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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.