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​Marijo's List from 33 Years at Phoenix Public LibraryPhoto of staff member Marijo in front of a yellow wall

Marijo has been a librarian with Phoenix Public Library for 33 years. Before she retires, she looks back on her favorite books.

​Favorite Storytime Books

I was a Children's Librarian for 23 years at six libraries and loved storytimes! Here are some of my favorites.


by Audrey and Don Wood

Everyone has five little piggies on each hand and those piggies have fun! I never was sure who liked it the most, the kiddos or grownups.

King Bidgood's in the bathtubKing Bidgood's in the Bathtub

by Auddren and Don Wood

King Bidgood will not get out of the tub, no matter who tries to convince him! The kids loved the humor and were amazed on how many things got in that tub…

The little mouse, the red ripe strawberry, and the big hungry bearThe Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

by Audrey and Don Wood


What do you do when you are a little mouse and you need to keep a bear from your delicious treasure? Not only was this a favorite in storytimes, but it was the one in my daughter's diaper bag. We never left home without it!

Caps for sale : a tale of a peddler, some monkeys and their monkey businessCaps for Sale

by Esphyr Slobodkina

Those monkeys!  All they wanted was a gray cap or a brown or a blue cap or a red cap! The 4 and 5 year olds loved this, and, after reading it, I became the peddler and they were the monkeys.

The Mysteries of Harris BurdickThe Mysteries of Harris Burdick

by Chris Van Allsburg

Fourteen mysterious pictures with strange captions and eerie titles. The readers create the story. I took this to hundreds of classrooms….And got amazing stories from the students.

Yertle the turtle and other storiesYertle the Turtle

by Dr. Seuss

Yertle was king of all he could see, but he needed to rule more, so he had to go higher... no mater the cost to the other turtles. My father read this to me as a child, and I was thrilled to share it on tours and outreach events.

We're going on a bear huntWe're Going on a Bear Hunt

by Michael Rosen

Great for interactive groups, but I really love the message. All through our life we will have obstacles that we can't go over, can't go under or go around must go through it.

​Readers Advisory

This has always been a favorite part of the job, so much so, it didn't seem like a job. Here are favorites for grade schoolers.

Ramona the pestRamona the Pest

by Beverly Cleary

It is hard being 5 years old when everyone around you is bigger and bossier. Ramona was my go-to when there was no Junie B. Jones on the shelf; or for people who were ready for the next step.


by Maud Hart Lovelace

Betsy and Tacy are best friends and played with paper dolls, made up stories and tormented older sisters. They were my first literary friends when I was a child and reading their books started my love of reading. Their friendship in the early 1900s made this a great choice for choices beyond the American Girl stories.

All-of-a-kind familyAll of a Kind Family

by Sydney Taylor

Five sisters growing up on the Lower East Side in the early 1900s. Their great joy was going to the public library for new books every Friday. My great joy was always been the amazing librarian who could find books for each sister.

Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stoneHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

by J.K. Rowling

Back in 1997, we received an advanced reading copy of a book soon to be published in the United States. It had taken the British literary world by storm. I was asked to given it a read, and see if Arizona kids could relate to an eleven year old boy... who finds out he is a wizard... and who is sent to a boarding school for magical children...

Joyful noise : poems for two voicesJoyful Noise: Poetry for Two Voices

by Paul Fleischman

Insects come alive when two people read these delightful poems. I used this for a middle school book club. It was magical to hear the mothers and daughters read these poems!

​Teen Books

In 1989, I was asked to be the first librarian to be designated as a Teen Librarian. Here are some favorites over the years…..

The golden compassThe Golden Compass

by Philip Pullman

Lyra Belacqua and her daemon Pantalaimon spend their days tease the scholars of Jordan College until Lord Asriel announces that he's learned of astonishing events taking place in the far north.

The giverThe Giver

by Lois Lowry

Jonas lives in a world where everything is uniform. At age 12, he will receive his life assignment from the Giver, who reveals the dark secrets behind their perfect world.

Walk two moonsWalk Two Moons

by Sharon Creech

Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle's mother leaves home suddenly on a spiritual quest. She retraces her mother's route and hears the tale of another young girl whose mother has also left home.


by Gary Paulsen

Brian spends fifty-four days alone in the wilderness, surviving with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother.

​Award Winners

In 2001 and 2003 I was honored to represent Phoenix Public Library on the ALA award committees for youth, the Printz Award and the Newbery Award. Here are some favorites from that experience.

Kit's wildernessKit's Wilderness

by David Almond

Deep in the coal mines of Wales, mysteries stay buried, some would think forever. But after Kit enters the mines, he sees images of events from a hundred years before, clearer than images on the outside.

The body of Christopher CreedThe Body of Christopher Creed

by Carl Plum-Ucci

Chris Creed vanishes, leaving a strange email note for his classmates to read. Is he a runaway, a suicide, or a crime victim?

Crispin : the cross of leadCrispin: Cross of Lead

by Avi

Crisipin, a poor orphan who roams through medieval England with a minstrel troop has one possession—a plain lead cross. But within this cross lies the biggest secret of Crispin's life.

​AA Corner of the universe Corner of the Universe

by Ann M. Martin

The summer of '59 was when Hallie's life changed. The uncle she never knew she had was sent home from "the special place for special people."


by Carl Hiaasen

Construction on vacant lots is a good thing for the economy, but not so good for the burrowing owls. Roy joins other kids as they attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from destruction.

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