Thursday, October 29, 2015

Aaaarrgghh! Spider

K-2 graders recently listened to a story called Aaaarrgghh! Spider. They then worked in pairs to play a math game. The kids took turns rolling a die and placed spider rings on their fingers for the number they rolled. The first person with ten spiders on their fingers won.

Don’t let this lonely spider frighten you! She just wants to be a family pet—and she thinks she would make a better pet than the typical dog or cat. But every time this clever spider tries to impress her chosen family, she scares them instead, until the day she unwittingly enchants them. Aaaarrgghh! Spider! spins a lively tale about one creature’s efforts to find her place. E MON (review from

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Meaning of Maggie

For Maggie Mayfield, turning eleven means she's one year closer to college. One year closer to voting. And one year closer to getting a tattoo. It's time for her to pull herself up by her bootstraps (the family motto) and think about more than after school snacks and why her older sisters are too hot for their own good. Because something mysterious is going on with her cool dude Dad, whose legs have permanently fallen asleep, and Maggie is going to find out exactly what the problem is and fix it. After all, nothing's impossible when you're future president of the United States of America, fifth grade science fair champion, and a shareholder in Coca-Cola, right? F SOV  (review taken from

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Dog vs. Cats

This is another great 2x2 Book.  Before reading this story, the students and I discussed ways that cats and dogs are different.  I then read some facts from the second book shown below.  It is a non-fiction book we have in the library.  

Dog and Cat do not get along. But when they're forced to share a room, they agree to be on their best behavior...until Dog won't stop sniffing. Cat won't stop primping. Dog won't stop howling. Cat won't stop scratching. And when it comes to the litter-box...sharing is not an option!
What will it take to bring Dog and Cat together? Find out in Chris Gall's comic clash that brings out the best (and worst) in two very different pets. E GAL  (review taken from

Monday, October 5, 2015

Revenge of the Flower Girls

Here comes triple trouble...

One bride. Two boys. Three flower girls who won't forever hold their peace. What could go wrong with this wedding? Everything!

The Brewster triplets, Dawn, Darby, and Delaney, would usually spend their summer eating ice cream, playing with their dog, and reading about the US Presidents. But this year they're stuck planning their big sister Lily's wedding. Lily used to date Alex, who was fun and nice and played trivia games with the triplets, and no one's quite sure why they broke up. Burton, Lily's groom-to-be, is not nice or fun, and he looks like an armadillo.

The triplets can't stand to see Lily marry someone who's completely wrong for her, so it's up to them to stop the wedding before anyone says "I do!" The flower girls will stop at nothing to delay Lily's big day, but will sprinklers, a photo slideshow, a muddy dog, and some unexpected allies be enough to prevent their big sister - and the whole Brewster family - from living unhappily ever after? F ZIE 
(review by

If you'd like to read about more fun with Dawn, Darby, and Delaney consider reading the sequel Revenge of the Angels.  

When we last saw them, Dawn, Darby, and Delaney Brewster tried to stop their big sister from marrying the wrong guy, proving that they can accomplish a lot when they work together. Now, they are turning their smarts and high-energy hijinks to something completely different: their local Christmas pageant! They've been practicing looking wise and stroking long, fake beards in preparation for their roles.

But what if they're not cast as the wise men? What if instead they have to play angels in the pageant? Distasteful. Deplorable. Dreadful. And it's not like anything else is going their way this holiday season, either. Can the triplets figure out what to get for their mom, solve a mystery about a stolen Santa, and recover their holiday spirit in time for the pageant? Of course they can! And they'll do it with humor and charm, or they're not the Brewster triplets. F ZIE
(review by

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Storybook Pumpkin Patch

The Allen Library is growing a storybook pumpkin patch, and we need your help!  Students in all grades can decorate a pumpkin to look like a favorite storybook character and bring it to the library to "plant" in our Storybook Pumpkin Patch!

No REAL pumpkins will be accepted.  Please use a fake pumpkin.  

*Think of your favorite book and design your pumpkin based on your favorite character.
*Fake pumpkins can be found at Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby, Walmart, Target, and many other stores.
*Gather your decorating supplies.  Acrylic paints or permanent markers work best.  Other options include adding materials such as yarn, buttons, wiggly eyes, etc.
*Bring your pumpkin and the form below to the library starting Monday, October 5th.
Pumpkins are to be taken home at the end of school on Wednesday, November 18th.  If your child needs assistance getting it home, please make arrangements.  All pumpkins will be disposed of on November 20th at 3:30 pm before our Thanksgiving week holiday.
*Participation is completely voluntary.
*This is not a contest.
*Have fun and be creative!
*Need ideas?  You can look on Pinterest or google storybook pumpkins for TONS of inspiration.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Illustrator AG Ford


We will have a visitor at Allen on November 1st whose name is AG Ford.  Mr. Ford is an illustrator who lives in our area.  It won't take one long to notice that he is one amazing and talented artist.  Our students have an opportunity to purchase Mr. Ford's books using the order form below.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

2x2 Books-Extraordinary Jane

This week in the library, grades K-2 will be introduced to this years 2x2 Books.  These are books specifically for children in PS-2nd grade that are the cream of the crop in literature.  As students read the 2x2 Books, they are encouraged to fill out the chart below.  Once it is all colored in, they can bring it to the library for a small prize.

To introduce the 2x2 Books, the kids and I "visited the circus" by reading Extraordinary Jane and then played Circus Bingo.  

For anyone with a beloved pet, this delightful and heartwarming story set at the circus shows that quiet qualities like friendship, kindness, and loyalty are important and worthy.
Jane is an ordinary dog in an extraordinary circus. She isn't strong, graceful, or brave like her family. When she tries to be those things, Jane just doesn't feel like herself, but she also doesn't feel special. Is she really meant for this kind of life? Her Ringmaster thinks so, but not for the reasons Jane believes.
Ordinary can be extraordinary!

Friday, September 11, 2015

PAC=Public Access Catalog

We really like our new online catalog system called PAC.  The kids have learned how to use it very quickly and enjoy using our library iPads to find books they want to check out.  You can even access PAC from this blog at home.  Look for this picture on the right hand side of the screen, and click on it.  You'll be searching for your favorite titles in no time!!

The students below are from Mrs. Hilliard's second grade class.  

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Map Trap

Ever since reading the book, Frindle, I get excited about reading any new books written by Andrew Clements.  The Map Trap is one of his latest.

Alton Barnes loves maps. He’s loved them ever since he was little, and not just for the geography. Because maps contain more information than just locations, and that’s why he likes to draw maps as well as read them. Regular “point A to point B” ones, sure, but also maps that explain a whole lot more—like what he really thinks about his friends. And teachers. Even the principal.

So when Alton’s maps are stolen from his locker, there’s serious trouble on the horizon…and he’ll need some mad cartographic skills to escape it. (  F CLE

Friday, August 28, 2015

Rain Reign

My new favorite book...

Cover image for Rain reign

Rose Howard has Asperger’s syndrome, and an obsession with homonyms (even her name is a homonym). She gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Rain was a lost dog Rose’s father brought home. Rose and Rain are practically inseparable. And they are often home alone, as Rose’s father spends most evenings at a bar, and doesn’t have much patience for his special-needs daughter.

Just as a storm hits town, Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. Rose will find Rain, but so will Rain’s original owners. (

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

If You Ever Want to Bring and Alligator to School, DON'T!

Note to self: If your teacher tells you to bring something from nature for show-and-tell, she does not want you to bring an alligator! But nothing will stop Magnolia, who's determined to have the best show-and-tell of all--until her reptilian rapscallion starts getting her into some major trouble. Now it's up to Magnolia to find a way to send this troublemaker home--but what could possibly scare an alligator away?

Monday, January 12, 2015

The Summer I Saved the World in 65 Days

This book was perfect for the New Year.  It's about a girl who makes it a goal to do sixty-five nice things for others.  That's a great ambition any time of the year!

It's summertime, and thirteen-year-old Nina Ross is feeling kind of lost. Her beloved grandma died last year; her parents work all the time; her brother's busy; and her best friend is into clothes, makeup, and boys. While Nina doesn't know what "her thing" is yet, it's definitely not shopping and makeup. And it's not boys, either.
   This summer, Nina decides to change things. She hatches a plan. There are sixty-five days of summer. Every day, she'll anonymously do one small but remarkable good thing for someone in her neighborhood, and find out: does doing good actually make a difference? Along the way, she discovers that her neighborhood, and her family, are full of surprises and secrets.
   In this bighearted novel, things may not turn out exactly as Nina expects. They might be better.
 (review taken from  F HUR