Friday, March 06, 2015

Poetry Friday--Happy Oreo Cookie Day!

A big fan of Oreo cookies alerted me to the fact that today is National Oreo Cookie Day! So, let's celebrate!

If you have recently arrived from outer space, and you don't know what an Oreo cookie is, then hurry over to Wikipedia where there's more information than you could possibly want about a cookie!

I went looking for an Oreo cookie poem for today and ended up on YouTube where I found a number of short videos of Oreo poems. I recommend the one by Tucker Bryant.

Today is also the 103rd birthday of the Oreo cookie! The advertisement graphic above came from a Duke University blog post on the occasion of the Oreo cookie's centennial.

No Oreos in the video below, but there are cookies thrown about when Kermit and Cookie Monster talk about rhyming words:

I suppose the very idea of dunking and eating an Oreo is poetry enough, so treat yourself to package and pour a big glass of milk, and have fun!

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is taking place at Robyn Campbell's blog. Stop by!

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Sweet Dreams!

We spend several hours a day sleeping. The exact amount that is best for us, has long been up for debate. However, if you can't fall asleep, then that can result in real problems--physically and emotionally.

Here's something I read about recently that maybe you will find useful if you sometimes have trouble falling asleep--the 4-7-8 breathing trick.

Other bits of sleep advice may be found in Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Lead to Big Changes by Tom Rath [AB/CD 613 RAT], or Good Nights: How to Stop Sleep Deprivation, Overcome Insomnia, and Get the Sleep You Need by Gary K. Zammit [616.8498 ZAM]

There are quite a number of picture books about sleep, and, counting sheep. One that may hold some interest for adults is Henry's Night by D. B. Johnson (a New Hampshire author/illustrator) [JP JOH]. It is part of a series of Henry books based upon the writings of Henry David Thoreau, but, in the picture books, Henry is a bear!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015


Boston is coming close to breaking its record of snowiest winter on record. The people of Boston have had over 100" of the white stuff. We, in southern NH, must be pretty close to that, too.

Records can be a lot of fun for kids, they love little tidbits of knowledge that will wow an adult. It's one of the reasons why our Guinness World Records books are so popular [031 GUI]. The books are large format, with each page filled with photos and records. They're a delight to browse through. And, they may inspire a kid to dream about one day appearing in the record book.

As you can imagine, there several works of children's fiction about record-breaking. One is called The Fantastic Family Whipple by Matthew Ward [J WAR]. The main character, 11-year-old Arthur, is the only one in his family not to be a record-holder! Another is Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record by Annie Barrows [J BAR].

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

If March Is Here, Can Spring Be Far Behind?

March arrived like the proverbial lion, with snow Sunday night, but yesterday was rather lamb-like with bright sunshine and a bit of warmth.

It is especially hard on kids (and dogs), who haven't been able to play outside in months! But, spring is coming. Enjoy one of these with your kids, and before long, spring dreams will become reality:

Monday, March 02, 2015

Crows--Einsteins of the Bird World

We've always suspected that crows are smart, but how smart are they? Watch this video about crows that leave "gifts" for a young girl in Seattle.

I have a fondness for crows, but some people, especially farmers, may consider them pests. It's too bad, since, in human beings' attempts at correcting "problems," they often make things worse!

In California, crows have moved into urban areas, and are currently shaking up the people of Santa Cruz; click here to read more.

There are quite a number of children's books about crows, ravens, and blackbirds in our collection, including these:

Check out this older post about crows, and be sure to watch the short video clip!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Poetry Friday--Happy Birthday, Mr. Longfellow!

On this day in 1807, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, Maine. He lived a good portion of his life in a big yellow house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The site, now a national park, is known as Longfellow House--Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site.
Longfellow House--Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site preserves the home of Henry W. Longfellow, one of the world’s foremost 19th century poets. The house also served as headquarters for General George Washington during the Siege of Boston, July 1775 - April 1776. In addition to its rich history, the site offers unique opportunities to explore 19th century literature and arts.

Longfellow is known primarily for his poems, "Tales of a Wayside Inn, The Landlord's Tale: Paul Revere's Ride" (better known as "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere"), "The Song of Hiawatha," and "The Village Blacksmith," among others (all found in The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow [811.3 LON]).

His poems told stories that held their readers and listeners enthralled. "Paul Revere's Ride" begins with these lines:
Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

We have in our collection, a small volume titled, Dear Mr. Longfellow: Letters to and from the Children's Poet, by Sydelle Pearl [811.3 PEA].
During his lifetime, Henry received over six thousand letters from relatives, friends, and strangers who enjoyed reading his poetry. His poems were read, recited, and sung in schools and homes across the United States of America. They were translated into different languages and known thoughout the world. Between the years 1880 and 1882, when he was seventy-three to seventy-five years old, he received 786 birthday greetings, many of them from children.

So, on this, his 208th birthday, here's one of the birthday letters (admittedly a belated birthday letter):
Bangor March 5 1882

Dear Mr Longfellow

I thought I would write you a letter why I did not write to you on your birthday was because I heard you were sick first I must tell you my name it is Charlotte Roberts daughter of General Charles W Roberts Our teacher put on the blackboard that it was your 75th birthday I am very fond of your poems especially the wreck of the Hesperus The rainy day is another one which I am very fond of. It was my cat's birthday yesterday he was five years old I wish you could see him his name is Buff he is yellow and white O he is so dear to me I have seen your house though I have not seen you You know that piece of poetry you wrote about the ropewalk is it that one at Castine if it is that one I know all about it. My little sister Jenny want me to say something about her she has a dog named Gyp. I think I must close now please answer this letter

Your New friend Charlotte
Charlotte also added her "Adress" at the bottom.

Dear Mr. Longfellow is a book to take your time with. The author places facts and concepts in context for a 21st century reader.

Some of the letters found in the book are housed at Harvard's Houghton Library. In browsing through the Houghton's online offerings, I came upon this:

Happy Birthday, Mr. Longfellow!

There's plenty more to celebrate this week, not the least of which is we're one day closer to SPRING!. The Poetry Friday posts are being rounded up by Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe!

Yes, There Is Something New Under the Sun!

You would think that everything there is to know about the earth and its creatures has been discovered. Not so! Only recently, the fossil remains of two small mammals were discovered in China. The creatures were named Docofossor, seen on the left in the photo below, and Agilodocodon, on the right. One lived underground, the other in trees. And the time in which they lived? Agilodocodon, 165 million years ago and Docofossor, a mere 160 million years!

The discovery was featured in a Science Daily report. You can read the Science Daily report, or this version from the University of Chicago to learn more.

New fossils are being discovered all the time it seems! In the fall we read about a new dinosaur that was even larger than T. Rex! Its name is Spinosaurus. The new discoveries will undoubtedly be the subject of forthcoming books, which means, it will be a while before we have more information on our shelf. However, online sources like Science Daily, should keep you informed and up-to-date with its "Fossil News."

Since discoveries still remain to be made, your kids could grow up to become paleontologists! Here's a book to get them started: Bones Rock!: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Paleontologist by Peter L. Larson [J 560 LAR].

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pet Play

I'm sure your dog is happy to see the kids this vacation week. Dogs generally love attention and play. Cats, maybe not so much. Of course, you'll want to reward your pet for desired behavior, so you can also explore creating your own doggie treats.

Here are some items to use with your pets, and hopefully, all involved will enjoy the experience!

Borgenicht, Joe. Doggy Days: Dozens and Dozens of Indoor and Outdoor Activities for You and Your Best Friend: Tricks and Games, Arts and Crafts, Stories and Songs, and Much More! [636.7 BOR]

Christensen, Wendy. Outsmarting Cats: How to Persuade the Felines in Your Life to Do What You Want. [636.8 CHR]

Dogs, Man's Best Friend. [DVD 636.7 DOG]

Geller, Tamar. The Loved Dog: The Playful, Nonaggressive Way to Teach Your Dog Good Behavior. [636.7 GEL]

Hodgson, Sarah. Dog Tricks for Dummies. [636.7 HOD]

Moore, Arden. Real Food for Dogs: 50 Vet-Approved Recipes to Please the Canine Gastronome. [636.7 MOO]

Price, Pamela S. Cool Pet Treats: Easy Recipes for Kids to Bake. [636.7 PRI]

Rosen, Michael J. My Dog!: A Kids' Guide to Keeping a Happy and Healthy Pet. [636.7 ROS]

Whitehead, Sarah. How to Speak Dog! [J 636.7 WHI]

Here's a great treat dispenser that you can make (use smaller bottles for a cat or small dog). It exercises the brain of a dog or cat!