Author Archive

Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber

August 23, 2016

missmarycatalogMiss Mary Reporting written by Sue Macy and illustrated by C. F. Payne.

As a child, Mary Garber played football with the boys and attended sporting events with her father.  She also loved to read about sports so she was a natural to be a sportswriter as an adult. It wasn’t that simple though, since Mary lived during a time when women didn’t usually have the opportunity to become sportswriters.

At first Mary accepted a job as a society reporter just to start working on a newspaper but she didn’t have any interest in writing about parties and fashion. During World War II, many of the male sportswriters became soldiers so Mary was given a chance to write about sporting events.  During her sports-writing career, she covered various teams from local to professional sports. Mary wrote regularly for the Winston-Salem Journal  newspaper until she was 86 years old.

Although it was often a challenge to be a woman sportswriter, Mary loved her job.  She covered baseball when Jackie Robinson became the first black player to join the major leagues and “was inspired by his quiet dignity”.   Many lively anecdotes and energetic images convey Mary’s inspirational story in this picture book biography.

Recommended for children in grades 2-4.

Reviewed by Donna (Library Technical Services)


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The Mouse Who Reached the Sky by Petr Horacek

May 31, 2016

mousewhoWhen Little Mouse sees something red and shiny in a tree, she tries to get it down but is unable to reach it. She goes to ask her friend Mole to help but they still can’t attain the necessary height. The two friends ask Rabbit to assist them and by cooperating with each other, they are able to achieve even more than their original goal. Each character imagines the red circle is something a little different.  Children can make their own guesses before the actual object is revealed at the end.  The vibrant colors used in the illustrations add to the exuberance of the story.  When these friends help each other, they succeed beyond their wildest dreams. mouse moon

Recommended for children ages 3-6.

Enjoy these two additional titles by Petr Horacek starring Little Mouse.

new house for moue



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Do Princesses Make Happy Campers?

April 30, 2015

princesses happy campersDo Princesses Make Happy Campers? written by Camela LaVigna Coyle. Illustrated by Mike Gordon.

This is the newest book in the series, Do Princesses…..?.  In this book, the family goes on a camping trip and have many fun experiences.  The princess tries to help pack up the camping gear, but tries to take everything from her room.  In the car, she keeps repeating, “Are we there yet?”.  When the family finally gets to the campsite,  princess tries her best to put up the tent.  The family soon realizes that this has to be a family event.  Mother has to convince princess that she can’t take home all the critters she finds.  The whole family enjoys putting on a play when it rains, making s’mores, fishing, and going on a nature walk.  Princess loves how she can see the stars extra twinkly and bright before going to sleep. The last page of the book shows princess and her dog wearing mirrored sunglasses and telling all to “look on the bright side”.

There is minimal text written in rhyming couplets.  The illustrations are whimsical and cartoon-like.  Readers will enjoy seeing if the princess is “a happy camper’.  The book is recommended for children 3-7.  Parents will enjoy reading this book to their children.

Reviewed by Ricki (Schimelpfenig)


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Albie’s First Word: A Tale Inspired by Albert Einstein’s Childhood

January 1, 2015

albie'sAlbie’s First Word : A Tale Inspired by Albert Einstein’s Childhood written by Jacqueline Tourville and illustrated by Wynne Evans.  When Albert Einstein was a young child, his parents worried because he didn’t talk.  His younger sister Maya chattered away but Albie said nothing.  He actively engaged in many activities and he observed but didn’t comment. According to the author’s note at the end of this title, Einstein has acknowledged his parents’ concern and the fact that they contacted a doctor. In this story the doctor makes several suggestions that he hopes will cause Albie to utter his first word but nothing works until Albie’s wonder at the universe inspires him. The illustrations include details that bring us back to the late 19th century of Einstein’s childhood, while also demonstrating that Albie is unique.  The image of preschooler Albie at a university lecture shows him standing on the chair as he focuses his gaze at the speaker. A great introduction to Albert Einstein.

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Spotlight on OverDrive Kids eReading Room

November 15, 2014

You may have noticed a new image on our Kids’ Brain page.  econtentKidsClicking on this takes you to a special “reading room” that features items for juvenile and young teen readers.  When kids search this collection, the results are mostly limited to eBooks and eAudiobooks that are published for readers through sixth grade- similar to being in the children’s area of the physical library.

All titles in the eReading Room are also cataloged by reading level and interest level to help in selecting the title that is best for each reader.  For example, using the refine level search option, you can limit the search to reading level -grade 4 and interest level -middle grades (MG 4-8) and get a list of junior fiction titles.

You can also browse by subject, collections and levels as well as use the advance search mode to narrow your specific search. Both fiction and nonfiction are included in our digital collection.

As with all eBooks in our full collection, titles can be sampled in OverDrive Read prior to borrowing or placing a hold.

overdrive for kidsiconClicking on the OverDrive Kids icon from our digital materials page, will also take you to the Kids eReading room.  When you click on it you get to the main page with recently added eBooks for kids shown below.


ereading room

Download books with a Plano Public Library card whenever you want to read- even when the library is closed! And since the titles are automatically returned on the due date- you won’t have any late fees!

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Leo Loves Baby Time

July 15, 2014

1leoLeo Loves Baby Time    written by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Ruth Hearson

Bright, culturally diverse, colorful illustrations and simple text make this a pleasure to share with very young children.  It brings them through the day’s events of sharing singing, clapping, and a variety of movements they can easily identify with.  A great bonding book for parent and child.


Vera (Schimelpfenig Library)


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Recommended App of the Week

July 12, 2014

1billnyemainBill Nye the Science Guy

Compatibility: Requires iOS 6.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.


Recommended for ages 7-10.

“Disney recently released an app called Bill Nye the Science Guy.  When you first open the app a voice over by Bill Nye exclaims, “You’ve arrived at my desk!” and a desk full of objects is shown.  Users can choose from objects on the desk, such as a rocket, a robot or a sundial, and the app will bring users into a different lesson. There is a huge variety of options to learn from such as: games designed to teach users about the solar system as you take pictures from a rocket, learning about planet Earth’s geological history while digging up a backyard, and cool optical illusions woven into a storyline about alien invasion.

In addition to games, there is also a book of do-it-yourself experiments and the six science experiments require nothing more than everyday household items. Be sure to check out the bobble head. It has interesting science facts to share.” From a review on Mrs. Yollis’ Classroom Blog.









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July 1, 2014


Rainstack by Onur Tukel.

This delightful story with charming illustrations will appeal to children of all ages.  Although the animals of the jungle solve a variety of problems by working together as a team using both brains and brawn, one team member with a penchant for inventing, decides they can be replaced by technology.  When technology alone goes awry, they are all pleasantly surprised to find they can work in conjunction with technology to accomplish their goals.


Vera M. (Schimelpfenig Library)

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Recommended App of the Week

June 21, 2014

a starfallreadStarfall Learn to Read

Compatible with iPhone, iPodTouch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire.

Price: $2.99

This app is phonics based.  In the “Play” section, there are interactive games for a child to make words- the narrator announces “make a word with -an to match the picture.”  Then a picture appears and the narrator pronounces the word- for example, a picture of a fan appears and the narrator says “fan”. The child has 4 letters to choose from.  If the wrong letter is chosen and dragged in front of -an to make the word, the letter moves back to its original place accompanied by a sound to indicate it is the wrong letter. When the correct letter is chosen and dragged in front of the -an, the letter stays in place and the word is pronounced.

a tarfallread1

A matching game shows a picture on one card and a word on the other. When you match them correctly, the narrator pronounces the word.

The picture hunt game shows a drawing in black and white and when you find the word asked for, that image turns to color while the word is sounded out.

a starfallread3

“Starfall Learn to Read is an app version of the stellar learn-to-read website, Starfall. The app has the same content as the “Learn to Read” section of the site. There are 15 mini-books, each focusing on a specific vowel, along with videos and activities to enhance literacy learning. As with other Starfall apps, the thorough and careful design keeps kids focused on learning.” From Common Sense Media Review.

Recommended for preschool children.

Donna C. (Schimelpfenig Library)

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Recommended App of the Week

March 8, 2014


moosemathnewiconMoose Math (Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android) iOS 5.1 or later; Android 2.3. and up. $1.99.

“Covers early math skills in a fun build-your-own-world environment. Every detail, from the kid-friendly narration to hints, is designed with young kids in mind. Parents can see reports of their kids’ progress. Parental control swipe screens keep kids from wandering into the reports or other app sections.  Kids enter Moose Juice, the smoothie shop, to practice counting, addition, and subtraction. They go to the Pet Shop to play Pet Bingo, where they work more on counting, addition, and subtraction or to play Paint Pet, where they’ll match animals by counting dots. Then they can visit the Lost & Found store, sort shapes and colors, and work on geometry, or they can play dot-to-dot, where they count by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s. As they complete each level, they get to add another feature to their town.” From Common Sense Media

moose juice

Recommended for kindergarten and first grade students.

Donna C (Schimelpfenig Library)

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