Student Teller Auditions

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Could your student take the stage and captivate an audience with a story? If you answered yes and your child is between ages 8 to 18, we encourage them to audition to be a student teller for the Lone Star Storytelling Festival to be held September 2014!  No storytelling experience necessary. Pick up an audition packet now at the Frisco Public Library or any FISD school library. Deadline for entry is May 4.


Submitted by

Cindy Boatfield

Youth Services Senior Librarian


Welcome to the world of Tumblebook Library!


If you are a fan of our eBook collection for adults, teens, elementary or preschool children, you’ll be happy to hear that our collection has recently expanded to include TumbleBook Library for the younger crowd.  Enjoy this new collection of animated, talking books in a variety of titles, read-alongs, Tumble TV, games and puzzles on your computer or any mobile device.

Access is unlimited and you do not have to check out any titles – they are all waiting for you to read as often as you’d like! How can you find TumbleBooks? You can click here or visit the library’s website and click on “eBooks & Apps” to see a list of all of our vendors.

To find out more about the library’s digital collection, visit the library’s website.


Submitted by Brienne Walsh

Youth Services Librarian



Get Your STEM On!

STEM 4What is STEM?  It’s an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  STEM proficiency has been a goal in education for more than a decade. At the Frisco Public Library, we believe we have a unique opportunity to support and reinforce skills taught in schools by engaging our young patrons in STEM learning experiences.

Coming up over Spring Break, FPL Youth Services staff will begin offering educational and entertaining STEM programs.  The first is Boomwhack-alacka! for grades K-2 on March 12, followed by Air-Mazing! for grades 3-5 on March 14.  These are fun, hands-on programs designed with the idea that science is essentially play – and who’s better at that than kids?  For more details, check out our website at

Continuing into the summer FPL will offer a wide range of STEM-themed activities, including Electric Explorations, Fun With Simple Machines, Gross Science, and High Flying Fun, all sponsored by the Frisco Sci-Tech Discovery Center.

Excited to get your STEM on?   Get started early by checking out these great sites:

Grades K-5

www.stevespanglersceince.comSTEM 4

Grades 6-12

(The last link is specifically for girls.)


Submitted by

Lisa Everett

Youth Services Library Assistant


Early Literacy and The Kitchen

What do children, product packaging and early literacy skills have in common? Well for one thing, they all come together in something called “environmental print.”

The opportunity to build early literacy skills is all around us wherever we may go. Many families can vouch for the effect environmental print has on children — some younger than two.  All it takes is a car ride, a pole hosting a large yellow “M” and  preschoolers and even pre-talkers are pointing, clapping, bouncing and ready for food and fun.

Children can learn to use labels and logos to identify many everyday items and places before they can read print in books. Children’s responses to environmental print are the direct outcome of their experiences with it. Studies show that environmental print provides support children need to bridge the gap between known and unknown when building vocabulary skills, writing skills and reading skills. (Giles & Tunks, 2010)

Here are some tips to increase your child’s awareness of environmental print:

  1.  As you travel, ask your child to find a stop sign. When they do, applaud and read the word together!
  2. When fixing dinner, look for words on boxes. Think of where you may see that word somewhere else. For example, milk cartons may show the word “milk” and cereal boxes ask you to add “milk.”  Another link is peanuts and peanut butter.
  3. Have fun looking for words where ever you go and whatever you do. Pretty soon, your young ones will be reading to you!

Here at the Frisco Public Library, we are committed to early literacy and creating opportunities for literacy play. One great example of this can be found in our play kitchen in the picture book room! Children can engage in imaginative play using our everyday kitchen items. Parents can find opportunities to promote print awareness by pointing out the labels (in English and Spanish!) on each item.

So come join us for a fun time of playing and learning all at once – the kitchen is waiting!


Giles, R.M. & Tunks, W.T. (2010) Children write their world: environmental print as a teaching tool. Dimensions of Early Childhood. (38) 3.


Submitted by Kathy Barnes

Youth Services Library Assistant

Kathy Barnes's picture

Meet the Staff – Jennifer Cummings, FPL Youth Services Manager


As the new Youth Services Manager, I would like to introduce myself and my family and share some of our daughter’s favorite books. My husband, Tim, and I have lived in the metroplex previously but have been living in Durant, Oklahoma, for the past few years. We are delighted to return to this area, and I am thrilled to join the phenomenal team at the Frisco Public Library. I graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a Master of Library Science degree and have been a youth services librarian for over 12 years. I have worked in Denton, Farmers Branch and Sherman libraries. As an avid library user and book lover all of my life, I am passionate about providing the best possible library services for children, teens and their families.

Our daughter, Ella, will be two in February. She loves books, and one of her favorite activities is to select one of her many board books and clamber up onto Mommy’s or Daddy’s lap for a story. She has reached an age where she exhibits very clear preferences about the stories that we read together. She reserves the right to change her mind mid-story and may close one book and select another. At almost two years old, of course “No!” is one of her favorite words. Her dad and I are ecstatic that books remain an emphatic “yes” for Ella. When she brings us a book, we drop whatever we are doing whenever possible to read to her. Beginning with her birth date in the hospital, we never miss stories at bedtime. We carry books with us wherever we go so that we can pass the time with an engaging story while waiting in line or at the doctor’s office. Tim and I also make sure to let her observe us reading so that she can see that it is important for the whole family.

Making reading a family priority helps to create lifelong readers. Dedicating just 20 minutes a day to reading can make a significant difference in how prepared our children are for school. As a full-time working mom, I know how difficult it can be to find time each day for everything that must be accomplished. The ritual of reading with Ella every evening is something that I look forward to all day, and I know that the time we spend reading together will help to prepare her for success later in life.
Ella &  Tim Cummings reading in the  library
Ella’s top ten list of favorite board books:

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown Illustrated by Clement Hurd

But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton

Llama Llama Zippity-Zoom by Anna Dewdney

Snuggle Puppy: A Little Love Song by Sandra Boynton (You’ve just got to sing this one!)

Counting Kisses by Karen Katz

Your Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton

Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson Illustrated by Stephen Savage

Where is Baby’s Belly Button? A Lift the Flap Book by Karen Katz

The Napping House by Audrey & Don Wood

Ella  a truck full of books

5 Reasons to Submit to the FPL Poetry Contest

The FPL Poetry Contest for kids in grades 1–12 is one of my favorite events here at the library. Why? I love poetry, I love kids, and when you put the two together some real, honest-to-goodness magic happens.

Here are 5 reasons to encourage your child to submit to the poetry contest … as if you needed more reasons to encourage your child to write, but what the hey! We’ll give you some anyway.

1. Creativity in poetry knows no boundaries.

It’s true! For our poetry contest, the only rule is that your work be original. You can write in any style, on any subject you like. What better way to encourage kids’ creativity than giving them unlimited room to stretch their minds?

2. Expression is good for the soul.

Because we allow kids to choose their subject, they can write about whatever crosses their mind. Maybe a friend has hurt their feelings, they want to honor an important adult in their lives, or they just need to get something off their chests. Whatever the need, writing poetry can be one of the best ways for kids to express themselves freely.

3. Can you say confidence-booster?

Many families have told us that their children experienced a large boost in self-confidence and confidence in writing once they had submitted to the our contest — awesome!

4. Submit as many poems as you want!

We do not put limits on how many poems a single poet submits. Submit one or submit one hundred — we’ll read them all!

5. Why not?

Lastly, we’d just like to ask — what’s the harm in trying? We do not share the poems with anyone else other than the contest judges and the poet retain all rights to the work. If he/she wins, great! If he/she doesn’t, the poet still has a work of art engineered by their very own heart.

Past winner Grace Catherine Hale with her family

Past winner Grace Catherine Hale with her family


So what are you waiting for? Download our entry form and submit your poem today. Deadline for all submissions is March 3rd.


Submitted by Lisa Kilian, Youth Services Librarian

Lisa Kilian's picture


Find more time to read in 2014!


As a librarian, it should not be a surprise that I am an avid reader. Not only do I love to read, but I find that a steady diet of good books challenges my mind and inspires and motivates me as a person.  If you’re a full-time college student, a busy professional, and/or a parent, you might feel like there’s no time in your day to fit in more reading. Well, I disagree.

You can fit more reading into your life while doing the things you are already doing. Below are a few suggestions to keep you reading while you go about your busy life:

1.   Have books in multiple places                              

I always have a book on my nightstand, in my car, and a digital download on my phone. This allows me to read at night, while I’m waiting in line at the bank, grocery store or drive thru, and as I run my errands. You would be surprised how much reading you can get done when it’s easily available.  That hour you spend at the doctor’s office or getting your oil changed can be an hour spent doing something you enjoy.

2.   Know what you want to read next       

Many people will finish a book and then say “I don’t know what to read next.” Whether it’s an old fashioned paper list or an app, keep a list of books you hear about that peak your interest. I use the Goodreads app. It allows me to search for a book by title, author or even scan in the ISBN number and add it to my “To-Read” list. It only takes a second and it keeps me reminded of titles I would have otherwise forgotten. You’d be surprised how fast your list will grow just from books promoted in magazines or on TV or that you see in a store.  Sites such as Amazon allow you to keep a “wish list” or you can use a social metadata website such as Librarything, Shelfari, Pinterest, or Bookish. All essentially give you the opportunity to have a virtual bookshelf, get recommendations based on what you read, and discuss books with other readers.

3.   Read while exercising       

If you exercise already, add reading to that time. I have found that large print books work well while using the elliptical or treadmill, and listening to a downloaded book makes a walk go by super fast.

4.   Stop with all the rules       

Many of us, because of school or strict parents somehow got the idea that if you start a book you must finish it before going to another. Well, unless you’re still a student there is no mandatory reading list. If you start a book and lose interest, move on. There will be no quiz over it on Friday.  Reading should be an enjoyable hobby not a chore.  Speaking of chores, audio books make the time pass while mopping, folding clothes, cooking or doing any number of tasks around the house.

5.   Cut down on TV and Internet       

I’m not one of those hippies that will tell you to throw your TV out the window or turn it into a fish tank. I happen to watch several TV shows and the news and enjoy my smart phone, favorite blogs and Twitter, but it’s easy to get sucked into a vortex of addiction to these things that will steal precious time from you if you let them. Instead, decide what works for you. For example, I generally check my Facebook, Twitter feed and personal email once a day, usually in the morning or in the evening after work. Once I’ve checked it for that day it’s done – I rarely go back until the next day unless I’m anxiously awaiting a response or have a specific reason to check back.  I enjoy watching TV, but if I’m seeing the same news story for the 10th time or Friends episode for the 100th I turn it off. I generally DVR the shows I do like and watch them on my own time. Fast forwarding through commercials saves time, or if you’re watching live you can read during commercials. You’ll be surprised how often you keep reading and forget about the TV show.

6.   Show your children that reading is a priority     

Whether it’s during your morning coffee or at bedtime, explain to your children that it’s reading time and model the behavior. When your children are very young you may want to read to them or allow them to play, but they should be exposed to having books around.  It doesn’t have to be a huge commitment. Set a timer for 15 minutes and tell them Mommy is going to read during that time and they need to find a book or activity they like to do too. I’ve seen this work with children as young as one year old. Perhaps they bang on pots and pans with the book or roll around with the book on their head, but they are interacting age-appropriately with the book and it won’t be long before they are reading it instead of chewing on it. Reading can also be a good tool to use during nap time. If your child refuses to lie down and go to sleep, read to them or give them the option of reading to themselves. This often lulls them to sleep – with no arguing. Reading is a great cure for insomnia for children and adults.

7.   Have as many accesses  points to books as possible

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to keep books around you and your children. Check with your local library. The Frisco Public Library has excellent book and digital book collections. Check with other area libraries – membership rules can vary but you may be able to join a library in your county, the town you work in, or even your state in addition to the city where you live.  Swap books with friends and their children. There are numerous blogs dedicated to daily free Kindle books, and you can find free eBooks on home school and frugal-living blogs.  Many classics eBooks are also available for free through the Gutenberg Project.

8.   Be creative       

If you have a smart phone you can always have a book in your pocket by downloading an eBook or an audio book. I’ve heard people swear they can read while brushing their teeth or blow drying their hair (though I’ve yet to give that a try – I would probably just make a mess.) Road trips or commutes to work or school go by so much faster with an audio book to listen to and there are plenty that the whole family can enjoy.  With all the digital devices available, kids can have headphones and a book ready to go in the car.

So instead of trying to carve out time for one more thing, find ways to fit reading into your current life. It can be done – I promise. After all, you just found the time to read this!



Submitted by Jaclyn Pierce

Senior Librarian, Youth Services


Links to resources:

Frisco Public Library -

Goodreads app -

LibraryThing –

Shelfari –

Bookish –

Pinterest –

Gutenberg Project –



eBooks: Not Just for Parents!

While moms and dads can enjoy the latest best-seller, their favorite authors’ works, or learn something new with a nonfiction title in the library’s eBook and eAudiobook collection, digital content for children and teens has greatly expanded. Whether you are looking for a picturebook, beginning reader, chapter book, or nonfiction title, eBooks are a great alternative to the physical book for several reasons. You can check out an eBook from home, work, the library, or anywhere you have a wireless connection – even if you are on vacation.

To learn how to set up your device or which apps to download, visit our website.

From thelibrary’s catalog, it is easy to search for any title, author, or topic while searching everything in the library’s collection or only physical copies or digital copies (both eBook and eAudiobook). Take a moment to search what the library has to offer for your child in eBook and eAudiobook format by using the dropdown menu to select “Digital Catalog.” If you leave the search bar blank and click “Search” you will see everything the library has to offer.

FPL Catalog

You can limit your search on the side of the screen by selecting your chosen audience, material, genre, author, or more.

The library has everything from Disney picturebooks to the most popular chapter book series. Enjoy reading with your child on your device or getting your child started with eBooks.


Brie Walsh Brienne Walsh

Big Book Literacy Stop

As many of you already know, the Frisco Public Library is a one-stop shop for books, CDs, eBooks, audiobooks, and fantastic programs for all ages.

As you and your younger child wander into the 2nd floor tower for picture book browsing, computer games, or puppet play in our theater, you may want to stop and take advantage of a great early literacy resource in our kitchen play area.

The Big Book Literacy Stop is located on the west wall of our kitchen play area.  These big books have been selected especially for their appeal to our younger audiences and their generous size.  There are a number of titles that are changed out periodically and we are certain that one of these will appeal to your child’s mood that day.  Why B-I-G books you may ask?  Well, obviously, the larger than life colorful illustrations are a huge allure to the young child.  Also, the sheer size of the book is unique, after all, what toddler doesn’t like a book as big as them?

Another recent addition to the Big Books is the activity sheet that has been personally created by 2nd floor staff members to highlight specific activities that can either be done independently by the older child or that are parent-driven.  These activities reinforce early literacy skills to help your child develop into a successful reader. The activity sheets are located on the inside of the front cover and are unique to each big book.

Since these books are not able to be checked out, the Big Book Literacy Stop is a great place to stop, take a deep breath, and enjoy some one-on-one time with your child – the comfy chairs help too! Happy reading!


Diane_Wheeler Diane Wheeler
Library Assistant

Books + Movies = Summer Fun

Summertime is almost over and that means it’s still blockbuster time! Even us book-loving librarians enjoy a good family movie from time to time.

Of course, the definition of a “good” movie is up for debate. Especially in the case of a movie “based on,” “inspired by,” or otherwise “adapted from” a book.

Summer is the perfect time to make a family event of reading a book, watching the movie version, and comparing the two over a big bowl of popcorn. Your kids will have so much fun, they’ll never notice that you’re preventing summer slide by working their reading and critical thinking skills.

Books to Movies

When a book is turned into a movie there are several factors that determine whether you’ll prefer the book or the movie. These also make great talking points for a family discussion:

  • Did you read the book before seeing the movie? If so, you’ve used your imagination to build the author’s world as you read. In other words, you’re your own director. How did what you imagine differ from the movie?
  • If you read the book first, how much did you like it? If you loved the book, you’re probably going to take issue with at least a few parts of the movie. Because a movie shows you the director’s and screenwriter’s version of the book. And neither the screenwriter nor the director are going to imagine the characters and setting quite as you did. What parts of the book did the movie change?
  • If you haven’t read the book, you might enjoy the movie on its own terms. How did the movie do a good job of bringing the setting and characters to life? Did the movie add details that enhanced the theme of the book?

No matter where your opinion falls on the spectrum of “good to bad” translation, the most fun part of the process is comparing the book and movie – and debating your opinion with friends and family.

One movie that I think did a great job bringing the book to the screen is Holes by Louis Sachar. (That might be because Louis Sachar wrote the screenplay.)

But I generally have mixed feeling when books I really love are made into movies, as in the case of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

And sometimes I become incoherent with rage and anguish when I think about how wonderful books are turned into terrible movies. The first to come to mind is generally Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

Here are a dozen more options to explore:

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary (movie title: Ramona and Beezus)
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
A Day with Wilbur Robinson by William Joyce (movie title: Meet the Robinsons)
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss


What are some of your family’s favorite–and least favorite–books to movies?


Elizabeth Chase
Senior Librarian