a tiny handmade bird’s nest with two chocolate malted-milk eggs.  Lyla’s gift is unique, as is Lyla.

Jennifer K. Mann’s author notes on the flap of the book say that she came up with the idea for the story from two photographs from her seventh birthday party.  Do you remember your seventh birthday?  This book may stir some memories!

Print this entry

Share

What are YOU reading this summer?

July 17, 2014

I hope you’ve already signed up for Suburban Dare and summer reading, but it’s not too late if you have not.  Summer is the time for leisure reading, but sometimes kids need a little extra encouragement and practice when they are new readers.  That’s what Read2gether at Harrington Library is all about!

We decided to offer two hours each week this summer, when kids entering first through fifth grades can come to the cool of the library, choose a book, and read together with a non-tutoring teen volunteer.  The books read together count toward the reading goal!  We started in June and we’ll continue the program through August 16.  Join us for Read2gether Friday at 2pm or Read2gether Saturday at 11am at Harrington Library.  And remember that when you finish your summer reading goal, prize books will be handed out July 28 through August 24.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer and your summer reading!  Here are some of the books kids here really love!books

Print this entry

Share

Singing at Storytime

July 11, 2014

We had a blast at Harrington’s Preschool Storytime this week reading and singing about fish.  This video shows us singing “Octopus” by Charlotte Diamond.  Commonly known as “Slippery Fish,” it’s found on her album, 10 Carrot Diamond.  Remembering what comes next in a song is a great way to build your child’s narrative skills, which will help them be better readers when the time comes.

 

We hope you’ll join us at our next storytime where we’ll share some more fun songs for you to sing at home with your child.

Print this entry

Share

Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman

May 21, 2014

Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman, Illustrated by Chris Case

Jacob likes to play dress-up. He also likes wearing dresses. Some of his friends accept it, but Christopher likes to bully Jacob and make fun of him. Jacob’s teacher, his mother, and his father are all supportive of him, telling him he should wear whatever he is comfortable in. When his dad sees him in a new dress he says “it’s not what I would wear, but you look great.”

Read this touching story to find out what challenges everyone faces when children don’t identify with traditional gender roles.

The back page talks about gender non-conformity and how we can support and affirm children to help them come into themselves. It’s hard to be different, but it shouldn’t have to be.  Everyone should be as lucky as Jacob to have supportive, non-judgmental adults around to help them.

Guest review by Karen (Harrington)

Print this entry

Share

Star in the Forest by Laura Resau

April 18, 2014

 

Star in the Forest

Star in the Forest by Laura Resau

Zitlally’s father has been deported, and she feels alone.  She hides in the junkyard of rusted car parts near her trailer park, where she finds a dog which has been chained and abandoned.  Eventually she begins to trust the dog, and with the help of her next-door neighbor and new friend, Crystal, she finds the courage to rescue Star.

As Zitlally withdraws from her friends at school, she develops empathy for Crystal, a girl who is considered a liar and an outsider. Star in the Forest is an important story for children, because it opens the door to several good discussion points, like the meaning of friendship, and immigration. Immigration, a topic not normally discussed with children, does affect them.  Why not begin the discussion around a book?  Laura Resau’s website, www.lauraresau.com, has two discussion guides that might be useful, plus you’ll learn how to pronounce the author’s name.  There are also pronunciation guides in the back of the book for Spanish and Nahuatl words.

Best for grades 3 to 6, I hope you’ll enjoy reading about Zitlally, Crystal and Star.

Print this entry

Share

Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain

March 19, 2014

Angel Island:  Gateway to Gold Mountain by Russell Freedman

Many people know about Ellis Island and its place in American immigration history. But what about Angel Island?  Located in San Francisco Bay, not far from Alcatraz, Angel Island was America’s western immigration station where more than half a million people arrived between 1910 and 1940.  This is a fascinating look into a place where people dreamed of a better life, and poured out their feelings on the walls of the barracks where they were detained, waiting for immigration officials to decide their fate.  Not all reached Gold Mountain.

The book includes photographs, source notes, picture credits and an index.  Russell Freedman is a well-respected author of informational books for children, and received the Newbery Medal for Lincoln:  A Photobiography.

Print this entry

Share

The Bear’s Song

February 26, 2014

 

The Bear’s Song

The Bear’s Song

by Benjamin Chaud

For children who love to pore over visual details, this book will be a treat.  Little Bear would rather not hibernate, and lured by a buzzing noise he goes off on quite an adventure.  Of course Papa Bear must find him, and he realizes that singing Bear’s Song might help.  Readers will laugh as the story unfolds.

Chaud is from France, so you will notice a European flair to the illustrations.  The endpapers are an added treat.

Print this entry

Share

Rebel McKenzie

January 9, 2014

Rebel McKenzie by Candice Ransom

Rebel McKenzie plans to attend the Ice Age Kids’ Dig this summer, but she has to babysit her cousin Rudy in her sister’s mobile home community while her sister Lynette attends beauty school.  Rebel is still focused on her original plan, so she decides to enter a beauty pageant in order to use the prize money for the camp.  Will she win, and is it worth the price of friendship?

Rebel McKenzie is a nominee on the 2014 list of Bluebonnet books.  I thought it was a fun read and I think readers will enjoy the cast of characters in the story.

Print this entry

Share

The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius

December 18, 2013

The Mad Potter:  George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan

I read this title and thought, “Eccentric genius?  What have we here?”

Born in 1857 in Biloxi, Mississippi, George was out of step with this family, and refused to learn the blacksmith trade from his father. After he learned pottery in New Orleans, he returned to Biloxi and set up his “Pot-Ohr-E.”  George’s theatrical personality took shape in one-of-a-kind pots with unique forms, and beautiful, unusual glazes.

The Arts and Crafts movement of the time was on its way out and the Industrial Revolution enabled the mass production of pottery.  People of the time did not understand George’s eccentric personality and were not interested in buying his art ware.  George stopped making pots in 1910, packed most of his work away and told his family not to sell anything for fifty years. In 1968 his pottery was rediscovered and viewed as the work of a craftsman and artist. Now Ohr is considered a great American potter and an influential figure to contemporary artists!

I admit that I picked up this book because I loved the photograph on the cover.  If Ohr’s personality was as eccentric as his mustache then I wanted to find out a little bit about him. I truly enjoyed the photographs in this book, and learning about George E. Ohr.

Print this entry

Share

Little Mouse by Alison Murray

November 21, 2013

Little Mouse is the perfect book for a young child, and I’m grateful to one of our patrons for telling me that her two year old loves it.  The simple story is child centered.  Mommy sometimes calls the girl little mouse, but the child knows she is more than her nickname.

Young children will love pointing out the featured animals.  Murray’s illustrations are clean and simple with just a few small details that children will be drawn to which give a parent and child the opportunity to talk.  You might ask, “Did you find the little mouse?”  Off white pages and soft colors create a feeling of comfort and love.

A lot of books come through the library each day, and a few stand out as keepers.  Little Mouse fits the bill .

Print this entry

Share