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Monday, December 31, 2012

Highlights for Children

I'm willing to bet that you've been in a doctor's or dentist's waiting room at some point in your life and all you've found available to read was a copy of the magazine Highlights for Children [J MAGAZINE HIG].

If you actually picked it up and took a minute to flip through it, you may have found it to be an interesting little magazine! There are science, history, sports articles, puzzles, stories, crafts activities, and more.

The library has subscribed to the magazine for many years, and for those whose children read it, you may be interested to know that Highlights has an active online presence with a website for kids, a blog for parents, a Facebook page, and Pinterest boards.

And for those who received a tablet this year, Highlights even has apps!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Poetry Friday--"Where Go the Boats?"

We're closing out the year, and a memorable one it has been, if not always a happy one.

The following poem by Robert Louis Stevenson is from A Child's Garden of Verses [J 821 STE]. Its simplicity seems to sum up all of life! I think, therefore, it's a good way to end the year.

Where Go the Boats?

Dark brown is the river,
    Golden is the sand.
It flows along for ever,
    With trees on either hand.

Green leaves a-floating,
    Castles of the foam,
Boats of mine a-boating--
    Where will all come home?

On goes the river
    And out past the mill,
Away down the valley,
    Away down the hill.

Away down the river,
    A hundred miles or more,
Other little children
    Shall bring my boats ashore.

I'm heading over to Carol's Corner for the Poetry Friday Round-Up--hope to see you there!

Illustration by Jessie Willcox Smith.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


In the olden days, only sailors sported tattoos, then it was just motorcycle gang members. Today? People in every walk of life have tats. Including librarians! mental_floss did a piece on "11 Amazing Librarian Tattoos," if you want to see what librarians are choosing to decorate their bodies with.

Some of the best tattoos I've seen are those based on books. There have been recent articles online about literary tattoos, including another one from mental_floss, and one from Flavorwire. There's a whole blog devoted to literary tattoos called Contrariwise.

We have several books on tattoos in our collection including The Tattoo Encyclopedia: A Guide to Choosing Your Tattoo by Terisa Green [391.65 GRE], in case you're considering a little body decoration of your own.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Who got an iPad for Christmas?

Did your kids get an iPad (or an Android tablet) for Christmas? Are you perplexed about what kind of games they should be playing on it? Check out the post from last Monday about a source of information about apps for kids.

If you want to restrict your children to "educational" apps only, perhaps iPad Apps for School, written by Richard Byrne, will be of assistance. Also check out a post by Byrne that explains the wonders of an app called "We Wants Apps," which is all about educational apps!

Don't forget that you can load an Overdrive app, on an iPad or Android device, which gives you access to the ebooks that are available through the NH Downloadable Books Consortium. You will need your library card to download books.

Coming soon, through the GMILCS Consortium, of which we are a part, will be downloadable ebooks from 3M. So, if you're loading the Overdrive app, you may as well load the 3M Cloud Library app at the same time. You'll then be prepared to download ebooks as they are made available. GMILCS will be ordering teen and children's ebooks, as well as those for adults.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry, Merry!

I hope you are a merry, merry soul today!

O you merry, merry Souls,
   Christmas is a-coming,
We shall have flowing bowls,
   Dancing, piping, drumming.

Delicate minced pies
   To feast every virgin,
Capon and goose likewise,
   Brawn and a dish of sturgeon.

Then, for your Christmas box,
   Sweet plum-cakes and money,
Delicate Holland smocks,
   Kisses sweet as honey.

Hey for the Christmas ball,
   Where we shall be jolly
Jigging short and tall,
   Kate, Dick, Ralph, and Molly.

Then to the hop we'll go
   Where we'll jig and caper;
Maidens all-a-row;
   Will shall pay the scraper.

Hodge shall dance with Prue,
   Keeping time with kisses;
We'll have a jovial crew
   Of sweet smirking misses.

from Round About Our Coal Fire.
Published in 1900 in an anthology titled, IN THE YULE-LOG GLOW: CHRISTMAS POEMS FROM 'ROUND THE WORLD.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Face it, if you haven't finished your gift shopping by now, you're probably not in the mood for a little time wasting, however, if you're all set, sit back and enjoy this little Disney cartoon from 1932.

The Library will be closed all day today and tomorrow. Happy Holidays! Be safe, and eat and drink responsibly.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Poetry Friday--A.E. Housman

Today is the winter solstice and normally we might think of celebrating, but this past week has been a time of great sorrow.

Here's a poem from A.E. Housman from The Collected Poems [821 HOU], it is in the section "More Poems," and has no name, only the number XLIII.
I wake from dreams and turning
   My vision on the height
I scan the beacons burning
   About the field of night.

Each in its steadfast station
   In flaming heaven they flare;
They sign with conflagration
   The empty moors of air.

The signal-fires of warming
   They blaze, but none regard;
And on through night to morning
   The world runs ruinward.
I admit, that last word is a little awkward, but it certainly fits my vision of the world this week!

Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up where, I hope, more uplifting poems will be found. And don't worry, I'll post a delightfully happy Christmas poem on Tuesday!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Book-Related Gifts

If you're not familiar with Etsy, let me introduce you to a giant virtual mall of handmade and vintage items. And, although it's probably too late to plan for gifts in time for Christmas on Tuesday (or Hanukkah which has already concluded), there are book related items available for you to keep in mind for the book lovers of your acquaintance. There's always a birthday, Valentine's Day, or other gift-giving opportunity right around the corner.

If you know a Jane Austen fan, type "Jane Austen" in the Etsy search box and over 4,000 items will be retrieved, including 900 in the "jewelry" catalog! Here's an example--an art print of a quote from Pride and Prejudice [F AUS]:

Found on the Walkslee store page.

Or if there's a teen who's crazy about the "Hunger Games" series by Suzanne Collins [YA COL], you can type in "Hunger Games" to find over 9,000 items, including this iPhone case:

Found on the sweet life store page.

It might make for a fun Christmas-rush diversion if you spend an evening typing book authors/titles into the Etsy search to see what comes up! There are several dozen Life of Pi [F MAR] hits and more than 50 for The Polar Express [JP VAN]! Who would have ever guessed there'd be more than 20,000 "Harry Potter" series [J ROW] items listed? A book lover, that's who!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Simple Solutions

I like to read about simple solutions to problems, which you can do yourself. For example, using vinegar to clean without using chemicals. Buzzfeed has an interesting list of D-I-Y suggestions: 30 Insanely Easy Ways to Improve Your Kitchen. It's amazing what you can do with a little imagination and some common things found around the house!

Along the same line are these books from our collection:

Crafty Ideas for the Bride on a Budget: 75 DIY Wedding Projects. [745.5941]

Greenstein, Doreen. Easy Things to Make--to Make Things Easy: Simple Do-It-Yourself Home Modifications for Older People and Others with Physical Limitations. [362.4 GRE]

Kent, Cassandra. Organizing Hints & Tips: More than 1,000 Ideas to Help You Organize Your Work, Home, and Family Life. [640.41 KEN]

Proulx, Earl. Yankee Magazine's Make It Last: Over 1,000 Ingenious Ways to Extend the Life of Everything You Own. [643 PRO]

Ward, Lauri. Use What You Have Decorating: Transform Your Home in One Hour with Ten Simple Design Principles--Using the Space You Have, the Things You Like, the Budget You Choose. [747 WAR]

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Truth About Plastic

There seem to be a proliferation of infographics due to visually arresting ways of presenting information. One, which I came across, deals with "The Truth About Plastic." The truth, in a nutshell, is "every piece of plastic made still exists today." Wow! If you think about the bottles of water you've drunk over the past five years, you'll realize the end number is probably staggering, and that's just water bottles. Look around you. What isn't made of plastic? (You can learn more about the history of plastics in Inventions That Changed Our Lives: Plastic Planet. [DVD 620.1923 INV])

Without further ado, here's "The Truth About Plastic":

++ Click to Enlarge Image ++
Truth About Plastic
Source:Reusable Bags

Monday, December 17, 2012

Apps for Kids

If you don't know what an app is*, then perhaps you should come back tomorrow! (Only kidding!) Apps for iPhones, iPads, and other handheld devices are everywhere, and parents or grandparents, who want some guidance in what apps they should purchase for their kids is now available at Boing Boing.

Below, writer Mark Frauenfelder and his daughter, Jane, are interviewed on CNN regarding apps for kids for traveling.

*If you really don't know what an app is, put your name on our holds list to borrow one of our iPads. After a visit to the app store (one of the apps that is standard on the iPad) you'll quickly discover the good, bad, and the ugly of what's available in apps!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Poetry Friday--A Robert Frost Christmas Card

At the Academy of American Poets site, POETS.org, there is a short piece about Robert Frost's "Christmas Cards," which were actually Christmas chapbooks printed by Spiral Press from 1929 to 1962. What a fabulous gift it would have been to receive one! Read the article here. (Don't get too excited if you're headed down to Manhattan in the next month--the exhibition that the article is promoting took place three years ago!)

The Poetry Foundation's bio of Robert Frost lists the poems that Frost included in his Christmas Cards.

The poem Frost selected for the 1948 card is "Closed for Good." Two versions of it appear in Frost: Collected Poems, Prose & Plays [811 FRO]. I'm not sure which version was included on the card, but I've chosen the second one which is an abbreviated version of the first (the opening stanza was eliminated):
Closed for Good

They come not back with steed
And chariot to chide
My slowness with their speed
And scare me to one side.
They have found other scenes
For haste and other means.

They leave the road to me
To walk in saying naught
Perhaps but to a tree
Inaudibly in thought,
"From you the road receives
A priming coat of leaves.

"And soon for lack of sun,
The prospects are in white
It will be further done
But with a coat so light
The shape of leaves will show
Beneath the brush of snow."

And so on into winter
Till even I have ceased
To come as a foot printer,
And only some slight beast
So mousy or so foxy
Shall print there as my proxy.

Stop by Jama's Alphabet Soup for a healthy serving of Friday poetry!

Photo by Dark_muse.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Washington Holidays

Washington, D.C., is aglow with holidays decorations and some of them can be seen at The National Christmas Tree site's Pathway of Peace page. There are 56 small trees which represent the 50 states, the territories, and the District of Columbia. Here's South Dakota's decoration from 2011, which can easily be reproduced for your tree:

Fillable clear plastic ornaments are readily available, as is white card stock and white glitter.

The White House has gone all out for the holidays, click here. It has also released a free ebook of a tour through the White House, which is illustrated by the students from the Duke Ellington School for the Arts. It's worth looking through--especially for the recipe for "ginger crinkles," on page 12, from the White House Pastry Kitchen.

For a look at the actual decorations for this year, watch the video below:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rubber Ducks In the News

Photo by Lewis Whyld/PA, courtesy The Guardian.

Rubber ducks on steroids! Actually, it's one rubber duck, but it is 50 feet tall! The duck is currently sailing the Thames in London, and more photos appear on The Guardian's website.

This is not the first time I've posted about rubber ducks. The first was February 21, 2008 and the second was earlier this year on January 12.

Any rubber duck sighting can be taken as an excuse for another Sesame Street video clip!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Good Books for Giving

School Library Journal released their annual "best of" lists of children's books for 2012. The ten picture books would make great gifts for the young ones on your list. Of the ten listed, we own nine, in case you want to preview them before purchasing.

Banks, Kate (illus. by Greg Hallensleben). The Bear in the Book. [JP BAN]

Barnett, Mac (illus by Jon Klassen). Extra Yarn. [JP BAR]

Bingham, Kelly (illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky). Z Is for Moose. [JP BIN]

Buitrago, Jairo (illus. by Rafael Yockteng). Jimmy the Greatest! [JP BUI]

Cole, Henry (illus. by the author). Unspoken: A Story from the Underground Railroad. [JP COL]
Fleming, Candace (illus. by Eric Rohmann). Oh, No! [JP FLE]
Fyleman, Rose (illus. by Lois Ehlert). Mice. [on order]

Hartnett, Sonya (illus. by Ann James). Sadie and Ratz. [J HAR]

Henkes, Kevin (illus. by the author). Penny and Her Doll. [E HEN]

Hills, Tad (illus. by the author). Rocket Writes a Story. [JP HIL]

Klassen, Jon (illus. by the author). This Is Not My Hat. [JP KLA]
Logue, Mary (illus. by Pamela Zagarenski). Sleep Like a Tiger. [JP LOG]

Willems, Mo (illus. by the author). Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs: As Retold by Mo Willems. [JP WIL]

Woodson, Jacqueline (illus. by E. B. Lewis). Each Kindness. [JP WOO]

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gifts of Books

A book is always a great gift! Some children, though, miss out on receiving a gift of a book. You can remedy the situation by contributing to one of these book-related charities this holiday season:

Behind the Book behindthebook.org

Believe in Books Literacy Foundation believeinbooks.org [based in New Hampshire]

Children's Literacy Foundation: CLiF clifonline.org [serves children in New Hampshire and Vermont]

First Book firstbook.org

Kids Need to Read kidsneedtoread.org

Reader to Reader, Inc. readertoreader.org

Reading is Fundamental rif.org

UNICEF's Story Books for Happy Endings unicefusa.org

12/14/12 UPDATE: I missed this one: LitWorld litworld.org

Friday, December 07, 2012

Poetry Friday--Rumi

Maulana Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī, more popularly known as Rumi, is a Persian poet who lived in the 13th century. His poetry, however, still has the power to speak to us in the 21st century! We have two collections of his poetry on our poetry shelves: Rumi: In the Arms of the Beloved, translated by Jonathan Star, and The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems, translated by Coleman Barks [both 891 JAL].

Here's a lovely, short poem from The Soul of Rumi:
Some Kiss We Want

There is some kiss we want with
our whole lives, the touch of

spirit on the body. Seawater
begs the pearl to break its shell.

And the lily, how passionately
it needs some wild darling! At

night, I open the window and ask
the moon to come and press its

face against mine. Breathe into
me. Close the language-door and

open the love-window. The moon
won't use the door, only the window.

Visit Robyn at Read, Write, Howl for this week's Round-Up.

Photo by Fellowship of the Rich.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Downton Abbey Fans Rejoice!

The third season of Downton Abbey will be premiering on PBS on January 6--one month from now!

We have the first two seasons [DVD DOW] and will try to get season 3 as soon as it becomes available on DVD.

And, word has come down that there will be a season 4, too, and there is a 2-hour special being aired in England on Christmas Day. I assume it will be shown here in December 2013.

Here's a preview from episode one of the upcoming season:

Watch Downton Abbey, Season 3: A Scene from Episode 1 on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

With Pets...

The Atlantic recently ran a article, "Portraits of Writers With Pets," which goes a long way toward humanizing writers. Look at [fill in the blank], he's just like me, he has a pet! (The exception to this is Flannery O'Connor, who had peacocks as pets--I can't name one person I know who owns a peacock.)

The Kennedy Library in Boston has a great collection of Ernest Hemingway photos, some of which show him with one or more cats. The picture below is much better than the one that accompanies the article mentioned above.

Pets can make humans seem more human, but writer Tanya McKinnon believes that humans can seem animal-like, too. Like Cats and Dogs: Revealing Your Feline or Canine Self [156 MCK] is found in our psychology section.

Photo courtesy Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Gingerbread "People"

I admit, a gingerbread SpongeBob and friends, is not really what you talk about when you talk about gingerbread people! The SpongeBob "Bikini Bottom" display can be seen at Strawbery Banke for the next few weeks.

Mostly, when talking of gingerbread people one thinks of the traditional "The Gingerbread Man," a tale that has been retold many times over the years. Here are some of the various adaptations that we have in our children's room:

Brett, Jan. Gingerbread Baby. [JP BRE]

Galdone, Paul. The Gingerbread Boy. [JP GAL]

Holub, Joan. The Gingerbread Kid Goes to School. [E HOL]

Page, Nick. Gingerbread Nick. [E PAG]

Squires, Janet. The Gingerbread Cowboy. [JP SQU]

Monday, December 03, 2012

A Time for Making Gingerbread

Every year in December, it seems, I happen upon a display of gingerbread edifices. This year it was at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth where it was only one of the features of the "Candlelight Stroll," which I highly recommend. Here's some of what you'll see if you go:

Think about making your own holiday gingerbread display and come borrow our copy of
Gingerbread for All Seasons by Teresa Layman [641.8653 LAY], or one of the other gingerbread craft books in our collection.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Poetry Friday--Movie Week

I've been talking about movies all week, so we might as well end the week with a poem about movies. Here's one from May Swenson:
The James Bond Movie

The popcorn is greasy, and I forgot to bring a Kleenex.
A pill that’s a bomb inside the stomach of a man inside

The Embassy blows up. Eructations of flame, luxurious
cauliflowers giganticize into motion. The entire 29-ft.

screen is orange, is crackling flesh and brick bursting,
blackening, smithereened. I unwrap a Dentyne and, while

jouncing my teeth in rubber tongue-smarting clove, try
with the 2-inch-wide paper to blot butter off my fingers.

A bubble-bath, room-sized, in which 14 girls, delectable
and sexless, twist-topped Creamy Freezes (their blond,

red, brown, pinkish, lavender or silver wiglets all
screwed that high, and varnished), scrub-tickle a lone

male, whose chest has just the right amount and distribu-
tion of curly hair. He’s nervously pretending to defend

his modesty. His crotch, below the waterline, is also
below the frame--but unsubmerged all 28 slick foamy boobs.

Their makeup fails to let the girls look naked. Caterpil-
lar lashes, black and thick, lush lips glossed pink like

the gum I pop and chew, contact lenses on the eyes that are
mostly blue, they’re nose-perfect replicas of each other.

I’ve got most of the grease off and onto this little square
of paper. I’m folding it now, making creases with my nails.
Pick up our copy of American Poetry: The Twentieth Century, v. 2 [811 AME] to read more of Swenson's work.

And, if you're in the mood for a James Bond movie, we have plenty. Bond has had a long screen career with several actors taking on the role of James Bond--we have 30 James Bond DVDs in our collection! For the titles, check the online catalog using "James Bond" as the search term.

There'll be plenty of poetry action at this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up being hosted at Read, Write, Howl.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Movie Week #4

Les Miserables, will be opening on Christmas Day! Fans of the Broadway musical will be sure to flock to the theaters (the 3-disc Broadway complete symphonic recording is in our collection [CD SOUNDTRACK LES].

The book of the same name, upon which the play and film are based, is by Victor Hugo and can be found in the fiction section [F HUG], but be forewarned, the book is 1260 pages long. If you start now, you may be finished by Christmas Day (if you don't work, study, holiday shop, eat, or sleep).

We have Les Miserables in several other forms, too, including a film starring Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Uma Thurman, Claire Danes, among others [DVD LES].

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Movie Week #3

Seen the last Twilight movies? It opened just a short time ago and may have left you wanting more movies based on Stephanie Meyers' books. Well, you won't need to wait too long! In March, the filmed version of The Host [F MEY] is due to be released. The Host is the only adult book published by Meyers, and those who have read it actually say it's well-written, at least as compared to the "Twilight" series. So, read the book now before demand starts to build!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Movie Week #2

Coming soon to a theater near you--Oz the Great and Powerful! The film will open in March of 2013. The buzz has begun...

It looks a little scary to me, so parents may want to see it first before bringing little ones to the movie theater!

L. Frank Baum, the author of the original Oz books, wrote 14 Oz books in total. We have almost all of them in our collection, starting with the first, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and including these [all J BAU]: The Road to Oz #5, The Patchwork Girl of Oz #7, The Lost Princess of Oz #11, Glinda of Oz #14.

If you read your way through the Oz books, you may want to look into The Wonderful Wiki of Oz! An online encyclopedia of "All Things Oz."

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's Movie Week at Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet!

And for your viewing pleasure, here are four of the new Christmas movies that were added to our collection last week:

Adventures of Bailey Christmas Hero. [J DVD ADV] Bailey is a dog and his plans for Christmas conflicts with those of his family.

Call Me Mrs. Miracle. [DVD CAL] A film for adults based on the work of popular novelist, Debbie Macomber.

A Princess for Christmas. [DVD PRI] This one, too, if for adults and features "a faraway land, an enchanting romance, and the unbreakable bonds of family..."

12 Dogs of Christmas: Great Puppy Rescue. [J DVD TWE] The puppy orphanage will be shut down! Will the dogs of Doverville be able to save it? A follow-up to The 12 Dogs of Christmas [J DVD TWE].

Here's the trailer for Adventures of Bailey Christmas Hero:

"Adventures of Bailey - Christmas Hero" trailer from Liz Franke on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Series Reader?

If you love a good series, something light, something not too heavy with issues, then I'd like to introduce you to a series we recently purchased, "The Parasol Protectorate" [F CAR], by Gail Carriger. The cover includes this: "A novel of vampires, werewolves, and parasols." I suppose I should also add humor and romance.

The series' main character is Alexia Tarabotti, a woman without a soul (literally). "Many a gentleman had likened his first meeting with her to downing a very strong cognac when one was expecting to imbibe fruit juice--that is to say, startling and apt to leave one with a distinct burning sensation." (from the first book, Soulless).

All five books in the series were on the "New Books" shelf the last time I looked. Here are the titles: Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, Timeless.

Kurious Kitty is taking the rest of the week off. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Eat responsibly!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Nutcracker

This coming weekend there will be two performances of the ballet, The Nutcracker, at Windham High School. The presentation is by the New England Dance Ensemble. If you're in the area, and not stuck in Thanksgiving holiday traffic, make a point to attend! It's a great way to kick-off the holiday season.

If you can't make it to the performances, then we have The Nutcracker story in many formats and reading levels for you or your children to enjoy:

Barbie in the Nutcracker. [J DVD BAR]

Hoffmann, E. T. A. Nutcracker. [J HOF] (Illustrated by Maurice Sendak.)

The Nutcracker. [JP NUT]

The Nutcracker (Shchelkunchtsk). [DVD 792.8 NUT] (Bolshoi Ballet.)

Tchaikovsky, Peter Ilich. The Nutcracker: Ballet in Two Acts. [CD HOLIDAY TCH] (The Royal Philharmonia Orchestra.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Island of the Blue Dolphins

Back when you were a child, you may have read Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell [J ODE, also J AB/CD ODE]. It was published in 1960 and went on to win the prestigious Newbery Award the following year.

You may not have realized that the character in the story is based upon a real woman. Recently a cave was discovered on San Nicholas Island, off the coast of California, which may have been the one she lived in 177 years ago. It is a fascinating story that can be read in a Los Angeles Times article.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Poetry Friday--"The Pilgrims Came"

In honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I've picked a poem from an old book (published in 1929), Our Holidays in Poetry, compiled by Mildred P. Harrington and Josephine H. Thomas [808.81 HAR].
The Pilgrims Came
by Annette Wynne

The Pilgrims came across the sea,
And never thought of you and me;
And yet it's very strange the way
We think of them Thanksgiving Day.

We tell their story old and true
Of how they sailed across the blue,
And found a new land to be free
And built their homes quite near the sea.

Every child knows well the tale
Of how they bravely turned the sail,
And journeyed many a day and night,
To worship God as they thought right.

The people think that they were sad,
And grave; I'm sure that they were glad--
They made Thanksgiving Day--that's fun--
We thank the Pilgrims, every one!
Today's Poetry Friday Round-Up is taking place at Booktalking#kidlit.

Currier & Ives print courtesy Library of Congress.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

...To Grandmother's House We Go

The PBSParents blog, Kitchen Explorers, recently posted a recipe for a Thanksgiving treat, fried pumpkin pie wontons. I'm willing to bet that pumpkin pie wontons wasn't on your grandmother's table! Mine, neither!

What are some of the Thanksgiving treats you looked forward to every year? For me it was chocolate pudding pie, in a home-made crust, with real whipped cream on top!

You may want to start a new Thanksgiving dessert tradition, if so, come browse through some of our many dessert and holiday cookbooks where you'll find out-of-the-ordinary desserts such as these:

Apricot Kuchen Cake, Fat-Free Holiday Recipes by Sandra Woodruff [641.568 WOO], page 226.

Fig-Sultana Cheesecake, Sweetness and Light: A Dessert Book by Kip Wilcox [641.86 WIL], page 75.

Lime Mousse, Dessert University: More than 300 Spectacular Recipes and Essential Lessons from White House Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier [641.86 MES], page 120.

Maple Pecan Pie, Best of Martha Stewart Living: Holidays [641.568 STE], page 32.

Pear Pie with Sour Cherries in Port, Home for the Holidays: Festive Baking with Whole Grains by Ken Haedrich [641.568 HAE], page 136.

Photo courtesy PBSParents.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Run, Turkey, Run!

Run, Turkey, Run! is a Thanksgiving book by a local author, Diane Mayr [JP MAY] (a.k.a. "Kurious Kitty"). It is the basis for a children's musical theater production of the same name being performed at the Seacoast Rep in Portsmouth this coming Saturday and Sunday at 11:30 AM. Tickets are still available for this excellent production!

We have plenty of Thanksgiving books now on display in the children's room, so come for a visit and check them out!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November is Picture Book Month

You can check out various "why picture books are important" postings on the Picture Book Month website.

Here are a few picture books that were recently added to our children's room collection:

Adams, Diane. I Want To Help. [JP ADA]

Brett, Jan. Mossy. [JP BRE]

Cordell, Matthew. Hello! Hello! [JP COR]

Kelly, Mark. Mousetronaut: A Partially True Story. [JP KEL]

Klassen, Jon. This Is Not My Hat. [JP KLA]

Parr, Todd. The Thankful Book. [JP PAR]

Stead, Philip Christian. Bear Has a Story to Tell. [JP STE]

Yolen, Jane. Waking Dragons. [JP YOL]

There's something here for everyone--big or small!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veteran's Day

The Library is closed today for the Veteran's Day holiday.

Here's a short video courtesy of CBS that reminds us of what the holiday is all about:

See you tomorrow!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Poetry Friday--"Prayer in My Boot"

To round out this election week, here's a poem from 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East by Naomi Shihab Nye [YA 811 NYE] that applies to the us today--in so many ways...
Prayer in My Boot

by Naomi Shihab Nye

For the wind no one expected

For the boy who does not know the answer

For the graceful handle I found in a field
attached to nothing
pray it is universally applicable

For our tracks which disappear
the moment we leave them

For the face peering through the cafe window
as we sip our soup

For cheerful American classrooms sparkling
with crisp colored alphabets
happy cat posters
the cage of the guinea pig
the dog with division flying out of his tail
and the classrooms of our cousins
on the other side of the earth
how solemn they are
how gray or green or plain
how there is nothing dangling
nothing striped or polka-dotted or cheery
no self-portraits or visions of cupids
and in these rooms the students raise their hands
and learn the stories of the world

For library books in alphabetical order
and family businesses that failed
and the house with the boarded windows
and the gap in the middle of a sentence
and the envelope we keep mailing ourselves

For every hopeful morning given and given
and every future rough edge
and every afternoon
turning over in its sleep
Ed is hosting this week's Round-Up at Think Kid, Think!, and I think you should stop by!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Military Service Dogs

In the near future, a new monument will be opened in California--the The U.S. Working Dog Teams National Monument. Plans are to honor the dogs that served in combat from World War II to today. Click here for an emotionally moving article which also has a slideshow.

Dogs are a favorite subject in the library, and there are a number of books on service dogs including ones about dogs that work with people who have disabilities, as well as ones on dogs that work with humans in other ways. Here are a few titles:

Arnold, Jennifer. Through a Dog's Eyes. [636.7 ARN]

Gorrell, Gena K. Working Like a Dog: The Story of Working Dogs through History. [J 636.73 GOR]

McDaniel, Melissa. Disaster Search Dogs. [J 636.7 MCD]

Patent, Dorothy Hinshaw. The Right Dog for the Job: Ira's Path from Service Dog to Guide Dog. [J 362.4 PAT]

Ruffin, Frances E. Military Dogs. [J 636.7 RUF]

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Bookworm Kate

If you like children's books, then you may be interested in a new blog that is devoted to children's books, Bookworm Kate: Book Reviews for Kids by a Kid. The blog is written by a Windham student, Katherine, "Kate" who describes herself: "I am 8-years old, and I am in third grade. Reading is my favorite thing to do."

When I visited the blog yesterday, Kate had a review up on Neil Gaiman's The Wolves in the Walls [J GAI]--it sounds a little creepy, but also like a fun read! It was given 4 out of 5 worms (bookworms are Kate's rating system).

Thanks, Kate, for the review, and for the plug for the Library: "I picked this book because I was browsing the shelves at the town library..."

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

It's Election Day (Finally...) & an Anniversary!

Not too much to say but to go out and vote. The future of our nation depends on your participation in the democratic process! And remember, if you don't vote, then you can't complain!

If you want to explain to your kids what exactly it is that a president does, then a good way to start is by watching a DVD called United States History: History and Functions of the Presidency [DVD 352.23 UNI]. You may learn a little something yourself!

See you at the polls!

Note: today marks Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet's sixth blogoversary! Posts five days a week for six years (with few exceptions). One thousand five hundred eighteen posts and still going! Wow! Who woulda thunk it?

Monday, November 05, 2012

The Wonder of It All

I was lucky to have grown up in a time when there was still the wonder of space and space travel. Perhaps we can bring back that wonder?

Kids can still partake in the wonder by reading books such as Space Tourist: A Traveler's Guide to the Solar System by Stuart Atkinson [J 629.4 ATK]. Adults can look for Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku [303.483 KAK].

Friday, November 02, 2012

Poetry Friday--Hurricanes

I'm hoping that my New York/New Jersay relatives and friends are finally able to see some manner of normality returning to their lives. In New Hampshire, we who've escaped the wrath of Sandy, send our thoughts and prayers their way.

One of the memorable poems to come out of Katrina is this one by Andrei Codrescu:
what to do with your goat in a drowning world

hear the helicopters come over the roof
water's up to my attic windows
and I'm stuck here with my goat
I can see my neighbor in the hole on his roof
he's got two dachsies and a tomcat
just across the rushing river is his sister
she's cradling her baby and a rooster
circling helicopters circling helicopters
will take me but not my goat
will lift me up from muck and flood
but they won't take my neighbor's dogs or cat
or his sister's baby's rooster
helicopters overhead nation to the rescue
take the people damn their friends
I'm not going without my goat
he's not going without his pets
baby won't leave without her rooster
lord oh lord why don't we have an ark
that's the helicopters leaving
that's the nation to the rescue
leaving us here in the dark
I can't imagine what it must be like to have to make a decision about leaving a pet behind.

Poets.org featured William Carlos Williams poem "The Hurricane" on Tuesday. Other hurricane poems can be found on the Poetry Foundation website.

To finish up, here's a poem credited to "Anonymous." It can be found in The Bill Martin Jr. Big Book of Poetry [J 811 BIG] and expresses the reality of the weather!

Whether the weather be fine,
Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
Or whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather
Whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not!
This week Mainely Write is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up, you may want to head over!

Photo by David Shankbone.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Vampires and Zombies

Since Halloween was only yesterday, there's still time to talk about vampires and zombies without feeling silly!

Dracula, based on the book by Bram Stoker [F STO] and the film staring Bela Lugosi, had been the stereotypical vampire for dozens of years, but, with the "Twilight" series [YA MEY], the "Sookie Stackhouse" series [F HAR], or any of the other vampire series books published over the past five years, there's no longer a stereotypical vampire character! Vampires come in all shapes and sizes.

Vampires, though, have been slowly replaced over the past few years. Now the big thing is zombies. Zombies are the stars of books such Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith [F GRA] and Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion [F MAR, also AB/CD MAR]. The filmed version of Warm Bodies is opening on February 1. Warm Bodies the movie should have great appeal to teens, because it's a zombie love story. (The tagline on the film's Facebook page is, "Because Zombies need love too.")

There's a book in our young adult section titled Vampires, Zombies, and Shape-Shifters by Rebecca Stefoff [YA 398.45 STE]. Perhaps the author is hinting that the next big thing in books and movies will be Shape-Shifters?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

This has been a pretty weird week, so there won't be trick-or-treating tonight in Windham, but, it has been rescheduled for Saturday 5 to 8 PM.

If you look at the chart below, you might come to the conclusion that it's okay if you skip this year and don't get bagsful of candy!

Rather than bemoan the loss of candy, get the kids involved in putting together some of the fun AND healthy snacks found in FamilyFun Super Snacks: 125 Quick Snacks That Are Fun to Make and to Eat [641.539 FAM].

Graphic courtesy visual.ly.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Why Tuesday?

Next Tuesday is election day. If you've asked yourself, Why on a Tuesday?, then you're not alone. NPR had a segment that addressed this question, "Why Are Elections On Tuesdays?". Read or listen to find out why, back in 1845, Tuesday was the perfect choice.

If you'd like to learn more about the way elections are run, then look for The United States Election System [324 UNI]. This title in "The Reference Shelf" series explores elections and election history by compiling articles by writers from newspapers and magazines such as The American Prospect, Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post, etc.

Image courtesy Open Clip Art Library.

Monday, October 29, 2012


We're right in the middle of what has been named the "Frankenstorm," because there are actually two events coming together, one, Hurricane Sandy heading north and west, and the other a cold front heading to the east. To track the storm, and to find other information and advice, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a great website.

This post is being written on Sunday, so please call the Library at 432-7154 to make sure we are open prior to your coming down for a visit. You can also visit our Facebook page and check for closings on WMUR, channel 9--look for us under "N" for Nesmith.

After the storm is over, your kids can learn more about hurricanes from a book such as this one in our children's room collection: Anatomy of a Hurricane by Terri Dougherty [J 551.552 DOU].

Stay safe and dry!

Image courtesy NOAA.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Poetry Friday--Builder Goose

I've always thought that if I could write a book about construction equipment, I would be guaranteed to sell it. Books on construction equipment, especially trucks, are always in high demand in our children's room. The sticking point however, is to make it good and something that's not going to make a mother groan when her little one asks to be read it again...and again...and again.

If you're looking for something new in the way of construction equipment books, you may want to try Builder Goose.

Builder Goose: It's Construction Rhyme Time! by Boni Ashburn, illustrated by Sergio de Giori [JP ASH], is a new addition to our picture book section. It's also a different way of approaching construction equipment--through rhymes. The rhymes are based on traditional nursery rhymes or songs. This can actually can get in the way if the reader is too familiar with the original. And, some of the entries are an example of "trying too hard" to make the rhyme fit, but, overall, the collection should be a welcomed change for those tasked with reading to little boys. (Not to be sexist, but in all my years, I've never had a girl ask me for a truck book! A girl however, might enjoy this one!)

Here's an example of a rhyme that I think works well:
It's Spinning, It's Roaring!

It's spinning, it's roaring!
It's mixing the flooring.
It tumbles around,
puts a chute to the ground,
and then it starts a-pouring.
Without the illustrations were you able to guess it's a cement mixer?

Chug on over to TeacherDance for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Saints Be Praised!

This past weekend, Pope Benedict XVI welcomed seven new saints into the canon of saints. Two were born in New York, and one of these native New Yorkers, Kateri Tekakwitha, is the first American Indian saint.

Saints have always been popular subjects for artists and writers, and continue to be so to this day. Here are a few modern examples:

Bradley, Marion Zimmer. Priestess of Avalon. [SF BRA] "Myth, magic, and romance" and the story of St. Helena.

Brother Sun, Sister Moon. [DVD BRO] Dramatizes the life of St. Francis of Assisi.

Cutter, Kimberly. The Maid. [F CUT] A novel about St. Jean of Arc.

De Paola, Tomie. Christopher: The Holy Giant. [JP DEP] Tells the legend of St. Christopher.

Gauch, Patricia Lee. The Little Friar Who Flew. [JP GAU] The story of St. Joseph, of Cupertino, who was known for his ability to levitate.

Llywelyn, Morgan. Brendan. [F LLY] A novel of the life of St. Brendan the Voyager.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

National Chemistry Week

Not only is this New Hampshire History Week, it is also National Chemistry Week! And unlike NH History Week, which has only been celebrated for the past few years, National Chemistry Week has been celebrated for 25! Who woulda thunk it?

This year's celebration centers around nanotechnology.
a technology executed on the scale of less than 100 nanometers, the goal of which is to control individual atoms and molecules, especially to create computer chips and other microscopic devices.
Definition courtesy Dictionary.com
Nanotechnology is the "new thing" in science, and as such, has spawned a sub-genre of speculative fiction called "nanotechnology fiction." Here are a few examples:

Grant, Michael. BZRK. [YA GRA] In the near future, the conjoined Armstrong twins, under the guise of the Armstrong Fancy Gifts Corporation, plot to create their own version of utopia using nanobots, while a guerilla group known as BZRK develops a DNA-based biot that can stop bots, but at risk of the host's brain.

Koontz, Dean R. Dean Koontz Frankenstein, Book Four: Lost Souls. [F KOO] Victor Leben, once Frankenstein, has not only seen the future--he's ready to populate it. Using stem cells, "organic" silicon circuitry, and nanotechnology, he will engender a race of superhumans--the perfect melding of flesh and machine. With a powerful, enigmatic backer eager to see his dream come to fruition and a secret location where the enemies of progress can't find him, Victor is certain that this time, nothing and no one can stop him. It is up to five people to prove him wrong.

Ludlum, Robert. Robert Ludlum's the Lazarus Vendetta. [F LUD] Lt. Col. Jon Smith, activated in the wake of a deadly attack on a nano-technology research facility, sets out to learn the truth about the leader of the eco-conscious, anti-technology Lazarus Movement, and uncovers a plot that could change the very nature of the world.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

NH History Week!

New Hampshire History Week is being celebrated this week with a gathering today, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at the New Hampshire Historical Society Library, 30 Park Street in Concord. This event, is free, and is sponsored by the NH Historical Society, the NH Humanities Council, the NH Preservation Alliance, the NH Division of Historical Resources, the NH Department of Cultural Resources and the NH Department of Education.

We are proud to have an extensive and varied collection of books on NH history on our shelves including these titles that you can borrow:

Claflin, James. Lighthouses and Life Saving along the Maine and New Hampshire Coast [974.1 CLA].

Garvin, Donna-Belle. On the Road North of Boston: New Hampshire Taverns and Turnpikes, 1700-1900. [974.2 GAR]

Heald, Bruce D. Main Street New Hampshire. [974.2 HEA]

The History and Economics of the New Hampshire Dairy Industry. [338.176 HIS]

Knoblock, Glenn A. "Strong and Brave Fellows": New Hampshire's Black Soldiers and Sailors of the American Revolution, 1775-1784. [973.3442 KNO]

Lassonde, Barbara Mills. Maple Sugaring in New Hampshire. [974.2 LAS]

New Hampshire State Organization Daughters of the American Revolution. Living in the Lap of History: A Checklist of Some Historic Sites in New Hampshire. [974.2 NEW]

Rice, Jane. Bob Fogg and New Hampshire's Golden Age of Aviation: Flying over Winnipesaukee and Beyond. [629.1309 RIC]

Shaffer, Duane E. Men of Granite: New Hampshire's Soldiers in the Civil War.
[973.7442 SHA]

Whitney, D. Quincy. Hidden History of New Hampshire. [974.2 WHI]

Women of the Granite State: 25 New Hampshire Women You Should Know. [J 920 WOM]

Monday, October 22, 2012

Nobel Prize Winner

This year's Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to the Chinese writer, Mo Yan. In our collection we currently have two of Mo Yan's books, one, a novel, The Garlic Ballads, is [F MO]
...an epic novel of love, brutality and magic realism, which was banned in China. A glut on the garlic market leaves farmers watching the crop rot in the field--until they storm the Communist establishment in an apocalyptic riot. Thus, unfolds three intricately entwined tales of love and consequence.
The other is a book of essays, Cang ying men ya: Mo Yan xiao shuo jing duan xi lie, and is found in our foreign language section [CHINESE 895.14 MO].

Mo Yan's latest release in the U.S. is the novel Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out. In an interview after the announcement of his winning the Nobel Prize, Mo Yan recommended starting with this work saying, "I think this book is a relatively perfect and uniform combination between attention to reality and the exploration of creative style." The book is on order and is expected to arrive soon.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Poetry Friday--Lucille Clifton

The memory of Lucille Clifton was honored last Sunday at the Dodge Poetry Festival. Three of Clifton's daughters shared stories of their mother, while two poets read favorites from Clifton's works. The audience added to an already emotionally moving tribute by contributing stories of their encounters with Clifton. The session was videotaped, so, check the Dodge site in a few months to see if it is available for viewing. A short video from one of the past Dodge Festivals that Clifton attended is available here.

Although Lucille Clifton's poems appear in many anthologies in our collection, Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir, 1969-1980 [811 CLI], is the only one of her poetry books that we own. That will soon be remedied! On order we have The Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton, 1965-2010, which was released in September. The book contains over 700 pages--full of poems!

Here's one of Clifton's poems that appears in the children's anthology, Pass It On: African-American Poetry for Children, selected by Wade Hudson [J 811 PAS]. It is the last poem in the book, and a line from it gives the book its title:
Listen Children

listen children
keep this in the place
you have for keeping
keep it all ways

we have never hated black

we have been ashamed
hopeless    tired    mad
but always
all ways
we loved us

we have always loved each other
children    all ways

pass it on
The Round-Up this week is being hosted by Irene Latham at Live Your Poem.... This is an especially busy week for Irene--her latest children's novel, Don't Feed the Boy, was published on Tuesday! Congratulations, Irene!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Civil War Quilts

If our history section is any indication, the Civil War is a subject of great interest to people, and if our quilt section is any indication, there is also a great interest in quilts and quilting. If you find yourself interested in both topics, then head down to Lexington, MA on Saturday for a lecture at the Museum of Our National Heritage entitled, "Quilts for Civil War Soldiers: Stories from the Home Front and the Battlefield."

The lecture will be given by Pamela Weeks, curator at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA. Ms. Weeks will tell the stories behind three rare Civil War quilts. This lecture is free to the public.

"Elm Creek Quilts" series writer, Jennifer Chiaverini, has a novel about the Civil War, The Union Quilters [F CHI], "a Civil War-era tale of love and sacrifice behind Union lines."

Just a reminder, we have a museum pass to the New England Quilt Museum. It was made possible through proceeds from the Nesmith Library Quilters Group annual quilt raffle. To book the pass, click here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Are you someone who likes to tinker, but you're not necessarily interested in the arts and crafts side of being crafty, then I'd like to introduce you to MAKE Magazine. MAKE Magazine's online site and blog are full of projects for those who are skilled in mechanics or computers or in other ways. For instance, you can build "a solenoid powered dancebot"! (Click here.)

If tinkering appeals to you, on our shelves you'll find books like 62 Projects to Make With a Dead Computer by Randy Sarafan [YA 745.5 SAR] or Electronic Sensors for the Evil Genius by Thomas Petruzzellis [621.389 PET]. Look for other books in the "Evil Genius" series, too; we have at least nine titles.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Math Anxiety

Education Week recently posted an article titled, "Timed Tests and the Development of Math Anxiety."

Many people, including myself, suffer from math anxiety. I'm old, and my anxiety developed long, long, ago, but, kids should no longer be subject to math anxiety with the increased interest and research in math education over the past few decades. It seems to me that the emphasis on testing, if it raises problems with math (and other testing) anxiety, may need to be reexamined.

Two books dealing with the subject of educational testing are The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education by Diane Ravitch [379.73 RAV] and The Assessment Debate: A Reference Handbook by Valerie J. Janesick [371.26 JAN].

On the subject of math anxiety, we have Overcoming Math Anxiety by Sheila Tobias [370.15 TOB]. And for a slightly skewed look at the subject, in our children's room you'll find Math Curse by John Scieszka [JP SCI].

Monday, October 15, 2012

Escaping the Stuff

Each week another person I know tells me that he/she is "downsizing." Downsizing in most cases means getting rid of STUFF! If you've been thinking about clearing out some of your superfluous possessions, you may want to start by viewing this TED talk:

When you're ready to start removing/recycling/repurposing/regifting/reorganizing, start at the library with one of these:

Blanke, Gail. Throw Out Fifty Things: Clear the Clutter, Find Your Life. [648.5 BLA]

Cronstrom, Kendell. Real Simple: The Organized Home. [747 CRO]

Cut the Clutter and Stow the Stuff: The Q.U.I.C.K. Way to Bring Lasting Order to Household Chaos. [648 CUT]

Home Made Simple: Fresh Ideas to Make Your Own
. [640 HOM]

Friday, October 12, 2012

Poetry Friday--Madly Singing

Browsing the shelves I came upon this book edited by Czeslaw Milosz, A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry [808.81 BOO]. There are several reasons why I like it: 1. all the poems are relatively short; 2. it gets away from the Euro-centric view of poetry; 3. the collection spans at least a thousand years; 4. Milosz introduces each poem with a brief note of explanation.

Here's a poem by Po Chü-I, who lived 772-846. It was translated from the Chinese by Arthur Waley.
Madly Singing in the Mountains

There is no one among men that has not a special failing;
And my failing consists of writing verses.
I have broken away from the thousand ties of life;
But this infirmity still remains behind.
Each time that I look at a fine landscape,
Each time that I meet a loved friend,
I raise my voice and recite a stanza of poetry
And marvel as though a God had crossed my path.
Ever since the day I was banished to Hsün-yang
Half my time I have lived among the hills
And often, when I have finished a new poem,
Alone I climb the road to the Eastern Rock.
I lean my body on the banks of white Stone;
I pull down with my hands a green cassia branch.
My mad singing startles the valleys and hills;
The apes and birds all come to peep.
Fearing to become a laughing-stock to the world,
I choose a place that is unfrequented by men.
Stop by Teaching Young Writers for the Poetry Friday Round-Up. Have a lovely weekend!

Hiroshige woodcut print courtesy Library of Congress.