Friday, July 31, 2009

Poetry Friday--Hilaire Belloc


On our shelves is an inconspicuous little volume entitled simply, Verses. The poems are by Hilaire Belloc [821 BEL], and the effusive introduction was written by Joyce Kilmer, of "Trees" fame ("I THINK that I shall never see/A poem lovely as a tree.") Verses was published in 1916, and within its pages I discovered a poem called "Dedication on the Gift of a Book to a Child." It could have been written by a librarian!
Child! do not throw this book about!
    Refrain from the unholy pleasure
Of cutting all the pictures out!
    Preserve it as your chiefest treasure.

Child, have you never heard it said
    That you are heir to all the ages?
Why, then, your hands were never made
    To tear these beautiful thick pages!

Your little hands were made to take
    The better things and leave the worse ones:
They also may be used to shake
    The Massive Paws of Elder Persons.

And when your prayers complete the day,
    Darling, your little tiny hands
Were also made, I think, to pray
    For men that lose their fairylands.
Nice little twist at the end there, don't you think?

Visit Poetry for Children for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

George Russell

While in the car on Tuesday, I heard a tribute to the late musician, George Russell. I'm embarrassed to admit, I had never heard of George Russell before Tuesday, but, I learned that he was a great jazz innovator and composer. This is from Russell's obituary in the Boston Globe:
George Russell, a composer, longtime teacher at the New England Conservatory, and theoretician whose ideas created the foundation for such seminal jazz works as Miles Davis’s "Kind of Blue" and John Coltrane’s "A Love Supreme," died Monday in Boston of complications from Alzheimer’s, according to the Associated Press. He was 86.

Considered one of the most creative innovators and profound thinkers in the history of jazz, Mr. Russell wrote "Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization" in 1953. The treatise, esoteric in title and ground-shifting in effect, eventually transformed the manner many jazz musicians approached their work.

We have both of the seminal jazz works, mentioned above, in our collection:

Coltrane, John. A Love Supreme. [CD JAZZ COL]


Davis, Miles. Kind of Blue. [CD JAZZ DAV]

Being totally clueless about "Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization," I did a little searching and found that there is a whole website devoted to it and George Russell!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"The Universe Is Yours to Discover"

Graphic courtesy IYA2009. Also visit IGA2009 USA.

The International Year of Astronomy 2009
is a global effort initiated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and UNESCO to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day- and night-time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery.
I love that last part, "engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery." One of the things that bothers me in our 21st century world is that people often neglect to feed their souls.

One of the resources available on IYA2009 website is a 4-page guide, Let's Go Stargazing developed by the editors of Sky and Telescope magazine. Print if off and plan a family outing for one bright and clear summer evening. You don't have to travel anywhere but your back yard!

If you enjoy the experience, consider visiting a museum or an observatory, or join a club. You can find what you're looking for through the Clubs and Organizations page on the Sky and Telescope site. I searched in NH and found the New Hampshire Astronomical Society, a group that has its own website. The group has a skywatch coming up on August 7 at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord. (Don't forget, we have a pass to the Mc-A Discovery Center, which you can reserve.)

Don't forget to visit us here at the library where we have lots of interesting books on astronomy from simple children's picture books like The Big Dipper by Franklyn M. Branley [JP BRA] to more detailed titles such as How Mathematical Models, Computer Simulations, and Exploration Can Be Used to Study the Universe: An Anthology of Current Thought [520 HOW].

If, for some reason, you can't go outside to wonder at the sky, make sure you visit The World at Night (TWAN) and discover!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Say What?

With text messaging and the Twitter revolution, a whole new way of communicating has arisen, sadly, many people over the age of 50 just don't get it, but,

OOTDU-LNd2NoHw2Txt4WkEOL

Translation: One of these days you'll need to know how to text for work. End of lecture.

My advice? Get a kid to show you how. Borrow a book like 1000 Text Messages: TXT TLK: Hw2 Tlk W/o Bng Hrd [YA 004.692 TXT], or, go online to a site such as this one that covers text message abbreviations.

Although a little dated, the "Internet Girls" series, by Lauren Myracle, will introduce a text message newbie to the way things work. Look for all three in the series in YA MYR. [By dated I mean that the first book came out eons ago--back in 2004--and deals with instant messaging.]

With a little practice, you too, can become a citizen of the 21st century!

B2W

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Employment Picture

With the economic crisis still in full swing, unemployment will continue to be high in the nation. The Congressional Budget Office forecasts unemployment percentages at 8.8 for 2009 and 9.0 for 2010.

New Hampshire, at a rate of 6.8 (June 2009), ranks #9 out of the 50 states. Comparatively speaking that's pretty good, but it still means there are a whole lot of unemployed or underemployed people in NH.

If you're looking for a job, think about putting together, or updating your resume. There are plenty of online resources to show you how including one from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL). Or, you can browse our shelves where we have a number of resume titles including The Complete Book of Resumes: Simple Steps for Writing a Powerful Resume by Karen Schaffer [650.142 SCH].

Other titles in our job search collection include How to Get a Job and Keep It: Career and Life Skills You Need to Succeed by Susan Morem [650.14 MOR] and The Ultimate Job Search: Intelligent Strategies to Get the Right Job Fast by Richard H. Beatty [650.14 BEA].

Don't forget our website where you can get links to various employment resources, too, including the online database, LearningExpressLibrary.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Poetry Friday--Christina Rossetti

I realized that we were missing a collection of poetry by Christina Rossetti, so I ordered one and it is now on our shelves. The book, Poems [821.8 ROS], is from the series, "Everyman's Library Pocket Poets," published by Alfred A. Knopf. It's a pleasing, hand-sized volume containing a selection of her best poems, and so, is perfect for an introduction to Rossetti.

In a section, "Rhymes and Riddles," you'll find many poems that are in anthologies of poetry for children. This one I've seen many times--perhaps it is known to you, too:
WHO HAS SEEN THE WIND?

Who has seen the wind?
    Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling
    The wind is passing thro'.

Who has seen the wind?
    Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads.
    The wind is passing by.

It's nice to be able to share Rossetti's "Rhymes and Riddles" poems with your kids or grandkids. Despite being a little preachy, I'm fond of this one, and think it would make for a good discussion with the kids:
A WORD FOR THE DUMB

Pity the sorrows of a poor old Dog
        Who wags his tail a-begging in his need:
Despise not even the sorrows of a Frog,
        God's creature too, and that's enough to plead:
Spare Puss who trusts us purring on our hearth:
        Spare Bunny once so frisky and so free:
Spare all the harmless tenants of the earth:
        Spare, and be spared:--or who shall plead for thee?

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held this week at A Year of Reading.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Romance Is on the Shelves!

I'm not a reader of romance novels, but I do realize that they are VERY popular, and make up a good portion of our collection. Here are a few facts from the Romance Writers of America website:
$1.375 billion in sales each year

The largest share of the consumer-book market

More than a quarter of all books sold are romance

....and are read by 51 million people each year.
More detailed statistics can be found here.

One of our most heavily read authors is Nora Roberts. We have more than 150 of her titles, found in F ROB, and many more if we count the mysteries written under her pen name, J.D. Robb. For a complete list click here. At her website, www.noraroberts.com, you'll find short stories, lists, and interesting facts such as this:
Since her first bestseller in 1991, her books have spent a total of 775 weeks on the New York Times list…that’s equivalent to just under 15 consecutive years of weekly bestsellers.

On Sunday I was pleased to hear a discussion between Roberts and NPR's Sunday Edition host, Scott Simon. Roberts patiently explains to Simon that writing romance fiction is more difficult than it would seem. If you'd like to listen to the exchange click here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Good Idea Gone Bad

Photo by bradleygee

Saving water is a good idea. Saving may be something as simple as making an adjustment to your toilet to keep it from running continuously. That was the idea behind a campaign by Denver Water in Colorado to educate people about conservation. Sadly, their choice of a "running toilet" mascot, seems to have made the matter one big joke (no...really?). Check this out.

But seriously, some simple changes can help you to conserve water. I know, I know, you're saying, "With all the rain we've been having there's no need to conserve water."--wrong! In the near future, water may become a political issue as author Diane Raines Ward posits in Water Wars: Drought, Flood, Folly, and the Politics of Thirst [333.91 WAR].

For more about water and its importance, browse through Julie Kerr Casper's Water and Atmosphere: The Lifeblood of Natural Systems [553.7 CAS].

Think about fixing your toilet--Denver Water can show you how here, and make conserving water a habit in both dry times and wet times!


[Note: in looking for a photo to accompany this post, I came across some "toilet humor."]

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Rainy Day!

We've had plenty of them this summer! If you're stuck at home with a bunch of kids to entertain, have I got a project for you! Construction--with pennies!

Photo from Pictures of Pennies

Mitch Fincher, a civil engineering student, has a website where he shows the viewer how to construct a bridge and various types of towers (the spiral one is awesome) using only pennies.

Here are a few items from our collection to help you get started on your own adult/child building project:

Salvadori, Mario. The Art of Construction: Projects and Principles for Beginning Engineers and Architects. [J 624.177 SAL]

The Ultimate LEGO Book. [J 688.7 ULT]

Walker, Lester. Block Building for Children. [790.1 WAL]

Monday, July 20, 2009

Remembering Frank McCourt

With the passing of Walter Cronkite, and the anniversary of the lunar landing, you may have missed the news that Frank McCourt also died this past weekend.

Frank McCourt if the man who wrote the bestseller, Angela's Ashes: A Memoir [B MCC, also LP MCC]. Angela's Ashes also won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography in 1997.

I heard McCourt interviewed several years back when his book, Teacher Man: A Memoir [B MCC, also AB/CD MCC], was released. I loved his brogue and I also took note of the humor and youthfulness in his voice. I was surprised to read that he was 78 years old when he passed! You can listen to the interview here.

Slán, Frank McCourt.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Poetry Friday--Gallop-o-Gallop


Most little girls go through a horse stage similar to little boys and their vehicle stage. If I had heard about Gallop-o-Gallop by Sandra Alonzo [J 811.6 ALO] when I went through my horse stage, I would have put it on my Christmas list! Gallop-o-Gallop is a book of poetry about horses and nothing but horses! It consists of twenty-one poems about horse temperment ("Horse Talk"), horsemanship ("Horse Grooming"), imaginary horses ("Bedtime Book"), horse life stages ("The Birth"), and pure horse JOY ("Buckin' Bronco").

Rather than continue to gush, I'll let the title poem convince you to give it a read:
Gallop-o-Gallop

Gallop-o-gallop-o-gallop along
Singing-o-singing-o-singing a song.
Swift over hills, carry me there
       The wind on my face
           the sky in my hair.
Gallop-o-gallop-o-gallop so fast
A trail so long, a journey so vast.
We travel as one, bound to the end
       My horse is my heart
           my horse is my friend.

The illustrations by Kelly Murphy, done in watercolor, acrylic, and gel medium on paper, add a tone of moodiness (not in a bad way).

The Poetry Friday Round-Up this week is being held at Becky's Book Reviews.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

R.E.A.D. Dogs

Yesterday, at the library, we had a small group come in to talk about a service dog program where dogs are brought into a school or library to be read to by children. A golden retriever, Jake, and a border terrier, Tate, came with their trainers and were nearly loved to death by all who attended.



The specially trained dogs sit next to the child. Some know to "look" at the book when a child points out a picture. The dogs listen, but they do not judge. They sit patiently and do not make fun of the child who misses a word. Their trainers try not to intrude, but they may say something like, "Could you repeat that word again, I don't think Jake understood it."

The dogs wear a bandanna or a vest which means they are on duty. The local organization that visited our library, New England Pet Partners, can bring along a hypoallergenic dog if there are allergy problems!

Not only do the dogs participate in the reading program, they also visit nursing homes, cancer wards, and other places where their love and patience is needed.

It is a fabulous program, and if you'd like to find out about the national organization, visit the Delta Society website.

Look for more visits by the R.E.A.D. dogs starting in September.

If your child is interested in learning about what goes into training a service dog, our children's room has a fictional account in American Girl: Nicki by Ann Howard Creel [J AME].
Ten-year-old Nicki Fleming, a natural with animals, volunteers to help her mother train a service dog, not realizing how much responsibility she is taking on and how much she will have to give up along the way.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Those Clever Cats!

Being a cat person I have long known that cats know how to manipulate their human companions. A recent article on the BBC News site has confirmed this. The headline reads, "Cats 'exploit' humans by purring."
"Obviously we don't know what's going on inside their minds," said Dr McComb. "But they learn how to do this, and then they do it quite deliberately."
Well, duh!


Courtesy of the Egypt Archive

It's not like cat behavior hasn't been studied before. I'm sure the ancient Egyptians had spoken to a few cats before they decided to represent, in cat form, their goddess, Bastet!

If you haven't quite figured out what your cat is saying to you, then check out one of these:

The Domestic Cat: The Biology of Its Behavior. [599.75 DOM]

George, Jean Craighead. How to Talk to Your Cat. [J 636.8 GEO]

Petspeak: You're Closer Than You Think to a Great Relationship with Your Dog or Cat! [636.088 PET]

Meow!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Bastille Day!


Today, the people of France celebrate "le quatorze Juillet," which we know as Bastille Day. It was the day in 1789, when the people of Paris stormed the Bastille, a prison, to begin the French Revolution.

Here in NH we can celebrate all things French--from films to food!

Le Ballon Rouge (a.k.a. The Red Balloon). [DVD RED]

The Cook and the Gardener: A Year of Recipes and Writings from the French Countryside by Amanda Hesser. [641.65 HES]

Le Fabuleaux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (a.k.a. Amélie). [DVD AME]

French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano. [613.25 GUI]

Gigi. [DVD GIG]

Kay Thompson's Eloise in Paris. [JP THO]

Murder in the Bastille by Cara Black. [MYS BLA]

The Voice of the Sparrow: The Very Best of Edith Piaf. [CD FEMALE VOCALIST PIA]

Have a fabulously French day!

Aux armes citoyens! Formez vos bataillons! Marchons, marchons...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Moose

I spent a lovely weekend north of the 45th parallel in Pittsburg, NH. On two nights my companions and I drove the 12-mile stretch of road known as "Moose Alley." We drove very slooooowly and were rewarded with seeing a bull moose and a yearling on the first evening, and a cow and her calf on the second.

The absolutely stupidity of the human gawkers must tickle the funnybones of those moose! Drivers stop short, drive erratically while they watch, open car doors, and cross the road, without looking. It's surprising that there weren't more accidents!


We have some delightful moose books in our children's room. Moose make a great subject for picture books with their oddly shaped heads, spindly legs, and massive antlers. Look for one of these on your next visit to the library:

Arnosky, Jim. Big Jim and the White-Legged Moose. [JP ARN] A song about the time Big Jim had pencil and sketchbook in hand while following the trail of a huge bull moose but dropped his art supplies when he climbed a tree for safety.

Greene, Stephanie. Pig Pickin'. [JP GRE] When she is invited to a "pig pickin'," Hildy believes it is a contest to pick the prettiest pig and she hurries down south to enter, accompanied by her good friend Moose, who soon discovers just how wrong she is.

Robinson, Fiona. The Useful Moose: A Truthful, Moose-Full Tale. [JP ROB] A young girl who loves moose is delighted to find them vacationing in her city, and when she and her family invite three young moose to rest at their home, they quickly discover how useful moose can be.

Root, Phyllis. Looking for a Moose. [JP ROO] Four children set off into the woods to find a moose.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Poetry Friday--Daniel Halpern

I don't judge a book by its cover, but that doesn't mean that I don't pick out a book by its cover.

Selected Poems by Daniel Halpern [811 HAL] is one such book. I was captivated by the cover--a beige background upon which are birds' eggs in various sizes and varying shades of cream, tan, and palest blue, some spotted, some not. It is reminiscent of an old museum drawer since all the eggs are numbered in a old-fashioned script. I had to look inside!

There I found poems that would involve several rereadings to make sense of, but, there were also some that I found wonderfully clear on a first reading. "Pastimes," is one of latter. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:
PASTIMES

"Why, you're a genius, " she said.

A natural enough comment I thought
As I glued a side to my plane
And started papering the fuselage.

I could see her on the couch,
Her hands clicking with needles and wool.

"Why, you're a genius," I said.

She nodded,
Thinking the remark natural enough
As she placed the last stitch in a sleeve.

It's not bad living with a genius
We both think
As we glue and stitch through life.

Today's Poetry Friday Round-Up is taking place at Jama Rattigan's Alphabet Soup.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Rough Riders


In July, 1898, the most famous engagement of the Spanish-American War took place on San Juan Hill in Cuba. Teddy Roosevelt made a name for himself, and his Rough Riders group of volunteer cavalry, during the "charge."

I know next to nothing about Rough Riders, so if I wanted to learn more, I'd be sure to borrow these two books from our collection:

Roosevelt, Theodore. The Rough Riders: and Theodore Roosevelt, an Autobiography [973.893 ROO].

Walker, Dale L. The Boys of '98: Theodore Roosevelt and the Rough Riders [973.893 WAL]

To learn more about the Spanish-American War, I might consult Ivan Musicant's Empire by Default: The Spanish-American War and the Dawn of the American Century [973.89 MUS], or from our reference section, The Spanish-American War: A Historical Dictionary by Brad K. Berner [R 973.8 BER].

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I Have a Craving...

for rich chocolate layer cake with cherries in the middle and dark chocolate frosting. Of course, I won't indulge, but maybe one of these people will--today is their birthday.

Actor Kevin Bacon was born in 1958, making him 51 years. It wasn't that long ago that he was shaking things up with his moves in Footloose [DVD FOO]. He is also in these more recent films-- Mystic River [DVD MYS] and Frost Nixon [DVD FRO]. My all-time favorite Kevin Bacon movie is Tremors [DVD TRE]--it's so ridiculous, it's good!

Angelica Huston, turns 58. She is the daughter of director, John Huston, and an accomplished actress. You'll find her in The Darjeeling Limited [DVD DAR], The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou [DVD LIF], The Witches [DVD WIT], and The Addams Family [DVD ADA]. Huston's stepsister, Allegra Huston, tells of Angelica's part in her upbringing in a new tell-all, biography, Love Child: A Memoir of Family Lost and Found [B HUS].

Also celebrating a birthday today is country singer, Toby Keith, born in 1961. We have many of Keith's CDs in our collection, including 35 Biggest Hits [CD COUNTRY KEI]. Another singer celebrating a birthday is Raffi Cavoukian, who goes under the name Raffi. He is 61. You'll find his CDs in our children's room, and a few picture books of his songs, including Baby Beluga (illustrated by Ashley Wolff) [JP RAF].

And finally, a big happy birthday to Milo Ventimiglia who is 32! You may know him better as Jess from The Gilmore Girls [DVD GIL].

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Reading On Your Level

We have had a number of parents and kids come in looking for books at the child's reading level. Or, a child has forgotten his/her Lexile range and doesn't know what to read. For the people at the desk, this poses a challenge since none of us have been trained as reading specialists, nor have we received training in the Lexile system that the Windham schools use.

Fortunately, we know that the Lexile website is designed to help the puzzled parent or child find the right book, even if the child has forgotten his/her Lexile range.



Go to the Lexile page by clicking here.
  1. Click on the middle box labeled, "Search for Books."
  2. If the child knows the Lexile range, then click on "Search the Lexile Book Database." For the child who has found a book, for instance, Because of Winn-Dixie [J DEC], he/she can type in the title. The title will come up with a rating 610L. If the child's lexile range is 390L to 690L, then the book should be one that the child can read without much trouble.
  3. If the child doesn't know, or has forgotten the Lexile range, then click on "Visit the 'Find A Book' Website." Here the child can put in a grade, and click off how the child thinks he/she is doing with reading in that grade. For instance, I picked 4th grade from the drop-down menu and clicked "I find the books I read for school easy." I click the "continue" button and on the next page I find that my Lexile range is 800L to 1060L. From this page I can also look for books according to my interests.
Once parent and child learn how to use the Lexile site, picking books at reading level should be fairly easy. If I were in 4th grade and wanted to read Because of Winn-Dixie, I would know that on the basis of Lexile measurement, the book is below my reading level, so it may not meet a school requirement. But, if I want it because it's supposed to be a "really, good book," then I can go ahead and read it with ease, and dare I say, with pleasure. Take it from a librarian, Because of Winn-Dixie REALLY is a good book!

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Eternal Search for the Perfect Diet

I've written about diets several times before in KK's Kurio Kabinet, click here and here if you want to look back. There's a fun page from Elle magazine, that takes you on a tour of the "Craziest diets of all time." Take a look--it'll make you shudder!

The interest in losing weight is unceasing and the flow of diet books never ceases. Here are a few new ones from 2008 and 2009:

Agatston, Arthur. The South Beach Diet Supercharged: Faster Weight Loss and Better Health for Life [613.25 AGA].

Aronne, Lewis J. The Skinny: On Losing Weight Without Being Hungry: The Ultimate Guide to Weight Loss Success [613.25 ARO].

Fischer, Stewart. The Park Avenue Diet: The Complete 7-Point Plan [613.25 FIS].

Flat Belly Diet!: A Flat Belly is about Food & Attitude, Period (Not a Single Crunch Required) [613.25 FLA].

Lipper, Jodi. How to Eat Like a Hot Chick: Eat What You Love, Love How You Feel [613.25 LIP].

Roberts, Susan B. The Instinct Diet: Use Your Five Food Instincts to Lose Weight and Keep It Off [613.25 ROB].

Friday, July 03, 2009

Poetry Friday--Fourth of July Ode

In celebration of Independence Day, let's look at "Fourth of July Ode," by James Russell Lowell:
I
Our fathers fought for Liberty,
They struggled long and well,
History of their deeds can tell--
But did they leave us free?

II
Are we free from vanity,
Free from pride, and free from self,
Free from love of power and pelf,
From everything that's beggarly?

III
Are we free from stubborn will,
From low hate and malice small,
From opinion's tyrant thrall?
Are none of us our own slaves still?

IV
Are we free to speak our thought,
To be happy, and be poor,
Free to enter Heaven's door,
To live and labor as we ought?

V
Are we then made free at last
From the fear of what men say,
Free to reverence Today,
Free from the slavery of the Past?

VI
Our fathers fought for liberty,
They struggled long and well,
History of their deeds can tell--
But ourselves must set us free.
Read this poem, and many more collected by Ralph Henry in My American Heritage [810.8 HEN].

Lowell lived from 1819 to 1891, so, yes, his poem is a little old-fashioned in style and language (have you ever come across the word pelf? [definition below]), but, the sentiments are applicable to today's America. Are we indeed free of pride, love of power, will, hate, malice, and pelf (substitute greed and instant-gratification for 21st century America)? Will we ever be? I'll leave you to ponder these questions this holiday weekend while you sit on the beach, or in the bleachers for some celebratory fireworks. Whatever you do, have fun and do it safely.

This week's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Tabatha A. Yeatts.

pelf
–noun
money or wealth, esp. when regarded with contempt or acquired by reprehensible means.
Origin:
1300–50; ME < OF pelfre booty
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Unruly Children

Here's a headline from Monday's issue of the Independent, "Parents of unruly children to be fined." The article, it turns out, is about an official government report on education issued Tuesday in Great Britain. The unruly children portion is not mentioned in other British news sources, as can be seen in these two headlines: "Ed Balls set to publish schools white paper: Proposals include annual report cards for schools and one-to-one tuition for all pupils that need it"; "Best heads 'to run school chains': Parents will have more rights over their children's education - and the best heads will run chains of schools, under new government education plans"

Why mention these different interpretations of what's the "important feature" in a British government report? Simply this, the issue of unruly children seems to have gotten under the Independent's headline writer's skin and he or she has latched onto the fact that parents will be held accountable. (I can imagine the writer doing research in a public library and trying to concentrate as some toddler throws a temper tantrum while a parent stands nearby, chatting on a cell phone, completely oblivious.)

The short Independent article stated,
Parents could be fined or sent to prison if their children misbehave, under powers to be awarded to schools. They form part of a government White Paper on education to be published by the Schools Secretary, Ed Balls, tomorrow.

Most schools operate agreements under which parents and pupils undertake to promote good behaviour, but they are not enforceable. The new powers could see parents who fail to abide by them fined or given community sentences. In some cases, they could end up in prison if they did not pay the fines.

Photo by Glamhag

It seems to me, that unruly children are a perpetual problem, and rather than give schools the power to fine parents (this whole idea sends shivers down my spine--who does the fining? Is there a hearing? Etc.) we need to educate parents how to model and encourage proper behavior. This is not necessarily a school's job, but perhaps public libraries can help--we have materials for parents to guide them in raising their children in a socially responsible manner. Some newer titles in our collection include:

Bradley, Michael J. Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!: Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind [649.125 BRA].

Day, Jerry R. How to Raise Kids You Want to Keep: The Proven Discipline Program Your Kids Will Love (And That Really Works!) [649.64 DAY]

Leman, Kevin. How to Have a New Kid by Friday: How to Change Your Child's Attitude, Behavior & Character in 5 Days [649.64 LEM].

Runkel, Hal Edward. Screamfree Parenting: The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids Without Losing Your Cool [649.1 RUN].

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Worm Silliness

There's something about the subject of worms that inspires all sorts of silliness, think "Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I'm gonna eat some worms..."

On Weekend Edition Sunday, I heard a report about one of the silliest worm activities ever--worm charming! The International Federation of Charming Worms and Allied Pastimes met this past weekend to charm a few worms! For more on the recent World Worm Charming Championships, click here.

Wouldn't you know there'd be a science to worm charming:



Here are a few silly worm books from our collection:

Caple, Kathy. Worm Gets a Job. [JP CRO]

Cronin, Doreen. Diary of a Worm. [JP CRO]

Rockwell, Thomas. How to Eat Fried Worms. [J ROC, also J AB ROC, and J DVD HOW]

I've posted about worms before, click here to read it.