Thursday, October 01, 2015

Poetry Friday--"The Owl and the Pussycat"

I cannot resist sharing this video!

And of course, I couldn't help thinking of the Edward Lear poem:
The Owl and the Pussycat

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
    In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
    Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
    And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
    What a beautiful Pussy you are,
        You are,
        You are!
    What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl!
    How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
    But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
    To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
    With a ring at the end of his nose,
        His nose,
        His nose,
    With a ring at the end of his nose.

"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
    Your ring?" Said the Piggy, "I will."
So they took it away, and were married next day
    By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
    Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
    They danced by the light of the moon,
        The moon,
        The moon,
    They danced by the light of the moon.

Not surprisingly, we have this much-loved classic poem in many forms at the library. Two illustrated versions, one of them by James Marshall in his easily recognizable style [JP LEA]. An audio version found on Vintage Children's Favourites [CD CHILDREN VIN], which has been "transcribed from original 78s." And in numerous poetry collections including The Best-Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis [808.81 BES].

Have a great weekend, but not before stopping by My Juicy Little Universe for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

October Is National Stop Bullying Month!

I hope by now that everyone is aware that we have bullying problem we have here in the United States. Bullying isn't restricted to schools or the playgrounds. There are workplace bullies, cyberbullies and internet trolls, and even politicians who think it is okay to disrespect others by shouting them down!

To learn more, the Library has these materials that cover the topic for both children and adults, including many for parents and teachers to use:

The only way to begin to change the culture is to first acknowledge the problem, secondly, learn to recognize instances of bullying (some of it is subtle), and thirdly to work to eliminate it. Let's declare every month “Stop Bullying Month!”

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

It's Banned Books Week! Part 2

Yesterday we looked at the top ten challenged books for the year 2014. It seems that most challenged books these days are those deemed inappropriate, by their challengers, for young readers. Today, we're going to look at the "Top 10 Banned Books Of The 20th Century" as compiled by Read the Smiths: American Lifestyle Magazine. These books are all novels that were written for adults. How many have you read?

  1. 1984, by George Orwell. [F ORW, AB/CD ORW, also ebook]

  2. Ulysses, by James Joyce. [F JOY]

  3. The Naked Lunch, by William Burroughs. [ebook]

  4. Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller. [ebook]

  5. The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger. [F SAL]

  6. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. [SF BRA, AB/CD SF BRA, also ebook]

  7. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. [F LEE, AB/CD LEE, also ebook)

  8. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. [F VON, AB/CD VON, also ebook]

  9. Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D. H. Lawrence. [F LAW]

  10. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck. [AB/CD STE, also ebook]

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

It's Banned Books Week!

It's "Banned Books Week," which is an annual celebration of libraries, publishers, booksellers, and individuals of our right to read whatever we want to read! Think of it as an extension of our right to free speech.

Few books are actually "banned," but quite a number are challenged each year in an attempt to ban them. Here's the American Library Association's list of the "Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2014." How many have you read?

  1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. [YA ALE, YA AB/CD ALE, also ebook]

  2. Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi. [YA CX SAT]

  3. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell. [JP RIC]

  4. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison. [F MOR, also ebook]

  5. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris. [J 613.9 HAR]

  6. Saga, by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

  7. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. [F HOS, AB/CD HOS, also ebook

  8. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky. [YA CHB]

  9. A Stolen Life: A Memoir, by Jaycee Dugard. [B DUG, also AB/CD B DUG]

  10. Drama, by Raina Telgemeier. [YA CX TEL]

To learn more about the ALA's lists of challenged books, click here.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, Confucius!

On the 27th day of the 10th moon in the 22nd year of Kuke Hsiang of Lu the teacher-philosopher, Confucius was born. That would be September 28, 551 BCE.

When I was a child, fortune cookies often came with one of Confucius's sayings. An example is, "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others," which is a variation on the "golden rule." Another is, "Benevolence is the characteristic element of humanity."

Confucianism is a semi-religious group of those who follow the teachings of Confucius, but do not worship him as a god. To learn more, read Confucianism by Louise Chipley Slavicek [181 SLA].

To find out more about the life of Confucius we have two books in our children's section, Confucius: The Golden Rule by Russell Freedman [J B CON] and Confucius by Russell Roberts [J B CON].

Monday, September 21, 2015

KK Has Left the Building!

Taking a short break and will be back to posting next Monday, September 28.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Poetry Friday--"Grackles"

One of my favorite poetry books in our collection is devoted to birds. It's titled, Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds [821 BRI]. The poems have been collected by Billy Collins and the color illustrations are by David Allen Sibley (of The Sibley Guide to Birds, and Sibley's Birding Basics, both 598 SIB). This is from Collins' "Introduction":
Clearly, there are a lot of bird poems flying around out there, and many of them can be found perched on the branches of anthologies. But this assemblage offers a fresh approach. By matching a rich set of poems about birds with illustrations by the illustrious David Allen Sibley, we have provided the reader in one volume with pleasures that are literary, pictorial, and scientific.

I've selected a poem by Lisa Williams, about a bird, the grackle, that I've seen less and less over the past few years. (The one we see in our area is the Common Grackle, and, yes, New Hampshire Fish and Game does show a slight decrease in their population.)

They were not one body. Yet they seemed
held together by some order, their thick necks
flickering with a blue-black iridescence,
their yellow-circled pupils bright and cold.

In a wave of differences that passed
low over the surface of my yard,
they picked it clean of morning's fritillaries
and other summer gestures fall discards

then settled on the hill behind the fence
for several teeming minutes to remark
its tapestry, each razored beak, each tail
parting Sunday's gray air like a spear.

I could tell you how they gathered up
the darkness of my winter thought that day
in mid-September, bundled it, black-ribboned,
into sleek coats and lifted it from me

just as you have imagined. But this
would be a lie. I watched them comb the fields
with interest, and, when their beaks' clicks had died,
turned back to what I was.

Michelle is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up at Today's Little Ditty.

Science With Tom

Last week, a new science video series began--"Science With Tom." Here's the first of the video, which has to do with the question, "What is life?"

We have a number of items that answer science questions for adults and kids including these:

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fall's Coming

Next week is the official start of Fall and with it comes cooler weather. And when I think of cool weather, there's nothing I like better than a good bowl of soup.

Borrow one of our gazillion soup cookbooks now to plan out the next three month's worth of tummy-warming meals! You'll find them in the 641.813 section.

If you have a child, read a heart-warming or tummy-tickling soup story such as these:

Arnold, Tedd. There's a Fly Guy in My Soup. [E ARN]

Fleming, Candace. Gator Gumbo: A Spicy-Hot Tale. [JP FLE]

Rattigan, Jama Kim. Dumpling Soup. [JP RAT]

Rylant, Cynthis. Mr. Putter & Tabby Stir the Soup. [E RYL]

Segal, John. Carrot Soup. [JP SEG]

Urbanovic, Jackie. Duck Soup. [JP URB]