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Monday, February 28, 2011

Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen [F GRU] was wildly popular when it first came out in 2006. Its popularity had waned over the past two years, but recently it has begun to pick up again. Could it have something to do with the fact that the filmed version is due out on April 22?

We own two copies of the book, so there's a good chance you can get to read it before the movie comes out. Once the movie opens, all bets are off!

The film stars Reese Witherspoon, and Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame. To while away the time until Water for Elephants comes to a theater near you, borrow one of these movies that star Witherspoon or Pattinson:

Legally Blonde, and Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde. [DVD LEG]

Little Ashes. [DVD LIT]

The Man in the Moon. [DVD MAN]

Twilight, and the others in the "Twilight Saga," New Moon, Eclipse [DVD TWI].

Vanity Fair. [DVD VAN]

Walk the Line. [DVD WAL]

Friday, February 25, 2011

Poetry Friday--Poetry for Young People

Sterling Publishing Company has a series of children's poetry books called "Poetry for Young People." There are at least 20 different titles in the series. We already have 17 on our shelves, and we have orders in for several of the others.

Most of the books cover individual poets such as Maya Angelou [J 811.54 ANG], Carl Sandburg [J 811 SAN], Edna St. Vincent Millay [J 811 MIL], and NH's favorite, Robert Frost [J 811 FRO], while a few are anthologies such as American Poetry [J 811 AME].

There are several notable features to this series. The first is a short introduction to each poem, which may pose a question, mention the poet's background, or explain what the poet is attempting to do in the poem. The second is a glossary of words that may be unfamiliar to a young reader. The third is the striking illustrations that accompany the poems.

On the other hand, though, I have one complaint, and it deals, paradoxically, with the striking illustrations. In many cases the poem is printed right over the full color illustration often obscuring the text. I would think that for a young reader, especially one who may not have strong reading skills, this would make it more difficult to read and comprehend the poem. Call me old-fashioned, but I like plenty of white space around a poem!

That aside, I still recommend the series.

The following is taken from the Animal Poems anthology [J 808.81 ANI]:

On the Grasshopper and Cricket
by John Keats

The poetry of earth is never dead:
     When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
     And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead;
That is the Grasshopper’s--he takes the lead
     In summer luxury,--he has never done
     With his delights; for when tired out with fun
He rests at ease beneath some pleasant weed.
The poetry of earth is ceasing never:
     On a lone winter evening, when the frost
          Has wrought a silence, from the stove there shrills
The Cricket’s song, in warmth increasing ever,
     And seems to one in drowsiness half lost,
          The Grasshopper’s among some grassy hills.
Sara is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up this week at Read Write Believe; do stop by.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

National Children's Dental Health Month

February is National Children's Health Month, as designated by the American Dental Association. It seems a rather odd month to have it since there's an awful lot of Valentine's Day candy consumed in February, but, I guess it serves as a reminder to have the kids brush after chomping down on those solid sugar candy message hearts!

For parents who are interested in statistics, there is information on New Hampshire's children's dental health available from Watch Your Mouth.

This is school vacation week, so if you've run out of things to do with the kids, the American Dental Association has many activity sheets for kids that will not only keep them busy, but will provide an oral health lesson!

And, if you're coming down to the library this week, look for one of these. They cover dental health for toddlers to teens:

Dahl, Michael. Pony Brushes His Teeth. [BB DAH]

Libal, Autumn. Taking Care of Your Smile: A Teen's Guide to Dental Care. [YA 617.601 LIB]

Miller, Edward. The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums. [J 617.601 MIL]

Murkoff, Heidi Eisenberg. What to Expect When You Go to the Dentist. [J 617.6 MUR]

Schuh, Mari C. All About Teeth. [J 612.311 SCH]

Shaw, Gina. Hooray For Teeth! [E SHA]

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sky Watch

Today we have The Museum of Science presenting "Night Sky." This program features an inflatable silver planetarium, the Starlab, with a realistic projected night sky showing planet and Moon positions. Entrance to the Starlab is through a four-foot diameter tunnel!

Due to anticipated demand for this fun and educational program, two sessions have been scheduled. The first one begins at 10:30 am followed by the second one at 11:15 am.

Registration is required, and children must be 6 years of age or older.

For those children who are not able to attend, we have several books on stargazing for kids, such as Starry Sky by Kate Hayden [J 523.8 HAY] and The Kids Book of the Night Sky by Ann Love [J 523 LOV].

Photo by Starlab.com

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Krafty Kids

Since this is February vacation week, we have our standard afternoon of drop-in crafts scheduled for today from 1:00 to 3:00 (while supplies last). Kids will find Saint Patrick’s Day themed crafts--a door knob sign as well as a "good luck key chain" or a "good luck charm bracelet," to make and take home.

In the background will be Irish music. Cookies, temporary tattoos, and chocolate Irish coins will be available for even more fun!

These activities are recommended for children ages 4 and up, accompanied by a parent or guardian, and no registration is required.

If you have other plans, visit the library later in the week and borrow one of our many children's crafts books such as:

The Best of Children's Arts & Crafts. [J 745.5 BES]

Bolton, Vivienne. 365 Things to Make and Do. [J 745.5 BOL]

Bose, Terri. Craft Adventures. [J 745.5 BOS]

Crafty Activities: 50 Fun and Easy Things to Make. [J 745.5 CRA]

There are at least 150 more books in the children's room with the number J 745.5--in other words, there's plenty to keep your krafty kid busy this week!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Birthday George and Abe!

The library is closed today for the Presidents' Day holiday. It's not surprising that we have a book for kids that explains the holiday--there are many books published for children on the holidays. Presidents' Day by Lynn Peppas [J 394.261 PEP] discusses President's Day as well as providing information about federal holidays in general and details about Washington and Lincoln.

Another book, Presidents' Day by Margaret McNamara [E MCN], presents facts about the two famous presidents in an easy-to-read format for kids who are beginning to read on their own. The book is part of the "Robin Hill School" series which follows a group of first-graders throughout the school year.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Poetry Friday--"Alms"

Anne Morrow Lindbergh was the wife of aviator Charles Lindbergh. Like her husband, she was an aviator, and was the first American woman issued a first class glider pilot's license. She is perhaps best known, however, for her book Gift from the Sea [170.82 LIN], which is still in print after 56 years. Gift from the Sea is a reflective book of essays about life, and is a popular book discussion group choice.

Lindbergh was also a poet. We have her collection, The Unicorn, on our shelves [811.54 LIN], and for today I've picked a short poem from the chapter titled "Love":

Like birds in winter
You fed me;
Knowing the ground was frozen,
I should never come to your hand,
You did not need my gratitude.

Like snow falling on snow,
Softly, so not to frighten me,
You threw your crumbs upon the ground--
And walked away.
Join Mary Ann at Great Kid Books for the Poetry Friday Round-Up, then go out and feed the birds.

Photo by ellenprather95

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quilter's Group Gift

With the money raised through a raffle of a quilt made by the group last year, the Nesmith Library Quilters were able to donate enough money to purchase books, DVDs, and a pass to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell! The pass admits 2 people to the museum free of charge, and may be reserved online or by calling the library at 432-1754.

Here are just a few of the titles of items purchased with the quilters group money:

Book of Peoples of the World: A Guide to Cultures. [305.8 BOO]

The Complete Photo Guide to Sewing: 1200 Full-Color How-to Photos. [646.2 COM]

Hargrave, Harriet. Hand & Machine Quilting: Tips & Tricks Tool. [746.46 HAR]

Link, Mary. 100+ No-Sew Fabric Crafts for Kids: Hours of Fun, Oodles of Projects: Gifts, Toys, Playful Decorations & More! [J 746 LIN]

Quilting arts TV. Series 100, episodes 1-13. [DVD 746.46 QUI]

Zichy, Shoya. Career Match: Connecting Who You Are With What You'll Love to Do. [650.14 ZIC]

The quilt project for this year in currently being worked on and raffle tickets should be going on sale in March. The winning ticket will be drawn at the FLOW Strawberry Festival and Book Sale, which will take place on June 4.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Smell of Books

I have some very strong memories associated with smells, but not one of them relates to the smell of books. However, it seems that the smell of books is something that has associations for many people. An article by Robert Gray, "Memory & the 'Smell of Books'" explores this topic. Gray asserts,
It is almost impossible to find an article about the e-books versus print books debate that does not include at least one person citing the importance of the "smell of books" as a primary reason for resisting the digital world's siren song.
What about you? Do you sniff books? Will you miss the smell of books when everything goes digital? Would loss of the smell be a reason for you to not explore e-books?

As I said above, books don't hold olfactory memories for me, but, I am very aware of books that do not smell normal. By this I mean books that are permeated with cigarette smoke, or the scent of mold. These smells will immediately turn me away from reading a book.

Despite many years of anti-smoking messages, there are people who still smoke. Some smoke so heavily that the books they return to us are secreted away for a few days to spend time in the "stinky box." The bottom of the stinky box is lined with charcoal to absorb the odors. Sadly, it is not always possible to rid the book of tobacco odor! But, we try...

I sometimes wonder if smokers have destroyed their sense of smell through their tobacco use. Navigating Smell and Taste Disorders by Ronald DeVere [616.856 DEV] may be able to give the answer.

Photo by maureen_sill

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Jigsaw Puzzle Enthusiast?

We always have a jigsaw puzzle available in our reference area for people to work on. Since we often get donations of puzzles with bookfair donations, we have an almost never-ending supply to choose from. There are several "regulars" who visit us and end up spending hours working on a puzzle!

Barbara recently told me about a website where one can work on puzzles online that range from 6 up to several hundred pieces! The choice is up to you, as is the shape of the puzzle piece, for example, classic, bird, star, lizard, etc. You can sign up to receive a puzzle-a-day, too. It's worth a trip to the site just to explore the options!

Jigsaw puzzles are only one type of puzzle. You can find manipulative puzzles in books such as Traditonal Wooden Toys: Their History and How to Make Them by Cyril Hobbins [745.592 HOB], word puzzles in Baseball Brain Teasers: Major League Puzzlers by Dom Forker [796.357 FOR], or, math puzzles in Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities by Ian Stewart [793.74 STE]. There are plenty more to challenge you. Start in the 793.73 section, or for kids, start with the The Usborne Book of Games and Puzzles [J 793.73 USB].

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's Here!

Valentine's Day is here. What better way to celebrate than to read one of the "greatest love stories." There are many lists of such books, one is from the New York Public Library by way of the website Your Tango: Smart Talk About Love. Here are the NYPL's top ten choices:

1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte [F BRO].

2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy [F TOL].

3. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare [822.33 SHA].

4. Casablanca by Murray Burnett (this was originally a play, but we only have it in DVD format).

5. A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare [822.33 SHA].

6. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak [F PAS].

7. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen [F AUS].

8. Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos (this one, too, we only have in DVD).

9. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen [F AUS].

10. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo [F HUG].

Postcard image courtesy riptheskull

Friday, February 11, 2011

Poetry Friday--"Winter is a Wolf"

I pulled our copy of A Cup of Starshine: Poems and Pictures for Young Children [J CUP] off the shelf and it fell open to a poem called "Winter is a Wolf" by Grace Cornell Tall.

Since we are firmly gripped in the wolf's mouth, I thought that this would be the perfect poem to share for today:
Winter Is a Wolf

Winter is a
    drowsy wolf

full of summer sleep.
He'll awaken and arise
when the hunger in his eyes
grows ravenous and deep.

Winter is a
    clever wolf

You will see him creep
down the Wind's way
sly and slow
in a suit of fleecy snow
pretending he's a sheep.

Winter is a
    magic wolf

no man-made cage can keep.
Crouching low on padded paws,
licking his enormous jaws,
earthward he will leap.
I was curious about the poet, but was unable to find any information on her other than the fact that another of her poems, "To Pumpkins at Pumpkin Time," found in Halloween: Stories and Poems [J 810 HAL] appears to be popular with teachers.

Visit Rasco from RIF for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Valentine's Gift

Valentine's Day often means a gift of jewelry. Sometimes, though, if you are the purchaser, you don't know the difference between a garnet and a ruby, or a between a diamond and a quartz crystal. For a quick overview of gemstones, borrow our copy of the Simon & Schuster Guide to Gems and Precious Stones by Curzio Cipriani [553.8 CIP].

Speaking of diamonds, before you go shopping for a diamond ring, bracelet, or earrings, you may want to take a look at Tom Zoellner's The Heartless Stone: A Journey Through the World of Diamonds, Deceit, and Desire [553.82 ZOE]. After reading it, you may decide that diamonds may not be "a girl's best friend"!

Some people prefer vintage jewelry. If your honey is such a person, Vintage Jewelry: A Price and Identification Guide, 1920-1940s by Leigh Leshner [739.27 LEW] might be the place to go for information on what is vintage and what is junk.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Mood Music

The countdown to Valentine's Day is in full swing. How about a little mood music?

In our music collection we have a surprising number of CDs that may be perfect for Valentine's Day:

Amore: Opera's Greatest Romances. [CD OPERA AMO]

Bell, Joshua. Romance of the Violin. [CD CLASSICAL BEL]

Bennett, Tony. The Art of Romance. [CD JAZZ BEN]

Bocelli, Andrea. Romanza. [CD MALE VOCALIST BOC}

Coltrane, John. Coltrane for Lovers. [CD JAZZ COL]

Monheit, Jane. The Lovers, the Dreamers and Me. [CD JAZZ MON]

Williams, John. Classic Williams: Romance of the Guitar. [CD CLASSICAL WIL]

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Less Than A Week Away!

Valentine's Day is next Monday. To put you in the mood, why not borrow one of these great love stories from our DVD collection?

An Affair to Remember. [DVD AFF]


Gone With the Wind. [DVD GON]

Like Water for Chocolate. [DVD LIK]

Love Actually. [DVD LOV] (My personal favorite!)

The Philadelphia Story. [DVD PHI]

The Princess Bride. [DVD PRI]

Sleepless in Seattle. [DVD SLE]

When Harry Met Sally. [DVD WHE]

Monday, February 07, 2011

In the News: Egypt

The revolution that is taking place in Egypt is both exhilarating and disturbing. Imagine what it must be like to be a child and catch some of the pictures and sounds coming out of the region!

To introduce your child to contemporary Egypt, look for Egypt by Robert Pateman [J 962 PAT].

To explore the rich history of the country, we have a large collection of materials for children on Ancient Egypt, including these on the pyramids: Pyramid by Peter Chrisp [J 932 CHR] and The Great Pyramid: Egypt's Tomb for All Time by Jeanette Leardi [J 932 LEA].

Borrow the adult book, Egypt: 4000 Years of Art by Jaromir Malek [709.32 MAL], browse through the pictures, then discuss why a group of Egyptian citizens stood guard over the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo last week.

For library lovers--if you're reading this, then I assume you are one--an article that tells of young people striving to protect the library in Alexandria from looters may be of interest.

If your child wonders about the man whose rule spurred the revolution, we have a junior biography, Hosni Mubarak by Vicki Cox [J B MUB]. It will, undoubtedly, need to be rewritten very shortly!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Poetry Friday--Time You Let Me In

Time You Let Me In: 25 Poets Under 25 [YA 811.608 TIM] is an anthology of poetry selected by Naomi Shihab Nye. I love the section, "Notes on the Contributors," where we learn not only about the young poets, but also the anthologist. Nye writes,
In school I was good with words and bad with numbers--that's why there are 26 poets in this book, not 25. I loved them all and could hardly omit anyone after writing all the poets cheerily to say their poems were accepted! I would rather embrace my flaws.
Each poet is represented by four poems, which, contrary to the one or two poems that you usually find in an anthology, allows the reader to get to know the writer (a little).

Since I'm not a big fan of teen angst, I found the inclusion of humor, nature, familial love, etc. to be a welcomed change from other collections of young people's poetry. Of course there are those poems that tear you apart, but I'm not going to share one of those with you today!
Growing up in woods
by Mary Selph

When an elder tree collapses,
a younger, suppler one
catches her by the hair before
she hits the ground.

Once, scaling one of the fallen
trees, I reached close enough
to a younger one that her branches gave way
under my added weight, cracking
the old tree's trunk, sending us both down.
We laid then for minutes together, the rotting
wood soft against the snow, still
while the young tree stretched
her limbs at last upward, away.

Doraine Bennett of Dori Reads is the hostess of this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up, stop by!

Thursday, February 03, 2011


Can you believe that this is the second time I'm writing about moustaches? The last time was in 2007 after that year's World Beard and Moustache Championships. (By the way, the 2011 contest is coming up in May!)

The British newspaper, The Guardian, featured "Ten of the Best: Moustaches" recently. One of those top ten staches belongs to Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. Poirot is the detective from several Christie mysteries including Cat Among the Pigeons, Death on the Nile, Funerals are Fatal, and the one that most people are familiar with, Murder on the Orient Express, all MYS CHR. There are enough Poirot books to keep you busy for months!

We recently acquired a new set of Hercule Poirot DVDs, Agatha Christie's Poirot: The Classic Collection [DVD CHR], which contains 36 mysteries. One look at Poirot "in the flesh" and I'm sure his moustache will be forever imprinted on your brain!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


I've come across several online pieces on water over the past several weeks and thought that they are too good not to share. The first is this video. Make sure you have the sound on!

Water at 718 Frames Per Second - Fastec Imaging from Tom Guilmette on Vimeo.

The second is also a video by an artist whose medium of choice is water (and a camera).

Water Sculpture from Shinichi Maruyama on Vimeo.

Further explanation of the way this artist works can be found at NPR.

Water is vital to life, but it also has a aural and visible vitality that is illustrated by the videos above. An interesting book about water is The Hidden Messages in Water by Emoto Masaru [613 EMO]. Here is the publisher's description:
Using high-speed photography, Dr. Masaru Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors. The implications of this research create a new awareness of how we can positively impact the earth and our personal health.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

So How Did Those Resolutions Go?

You've had a whole month to work on them, how did your New Year's resolutions go?

Since most resolutions have to do with losing weight and/or getting healthy and/or fit, today I'll do one of our periodic round-up of topical books just in case you need a little something to keep you motivated. The last time I did this was a July 2009 post called "The Eternal Search for the Perfect Diet".

Here are only some of the books that were published on the subjects of diet, health, and fitness in 2010:

Ferriss, Timothy. The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman. [613.7 FER]

Glassman, Keri. The O2 Diet: The Cutting Edge Antioxidant-Based Program That Will Make You Healthy, Thin, and Beautiful. [613.25 GLA]

Kerr, Meera Patricia. Big Yoga: A Simple Guide for Bigger Bodies. [613.7046 KER]

The Mayo Clinic Diet. [613.25 MAY]

Moreno, Patricia. The IntenSati Method: The Seven Secret Principles to Thinner Peace. [613.25 MOR]

Warner, Jackie. This is Why You're Fat (And How to Get Thin Forever): Eat More, Cheat More, Lose More--And Keep the Weight Off. [613.25 WAR]

Weiss, Adam, D.C. The Absmart Fitness Plan: The Proven Workout to Lose Inches and Strengthen Your Core Without Straining Your Back. [613.712 WEI]

Williamson, Marianne. A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever. [613.25 WIL]