Monday, December 15, 2014

Looking for Good Cookies

December 4th was National Cookie Day.  Kinder through second grade decorated gingerbread cookies using a glyph.  Students caught being "good cookies" in the library were given a coupon for an extra book to check out.  


Monday, October 20, 2014

Author Janet Tashjian

Janet Tashjian is coming to Allen on October 29th to visit with our readers in kindergarten-fifth grades.  She has written a number of chapter books with her son Jake as her illustrator.  Below are two of her series that our elementary students are sure to enjoy!
 Summer’s finally here, and Derek Fallon is looking forward to pelting the UPS truck with water balloons, climbing onto the garage roof, and conducting silly investigations. But when his parents decide to send him to Learning Camp, Derek’s dreams of fun come to an end. Ever since he’s been labeled a “reluctant reader,” his mom has pushed him to read “real” books—something other than his beloved Calvin & Hobbes.
As Derek forges unexpected friendships and uncovers a family secret involving himself (in diapers! no less), he realizes that adventures and surprises are around the corner, complete with curve balls.

Derek Fallon gets the opportunity of a lifetime—to be a stunt boy in a major movie featuring a pretty teen starlet. After accepting the job he learns that he is the star's stunt double and must wear a wig! His friends are never going to let him live this down. If that weren’t his only problem, his parents are threatening to give away his pet monkey, and his best friend just posted an embarrassing video of him on Youtube. Can life get any worse? Still the irrepressible Derek takes it all in stride and even manages to save the day.

There’s a new kid in Derek Fallon’s class. His name is Umberto and he uses a wheelchair. Derek’s family is still fostering Frank the monkey, and Derek thinks it would be great to train Frank to assist Umberto. But Derek quickly realizes that Umberto is definitely not looking for any help. Derek soon becomes the butt of Umberto’s jokes. On top of that, Umberto starts stealing Derek’s cartoon ideas and claiming them as his own. How did Derek get himself into this mess, and how can he find a way out before he is the laughingstock of school? The answer may very well be his cartoon strip—SUPER FRANK!
 Derek Fallon discovers all the angst that comes with being twelve—he just wants to feel grown up, but life gets in the way with a series of mishaps that make him look like a baby. He passes out during a worm dissection in science class, falls flat on his face in gym class and gets a fat lip that causes him to lisp all day, and his plans for a monster-truck party turn into a bouncy house disaster. Why isn’t being in middle school as great as Derek imagined? Thankfully, with a little help from his friends—and, ironically, a Toys for Tots fundraiser—things seem like they could start shaping up at last.

Einstein the class hamster is from a long line of class hamsters. He knows lots of cool facts about science, art, and history—maybe even more than their sleepy teacher, Ms. Moreno. The class has a chance to compete in a trivia game show contest. But how can they get ready for the contest if Ms. Moreno keeps taking naps instead of teaching? More important, how can Einstein help the class prepare for the contest when the only kid who can hear him is Ned?
Janet and Jake Tashjian team up again in this hilarious new series starring the lovable walking encyclopedia, game show–obsessed Einstein.

In Einstein the Class Hamster and the Very Real Game Show, the companion to Janet and Jake Tashjian's Einstein the Class Hamster, we follow Ms. Moreno’s class as they face off against the students of Crackerjack Elementary on the hit game show Kids Know Stuff. But when Principal Decker sneaks Twinkles the python into the studio, there’s widespread panic; the show’s host is afraid of snakes and walks off the set. Now is Einstein’s chance to shine! With the assistance of a sound engineer who can also hear Einstein, Ned and Marlon help Einstein get ready to host the show and save the day. But something goes wrong. Does Einstein have . . . STAGE FRIGHT? Oh no! Ned and Marlon must find a way to help Einstein and win the game show.

If  you would like to know more about Janet Tashjian and her books, you can visit her website at  

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Storytelling Festival and Fourth Grade

Each year, I get to accompany the fourth graders to The Storytelling Festival.  The storytellers this year were exceptional, and I was so glad to see Willy Claflin there again.  He is the author of The Uglified Ducky.  It was a Bluebonnet Book a few years ago.  Even if you've already heard this story, it's worth repeating.  The video below is of Author Claflin reading his great book.

Monday, September 29, 2014

I Dare You Not to Yawn

Have you ever played Truth or Dare?  Author Helene Boudreau dares us not to yawn!  She even gives us several tips to  help us in her book I Dare You Not to Yawn.  So, the next time you feel a yawn coming on...grab her book and reread steps 1-10.

A yawn can land you in your pj’s and under the covers before you can blink and say "Baa baa black sheep." So clamp your mouth shut and look away from your sleepy dog, stay away from your cuddly blanket, and whatever you do, don’t think of baby orangutans stretching their long arms out for a snuggly hug. Otherwise, you might find your mouth opening wide and letting out a great big yawny yaaaaaawn — hey, you were supposed hold it in! A hilarious read-aloud that is so much fun, kids will beg for it again and again, whatever the consequences.

Before we read this story, we're going to play a quick game of Truth or Dare using the cards below. Print them out to play a game at home with your friends.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monsieur Marceau

Do you like playing charades?  If so, then you will enjoy knowing about our Bluebonnet Book of the week.  It's called Monsieur Marceau and is a biography about one of the most famous mimes of all time.

Marcel Marceau, the world's most famous mime, enthralled audiences around the world for more than fifty years. When he waved his hand or lifted his eyebrow he was able to speak volumes without ever saying a word. But few know the story of the man behind those gestures . . . Distinguished author Leda Schubert and award-winning artist Gerard DuBois bring their own artistry to this gorgeously written and illustrated picture book biography.  (borrowed from

In the library this week, not only will we read Monsieur Marceau, but 3-5 graders will also play a game of charades and use iPads to observe videos of Mr. Marceau and other famous mimes.  Thank you to Merrily McInnis, librarian at Curtsinger Elementary, for sharing this lesson with us.

Monday, September 15, 2014

2x2 Titles

Are you familiar with 2x2 Books?  They are a list of titles that are recommended for students in K-2. Mrs. Hobbie will be introducing these wonderful books to the students this week. Each child in grades K-2 who reads all twenty titles and fills out his/her tracking chart will earn a fun surprise!

In the deep ocean, tiny Nugget and big, toothy Fang get along swimmingly—until Nugget’s first day of minnow school. There Nugget learns that minnows are supposed to be afraid of sharks! To regain Nugget’s trust, Fang takes desperate (and hilarious) measures. But it’s not until his big sharp teeth save the entire school that minnows learn this shark is no foe. Fantastically stylized artwork adds even more humor to this undersea story of unlikely friendship. (

Click on the image above to see a  book trailer of Nugget and Fang:  Friends Forever or Snack Time?  

Students will use the bookmark to write/draw about one new thing they've learned this 
school year.  

 Who will read all 2x2 Books? Color in the state of Texas as you read/hear each title.  

Thank You, PTA!!!

 Our Allen kids LOVE the new soft chairs given to the library by our wonderful PTA.  Thank you so much!!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Library Ninjas

Are you a Library Ninja?  Library Ninjas work hard to take care of their books.  K-2nd graders will be joining the Library Ninja Club this month. These little Ninjas are wearing their Ninja names on their headbands. They used a special code to figure out what that name would be.  This post was written by Ninja Rimozuzukiku (Hobbie).

Saturday, August 9, 2014

One For the Murphys

Did you read anything good this summer?  Here's one of my favorite reads of the season…

Twelve-year-old Carley Connors can take a lot. Growing up in Las Vegas with her fun-loving mother, she's learned to be tough. But she never expected a betrayal that would land her in foster care. When she's placed with the Murphys, a lively family with three boys, she's blindsided. Do happy families really exist? Carley knows she could never belong in their world, so she keeps her distance.

It's easy to stay suspicious of Daniel, the brother who is almost her age and is resentful she's there. But Mrs. Murphy makes her feel heard and seen for the first time, and the two younger boys seem determinded to work their way into her heart. Before she knows it, Carley is protecting the boys from a neighborhood bully and even teaching Daniel how to play basketball. Then just when she's feeling like she could truly be one of the Murphys, news from her mother shakes her world.  (from
Recommended for grades 5-8.