Author Archive

Ballet Cat

September 22, 2015

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret by Bob Shea

It’s no secret that I love Bob Shea’s books, and now he has ventured into the world of early readers!

Good friends, Ballet Cat and Sparkles the Pony, are trying to find something to play.  Of course, Ballet Cat loves to dance, so Sparkles goes along.  When Ballet Cat realizes that Sparkles doesn’t seem happy, Sparkles reveals that he has a totally secret secret!  Readers will love this funny story that has a warm and fuzzy ending.

If your reader loves the Gerald and Piggy books, or the Frog and Toad books, they will love this one too.

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26 Fairmount Avenue by Tomie DePaola

August 27, 2015

26 Fairmount Avenue by Tomie DePaola.

Once and awhile I come across a book that I term “lost in the stacks.”  This is a book that is cataloged in a place that is not usually browsed by parents and children, or it might even just be on the bottom shelf, and no one bends down and sees it!  Many times, if not “lost,” the book would be out because it’s really good stuff!

26 Fairmount Avenue by DePaola falls into this category in my library.  It is a short chapter book, the first written by DePaola who is a favorite with young children for Strega Nona and Big Anthony. It is also the first in a series of chapter books centered on DePaola’s family memories.

I think the series is a great read-aloud for young families who would like to begin their venture beyond picture books.  DePaola tells about his extended family in a matter of fact way, and children will learn about everyday life in the 1930’s and 40’s.  At the end of one chapter, DePaola describes his mother crying, and his father using “bad words” as they struggled with the ups and downs of building their new home.  DePaola doesn’t sugar coat his memories, but it’s still told in a way that is accessible to children.  One of his other memories involves seeing the Disney version of Snow White for the first time, and being upset that it wasn’t the true version that his mother had read to him.

Why not “find” this book today?  I’m glad I did!

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Launchpads are here!

July 30, 2015

Come by and check out an educational Launchpad for your child.  They are at all Plano Public Libraries!Launchpad Web Banner 550x302





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What is a Launchpad?

A Launchpad is a tablet pre-loaded with learning apps and games for interactive learning and play made by the Playaway company.


What does it come with?

The Launchpad tablet, an orange bumper case, USB cable and AC adapter, a “Using Playaway Launchpad” insert, all within one easy-to-carry case!


How long can I check it out?

You can check out a Launchpad for 7 DAYS. If nobody has requested the Launchpad, it can be renewed ONE time.


What about overdue fees?

The fee for an overdue Launchpad is $1 per day.

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Little Engineers

July 14, 2015

Whose Tools? by Toni Buzzeo and Jim Datz

This new board book is a fun introduction to tools and building for the younger set.  Each page asks, “Whose tools are those?” The opposite page features friendly-looking tools, each labeled, which then flips open to reveal the answer.  The vocabulary in this one is rich!  Most of us aren’t using “mason”, or “linesman pliers” vocabulary in our everyday lives, so your child will hear something new.  And, the human characters are diverse, which is always a bonus.

If you and your children enjoy building, join us at 3pm on July 20 at Harrington Library for “What Will You Build?”

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Books to Sing

May 26, 2015

That Special Little Baby by Jane Ann Peddicord and illustrated by Meilo So

Singing is one of the five simple everyday practices a parent can do to help get their child ready to read.  Because I love music AND I love books, it’s always fun to find a book that I can sing to a tune.  I came upon this one today by surprise, as I was going through books that have not gone home with someone in a while.  As I was reading, the tune to the Beverly Hillbillies came to mind, I gave it a try and voila!

Now, it’s a bit of a stretch on the refrain ”it grew, and grew and grew,” because you’ll need to extend the final grew on several notes of the melody.  But, I think a child will love to chime in with you and sing groo—oo—oo—oo!

Give it a try and see how it works for you.  I hope you enjoy it!

Hopefully you know the theme song for the “Beverly Hillbillies.”  If not, the song “The Ballad of Jed Clampett” was written and composed by Paul Henning.

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Show Me Happy

April 15, 2015

Show Me Happy by Kathryn Madeline Allen; photographs by Eric Futran

Using rhyming text and photographs, Show Me Happy highlights feelings and other simple concepts that are important to children in their daily lives. Allen and Futran’s second book is no less wonderful than the first, A Kiss Means I Love You. I have a weakness for children’s books using photographs and this one reflects joyous, diverse children.






And speaking of diversity, join us at Harrington Library this Saturday, April 15, for El dia de los ninos/Day of the Child. This is a free family opportunity featuring Solina Marquis, bilingual storyteller at 2pm, Mexico 2000 Ballet Folklorico at 3pm and crafts at 3pm.

We hope to make you happy!

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My Favorite Dogs

April 1, 2015

Dachshund by Jinny Johnson

This is one of eight titles in My Favorite Dogs series, which is new to the library.  I’m partial to the Dachshund, and this one features the most adorable face you’ve ever seen!  Many children in the library ask for the “dog books,” and I’ll be looking forward to showing them this new series.


Harrington Library is looking forward to summer and a series of “Readers and Waggers” programs for young readers.  This fun program allows children a chance to read with a Heart of Texas therapy dog (and handler). Free tickets are available on a first come first served basis thirty minutes before the program.  Be watching for the dates in our summer event calendar coming in May!

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Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera

February 17, 2015

Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera and paintings by Raúl Colón.

Beautifully illustrated, this compilation of Hispanic American heroes is a gem begging to be shared with your favorite child.  Children will be inspired by the brief biographies of twenty men and women who have been part of creating a wonderfully diverse America.

And speaking of diversity, have you seen the Cultural Connections page in the library’s Engage brochure?  Page three highlights diverse programs that may interest you and your children.  On March 7, Davis Library will celebrate Holi, and on April 18, Harrington Library will celebrate El día de los niños/Day of the Child. These are just two of the many opportunities, so check out the events brochure on the library website for more!

Visit the library and enrich your life!

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The Goodnight Book by Lori Joy Smith

February 4, 2015

The Goodnight Book by Lori Joy Smith

As young children develop their sense of humor, a quirky little book like this one just might hit the spot.

The first few pages display children and how they say good night in English, French, and Spanish.  Then the story moves on to other far off places, where they say things like “kissy, kissy,” or “gloobit.”  This type of word play is new to their ears, and it may cause them to laugh.  Becoming aware of the sound of language is an important part of early literacy, and laughing together makes it even more fun.

Maybe your family has its own special way to say goodnight.  If not, pick up this book at the library and maybe you’ll find a new favorite word.

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I’m a Dirty Dinosaur

January 15, 2015

I’m a Dirty Dinosaur by Janeen Brian & Ann James

This is an eye-catching book!  The title letters are in bright primary colored capitals on a white background, with the exception of the brown, finger-written word, “dirty.”

The text is a storyteller’s dream, with short refrains that rhyme, and repetitive choruses that beg for the listener to act them out.  This may become your child’s pre-bathtime favorite.  And of course, dinosaur lovers will be thrilled with a new book to read.

First published in Australia, I’m very glad that American readers will have a chance to enjoy I’m a Dirty Dinosaur.

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