Thursday, July 02, 2015

Poetry Friday--"Fireworks"

The Library is closed today, tomorrow, and Sunday, but I do have a poem for you today! It's not exactly a patriotic poem, but a good one to share nonetheless for Lowell's use of color and the description of fireworks.
by Amy Lowell

You hate me and I hate you
And we are so polite, we two!

But whenever I see you, I burst apart
And scatter the sky with my bursting heart.
It spits and sparkles in the stars and balls,
Buds into roses – and flares and falls.

Scarlet buttons, and pale green disks,
Silver spirals and asterisks,
Shoot and tremble in a mist
Peppered with mauve and amethyst.

I shine in the windows and light up the trees
And all because I hate you, if you please.

And when you meet me, you rend asunder
And go up in a flaming wonder
Of saffron cubes and crimson moons,
And wheels all amaranths and maroons.

Gold lozenges and spades
Arrows of malachites and jades,
Patens of copper, azure sheaves
As you mount, you flash in glossy leaves.

Such fireworks as we make, we two!
Because you hate me and I hate you.

The poem was published one hundred years ago in The Atlantic Monthly Magazine.

Stop by Mainely Write for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up. Have a safe 4th of July and leave the fireworks to the experts!

Photo by Carol M. Highsmith courtesy Library of Congress.

Audiobooks with an Accent

I love audiobooks. They always make a trip much shorter. I'm especially fond of audiobooks where the reader has an accent. I'm a sucker for an accent. Here are a few audios that have readers who will carry you away to a distant location (even if it's only Arkansas):

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Preparing for Next Winter (It's Never Too Early)

The Library needs an upgrade to our HVAC system, so we have issued a "Request for Proposal." Information and specifications my be found here, or at the Library.

Now is a good time to start thinking about your home heating system. Cold weather shouldn't be moving in for three or four months (if we're lucky), so you can get a good head start on upgrading it or cleaning/repairing it.

You also may want to explore how well your home is insulated and weatherproofed. Weatherproofing [693.89 WEA] or Insulate and Weatherize: Expert Advice from Start to Finish by Bruce Harley [693.8 HAR] will start you off on the path to a comfortable 2015-2016 winter season.

Feel the need to start making the switch to renewable energy sources? If so, look for The Homeowner's Energy Handbook: Your Guide to Getting Off the Grid by Paul Scheckel [696 SCH]. This book also covers insulating.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Children's Emotional Health

Inside Out, a new animated film, recently opened in theaters. It has been well-reviewed and is sure to be a blockbuster this summer for both parents and kids. NPR aired a piece that called it, "an animated fantasy that remains remarkably true to what scientists have learned about the mind, emotion and memory." It's more than your average cartoon.

The age of the film's main character is 11 and that age is sometimes referred to the "tween" years. Parents concern themselves with feeding their tweens well, keeping them well-exercised and physically healthy, but sometimes, understanding emotional health goes beyond a parent's expertise. If you're one of those parents, you'll probably find Inside Out enlightening.

If you still have more questions about tweens, look for How to Hug a Porcupine: Negotiating the Prickly Points of the Tween Years by Julie A. Ross [FT 649.124 ROS].

Monday, June 29, 2015

Curious George Part II

On Thursday, I shared an old Curious George video from 30 years ago. Today, I want to alert you to the fact that we have, right here in the state of New Hampshire, the Margret and H.A. Rey Center and Curious George Cottage.
Margret and H.A. Rey, authors of the Curious George children’s book series and former summer residents of Waterville Valley, New Hampshire, were artists and adventurers, historians and naturalists, gardeners and stewards. Today their pursuits live on in the Margret and H.A. Rey Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to honoring the Reys’ spirit of curiosity and discovery by increasing understanding and participation in art, science, and nature through programs for youth, adults and families.

The lives of Margret and H.A. Rey were filled with continued learning and community service. The Reys were active in writing and illustration; astronomy; natural history; photography; environmental action (including calls for renewable energy); concern for animals; the simple joys of gardening, walking and bicycle-riding; and, of course, children's experiential learning. These life pursuits of the Reys form the basis Rey Center programs. This mixture of art and science, the physical and intellectual, young and old, and ever-present curiosity, is the foundation for a multi-generational center for learning and exploration.
If you don't get to travel to Waterville Valley to the Rey Center, you can still have some Curious George fun by visiting You'll find stories, videos, games, and activities to keep the kids occupied for hours.

Adults interested in Curious George can visit The Jewish Museum's exhibit, "Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H.A. Rey." The exhibition, originally shown five years ago, has been made available online.
Nearly 80 original drawings for Margret and H. A. Rey’s children’s books and documentation related to their escape from Nazi-occupied Europe are on view.
Read the amazing story of the Reys' escape in The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey by Louise Borden [J 920 BOR].

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Poetry Friday--Seriously Funny

I like the ambiguity of the title of this anthology: Seriously Funny: Poems about Love, Death, Religion, Art, Politics, Sex, and Everything Else edited by Barbara Hamby and David Kirby [811.6 SER]. If you can't wrap your head around the term "seriously funny," here's a poem that makes the concept perfectly obvious:
by Ginger Andrews

God bless the chick in Alaska
who took in my sister’s ex,
an abusive alcoholic hunk.
Bless all borderline brainless ex-cheerleaders
with long blonde hair, boobs,
and waists no bigger around than a coke bottle
who’ve broken up somebody else’s home.
Forgive my thrill
should they put on seventy-five pounds,
develop stretch marks, spider veins,
and suffer through endless days of deep depression.

Bless those who remarry on the rebound.
Bless me and all my sisters,
the ball and chain baggage
we carried into our second marriages.
Bless my broken brother and his live-in.
Grant him SSI. Consider
how the deeper the wounds in my family,
the funnier we’ve become.
Bless those who’ve learned to laugh at what’s longed for.
Keep us from becoming hilarious.
Bless our children.
Bless all our ex’s,
and bless the fat chick in Alaska.
This last Poetry Friday Round-Up for June is taking place at Carol's Corner. Stop by before you head off to the beach!

The Ever-Curious George

The first Curious George book, by Margret and H. A. Rey [JP REY], came out in 1941 and was followed by other adventures starring the little monkey. The plot structure was always the same. His friend, the Man with the yellow hat, leaves George alone. George lets his curiosity get the better of him and he ends up doing something he shouldn't have. He has a moment of fear about being caught. He is indeed caught, and chastised, but, his bit of naughtiness turns out to save the day! The clueless Man with the yellow hat comes along to collect George. All's well that ends well.

About thirty years ago, some of the books were filmed as short cartoons, like the one below. Curious George was made into a feature-length film in 2006 [J DVD CUR], with a delightful soundtrack Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George by Jack Johnson and Friends [J CD CUR]. Today, Curious George is computer-animated and is shown on PBS [J DVD CUR].

The original George books are still in print after more than 70 years! Curious George is one very old monkey!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Breakfast Anyone?

My favorite meal is breakfast. I love the relative ease with which it can be prepared. And, I like simple foods.

Have you ever wondered what other countries and cultures serve for breakfast? If so, this video will provide some answers:

If you're inspired to try something new for your breakfast, maybe one of these books should be on your reading list:

Cunningham, Marion. The Breakfast Book. [641.52 CUN]

Fauchald, Nick. Puffy Popevers: And Other Get-Out-of-Bed Breakfasts. [J 641.52 FAU]

Gand, Gale. Gale Gand's Brunch! [641.532 GAN]

Haedrich, Ken. Country Breakfasts. [641.52 HAE]

Hibbert, Clare. Let's Eat Breakfast. [J 641.52 HIB]

Maynard, Kitty. The American Country Inn and Bed & Breakfast Cookbook. [641.5 MAY]

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Yesterday I posted photos of this year's butterfly garden. In the times I've been out there, I've only seen one white butterfly, but it wasn't a small cabbage white butterfly. It was a brilliant white, larger than a cabbage white. It moved too fast for me the identify any other markings, so its identity is a mystery.

Monarch butterflies are something children take an interest in. They certainly are beautiful to look at! In school they may have learned about the perilous migration of the Monarch. Some classrooms hatch them. Others may take part in regional tracking through Monarch Watch.

We have a nice collection of butterfly books in our children's room, too!