Posted in Book Review

Be a Friend

By Salina Yoon

It has been a while since I reviewed a Salina Yoon book but she is still and will always be my first favorite author. (ps I know she is reading so Love ya, Salina! )

Be a Friend is a different type of book by Salina. It is doesn’t have a penguin or bear or even a duck. It has a boy that is a mime. I think he is a mime to represent kids who are different, like me. It is hard for kids who are different to make friends. I am working really hard to make friends.

I like this book because someone comes along to be friends with Dennis. She likes him just as he is and is willing to be friends with him the way he needs a friend. I want  Joy in my life. I think everyone wants a Joy in their life. Because she will appreciate you just the way you are.

Don’t tell Penguin but this is my favorite Salina Yoon. I hope everyone reads it and all the librarians reading this should add it to their libraries.

Emily Arrow even has a song to go along with a reading. Don’t you just love Emily Arrow? [Bridget note: I am trying very hard to find a way to bring Salina and Emily local to me] [Bridget note 2: Annoying little brother is saving to bring Tim Kubart local.]


(Oops, just realized I called Joy “Emily”.  I must have had Emily Arrow on my mind)

Posted in Ask the Librarian

Ask a librarian: Steve Reinke

Name: Steve Reinke (most of my students call me Mr. Steve)

Name of Library (and website if it has one) Willow Woods Elementary School Library –

What kind of librarian are you? I am a school librarian, although I have many different titles which mean the same thing: media specialist, school media specialist and teacher-librarian are the other titles I have had when working in schools.  I’m not sure which name I like the best.  Probably media specialist suits me best.

How long have you been a librarian? I started my career as a public librarian in Houston in 1993.  In 1996, I moved back to Michigan and became a media specialist in Harper Woods.  My current job is at Willow Woods Elementary in Sterling Heights.  I guess that makes it 23 years.  There were 6 more years I worked in libraries at The University of Michigan as a student before graduation with my library degree.

What lead you to wanting to be a librarian? The first two people that had the most influence on my becoming a librarian was my mother and my aunt.  My mom was the school librarian in my elementary school.  My aunt was the head librarian at the Zauel Public library in Saginaw where I grew up.  My biggest influence was Mr. Gary Taylor, who was my high school media specialist.  I was a part of his student staff and worked in the school library for an hour every day.  That’s where I first learned about being a library manager, not just the guy who checks out books.

How do you pick books for your library? I pick books for my library in many different ways.  All of those ways involve someone suggesting or recommending a book to me.  I get recommendations from students, parents, other librarians and from online sources like the New York Times Best Seller’s List, or School Library Journal reviews.  I like it best when students find new books I’ve never heard of, and they suggest I buy them for the library for other students to read.

Do you have a favorite author? My favorite author for adults is Jim Harrison.  My favorite children’s authors are Mo Willems and Megan McDonald.  I guess that means I don’t have a favorite author, but 3 of them!

How do you decide what book to recommend to a specific kid? When choosing a book for a student I have to pay attention to many different things.  In a school, the most important thing is “can the student read the words.”  I try to teach kids to use the “five finger rule.”  Open a book to a random page and start reading.  You hold up a finger for each word to can’t read.  If you hold up 5 fingers before getting to the end of the page, the book may be too hard for that student.  They next thing I consider is the interests of the student.  What topic would get you “really into” a book?  Sports? Mystery? Vampires? Animals?  I ask a lot of questions!  Finally, I need to address the certain needs of students.  Many times, students come to me when they need a book for a class assignment.  When students need research books I use the “Super 3” method:  1. PLAN 2. DO 3. REVIEW  I need the student to ask themselves: 1. What do you need to do? What is your PLAN? 2. What are you going to create to complete your plan? What are you going to DO to fulfill the requirements? and finally 3. Look back at your notes and what you created.  REVIEW your work to make sure you’ve done your best.

In the long run, my job is to get the kids to decide what book they want or need for themselves.  I help create independent readers, which is the most important part of my job as a media specialist.

Posted in Book Review, Friday Fun

The Angry Little Puffin

By Timothy Young

Warning: This is not a book about a penguin. Seriously! It is about a puffin. They are different animals. They are polar opposites! Penguins live at the South Pole/Antartica and puffins live towards the north pole. So real polar opposites!

This book is educational about the differences between penguins and puffins.  For instances, puffins can fly! I don’t mean to spoil stuff but there is a point in the book when the puffin says “Do you know what would happen if I jumped off this cliff?”  Well, do you?

There is a penguin easter egg in the book. There are all kinds of penguins books & movies in a picture. The best part is identifying the covers. [Bridget note: There is Salina Yoon on the page. This is how I found out about the book.] [2nd Bridget note: I have read or watched every thing on those pages except the made up Puffin Comic] [3rd Bridget note: I think we should have a Puffin comic, so puffin could be happy]

I simply recommend this book to everyone!


Posted in Book Review

Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color


by Julia Denos

Swatch is a beautiful book. The illustrations are great. I wish I could draw like her. I kind of do, but maybe not quite so well.  This book was recommended to me by Salina Yoon.

The story is about a girl who loves color. She would train the colors and keep them in jars. But one day, she wanted to catch yellowest yellow, but yellow got mad. And that is where the fun begins.

I think this is a book about trying to control everything. I try to do that sometimes. It doesn’t work well. I gave this book to my art therapist, who is helping me learn to control things appropriately. She was happy. She thought it was a great book and would help me and other kids like me.  And her.  Plus she also thought is was beautiful.

I recommend this book to kids like me and art therapist. Maybe artists would like this too



Posted in Meet the authors

Meet the Author: Marsha Diane Arnold

Today’s Meet the Author is  Marsha Diane Arnold. She is the author of Lost.Found.


Author name:Marsha Diane Arnold

Author website/social


Tell me a little about yourself:You can read about me at I have you starting at Chapter 2 as I need to update Chapter 1, which has me still living in California! I live in Florida now, near my daughter’s family. 

         I grew up on a farm in Kansas, surrounded by wheat fields, cows, and lots of cousins, uncles, and aunts. I love being surrounded by family and nature. At my husband’s and my new home in Florida we have big oak trees, a pond, and lots of lizards and cicadas. My daughter and her two children, Grainne and Baby Flint live close by. One of Grainne’s and my favorite things to do is to feed carrots to  the three ponies on the lane.

I love to travel, scuba dive, hike, garden, and, of course, read and write.

When you were my age, did you like to read? Absolutely. Reading was one of my favorite things to do as a child. But I’m a late bloomer as far as writing goes. I didn’t start writing until I had children of my own. 

What was your favorite story? I loved books about animals. Still do! When I was very young I enjoyed The Poky Little Puppy.When I was older, my favorites were Lassie Come Home, about a collie who travels a long way to find her family, and Black Gold, about a little horse who did big things.

How do you get your ideas? Ideas are all around us. I get ideas from lots of different places. The Pumpkin Runner came after reading a magazine article. Quick, Quack, Quick was inspired by my son. The idea for my recent book, Lost. Found., came to me in a dream.

Is it hard to write/illustrate a book? It’s always a challenge. Some of my stories take months to write. But I recently wrote a story in just one day. My agent loves it and is submitting it to editors now.

Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated? I don’t really have a favorite book of my own. They are all like children to me. I do have a special place in my heart for my first book Heart of a Tiger, about a small kitten who has a dream to give himself a name like that of the magnificent Bengal Tiger on Naming Day. One of my favorite characters is Lily inPrancing Dancing Lily. She is such fun! When I visit schools the children and I get in a conga line and dance, just like Lily. And my recent book Lost. Found. is special to me as it’s full of funny animals and shows that if we come together even unraveled things can be knitted back together again. You can see the book trailer for Bear and his friends, from Lost. Found., on my home page:

What author do you really like right now? I really like the work of illustrator Erin E. Stead and the writing of Philip Stead. Philip’s book A Sick Day for Amos McGee is so dear. One of my all time favorite books is Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney.

What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? I’d suggest enjoying all the activities a kid enjoys and also reading lots of wonderful books. Of course, if you like to write, you can enjoy telling, writing, or drawing stories for yourself, your family, and your friends. Have fun! 

Posted in Book Review



Written by Marsha Diane Arnold

Pictures by Matthew Cordell

This is a simple book to read because it only has two words come up. The important thing is the story told by the pictures. It is like a no word picture book. It is a simple story but Mom says sometimes we need to remember what really matters.

I like it when the bear gathers all the yarn from this scarf that got torn up and makes one that is really long. It is for everyone.

I recommend this book to people who make scarves or people who lose things and then other people find it until something bad happens. And then they need to make a new better one.

Tomorrow you can learn more about Marsha Diane Arnold, as she is the Meet the Author!


Posted in Book Review

Weird but true

National Geographic Kids has a book series called Weird but True. I think I found out about it from listening to Guy Raz or maybe it was Absolutely Mindy or maybe it was them together.

These books are full of facts. Weird ones but true ones. I even have one about medieval time. It is not my favorite so I plan to give it to a friend who likes that time.



These are really funny and it is helpful to have weird facts to surprise people with. I know things my parents don’t know now.

The grossest fact I found is “A piece of cake from Queen Victoria’s wedding has been preserved in England for 174 years.”  GROSS! YUCK! Tooooo diiiiisgusting!   BLECH

Another fact that is one of the weirdest is “Komodo dragons often vomit when threatened.” Haha, my mom just said that was another gross one. She asked if I have any nice facts.

How about “Some dogs are allergic to cats”?  Oh wait, I will just do one more… At a store in Japan, you can have a replica of your face made in chocolate.

These books are for everyone, not just kids. And now, I am going back to reading!