Thursday, April 27, 2017

Poetry Friday--Remembering Maxine Kumin

New Hampshire poet, Maxine Kumin, passed away in February 2014 at the age of 88. In her long career as a writer, she not only wrote poetry, she was novelist, a writer for children, and an essayist. She served as the U. S. Poet Laureate 1981-1982.

After she passed, Kumin's estate contained a significant number of copies of her books. They were recently offered to libraries within the state. We were able to add several titles to our collection of Kumin poetry books, including a copy of And Short the Season: Poems [811.54 KUM], which was published the year she died.


Here's a poem from that collection:


JoAnn at Teaching Authors is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

The Week is Winding Down

It's Thursday and April vacation week is almost over. If you want to do something close to home, how about the kitchen? Put on a chef's hat and cook up a storm with the kids. Reading cookbooks and working in the kitchen are good for furthering reading skills, math skills, cooperative living skills, and, for satisfying one's appetite.

Start with one of these today:

Bass, Jules. Cooking with Herb the Vegetarian Dragon: A Cookbook for Kids. [J 641.5 BAS]

Fauchald, Nick. Indoor S'mores: And Other Tasty Treats for Special Occasions. [J 641.5 FAU]

Pérez, Camilla. Baking with Kids: Inspiring a Love of Cooking with Recipes for Bread, Cupcakes, Cheesecake, and More! [eBook]

Schuette, Sarah L. An Astronaut Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Kids. [J 641.5123 SCH]

Seaver, Barton. National Geographic Kids Cookbook: A Year-Round Fun Food Adventure. [J 641.5 SEA]

Tuminelly, Nancy. Let's Cook with Apples!: Delicious & Fun Apple Dishes Kids Can Make. [J 641.6 TUM]

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Amoskeag Fishways

It's a special time of year--when certain fish (known as Anadromous fish) travel up river to spawn. That means the Amoskeag Fishways in Manchester should be on your list of places to visit during April vacation week.
The center houses an impressive interactive exhibit hall that allows visitors to explore the Merrimack River. The exhibits focus on the Merrimack River watershed, historical use of the Amoskeag area, and river wildlife. Visitors can view live turtles, frogs and salmon, play a salmon migration game, generate electricity, and more. In May and June, visitors can experience the unique opportunity to view migrating shad, herring and sea lamprey in our underwater viewing windows. These windows look into a 54-step fish ladder that allows migrating fish to swim around the Amoskeag Dam and continue on their way up the river to reproduce.
If you've never been there, take it from me, it's awesome watching the valiant creatures tackle the fish ladder!

Tomorrow there is a special event scheduled:
2017 Fish Festival
Featuring Dash and Splash
Thursday, April 27
10 am - 3 pm

Line up and cheer on biologists when they deliver fish to stock our fish passage at 10 am. Our fish ladder is open but the wild anadromous species have yet to swim up the Merrimack River. While we wait, the stocked fish will be here for up close underwater viewing. Fish crafts, fish hats, fish games and fishy fun throughout the day!
Cost: $3 per person, $6 per family (fee does not cover extended family). No registration required.

For a copy of Amoskeag Fishways' newsletter, click here.

Before or after your trip, come to the Library to borrow one of these:

Eyewitness: Fish. [J DVD EYE]

Greenberg, Paul. Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food. [333.956 GRE, also eBook]

Huggins-Cooper, Lynn. Freaky Fish. [J 597 HUG]

Lundblad, Kristina. Animals Called Fish. [J 597 LUN]

Royston, Angela. Fish. [J 597 ROY]

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Wildlife

Attention April vacationers: tomorrow, April 26 from 10:00 to noon, the Library is having an animal themed drop-in craft.

You can paint your own animal suncatcher to hang in a window at home. Choose from a frog, hedgehog, owl, or turtle. There will also be foam animal masks available to color.

The crafts are recommended for ages four and up. A parent or guardian must accompany children. Crafts available while supplies last. No registration is required.

After crafting, if the weather is nice, go for a walk on the Windham Rail Trail and look for ducks, squirrels, chipmunks, garter snakes, and other local wildlife.

Take one of these along on your walk:

Peterson, Roger Tory. A Field Guide to the Birds: A Completely New Guide to All the Birds of Eastern and Central North America. [598 PET]

Silverberg, Judith K. New Hampshire Wildlife Viewing Guide. [974.2 SIL, also J 974.2 SIL]

Taylor, James. The Amphibians & Reptiles of New Hampshire: With Keys to Larval, Immature and Adult Forms. [597.9742 TAY]

Monday, April 24, 2017

It's April Vacation!

Although Earth Day wasn't good weather-wise, there is a lot of good that came of it--a support for science and science education, an acknowledgement that the Earth's resources are finite (that includes clean air and water) and something must be done to halt climate change, and, on social media, many people shared photos and videos such as this one on baby elephants:



Since it is April vacation for Windham school children, perhaps you and the kids might want to visit the zoo? To reserve the pass to Zoo New England, start here. (Please have your library card handy.)

Zoo New England does not have elephants, so you'll have to travel a little further south to New Bedford, MA to the Buttonwood Park Zoo, "one of the finest small zoos in the United States." Buttonwood has Asian elephants and the website tells us that the best time to visit the elephants is "mid day."

Monday, April 17, 2017

International Haiku Poetry Day

I'm sure you all know that April is National Poetry Month, but today there is an international celebration taking place--International Haiku Poetry Day.


Today, on The Haiku Foundation website, EarthRise Rolling Collaborative Haiku 2017 is taking place. It is the internet's largest collaborative poem with contributors from around the world. The theme for 2017 is "reconciliation." You can read through the many entries and/or you can contribute a haiku of your own.

Keep in mind that the definition of haiku IS NOT a poem in three lines with 5-7-5 syllables. For purposes of the collaborative poem try to remember that a haiku is "the essence of a moment keenly perceived." You can write in 3 lines, but don't worry about counting syllables--less is more. Don't write your haiku as a sentence. Don't put a title on it. And. don't use the typical poetic devices of simile or metaphor. The keenly perceived moment is what it is--there's no need for the writer to direct the reader by making comparisons. Of course, you can always read, read, read haiku and come to your own conclusion about its form. I'd suggest you start with The Haiku Anthology: Haiku and Senryu in English [811 HAI] or Baseball Haiku: American and Japanese Haiku and Senryu on Baseball [811.041 BAS]. A haiku is about the natural world, while a senryu has the same form as a haiku, but it deals with human nature.

Have fun reading and writing. This is the only post for this week as Kurious Kitty is taking time off. See you next week.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Poetry Friday--"Song of the Rabbits Outside the Tavern"

Since it is finally spring and it's nearly Easter, and, since I saw a little rabbit skittering through my yard, I thought I'd share a rabbit poem today. This one is by Elizabeth Coatsworth (1893–1986). Coatsworth was a talented writer of fiction and poetry for both children and adults. She is best remembered as the author of The Cat Who Went to Heaven [J COA], which won the Newbery Award for children's literature in 1931. If you don't know The Cat Who Went to Heaven, I highly recommend you pick up a copy!

"Song of the Rabbits Outside the Tavern" is found in the anthology assembled by NH poet, Donald Hall, titled The Oxford Book of Children's Verse in America [J 811 OXF]:
Song of the Rabbits Outside the Tavern
by Elizabeth Coatsworth

We who play under the pines,
We who dance in the snow
That shines blue in the light of the moon
Sometimes halt as we go,
Stand with our ears erect,
Our noses testing the air,
To gaze at the golden world
Behind the windows there.

Suns they have in a cave,
And stars each on a tall white stem
And the thought of fox or of owl
Seems never to bother them.
They laugh and eat and are warm,
Their food is ready at hand
While hungry out in the cold
We little rabbits stand.

But they never dance as we dance
They have not the speed nor the grace,
We scorn both the cat and the dog
Who lie by their fireplace,
We scorn them, licking their paws
Their eyes on an upraised spoon--
We who dance hungry and wild
Under a winter's moon!

Dori Reads is the host of this mid-National Poetry Month, Friday Round-Up. Be sure to head there before you start this spring-is-finally-here weekend.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Happy Birthday, Thomas Jefferson!

April 13, 1743, was the date upon which Thomas Jefferson was born. He grew up to write the Declaration of Independence, become the third president of the United States, and, his library formed the basis of what is billed as the largest library in the world--the Library of Congress. (After the British burned Washington in the War of 1812, and with it the collection of the Library of Congress, Jefferson sold his personal library of 6,487 books to the Library of Congress.)

Jefferson and his time in history continue to be a subject of much fascination to writers and readers of both nonfiction and fiction. Here are just three of the books that were published in 2016:

Dray, Stephanie. America's First Daughter. [F DRA, eBook]

Gordon-Reed, Annette. "Most Blessed of the Patriarchs": Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination. [eBook]

Taylor, Alan. American Revolutions: A Continental History, 1750-1804. [973.3 TAY]