Author Archive

They All Saw a Cat

October 24, 2016

cat1They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

It’s all about perception in this picture book about a cat who “walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears and paws…” The cat is seen by a child, a fish, a dog and more.  Each creature views the cat through different eyes, whether it be blurry, big cat eyes for the fish, or a beast with long claws and sharp teeth by the mouse.  A bird views the cat from above, and a flea sees the cat as it nestles in its fur.  While the text is simple and repetitive, the varying perspectives of the illustrations tell the multi-faceted story of how one cat can be seen by so many in so many different ways!  With many wide, full-page spreads, this one would be fun to read with a child and talk about how and why each creature sees the cat so differently.


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1,000 Books!

September 1, 2016

1000 booksPlano Public Library is joining with 1000 Books Before Kindergarten to encourage parents and caregivers to read aloud to newborns, infants and/or toddlers.  Reading regularly to your preschooler helps prepare them for success in kindergarten.

The early literacy goal:  Read 1,000 books before your child starts kindergarten!  (If you read just one book a night, you will have read 365 books in a year…that’s 1,095 books in 3 years!)

Pick up a reading log at any Plano library, track online using the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten app, or do what works best for you.  For every 100 books read, come to the library for a sticker and take a milestone photo.  Once you reach 1,000 books, you’ll receive a certificate and free book!

To kick off the program, we’ll be holding special storytimes TODAY, September 1, 2016 at all five locations!  Join us for some fun read-alouds, and log your first books toward your reading goal.

The schedule is:

Parr Library @10:00am

Schimelpfenig Library @11:30am

Harrington Library @12pm

Davis Library @2pm

Haggard Library @7pm


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All About Art!

July 15, 2016

tullet 1If you’re familiar with Herve Tullet’s  books, you’ll know he’s all about free expression and interactivity in art.  Art Workshops for Children applies that philosophy to group art projects and provides lots of ideas based on Tullet’s own art sessions, done around the world and in live art sessions.  According to Tullet, “art is a means and not an end.  My workshops are based around getting children to…create freely.”

You’ll find these are workshops that may be done with many, or only a few, children.  Each workshop description includes information on getting ready, conducting the workshop and suggestions for variations.  Most of the projects require only paint and paper.  Colorful photos serve as the background for the white blocks of text, so the book design is as appealing as the art projects.

One of the projects, The Magic Dice, asks children to draw a monster based on the roll of a dice.  Throw a number 4, and that’s how many eyes children draw.  Throw a two and that’s how many mouths children draw.  Tullet suggests having the children swap papers after each throw of the dice.

With plenty of variations and encouragement to simply enjoy and embrace the process of art, hopefully this book will inspire you and your children to get messy and make some art!tullet 2


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Cecil’s Pride

June 23, 2016

cecilWhen Cecil the lion was killed in 2015, the news made international headlines.  In Cecil’s Pride: The True Story of a Lion King, young readers learn more about Cecil and his extraordinary life before his death.

When Cecil was challenged by another male lion, and forced to abandon his territory, Cecil unexpectedly paired up with another male lion.  Male lions are fiercely protective of their prides and typically do not pair up, so this was highly unusual.  Cecil and Jericho, however, were stronger together. When Cecil was tragically killed by hunters, Cecil’s pride (especially the cubs) were in danger.  Amazingly, Jericho spared the cubs and adopted them into his own pride.

Young animal lovers (and budding conservationists) will pore over the quality photographs and enjoy the narrative of this unlikely friendship.  The author team is a father and his two daughters, and they’ve produced many photo biographies of true animal friendships.  Check out this one or another one by the Hatkoff’s.

cecil and jericho

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Welcome Spring!

April 21, 2016

Wabracadabra it's spring coverith fun vocabulary and richly-colored illustrations, Abracadabra, It’s Spring! is an absolute delight to read aloud, and perfect for preschoolers.

Stylized, colored text focuses attention on the magical words that herald a change, and gate-fold pages add an element of surprise.

A little green shoot comes into focus. Alakazam!  [Open the fold out page]  Now it’s a crocus!  Buds on trees become leaves; sticks and strings become a nest; and cocoons become colorful butterflies.  The rhyme is spot-on and the repetition leads to the invitation to look at every bright new thing! Abracadabra! Now it’s spring.

Enjoy this book’s energetic, joyful ode to the magical changes that the spring season brings.

it's spring page

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The Wheels on the Bus: Indian Style!

March 15, 2016

tuk tukThe Wheels on the Tuk Tuk takes the familiar song “The Wheels on the Bus,” and sets it in India.  Instead of a bus, there’s a tuk tuk.  The “rupees on the tuk tuk go ching ching ching,” and the riders say “namaste-ji.”  Along the journey through the colorful Indian streets, the tuk tuk stops for a cow; the driver sips chai; the riders eat poppa-doms; and the elephant’s trunk sprays…with the ride finally ending in a colorful Diwali fireworks display: “Diwali fireworks go pop pop pop!”

With colorful full-page spreads illustrating the busy roads that the tuk tuk travels, this twist on the classic song is not only a fun book to sing, but an enjoyable cultural experience.   An authors’ note describes riding in a real tuk tuk, and provides a glossary for some of the key words and their meaning in Indian culture.

tuk tuk 2

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Grace’s Letter to Lincoln

March 2, 2016

grace's letter to lincolnGrace’s Letter to Lincoln

This is a wonderful historical fiction story for all ages.  It tells the story of Grace Bedell’s letter she wrote to then-candidate Abraham Lincoln.  She encouraged him to grow whiskers and wished him success in winning the election.

Not only is it a great story, but at the end of the book are copies of the actual letters in both Grace’s and Mr. Lincoln’s handwriting.

This book is a treat to young and old alike.

Read this to your child. Have your child read it to you; or just read it for yourself.

grace's letterFIVE STARS!!

-Doug F. (Haggard Library)

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Snowy Sunday

February 12, 2016

snowy sundayjpgIt’s a Snowy Sunday at Bonnie Bumble’s farm and all the animals are shivering. It’s good that Bonnie knows how to knit! She gets to work knitting boots, shawls, beak-warmers, and horn-warmers but “still everyone looked shivery and cold.” So Bonnie knits a hat for the sun, who “beamed and beamed and warmed up the farm.”
This appealing picture book, with animal sounds and a simple text and pattern, is perfect to share with your young preschooler.  Read more books featuring Bonnie Bumble and days of the week, in One Windy Wednesday or Soggy Saturday.

Other recommended preschool books with a knitting theme:
penguin in lovePenguin in Love by Salina Yoon
Knitty Kitty by David Elliottknitty kitty

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Process Art

January 20, 2016

art start collageThere’s a new program at Haggard called Art Start!  Each week, children engage in a simple art activity such as ice cube painting, sand art, leaf rubbings, or paper cutting.  The focus of the program is on process art as opposed to product art.  This is a chance for your little one to experience the process of making art, playing with textures and materials to create their own unique masterpiece.

For each session, we encourage parents to allow their child to create, explore and play by making their own choices using the materials provided.

For ages 3-6, the program is offered each Friday at 11:00am at Haggard library.  Group size is limited to 40 so arrive early to get a ticket.

art start collage 2

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Movin’ & Groovin’ Music (and Books!)

December 16, 2015

dance partyAt our Dance Party program, geared for ages 2-6, we enjoy a variety of music that encourages body movement, call and response, singing and playing with sounds, and generally just movin’ and groovin’ to the beat!  Music helps children develop listening skills and it exposes them to rhythmn and rhyme.  It also plays a part in helping prepare children for reading.  Below is the playlist for the most recent dance party at Haggard Library.  Search for these titles on our catalog using keyword search, and it will find the CD that includes the song.  Check some out and have your own dance party!

“Can’t Wait to Celebrate” by Jim Gill (fun action song)

“Matilda the Gorilla” by Jon Lewis (act like a gorilla in this call and response song)

“Habanera La La La” by Jim Gill (get ready to say “la”!)

“I Know a Chicken” by Laurie Berkner  (great to use with an egg shaker)

“Can You Shake It?” by Laura Freeman

“Hush Now Baby” by Jon Lewis (a calming song)

“Song in my Tummy” by Laurie Berkner

“L-l-lemons” by Jennifer Gasoi (great for practicing letter sounds)

Great books to accompany the music:

Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler

Chicken, Chicken, Duck! By Nadia Krilanovich

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