Posted in Book Review

Ask a librarian: Jen Pace Dickenson

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Name of library: Polk County Public Library  http://polklibrary.org/

What kind of librarian are you? Youth Services Librarian

How long have you been a librarian? 3.5 years

Why did you become a librarian? I have always loved books and libraries and was considering going back to get my teaching certification in my late 20s. After going to Korea to teach English, I decided I did not like teaching! I was reading The American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld (which is a fictional account of Laura Bush’s life, who was a librarian) when I had the epiphany that being a librarian would be the perfect career for me! I researched masters degree programs, applied and got accepted, and got my MLIS in December 2013. I started working here before I finished my degree in April 2013.

How do you pick books for your library? I read lots of library journals and subscribe to many book lists. I choose books based on these reviews as well as requests from library patrons.

Do you have a favorite author? I have so many favorite authors… Ruth Ware, Liane Moriarty, Jodi Picoult, Jon Krakauer, Sherman Alexie, Curtis Sittenfeld, Kimberly McCreight, Mary Kubica, Khaled Hosseini, Jeanette Walls, and Kiera Cass to name a few.

How do you pick a book for a specific kid? When recommending books I try to find out about the person’s interests and other books they have liked, and then make suggestions based on books I have read or heard about from other people/reviews. Occasionally I will ask other librarians for assistance if it’s not a book genre I am very familiar with or if they have a super specific request.

Posted in Book Review

Miss Mary is Scary!

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by Dan Gutman

Illustrated by Jim Paillot

My teacher read us this book. It is part of the My Weird School Daze series. Isn’t it weird they use “ze” and not “y”?

This book is about their class getting a student teacher named Mary. It is the principal’s daughter. And her boyfriend climbs through a window so the principal doesn’t see him. They are from England.  She is scary because she wears all black. They think she lives in a cave, sleeps upside down and is a vampire.

Kids should read this because it is funny. It will be a fun, easy book.

Posted in Ask the Librarian

Ask the librarian: Jaime Eastman

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Name of Library: Gladys Harrington Public Library (part of the Plano Public Library System) – http://www.planolibrary.org

What kind of librarian are you? My official job title is Public Services Librarian. That means that I work with patrons of all ages, from little babies all the way up to adults. I think of myself as a children’s librarian because I spend the majority of my time working with kids and families and doing story times and other family programs. I am also the Family Place Coordinator for our library. I work as part of a team of librarians in my building.

How long have you been a librarian? I graduated from the University of North Texas in May 2010 with my Masters in Library Science. While I was still in school, I volunteered doing story times in a local elementary school and helped some of the teachers organize their class libraries. For my first job, I was a librarian in a career school (so academic), and then I was a children’s librarian at another library before taking my current job. I’ve officially been a librarian for 6 years, but I’ve loved all things library since long before that.

What lead to you wanting to be a librarian? I decided to be a librarian during my senior year in high school. My family helped me pick it as a career that was a good match for me. I’ve always loved books and libraries! I chose youth services because I love sharing my passion with families and watching children grow up to be adults who love reading, too. Doing story times is one of the best parts of my job.

How do you pick books for your library? The Plano Public Library System has a team of collection development specialists who pick all the books that the library buys. Each person on that team has certain collections that they focus on, like youth books or adult books. We also have a form online that patrons can fill out to recommend that we buy specific books. At my last job, I got to help decide what books we purchased. To do that, I looked at recommendations from other librarians, what books were popular with our kids, new books in series, and all kinds of journals with book reviews in them.

Do you have a favorite author? I read too many books to have just one favorite author! When I pick books for story time, I like to pick authors that have fun stories and great pictures. Some of my favorites are Eric Litwin and James Dean (I love Pete the Cat), Mo Willems, Jane Yolen, and Jan Thomas. I like to read all types of books in my spare time, too. I have a library collection at home that has more than 1000 books in it. Some of my favorite authors there are Jodi Picoult and Nicholas Sparks.

How do you decide what book to recommend to a specific kid? I like to talk to each person I help to find out what they are interested in. I want to know what kind of books they like, and what books they have read recently and enjoyed. We also talk about whether they want stories or books with facts, and if they want picture books, chapter books, or something like a comic book (graphic novels). I use that to make recommendations about what books I think they will like. We have a special place in the library to look at new books when they come in, so we always know what books are coming out and what kids might like. We also have lots of lists of recommended books that we can look at if we get stumped, with everything from books by grade level, favorite books series, cool subjects (like dinosaurs), and different award winning books.

Posted in Book Review, Comics

Strawberry Shortcake

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Mom says this is a character from her childhood. She says she even had the dolls that smelled like stuff.

I like this because Strawberry Shortcake has a cafe and helps others. It is a friendship story. Each comic adventure is nice and funny. I really like the comic.

One of my favorites was when Strawberry and Sweet & Sour Grape go to a food truck carnival. They served a lot of food and got a trophy for selling the most ice cream sundaes. Yum.

And remember to go to ComiqueCon tomorrow! See you there!

Posted in Comics, Illustrators

Meet Nneka Myers


Website/social media: kinopia.tumblr.com; Twitter: @kiinopia; Instagram: @kinopia

Tell me a little about yourself: I am a character designer and visual development artist working in Toronto, Ontario, Canada! Over the past two years, I have worked for numerous clients in the Animation, Comic and Media industry including BOOM, IDW, Dark horse, Nelvana and Facebook.

How long have you been drawing? I have been drawing ever since kindergarten but I didn’t really take it seriously as a career until Grade 11!

How did you get into comics? It was an unexpected opportunity about two years ago – I still consider myself new in the comic industry since I generally do guest strips but my first freelance offer was for Garfield with BOOM and it has been constant ever since! I still feel I have a lot to learn about comics but I am so happy to share my art through this medium.

What is your favorite comic you have worked on? So far my most favourite comic I have worked on has been Gumball! It was the most liberal series I worked on to date in which I had 100% control on the story and art style.

What are some all-ages comics you suggest? Gumball!!! It’s so funny for all ages and the characters are so diverse and enjoyable 🙂

(Bridget note: Look at her work below! You can meet Nneka at ComiqueCon this weekend)

Posted in Book Review, Comics

Disney Princess

Disney Princess #1

Did you know there is a comic book series about the Disney Princesses?  This is one of the comics I have a subscription to.

In each comic, there are multiple adventures by multiple princesses. Some are short and some are long.  The adventures are very fun.  I have a favorite princess in the series. I am not going to tell you till next post.

Just kidding.. in this series, it is Pocahontas. (Yes, I know this is not the correct story for her) I also like Mulan, Tiana and Merida.

This would be a good series for kids who like princesses and want to learn to read. Also just people who like princesses.

Posted in Book Review, Comics

Zita the Spacegirl

By Ben Hatke

Zita is about a girl and her friend who find a machine. Zita clicks a million times and a portal opens up. Something in the portal takes her friend. She clicks in million times more so the portal opens again. She then has a journey in space to find her friend before time runs out.

I like this because it is a space girl. Cleopatra and Interstellar Cinderella would love to meet Zita. I would like to go on an adventure with the three of them in space. I like the artwork. I love Zita, so much this year at ComiqueCon, I am dressing as her. Last year, I was Cleopatra.

I love reading comics because they are brain candy. There is a picture for every part of the story. It makes it easier to understand what is going on.  I think kids should read comics to help them learn to read and enjoy reading.

Now I go beg for the other Zita books in the series. How well behaved do you think I need to be?