Life of the Library

What’s new?

Montgomery’s View: Step Right Up (a picture book biography)

posted: , by Mary Peverada
tags: Montgomery's View | Recommended Reads | Kids & Families

Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness

by Donna Janell Bowman and illustrated by Daniel Minter 

Published by Lee & Low Books Inc.

This is a lovely picture book biography of former slave Bill “Doc” Key who became a self-trained veterinarian.  As a free man he started traveling with his medicine wagon and found a rundown circus with a neglected and abused gray mare. He bought the horse and nursed her back to health.  As she was a purebred Arabian he hoped her offspring might become a champion  racehorse.  But the colt was spindly legged – and most thought he should be put down. Doc was determined to heal the colt as best he could.

The colt, Jim seemed to watch Doc’s every move – even when he played with his dog. Soon Jim was showing Doc that he could do dog tricks like fetch, sit, and roll over. Doc took the horse on the road and entertained as he sold his medicines. Doc began to wonder what else Jim could learn – and through patience and kindness he learned to read, add and write.  They became one of the most famous entertainment acts at the turn of the twentieth century.

The author has brought to life the patient Doc Key and his extraordinary horse.  Although they were famous in their day their story has faded over time.  This book provides a well-deserved reminder of the duo and their accomplishments. The picture book has beautiful illustrations rendered as linoleum block prints painted with acrylic by Daniel Minter. These illustrations are an integral part of the book and expand the story. (The illustrator lives in Portland.)

Doc and Jim Key clearly show that kindness towards animals brings great rewards.

We Love cloudLibrary!

posted: , by Sarah Skawinski
tags: About the Library | Library Collections | Online Services | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors

cloudLibrary, a brand new eBook and eAudiobook platform, is finally here! Library patrons at PPL and around our state are now able to download a wider range of eBooks and eAudiobooks on this new system, and we are excited to support you through the transition.

It’s official…PPL patrons love cloudLibrary! The app is very user-friendly and the content is incredible. Longer borrowing times and absolutely no late fees make it a win-win.

“I found myself at the dealership with a two hour wait and nothing to do. So I decided to download the cloudLibrary app on my iPhone and within minutes I was listening to Lily King’s Euphoria. It was so convenient and it completely saved my afternoon!”
-Rebecca S., PPL patron

cloudLibrary iconHave you downloaded the cloudLibrary app yet? All the information you need to get started can be found on our cloudLibrary help page, including helpful tips and tricks for navigating once you have downloaded the app.

And don’t forget that we are offering free pop-up help desks at all of our branch locations for anyone who would like some one-on-one tech help. We’d love to see you!

Main Library (in our New Fiction area, main floor)
Thurs., March 9, 10am-1pm
Fri., March 10, 10am-1pm
Sat., March 11, 1-4pm

Wed., March 8, 10am-1pm
Thurs., March 9, 3-6pm
Sat., March 11, 10am-1pm

Tues., March 7, 2-5pm
Fri., March 10, 2-5pm

Peaks Island
Tuesday, March 14

Montgomery’s View: Madeline Finn and the Library Dog (a picture book)

posted: , by Mary Peverada
tags: Montgomery's View | Recommended Reads | Kids & Families


written and illustrated by Lisa Papp

Published by Peachtree

Madeline Finn does not like to read. She does not like to read anywhere at any time. It is hardest at school when asked to read aloud. It is too hard to figure out the words, make her mouth work and listen to the giggles of classmates. Madeline desperately wants to receive a star sticker from her teacher – but all she ever gets are hearts that say Keep Trying. She wishes upon a star that she will get her very own star. But everyday she struggles to read aloud. One day at the library she is introduced to a reading dog. Bonnie, a big white dog, does not giggle, does not squirm – she just listens.  Bonnie and Madeline read together every week. Madeline Finn learns that reading is fun and with Bonnie by her side she is not afraid to go slow or make mistakes.

Find a copy of this book at the library and find out if Madeline Finn earns her own star!

The Portland Public Library has Reading Dogs – Emmie and Flip. They are at the library on Tuesday afternoons from 3:30 to 5:00.  Registration is required. Come and read to one of them – perhaps Madeline Finn and the Library Dog would be the perfect choice.

View Posts by Date:
Filter Posts:
Connect with the Library: