Author Archive

What? Children in Libraries?

June 10, 2013

missmooreMiss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children

by Jan Pinborough

Today with all of our story-times, children’s sections, and blogs like this one, it’s hard to believe that there was a time  before children’s libraries.  Back in the late 1800’s, however, children were not welcome in public libraries.  Luckily, Miss Moore thought otherwise.

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise by Jan Pinborough tells the true story of Anne Carroll Moore who grew up as an independent-thinking woman in Maine.  Miss Moore goes on to create the famous Children’s Room at the New York Public Library, the first public library designed specifically for children.  This is a great book for children in 2-4th grade who like to think otherwise.

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Curious Chemistry Questions

May 3, 2013

whitemilkWhy is Milk White? & 200 Other Curious Chemistry Questions

by Alexa Coelho & Simon Quellen Field

Like many 11-year-olds, Alexa Coelho has a lot of questions.  Unlike many 11-year-olds, Alexa has a chemist neighbor, Simon Quellen Field, who likes to answer questions.  This book is the result.

Why is Milk White? & 200 Other Curious Chemistry Questions answers some common chemistry questions in a way that is accessible for children.  The questions and answers range from 1-2 pages and some include science experiments.  This is a great books for kids doing research for science fair projects.  I would recommend this book to scientifically curious 9-13 year-olds.

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April 9, 2013

exclamationmarkExclamation Mark

By Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld

Exclamation mark does not seem to fit in no matter how much he tries.  He always stands out!  That is, until he meets a question mark who asks question after question.  It is then that exclamation mark truly finds his voice.

This book is great for teaching about periods, question marks, and exclamation marks.  The story will help children learn how these different punctuation marks relate to each other.  The simple drawings are rich with meaning and help make the story easy yet memorable.

However, the story has another dimension to it too.  As the authors say in the book summary, “This exclamation mark’s story is really everyone’s story.”  Exclamation mark’s struggles to fit in and the way he finds himself is something we can all relate to.  Exclamation Mark is a wonderful story.  I would recommend it for children from ages 5-8.


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Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops

March 29, 2013


Don’t Forget, God Bless Our Troops, by Jill Biden, tells the heartwarming story of five-year-old Natalie, the daughter of a recently deployed American soldier.  Throughout the story, Natalie must remind herself to be brave for her daddy.  Second Lady Jill Biden based this story on her own experiences as a military mom.  This story reminds us that the families of our troops also serve our country and deserve our support.

Biden also gives great tips for kids who want to reach out to military children in their community.  Make military kids feel welcome, offer to help military children catch up on missed assignments, and more.  If someone in your family is in the military, or if you know someone who’s family is in the military, here are some great resources that Jill Biden lists to help the families of these brave men and women:

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Great Women of the American Revolution

March 18, 2013

womenamericanrevolutionSince this month is Women’s History Month, I wanted to highlight one of our newest titles concerning Women’s History:  Great Women of the American Revolution by Brianna Hall.  This book offers several short stories about notable women who contributed to the war effort during the American Revolution.  It is a great introduction to several notable women, and will hopefully insipire further research. 

The contributions of women in history are often glossed over in textbooks.  Books like Great Women of the American Revolution are a great way to introduce young readers to a more complete picture of history.

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Journey of a…

March 8, 2013


Kids are often curious about the world around them.  Is there such a thing as a chocolate tree?  How do cornflakes get their shape?  How did my t-shirt get to the store?

These questions and more are answered in a new book series now available at the Plano Public Library.  Books in this series include Journey of a Bar of Chocolate, Journey of a Bowl of Cornflakes, Journey of a T-Shirt, and more.  Each book follows the manufacturing process of a common household product from the farm to your home.

I would recommend this book for curious 1st and 2nd graders.  The large print makes these books easy to read and each includes a glossary for difficult words.

Elizabeth W (Davis)

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Who Was Queen Elizabeth? (and other “big head” biographies)

February 26, 2013

queen elizabethWho was Queen Elizabeth?  That is the question this book by June Eding seeks to answer in this new addition to our junior biographies section.  This book goes through the life of Queen Elizabeth I from birth to death and even includes a section on the current British royal family at the end.  The large print makes this an ideal introduction to biographies for young readers.  The black-and-white illustrations break up the text and help tell the story.  You can find this book and other new biographes at the end of the new non-fiction section at your local Plano Library.

But wait!  There’s more!  Who Was Queen Elizabeth? is just one in a series of similar biographies about important figures throughout history.  Each book follows a similar format, with large print for early readers and black-and-white pictures.  We’ve heard some patrons call this series “big head biographies” but they are not listed this way because the publisher did not give them a series name.  Here is the list I found on our online catalog and below are just a few examples of what you can find.

tut picasso reveere robinson rowling ruth

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I Haiku You

February 11, 2013

ihaikuyouI Haiku You, by Betsy Snyder, is a wonderful children’s book written entirely in haiku, a Japanese form of poetry.  Haiku poems follow a very strict three line pattern with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second line, and 5 syllables in the third line; they often emphasize themes from nature.  If you are interested in learning more about haiku, here is an article from the Academy of American Poets.

This book is filled with beautiful watercolor pictures and haiku representing the theme of love, which makes it a great read for St. Valentine’s Day.

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Imagine the Infinite

February 4, 2013

infinityandmeHave you ever tried to imagine infinity?  Maybe it’s the biggest number you can think of and then some.  Maybe it’s all of the stars in the sky going on forever.  How does one imagine forever?  That’s what the main character of this book is trying to figure out.

Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford tells the story of a little girl named Uma who is trying to wrap her brain around the concept of infinity.  Every person she asks has a different view of infinity and Uma is very confused.  In the end, with the help of her grandmother, Uma discovers her own way to imagine infinity.

Abstract concepts like infinity can be difficult even for adults to imagine.  This book is a great catalyst for talking about abstract concepts and how to visualize them.

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Death-Defying Challenges for Young Mathematicians

January 28, 2013


“The year is 1714.  You’re in a dark Spanish prison.  You wake up to find yourself tied to a table with ropes.  In the darkness you hear a rhythmic swishing sound — something going back and forth, back and forth.”

This is just the first paragraph of The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math: 24 Death-Defying Challenges for Young Mathematicians, by Sean Connolly.  Each challenge contains a word problem in the form of a story, work-space to figure out the problem (please don’t write in the library books though!), a detailed description of how to solve the problem using math, and a “math lab” section where kids can explore the math problem with a science experiment.

The math challenges are more than just a fun way to get kids calculating.  Word problems are some of the most difficult questions for kids on math tests.  They are also the problems which kids are most likely to run into outside of school.  The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math takes word problems to a new level, getting kids engaged in the adventure story while also offering step-by-step instructions to keep them from getting frustrated.

The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math is great for kids in grades 5-7, especially those who are struggling with word problems in math.  If you like this book, check out Sean Connolly’s books on science: The Book of Totally Irresponsible Science and The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science.

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