Looking for a book, DVD, CD, or other item? Search our catalog!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Poetry Friday--Tag Time!

We're reaching the end of National Poetry Month, and to close out I'd like to tell everyone about an ebook that is available from Amazon for 99 cents! It is PoetryTagTime! and it features previously unpublished poems by 30 children's poets. The anthology is compiled by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong. If you're thinking, "I don't have a Kindle, so I won't be able to read it." Let me assure you that the book is readable on your computer and is easy to download--I know, because I did it myself at home. Teachers will love having it available to project in front of a classroom!

The poets represented include the most popular of children's poets such as Jack Prelutsky, Nikki Grimes, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Jane Yolen, X.J. Kennedy, Paul B. Janeczko, and Mary Ann Hoberman. Also included are poets whose names may not be familiar to you. Books by many of these "lesser-knowns" are found on our shelves and I'm sure you'll want to borrow a few after you've read their PoetryTagTime! contributions.

Here are ten:

Brown, Calef. Polkabats and Octopus Slacks: 14 Stories. [J 811 BRO]

Dotlich, Rebecca Kai. When Riddles Come Rumbling: Poems to Ponder. [J 811 DOT]

Florian, Douglas. Poetrees. [J 811.54 FLO]

Franco, Betsy. Bees, Snails, & Peacock Tails: Patterns & Shapes--Naturally. [J 811.54 FRA]

Katz, Bobbi. The Monsterologist: A Memoir in Rhyme. [J 811.54 KAT]

Larios, Julie. Imaginary Menagerie: A Book of Curious Creatures: Poems. [J 811.54 LAR]

Lewis, J. Patrick. The House. [J 811.54 LEW]

Salas, Laura Purdie. And Then There Were Eight: Poems about Space. [J 811.6 SAL]

Schertle, Alice. Button Up!: Wrinkled Rhymes. [J 811.54 SCH]

Sidman, Joyce. Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors. [J 811.54 SID]

From here head over to Tabatha Yeatts' blog for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Visual Punning

You may be familiar with children's picture books by Maine writer and photographer, Bruce McMillan, but, many years ago he also published some books for adults on visual punning, Punography and Punography Too [both 779 MCM]. Check them out, they're fun and mentally challenging!

If you're not familiar with the term visual pun, here is how Wikipedia defines it:
A visual pun is a pun involving an image or images (in addition to or instead of language).

Can you figure out this pun? Answer below.

Over recent years a number of websites devoted to visual punning have sprung up. Here's one titled Literal.ly. Many more can be found by doing a Google search and using "visual pun" as your search term.

Answer: iPod (eye pod). Photo by Rachel Holkner.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

5 Billion a Year

Five billion what? Pizzas! Five billion pizzas are served every year. That's a bit of information I gathered from an online history of pizza found on a site devoted to "field trips" for kids, Meet Me at the Corner. All sorts of topics are covered such as weather forecasting, the history of the ukulele, being a zookeeper, etc.

Speaking of pizza...if you're looking for something to do with the kids this vacation week, you should make pizza. Who doesn't love pizza?

We have several books just waiting for you to borrow:

Love, Louise. The Complete Book of Pizza. [641.824 LOV]

Martino, Teresa. Pizza! [E MAR]

McNair, James K. James McNair's Vegetarian Pizza. [641.8248 MCN]

Wagner, Lisa. Cool Pizza to Make & Bake: Easy Recipes For Kids to Cook. [J 641.8 WAG]

Weinstein, Bruce. Pizza: Grill It, Bake It, Love It! [641.8248 WEI]

Have a yummy day!

Photo by rainydayknitter.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


There are some people who still play musical instruments (unlike me--the only thing I play is the radio). There are others who like to sing. For these people we've recently revisited our music section clearing out the old to make way for these:

The Big Book of Children's Songs. [782.42 BIG]

Classic Rock Fake Book: Over 250 Great Songs of the Rock Era. [782.42 CLA]

Contemporary Wedding & Love Songs: Piano, Vocal, Guitar. [781.587 CON]

Fake Book of the World's Favorite Songs. [781.63 FAK]

Ultimate Pop Rock Fake Book: [600 Songs for Piano, Vocal, Guitar, Electronic Keyboards & All "C" Instruments, 1955 to 2000]. [782.42 ULT]

Monday, April 25, 2011

This is Preservation Week!

April 24 through 30 has been declared Preservation Week. It is a week devoted to the idea that library collections, family heirlooms, photographs, etc. deserve to be preserved.

Visit NET, Nebraska's public television station for Saving Your Treasures
A website about what you can do to protect and preserve the things of importance in your life
It is quite an extensive site covering what needs to be preserved and how to do it! There is a nearly hour long video you can watch, too. Click here.

Some items, on the subject of preservation, from our collection include:

Baker, Nicholson. Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper. [025.2 BAK]

Mansfield, Howard. The Same Ax, Twice: Restoration and Renewal in a Throw-Away Age. [973 MAN]

Stille, Alexander. The Future of the Past. [303.4 STI]

Image courtesy ALA

Friday, April 22, 2011

Poetry Friday--White Egrets

White Egrets: Poems by Derek Walcott [811.54 WAL], is a slim volume with many numbered, but otherwise untitled, poems. Being a cat person, I was particularly attracted to poem #2.
Your two cats, squat, heraldic sphinxes, with such
desert indifference, such "who-the-hell-are-you?" calm,
they rise and stride away leisurely from your touch,
waiting for you only. To be cradled in one arm,
belly turned upward to be stroked by a brush
tugging burrs from their fur, eyes slitted
in ecstasy. The January sun spreads its balm
on earth's upturned belly, shadows that have always fitted
their shapes, re-fit them. Breakers spread welcome.
Accept it. Watch how spray will burst
like a cat scrambling up the side of a wall,
gripping, sliding, surrendering; how, at first,
its claws hook then slip with a quickening fall
to the lace-rocked foam. That is the heart, coming home,
trying to fasten on everything it moved from,
how salted things only increase its thirst.
I like the way the poem seamlessly slides from cats to the Caribbean to the heart.

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

Photo by Geoffrey Philp.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Here Comes Peter Cottontail!

For those of you with a sweet tooth, help is on the way! The Easter Bunny is nearly ready to go!

To help your kids pass the time until all those Peeps® and chocolate-covered peanut butter eggs show up, try a little bunny origami. There are many how-to-origami rabbit videos on YouTube, but this one makes a hopping rabbit, and it uses a plain old 3 X 5 card.

If you enjoy the challenge of origami, we have books in both the adult and children's sections. Look for the Dewey number 736.982.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Just Because...

Photo of the flip-flop monkey courtesy Inhabitat.com.

Since Earth Day is coming up, it's time to start thinking about recycling and reusing articles of clothing. Start with these:

Alvarado, Melissa. Subversive Seamster: Transform Thrift Store Threads into Street Couture. [YA 646.34 ALV]

Meyrich, Elissa K. Rip It!: How to Deconstruct and Reconstruct the Clothes of Your Dreams. [YA 646.404 MEY]

Pfiffner, George. Earth-Friendly Wearables: How to Make Fabulous Clothes and Accessories from Reusable Objects. [J 646.4 PFI]

Sterbenz, Gabrielle. T-Shirt Style: Creating Fabulous Must-Have Looks. [646.435 STE]

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Yankee Humor

New Hampshire is lucky to have several humorists. One of them is a former children's performer, Ken Sheldon. [We had Ken entertain Nesmith kids several times in the past (look for his CD, Ice Cream Soup in our children's collection).] Now Sheldon entertains adults under the persona, Fred Marple from Frost Heaves, NH. Here's Fred with Yoga for Yankees.

[Note that Yoga was filmed in library meeting room!]

For more Yankee humor, look for these:

Bousquet, Don. The New England Experience: Cartoons from the Pages of Yankee Magazine. [974 BOU]

A Little Book of Yankee Humor. [817.08 SIL]

Monday, April 18, 2011

Catch This Tonight!

Tonight at 8:00 there will be a one-hour documentary shown on NHPTV (channel 11)-- Mother Nature's Child. I believe everyone should watch it!

One of our 21st century "ailments" is "nature-deficit disorder." In other words, our kids spend too much time indoors in front of electronic devices, or, if they are outdoors, it's only as part of an organizational sports activity that does not allow a child's interaction with the natural world. Truthfully, when was the last time you went outside simply to commune with nature?

Nature deprivation has become prevalent over the past few decades and it has led to several books that explore the topic such as Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder [155.418 LOU] and Nicholas Carr's The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains [612.8 CAR].

The following books may help to resolve the problem: Jennifer Ward's I love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature [FT 796.083 WAR], The Wild Within: Adventures in Nature and Animal Teachings [508 REZ] and Tracking and the Art of Seeing [599 REZ] both by Paul Rezendes, and Joseph Cornell's Sharing Nature With Children [372.3 COR].

Friday, April 15, 2011

Poetry Friday--National Library Week!

This week is officially National Library Week, so, I thought we should celebrate with a library poem.

Thankfully, there are quite a few to choose from! Here is one of my favorites:
In the Library
by William Stafford

You are reading a book, and think you know
the end, but others can’t wait—they crowd
on the shelves, breathing. You stop and look around.
It is the best time: evening is coming,
a bronze haze has captured the sun,
lights down the street come on.

You turn a page carefully. Over your shoulder
another day has watched what you do
and written it down in that book
you can’t read till all the pages are done.

from Even in Quiet Places (Confluence, 1996)
Another favorite is "Branch Library" by Edward Hirsch. I did a P.F. post on it last year.

The following is from the title poem of Please Bury Me in the Library by J. Patrick Lewis [J 811.54 LEW].

Please bury me in the library
In the clean, well-lighted stacks
Of Novels, History, Poetry,
Right next to the Paperbacks,
This poem would be great to read aloud and should have the kids roaring when you read the final line. (You'll just have to borrow the book to find out what it is!)

From here, head over to Random Noodling where I'm hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up. I'm taking the day off from work so that I can devote my full attention to the Round-Up, with, perhaps, a little time out to finish my income taxes.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

NH Library Snapshot Day

Yesterday libraries around the state gathered statistics about, and took photos of, a typical day at the library. Photos can be seen at www.flickr.com (use NHsnapshot for a search term). I've made a slideshow of Nesmith Library's typical day. If you put your cursor over a shot, you'll get the description at the bottom. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cinderella Project

We're coming up on prom season. If you're a teen, the prom can be one of the most fun, and the most stressful, events of your high school career.

Imagine adding to the stress the fact that you, and/or your parents, have no financial means to make your prom wishes come true. That's where The Cinderella Project of New Hampshire comes in.
The Cinderella Project is a non-profit organization that collects donations of new and "gently worn" formal dresses and accessories and donates them to financially disadvantaged high school students in New Hampshire so they can attend their high school formal occasions in style.
Even if you're way beyond your prom years, you can feel a little prom joy by making a contribution to the Cinderella Project. If you have it within your means to do so, click here.

Most proms are affairs to remember--one way or another. Here are some proms to tickle your funnybone, scare the s**t out of you, or otherwise make you glad you're no longer a teen:

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Prom. [YA AND]

Carrie. [DVD CAR]

Ferraro, Tina. Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress. [YA FER]

Pretty in Pink. [DVD PRE]

Prom Nights from Hell. [YA SC PRO]

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Speak With Conviction

Typography from Ronnie Bruce on Vimeo.

Interesting video and poem, isn't it? To speak with conviction it is generally necessary to back up your assertions. You may be passionate emotionally about an issue, but I don't think it's enough. The lasting impression you make may not necessarily be the one that you wanted!

Even if you're not interested in public speaking, I'm sure the books on that topic, found in the 808.5 section, can help you in preparing for when you're writing a letter of complaint, talking to a social service provider, or even leaving a comment on an online news site. Look for The Speaker's Handbook by Jo Sprague [808.51 SPR], then review the sections on "Organization" and "Development."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Oh, No, We Missed It!

We missed celebrating World Book Day on March 3. I only just found out about it, so it's not like I ignored it. But, it is a uniquely British undertaking, "the UK’s largest celebration of books and reading," so there isn't a lot that's for American booklovers, except for the supplementary information and activities to be found on the website.

Definitely take a look around the website! On the news page is information on teen readers including the "Top ten book characters that teenagers today would most like to go on a date with."

There are book trailers for the "Beast Quest" series for Brian Blade [J BLA], which we have in the children's room.

Little kids can have fun coloring the various pages found under "pre-school resources." They can also make Kipper finger puppets using the template provided. We have a number of the Kipper books by Mick Inkpen in our collection [JP INK] including Kipper's Book of Weather, Kipper's Sunny Day, and Kipper's Toybox. We have several Kipper videos in VHS format [J VIDEO KIP] and we're looking to replace them with DVDs shortly.

The mouse character, Maisy, created by Lucy Cousins, is the star of Maisy Drives the Bus, Maisy Goes to the Library, Maisy's Rainbow Dream, and many, many more books [JP COU]. There are several activity sheets on the World Book Day site, including Maisy's Easter Egg Holders, which is perfect for this time of year!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Poetry Friday--"Monadnock in Early Spring"

This is an interesting time of year--one day it's snowing, the next we're wearing shorts, and on a third we're shrouded in fog. But, no matter what the weather, New Hampshire is always interesting, if not downright gorgeous!
Monadnock in Early Spring
by Amy Lowell

Cloud-topped and splendid, dominating all
The little lesser hills which compass thee,
Thou standest, bright with April's buoyancy,
Yet holding Winter in some shaded wall
Of stern, steep rock; and startled by the call
Of Spring, thy trees flush with expectancy
And cast a cloud of crimson, silently,
Above thy snowy crevices where fall
Pale shrivelled oak leaves, while the snow beneath
Melts at their phantom touch. Another year
Is quick with import. Such each year has been.
Unmoved thou watchest all, and all bequeath
Some jewel to thy diadem of power,
Thou pledge of greater majesty unseen.
I'm ready to burst out walking. With all the snow piled up this winter, there was never any place to walk. I just may borrow The New Hiking the Monadnock Region: 44 Nature Walks and Day-Hikes in the Heart of New England by Joe Adamowicz [917.429 ADA] and watch the "trees flush with expectancy" one of these fine spring days!

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Madigan Reads. Madigan is a librarian from Georgia.

Photo by StarrGazr

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Physical Book

Every day you see another article, or two, or three, about the changes happening in the book world. With the advent of the Kindle, its competitors like the Nook and Kobo, and now the iPad, the physical book has all but been declared dead. (And, I'm sad to say, so have public libraries.)

If you were to believe all the hype about ebooks (and I don't), you have to wonder what's going to happen to all those physical books that are still hanging around library and home shelves. Artist Brian Dettmer has created UNBELIEVABLE works of art from old books. Here is one of his 2010 projects:

Image used courtesy Brian Dettmer © 2010, all rights reserved.

If you'd like to try a book art project of your own, pick up Alter This!: Radical Ideas for Transforming Books into Art by Alena Hennessy [YA 745.593 HEN], or one of our titles under the subject heading "Altered books."

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

NH Family Literacy Day

This Saturday, April 9, from 9 to noon, the 4th Annual NH Family Literacy Day is taking place at the Merrimack Valley Middle and High Schools in Penacook. The day is sponsored by the Granite State Council of the International Reading Association and will include free books, food, lots of special activities such as building bat houses, and visits from special guests, WMUR's Kevin Skarupa, the New England K-9 Search and Rescue Dogs, and the Easter Bunny!

It sounds like a fun day, and who would want to miss an opportunity to meet "Rosy" the Pot Bellied Pig? There is no admission charge, and parking is free!

Let your children know how important it is to read. The easiest way to do that is to let them see you read! Don't save your reading until late at night before you go to sleep and when they're asleep!

Here are a few books that show kids that reading is important, not just to kids, but to lions, old folks, and bears, too!

Conover, Chris. The Lion's Share. [JP CON]
With the help of two animal fishermen, a young winged lion learns to read, to love books, and to fly properly.

Haseley, Dennis. A Story for Bear. [JP HAS]
A young bear who is fascinated by the mysterious marks he sees on paper finds a friend when a kind woman reads to him.

Hest, Amy. Mr. George Baker. [JP HES]
Harry sits on the porch with Mr. George Baker, an African American who is one hundred years old but can still dance and play the drums, waiting for the school bus that will take them both to the class where they are learning to read.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Put a Little Color Into Your Life!

I came across the Let's Colour Project last weekend, and I think they're really on to something!
A mission to spread colour all over the world.

We are working together with local communities across the globe, rolling up our sleeves to paint streets, houses, schools and squares.

It’s the beginning of a colour movement that everyone can join in.
Of course, it's sponsored by a paint company, but still, it's a great idea to brighten up some of the drab features of our man-made world. You know what I mean--plywood covered windows and cement block walls!

It's sort of like when you put on a colorful dress, or a tie. It tends to make your spirits a little brighter for the day. It's easy enough to make a colorful change in your personal life. Consult one of these to start:

Eiseman, Leatrice. More Alive With Color: Personal Colors, Personal Style. [646.34 EIS]

Garza, Jesse. Life in Color: Visual Therapy's Guide to the Perfect Palette--For Fashion, Beauty, and You! [646.72 GAR]

Henderson, Veronique. Color Me Confident: Change Your Look, Change Your Life! [646.7042 HEN]

Monday, April 04, 2011


For the past 25 years or so, dollhouse most often meant "Barbie Dreamhouse." The hobby of dollhouse making took a backseat to the production of pink plastic palaces.

Dollhouse makers persisted, and nowadays, the dollhouse has gone beyond the dreamhouse to doll homes that might have come out of its maker's nightmares! A Frida Kahlo dollhouse, is one example, check it out here.

We still have a number of dollhouse books from the hobbyist days. Books such as A World of Doll Houses by Flora Gill Jacobs [745.592 JAC] can be inspiring reading for those of you with little girls in your life! With April vacation approaching, you may want to look into Making Doll's House Miniatures With Polymer Clay by Sue Heaser [745.592 HEA], as a way to wile away a rainy day. (I'm not predicting rainy weather, but, there is a reason why people are so fond of saying, "April showers bring May flowers.")

As with every hobby, there's an association to go along with it. The National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts is one for dollhouse makers.

Photo by Stephanie Kilgast

Friday, April 01, 2011

Poetry Friday--A Fool, a Fool!

Since today is April 1st, otherwise known as April Fool's Day, I thought I'd share a bit of Shakespeare. This is from As You Like It, Act II, Scene 7.
A fool, a fool! I met a fool in the forest,
A motley fool; a miserable world!
As I do live by food, I met a fool
Who laid him down and bask'd him in the sun,
And rail'd on Lady Fortune in good terms,
In good set terms and, yet, a motley fool.
"Good morrow, fool," quoth I. "No, sir," quoth he,
"Call me not fool till heaven hath sent me fortune:"
And then he drew a dial from his poke,
And, looking on it with lack-lustre eye,
Says very wisely, "It is ten o'clock:
Thus we may see," quoth he, 'how the world wags:
'Tis but an hour ago since it was nine,
And after one hour more 'twill be eleven;
And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,
And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot;
And thereby hangs a tale." When I did hear
The motley fool thus moral on the time,
My lungs began to crow like chanticleer,
That fools should be so deep-contemplative,
And I did laugh sans intermission
An hour by his dial. O noble fool!
A worthy fool! Motley's the only wear.

The play can be found in any number of collections in 822.33 SHA. There is a BBC version [DVD 822.33 SHA], which is part of "The complete dramatic works of William Shakespeare" series, and Kenneth Branagh's version is found with the major studio films [DVD AS].

I'm getting off track a little here, but I just finished The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown [F BRO]. It's a novel about three sisters from a family that is always quoting Shakespeare. I liked it and I recommend it highly!

Amy at The Poem Farm is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up, so make sure to stop by to celebrate the beginning of National Poetry Month!