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Friday, July 21, 2017

Poetry Friday--First Battle

On this day in 1861, one of the first battles of the American Civil War took place. The North referred to it as the First Battle of Bull Run, the South called it the Battle of First Manassas. As you may have suspected, there followed a second battle on the spot in August 1862.

Up to the point of the first battle, many thought the civil war would be over quickly, and relatively easily. On July 21, some actually assumed they could head out to the battle scene and watch while they ate a picnic lunch. What a mistaken assumption that was!

I highly recommend the children's novel, Bull Run, by Paul Fleischman [F FLE]. In this slim volume,

Northerners, Southerners, generals, couriers, dreaming boys and worried sisters describe the glory, the horror, the thrill, and the disillusionment of the first battle of the Civil War.

The battle was also the subject of this poem written by Herman Melville:
The March into Virginia Ending in the First Manassas (July, 1861)

Did all the lets and bars appear
     To every just or larger end,
Whence should come the trust and cheer?
     Youth must its ignorant impulse lend—
Age finds place in the rear.
     All wars are boyish, and are fought by boys,
The champions and enthusiasts of the state:
     Turbid ardors and vain joys
          not barrenly abate—
Stimulants to the power mature,
     Preparatives of fate.

Who here forecasteth the event?
What heart but spurns at precedent
And warnings of the wise,
Contemned foreclosures of surprise?
The banners play, the bugles call,
The air is blue and prodigal.
     No berrying party, pleasure-wooed,
No picnic party in the May,
Ever went less loth than they
     Into that leafy neighborhood.
In Bacchic glee they file toward Fate,
Moloch’s uninitiate;
Expectancy, and glad surmise
Of battle’s unknown mysteries.

All they feel is this: ’tis glory,
A rapture sharp, though transitory,
Yet lasting in belaureled story.
So they gayly go to fight,
Chatting left and laughing right.

But some who this blithe mood present,
     As on in lightsome files they fare,
Shall die experienced ere three days be spent—
     Perish, enlightened by the vollied glare;
Or shame survive, and, like to adamant,
     Thy after shock, Manassas, share.

For more poems of the Civil War, look for "Words for the Hour": A New Anthology of American Civil War Poetry [811.008 WOR].

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted this week by The Logonauts!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Road Trip! Part 5

Perhaps you're not going on an extended vacation this summer and are only looking to take day trips. Some place within a few hours' drive of Windham? We've got you covered with books like

Doan, Daniel. 50 More Hikes in New Hampshire: Day Hikes and Backpacking Trips from Mount Monadnock to Mount Magalloway. [917.42 DOA]

Glassman-Jaffe, Marcia. Massachusetts: Hundreds of Ideas for Day Trips with the Kids. [917.44 GLA]

Hipple, Ethan. Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont: 75 of the Best Family Hiking, Camping, and Paddling Trips. [796.50974 HIP]

Olia, Maria T. Day Trips New England: Getaway Ideas for the Local Traveler. [917.404 OLI]

Rogers, Lura J. Fun with the Family in Vermont and New Hampshire: Hundreds of Ideas for Day Trips with the Kids. [917.4 ROG]

And, we have a Pinterest page titled Travel Close to Home, that has over 100 pins for locations or activities in the New England states, especially New Hampshire.

You'll find something for everyone from A (art museums) to Z (zoos) and a whole lot in between!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Road Trip! Part 4

Yesterday I offered audiobook suggestions for your family road trip. Today, we'll look at two more things to do in the car, neither of which involve a screen.

Sing! Sing along to a CD such as Disney's Silly Songs [CD CHILDREN DIS], or any one of the Cedarmont Kids Singers series of titles [all CD CHILDREN CED]. Or, you can bring along a book of song lyrics. A great all-around collection of oft-sung songs is found in Rise Up Singing: The Group-Singing Song Book [782.42 RIS]. For a collection of just kids' songs, look for

The second screenless thing you can do in the car, is play games! Travel games to be specific. Games can be found in
The Everything Kids' Travel Activity Book: Games to Play, Songs to Sing, Fun Stuff to Do--Guaranteed to Keep You Busy the Whole Ride! by Erik A. Hanson [J 793.7 HAN, eBook], 150 Nifty Travel Games and Card Tricks [J 793.7 ONE], or Hopscotch, Hangman, Hot-Potato, and Ha, Ha, Ha: A Rule Book of Children's Games by Jack Maguire [793 MAG].

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Road Trip! Part 3

Sooner or later this summer you will embark on a real roadtrip. Keeping the kids occupied can be a challenge--there are only so many times they can watch their favorite Disney movie! Or, if your vehicle is not equipped with a DVD player, what then?

Get them totally away from a screen and let their imaginations loose with an audiobook? Pick a classic and everyone will listen!

Here are some tried and true audiobooks for the whole family to enjoy:

Bond, Michael. More about Paddington: Classic Adventures of the Bear from Darkest Peru. [J AB/CD BON]

Burnett, Frances Hodgson. The Secret Garden. [J AB/CD BUR]

Dickins, Charles. A Christmas Carol. [AB/CD DIC] (Note: who cares if it's the middle of summer?)

Juster, Norton. The Phantom Tollbooth. [J AB/CD JUS]

Napoli, Donna Jo. Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters. [J AB/CD 398.2 NAP]

Rawls, Wilson. Where the Red Fern Grows. [J AB/CD RAW]

Streatfeild, Noel. Ballet Shoes. [eAudiobook]

Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure Island. [J AB/CD STE]

White, E. B. Charlotte's Web. [J AB/CD WHI]

Wilde, Oscar. The Happy Prince and Other Stories. [J AB/CD WIL]

Monday, July 17, 2017

Road Trip! Part 2

Last Thursday I posted titles of books that feature road trips. Today I'm going to cover the seemingly endless number of MOVIES featuring road trips. The one that springs immediately to mind is Thelma and Louise [DVD THE]--a female "buddy" film--with a road trip to end all road trips! (A road trip that eliminated all hopes for a sequel!)

Other filmic journeys are male buddy movies, family vacation movies, human/pet trips, and a journey on a riding mower! There's sure to be one for you!

Bird on a Wire. [DVD BIR]

Harry & Tonto. [DVD HAR]

Joy Ride. [DVD JOY]

National Geographic Vacation. [DVD NAT]

Nebraska. [DVD NEB]

On the Road. [DVD ON]

Planes, Trains and Automobiles. [DVD PLA]

Silver Streak. [DVD SIL]

The Space between Us. [DVD SPA]

The Straight Story. [DVD STR]

The Way. [DVD WAY]

Friday, July 14, 2017

Poetry Friday--Shorebirds

Have you been to the beach lately? One of the great things about the New England coast is the abundance of shore birds such as Piping Plovers. The Piping Plovers have had a hard time in the past, but their future has been improved. Here's a short video on how the Piping Plovers are being protected in Massachusetts.

I could watch the scurrying creatures for hours--as a matter of fact, the last time I was in Maine, that's exactly what I did!

Another shorebird, the sandpiper, has been "captured" in words by Elizabeth Bishop. "Sandpiper" is found in the fascinating collection of poems selected by Billy Collins and illustrated by David Allen Sibley titled, Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems about Birds [821 BRI]

The roaring alongside he takes for granted,
and that every so often the world is bound to shake.
He runs, he runs to the south, finical, awkward,
in a state of controlled panic, a student of Blake.

The beach hisses like fat. On his left, a sheet
of interrupting water comes and goes
and glazes over his dark and brittle feet.
He runs, he runs straight through it, watching his toes.

- Watching, rather, the spaces of sand between them
where (no detail too small) the Atlantic drains
rapidly backwards and downwards. As he runs,
he stares at the dragging grains.

The world is a mist. And then the world is
minute and vast and clear. The tide
is higher or lower. He couldn't tell you which.
His beak is focussed; he is preoccupied,

looking for something, something, something.
Poor bird, he is obsessed!
The millions of grains are black, white, tan, and gray
mixed with quartz grains, rose and amethyst.

Did you know that today is National Mac & Cheese Day! Visit the Poetry Friday Round-Up being hosted by Tabatha Yeatts, where you may find a mac & cheese celebration in poetry!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Road Trip!

The summer is the time for road trips, whether they are short trips within New England, or extended cross country trips.

It's also an opportunity to read about others' trips, where you can vicariously enjoy travel without leaving the comforts of home. Here are a few of those trips:

Berg, Elizabeth. Tapestry of Fortunes. [F BER, eBook]

Doig, Ivan. Last Bus to Wisdom. [F DOI]

Evison, Jonathan. The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving. [F EVI, eBook]

Fishman, Boris. Don't Let My Baby Do Rodeo. [F FIS]

Harbison, Elizabeth M. Driving With the Top Down. [eAudiobook]

Hickham, Homer H. Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator. [F HIC]

Merullo, Roland. Dinner with Buddha. [F MER, AB/CD MER, eBook]

Zadoorian, Michael. The Leisure Seeker. [F ZAD]

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Learning to Swim

Here's a little video about an emperor penguin who needed a "parent" to help it acclimate to the water:

Penguins are natural born swimmers. Humans, not so much. It's a shame that children sometimes learn to fear the water before they learn to swim. If you need assistance with teaching a child (or yourself) how to swim, we have materials that may help, and, once a child learns, he/she may quickly decide to pursue swimming as a sport.

Bory, Eva. Teach Your Child to Swim: An Instructional Guide to the Basics of Swimming. [797.2 BOR]

Laughlin, Terry. Total Immersion: The Revolutionary Way to Swim Better, Faster, and Easier. [797.21 LAU]

London, Jonathan. Froggy Learns to Swim. [JP LON]

Meredith, Susan. Teach Your Child to Swim. [797.2 MER]

Wendorff, Anne. Swimming. [J 797.21 WEN]

Willett, Andy. Swimming for Fun! [J 797.2 WIL]

Wood, Alix. You Can Be a Swimmer. [J 797.2 WOO]

For those who prefer video learning, look for Safety Smart in the Water [J DVD SAF], part of the "Disney Wild about Safety" series.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Outdoor Games

The summer is the time for getting the kids outdoors!

Many kids are involved in outdoor sports, but there are also games that can be played that don't require an investment in equipment. There are tried and true ones like hide-and-seek, but how about something new?

If you're an adult looking to engage a group of kids, The 175 Best Camp Games: A Handbook for Leaders by Kathleen, Laura, and Mary Fraser [790.15 FRA] will get you started with fun games like "Slow Motion Tag." To encourage cooperation rather than competition there is Cooperative Games and Sports: Joyful Activities for Everyone by Terry Orlick [793 ORL].

Our children's room collection has a plethora of outdoor activity books including:

Go Out and Play!: Favorite Outdoor Games from Kaboom! [J 796 GO]

Kids' Backyard Activities and Games: 25 Boredom-Busting Ideas for Tons of Outdoor Fun! [eBook]

McGillian, Jamie Kyle. Sidewalk Chalk: Outdoor Fun and Games. [J 796 MCG]

Rhatigan, Joe. Run, Jump, Hide, Slide, Splash: The 200 Best Outdoor Games Ever. [J 796 RHA]

If you just want to let your kids go outdoors without any structured play or games, that's a great idea, too! Angele J. Hanscom recommends it in Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident, and Capable Children [306.481 HAN].

Go outside!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Whistler's Son!

James McNeill Whistler, artist, was born on this day in 1834, in Lowell, Massachusetts. You probably know his most famous, and often parodied work, "Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1" a.k.a. "Whistler's Mother."

The Whistler home in Lowell is now the Whistler House Museum of Art and is open to the public Wednesdays through Saturdays. If you're interested in art and artists, it's worth a visit!

Read about the artist in James McNeill Whistler by Hilary Taylor [759.73 TAY].

Friday, July 07, 2017

Poetry Friday--"Spanish Dancer"

I happened to see a Spanish dance video on Facebook that was fabulous, and quite coincidentally I came across this poem by Rainer Maria Rilke:
The Spanish Dancer

As a lit match first flickers in the hands
Before it flames, and darts out from all sides
Bright, twitching tongues, so, ringed by growing bands
Of spectators—she, quivering, glowing stands
Poised tensely for the dance—then forward glides

And suddenly becomes a flaming torch.
Her bright hair flames, her burning glances scorch,
And with a daring art at her command
Her whole robe blazes like a fire-brand
From which is stretched each naked arm, awake,
Gleaming and rattling like a frightened snake.

And then, as though the fire fainter grows,
She gathers up the flame—again it glows,
As with proud gesture and imperious air
She flings it to the earth; and it lies there
Furiously flickering and crackling still—
Then haughtily victorious, but with sweet
Swift smile of greeting, she puts forth her will
And stamps the flames out with her small firm feet.

Of course, now that I'm looking for it, I can't find the Facebook video I had originally seen. Here's another that should demonstrate the "daring art" and put a little flame in your soul. Enjoy!

Carol at Beyond Literacy Link will be hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up for this week.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Hot Air Balloons

If you have this week off, head north to the Hillsborough, NH Balloon Fest & Fair going on today. You missed the 6:00 AM take-off, but there's another this afternoon at 6:00 PM.

It should be a sight to behold!

If you can't make the festival, you and your kids can always read about hot air balloon adventures. We have a surprising number of such books including:

Huneck, Stephen. Sally's Great Balloon Adventure. [eBook]

MacLeod, Charlotte. The Balloon Man. [F MAC MYSTERY]

McCall Smith, Alexander. Max & Maddy and the Bursting Balloons Mystery. [J MYS MCC]

Roland, Timothy. Come Down Now, Flying Cow! [E ROL]

Stead, Philip Christian. Sebastian and the Balloon. [JP STE]

Van Leeuwen, Jean. The Amazing Air Balloon. [JP VAN]

The family might also enjoy the movie, Around the World in 80 Days [DVD ARO], based on the novel of the same name by Jules Verne [F VER, AB/CD VER]

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Unusual Items

You may have noticed a bit of shelf emptying and shifting going on in the area formally known as "Reference." We now have a small display of "hot" bestsellers available for a one-week loan. The collection we refer to as "Unusual Items" has been moved to directly behind the the "hot" books.

In case you don't know what's in our collection of "Unusual Items," here are some of the items you can borrow--they are not books, DVDs, or musical CDs!

  • Orion StarBlast 4.5" telescope
  • Loom knitting primer kit
  • Bounty Hunter metal detector
  • Games
  • Kill A Watt energy detector
  • Learn to crochet kit
  • Soprano ukelele
  • Laser level

And there's more! Have you heard about the lawn game from Sweden called Kubb? We bought a set so you can try it out before buying one of your own.

Everything goes out for two weeks and may be just what you need to help you finish a project, or introduce you to a musical instrument. Come visit the Library and see what we have. We're looking to purchase more items, so your suggestions are always welcome!

Monday, July 03, 2017

The Declaration of Independence

The 4th of July used to be referred to as Independence Day, since that is the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776 thus changing the course of history forever.

New Hampshire was on board with the independence movement and was the first of two states (along with Delaware) to authorize their delegates to declare independence on June 15, 1776. Yay, New Hampshire!

We had three NH signers of the Declaration: Josiah Bartlett, Matthew Thornton, and William Whipple. Imagine affixing your name to such an important document! To learn more about these three, and all the signers, look for The Signers: The 56 Stories behind the Declaration of Independence by Dennis B. Fradin [J 973.3 FRA].

It is a good idea to periodically read the Declaration of Independence to remind ourselves of our brave beginnings!

Enjoy your Independence Day tomorrow. The Library will be closed, but we'll be back here Wednesday morning at 9:00!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Poetry Friday--Moon Frog

I found a book I hadn't seen before. I don't know how that could be since we got it back in 2001 (it was published back in 1993)! The new-to-me book is Moon Frog: Animal Poems for Young Children by Richard Edwards, illustrated by Sarah Fox-Davies [J 821 EDW]. The minute I pulled it off the shelf, I fell in love with it. Look at this cover:

And here's the title poem:
Moon Frog

The moon slid down the sky,
The froggy whispered, "Soon,
If only it comes close enough,
I'll leap onto the moon."

The moon slid lower still,
The froggy paused, then--hop!
His long legs launched him at the moon
And landed him on top.

The moon sailed smoothly on
Along its starry course,
With froggy proudly riding
Like a jockey on a horse.
I wish the poem were a wee bit longer--there's more to froggy's story that remains to be told!

That's all for today! Visit Random Noodling for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up! Have a safe and happy Independence Day holiday!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Interstate Highway System

Photo by Carol M. Highsmith, courtesy Library of Congress.

On June 29, 1956, the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Between 1954 and 1956, there were several failed attempts to pass a national highway bill through the Congress. The main controversy over the highway construction was the apportionment of the funding between the Federal Government and the states. Undaunted, the President renewed his call for a "modern, interstate highway system" in his 1956 State of the Union Address. Within a few months, after considerable debate and amendment in the Congress, The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 emerged from the House-Senate conference committee. In the act, the interstate system was expanded to 41,000 miles, and to construct the network, $25 billion was authorized for fiscal years 1957 through 1969. During his recovery from a minor illness, Eisenhower signed the bill into law at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on the 29th of June. Because of the 1956 law, and the subsequent Highway Act of 1958, the pattern of community development in America was fundamentally altered and was henceforth based on the automobile.
Anyone born after 1960 probably has no recollection of the country without the vast system of highways that criss-crosses the United States. Not only did it make it easier to get from one part of the country to another, the system also brought forth the rise in motels and fast food restaurants!

We have several books in our collection that discuss the country's eating habits before and after the interstate highway system--it's a fascinating lesson in social history!

Fieri, Guy. Diners, Drive-Ins, Dives: An All-American Road Trip--with Recipes! [647.9573 FIE]

The Food of a Younger Land: A Portrait of American Food: Before the National Highway System, before Chain Restaurants, and before Frozen Food, when the Nation's Food was Seasonal, Regional, and Traditional: From the Lost WPA Files. [394.12 FOO]

Stern, Jane and Michael. Roadfood: The Coast-to-Coast Guide to 600 of the Best Barbecue Joints, Lobster Shacks, Ice-cream Parlors, Highway Diners, and Much, Much More. [647.9573 STE]

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Yellow Fever

I'm sure the name Clara Maass doesn't mean anything to most people, but, Clara's story is one that should be better known.

Clara Maass was born on this day in 1876 in New Jersey. She died a short 25 years later after courageously volunteering to help discover the cause of yellow fever.

The American Nursing Association provides this short biography of Maass:

One of the nation's most courageous nurses, Clara Louise Maass lost her life during scientific studies to determine the cause of yellow fever. A graduate of Newark German Hospital Training School for Nurses, she worked as an Army nurse in Florida, Cuba, and the Philippines during the Spanish-American War.

In 1900, Maass returned to Cuba at the request of Maj. William Gorgas, chief sanitation officer. There she became embroiled in a controversy over the cause of yellow fever. To determine whether the tropical fever was caused by city filth or the bite of a mosquito, seven volunteers, including Maass, were bitten by the mosquitoes. Two men died, but she survived. Several months later she again volunteered to be bitten, this time suffering severe pain and fever. Maass died of yellow fever at the age of 25. In her memory, Newark German Hospital was renamed Clara Maass Memorial Hospital and in 1952, Cuba issued a national postage stamp in her name. In 1976, the U.S. Postal Service honored Clara Louise Maass with a commemorative stamp.

The cause of disease, a virus, is spread by the bite of female mosquitoes. A vaccination was developed and the disease can now be controlled. Unfortunately, in areas of the world where healthcare is lacking, yellow fever is still responsible for thousands of deaths each year.

To learn more about yellow fever and the search for its cause, look for The Secret of the Yellow Death: A True Story of Medical Sleuthing by Suzanne Jurmain [J 614.541 JUR].

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Baby Animals!

Everyone needs a daily dose of cute. Here's yours for today!

Since the allure of babies is so intense, smart children's book publishers put out series of baby animal books. Here are five titles from the "Wild Baby Animals" series by Ruth Owen--there are many more:

Arctic Fox Pups. [J 599.776 OWE]

Beaver Kits. [J 599.37 OWE]

Polar Bear Cubs. [J 599.786 OWE]

Raccoon Cubs. [J 599.76 OWE]

Skunk Kits. [J 599.768 OWE]

Squirrel Kits. [J 599.362 OWE]

Monday, June 26, 2017

Wanna Feel Old?

Twenty years ago today, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published in the UK! You read that right, 20 years ago! In the US, it was published the following year with the title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone [J ROW, YA ROW, also in audiobook and eBook].

Of course there's no need to repeat J. K. Rowling's success story, we've all heard it before. But, here are a few statistics you may not have seen: the first printing of hardcover Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was 500 copies. Five hundred! Since the first Harry Potter book was published, more than 450 million copies of the Harry Potter series books have been sold. Holy smokes!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Poetry Friday--Thunder Underground

Newly added to our children's room is a recent book by writer Jane Yolen, Thunder Underground, illustrated by Josée Masse [J 811.54 YOL].

It's a collection of poems dealing with the things you find underground such as seeds, ants, and moles, and, it take the concept a step further moving it away from the biological world to include things such as, ancient cities, tectonic plates, and subways!

Here's an example:

It should get kids thinking about what other things may be found underground, and, its light-hearted humor is sure to please readers!

The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted this week by My Juicy Little Universe. Stop by!

The National Week of Making

Sorry I learned about the National Week of Making, June 16-22, just as it is winding up. However, any week in which you can make something and be creative is a week to celebrate!

So what do the buzzwords "making" and "makerspace" mean? In the library world they can be defined as
an area and/or service that offers an opportunity to create intellectual and physical materials using resources such as computers, 3-D printers, audio and video capture and editing tools, and traditional arts and crafts supplies.
I think that's a pretty comprehensive definition. For a library such as the Nesmith Library, where we don't have a large area that can be devoted to equipment and soundproofing, we make do (pun intended) with occasional structured activities for kids and teens in our multi-purpose room such as LEGO® building, coding workshops, and arts projects. We also have Makerspace kits in the children's room that kids can use within the Library. The kits contain Magformers and Magformers magnets, Snap Circuits, and Brainflakes, to name a few (ask in the children's room for more information).

There are commercial spaces that are popping up across the country where a "maker" can go and use tools and other equipment, and share knowledge and resource with others. But for smaller needs, you may be able to use the Library. Don't forget we have a few tools here for borrowing such as a Dremel 7700 two-speed rotary tool with 15 accessories [KIT 621.9 DRE] or the Qooltek Laser Levelpro 3 [KIT 621.9 QOO].

Borrow the magazine Make: Technology on Your Time [MAG MAK] to see what projects others have created and written up to share.

Or, browse our shelves for books such as Electronics from the Ground Up: Learn by Hacking, Designing & Inventing by Ronald Quan [621.381 QUA] or 51 High-Tech Practical Jokes for the Evil Genius by Brad Graham. (We don't judge your motives here at the library!)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

International Day of Yoga

The United Nations has designated today, and every June 21 since 2014, as "International Day of Yoga."

In 2014 the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, described yoga in his address to the UN General Assembly:
It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.

Yoga has been used in schools to provide a way of dealing with children's social and emotional problems. It has been prescribed as a way to reduce blood pressure, deal with anxiety, and as a way to prepare for childbirth. Many people find it increases their energy levels. It seems like yoga has an endless number of uses, including providing one with pleasure and a sense of accomplishment!

If you're looking to try yoga, we have materials for beginners. Search our book and DVD shelves under 613.7046 or ask at one of our service desks for assistance. We're happy to help you find what you need.

If you're at home and want to start today, visit the "Videos" page on the International Day of Yoga site or check the offerings on YouTube using "beginning yoga" as your search term! You'll literally find thousands, so there's no reason not to start!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Last Day of Spring

It has been quite an interesting spring this year. Rain, rain, and more rain. Chilly temperatures. A heat wave! It's all about to switch. Today's the last day of spring and the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will be at 12:24 AM tonight.

Despite the rather odd fluctuations in temperatures, it has been a marvelous spring for flowers. People have been reporting an abundance of blooms on their flowering shrubs. Our burgundy-hued rhododendrons were magnificent, although this photo is too bright to show them at their best.

America's Stonehenge, right in Salem, NH, is celebrating the solstice tomorrow with a lesson on archaeoastronomy at 1:00 pm, and a solstice ritual start beginning at 2:00 PM.

Although no special events seem to be scheduled for the summer solstice, it still might be fun to visit the McAuliffe-Shepard Discover Center this week and discover what is going on with the sun, moon, and stars at this time of year. The Friends of the Library has purchased a library pass for our users, click here to get started booking it.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Lightning Safety Awareness Week

It's "Lightning Safety Awareness Week" and if you're pooh-poohing the idea of devoting a week to keeping safe from lightning, then consider this statistic provided by the National Weather Service:
Over the last 30 years, the U.S. has averaged 51 lightning fatalities per year.

Considering most of these deaths could have been avoided, perhaps it's good to instruct people in lightning safety.

It's important to instruct children on lightning safety and learning about the science of electrical storms is a good place to start. Try one of these:

Barnham, Kay. Fried!: When Lightning Strikes. [J 551.56 BAR]

Branley, Franklyn M. Flash, Crash, Rumble, and Roll. [J 551.5 BRA]

Kramer, Stephen P. Lightning. [J 551.5 KRA]

Nagelhout, Ryan. When Lightning Strikes. [J 551.5632 NAG]

Rajczak Nelson, Kristen Lightning. [J 551.563 RAJ]

Adults might enjoy reading Out of the Blue: A History of Lightning: Science, Superstition, and Amazing Stories of Survival by John S. Friedman [551.5632 FRI]

Stay safe everyone!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Poetry Friday--Local Booby News!

There has been quite a hubbub in town over the past week due to the spotting of a Brown Booby, a bird that, as far as we know, has never been seen in the state of New Hampshire. The Brown Booby is, according to the information provided by Cornell Lab of Ornithology,
A widespread seabird of tropical waters, the Brown Booby ranges as far north as the Gulf of California, and rarely to both coasts of the United States.

Spotted on Cobbetts Pond, Windham, news quickly spread to bird-lovers throughout the New England area. The pond has been overrun by journalists and photographers. Reports have been running in local media; click here, and for one with a video, here.)

Here's a video of a Brown Booby on Christmas Island (which is a territory of Australia):

The setting is nothing like Cobbetts Pond!

I didn't find a poem about the Brown Booby, but I did find this by James Tate:
The Blue Booby

The blue booby lives
on the bare rocks
of Galápagos
and fears nothing.
It is a simple life:
they live on fish,
and there are few predators.
Also, the males do not
make fools of themselves
chasing after the young
ladies. Rather,
they gather the blue
objects of the world
and construct from them

Read the rest and listen to an audio here.

Visit Carol's Corner for this week's Round-Up!

This should be a summer to remember here in Windham!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Windham's 275th Anniversary

I meant for this to post yesterday, but I neglected to change the status from "draft" to "publish." So, now, without further ado...

This summer should be an exciting one around town because Windham is celebrating its 275th anniversary! There will all sorts of fun and educational events, including outdoors movies, a barn dance, and a graveyard tour! (For a complete schedule, click here.)

Here at the Nesmith Library we will have a special "Meet and Greet" with the Boston Bruins official mascot, Blades, and guest reader Town Administrator Dave Sullivan on August 9. (Great photo op for the kids!)

In preparation for the events that will be taking place August 4-17, the Celebration Committee is asking the children of Windham, kindergarten through high school, to contribute art work and writing that will be the inspiration for a special edition hardcover book. Three pieces of art will be selected for the front and back covers and the title page. Student submissions will be part of the "Literary and Visual Celebration: Bridging the Present to the Past," which will be on display at Searles School on August 6.

Here at the Nesmith Library we are collecting entries, which must be accompanied by a completed application and parental release form.

The Library will also be a pick-up and drop-off spot for instructions and completed answer sheets for the Scavenger Hunt.

Get ready to celebrate our town and its history!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Summer Reading for Adults

Beach reading generally involves either light romance that is set at the beach, or, thrillers. If you want something else, we have plenty of books that are neither. Media sources, such as NPR, often release lists of summer reading recommendations. Here are a few such lists:

The Boston Globe: Summer Reading Suggestions

BuzzFeed: 22 Exciting New Books You Need To Read This Summer

Coastal Living: 50 Best Books for the Beach This Summer

Elle: The 24 Best Books to Read This Summer

Entertainment Weekly: 20 Books To Read This Summer

NPR: Beach Reads You Need: Four Sandy Summer Romances

New York Post: The 29 Best Books of the Summer

New York Times: Summer Thrillers: Daring Escapes and Other Acts of Derring-Do

Monday, June 12, 2017

Summer Reading

The school year is winding down here in Windham, and, it's time for children, and others, to take a break and read a book for fun!

Of course, we at the Library celebrate reading all year long, but we tend to go all out for the summer. If you haven't yet picked up a flyer of our 2017 summer reading calendar of events, you can print them off at home.

Children's flyer

Teens' flyer

Adults flyer

Reading for fun, for kids, means reading funny books, so, if you're looking for fun and funny books, look at the Geisel Award page which lists books that have been judged to be fun and have won the (Theodor Seuss, aka Dr. Seuss) Geisel Award. This book won for 2017:

Past winners can be found here.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Poetry Friday--Cole Porter

Songwriter, Cole Porter, was born on this day in 1891 (he died in 1964). I may be a bit hesitant about calling him a poet, but he certainly was a fine lyricist. His lyrics suit his music to a T. It's a treat to hear him have fun with words, like when he rhymes the smoked haddock from Scotland called finnan haddie, with daddy, in "My Heart Belongs to Daddy"!

Here's part of "You're the Top," which was featured in the Broadway musical, Anything Goes. It shows how Porter didn't back away from poking fun at himself.

At words poetic, I'm so pathetic
That I always have found it best,
Instead of getting 'em off my chest,
To let 'em rest unexpressed,
I hate parading my serenading
As I'll probably miss a bar,
But if this ditty is not so pretty
At least it'll tell you
How great you are.

You're the top!
You're the Coliseum.
You're the top!
You're the Louvre Museum.
You're a melody from a symphony by Strauss
You're a Bendel bonnet,
A Shakespeare sonnet,
You're Mickey Mouse.
You're the Nile,
You're the Tower of Pisa,
You're the smile on the Mona Lisa
I'm a worthless check, a total wreck, a flop,
But if, baby, I'm the bottom, you're the top!

(Read the rest here.)

You'll find various interpretations of "You're the Top" on many CDs in our collections including Cole After Midnight by the Marcus Roberts Trio [CD JAZZ MAR] and Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Song Book [CD JAZZ FIT].

Cary Grant, who plays Cole Porter in the 1946 film, Night and Day, sings "You're the Top" in this clip.

You'll find the Poetry Friday Round-Up for this week at A Year of Reading.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Parade of Sail 2017

The tall ships are coming back to Boston, June 17-22 as part of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta. By all accounts it should be a spectacular sight, however, getting tickets, or even getting into Boston during the Parade of Sail, may be next to impossible.

So, rather than traveling down to Boston you can watch television coverage in the comfort of your own home, and pick up one of these at the Library:

Appelbaum, Diana Karter. Giants in the Land. [J 974 APP]

Bellwood, Lucy. Baggywrinkles: A Lubber's Guide to Life at Sea. [J CX BEL]

Brighton, Ray. Tall Ships of the Piscataqua, 1830-1877. [623.8 BRI]

Collins, Pat Lowery. Schooner. [JP COL]

Kentley, Eric. Boat. [J 623.8 KEN]

Wilbur, C. Keith. Tall Ships of the World. [387.2 WIL]

And here's a bit of history to watch:

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Goodbye, Wallace...

Peter Sallis is a name that didn't ring a bell for me, but as soon as I understood he had voiced the character of Wallace in the Wallace & Gromit animated films, I was deeply saddened at the news of his death.

Wallace's "Cheese" is permanently etched in my memory.

I hope Peter Sallis, and Wallace, have found their way into cheese heaven.

Refresh your memories of Mr. Sallis' wonderful vocal characterization in Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection [DVD WAL] or Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit [DVD WAL].

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Drive-In Movies

On this day in 1933, the first drive-in movie opened, in Camden, New Jersey. By 1958 there were more than 4,000. Today, there are only a few hundred remaining, one of which is the Milford (NH) Drive-In.

If you grew up in the time that drive-in movies were popular, then this little video may be familiar:

In our DVD collection we have quite a number of films that you may have seen at the drive-in:

American Graffiti: Drive-In Double Feature. [DVD AME]

Beach Blanket Bingo. [DVD BEA]

Blue Hawaii. [DVD BLU]

Creature from the Black Lagoon. [DVD CRE]

Giant. [DVD GIA]

How the West Was Won. [DVD HOW]

Pollyanna. [J DVD POL]

Rebel Without a Cause. [DVD REB]

Robinson Crusoe on Mars. [DVD ROB]

The Shaggy Dog. [J DVD SHA]

Monday, June 05, 2017

Wonder Woman!

I'll bet many of you went to the movies over the weekend to see Wonder Woman. The movie appears to be a major box office success three days after its release. Some in the media are saying "people are freaking out"!

In case you missed the earlier hoopla, here's the trailer for the film:

And, if you think Wonder Woman is a new character in the super-hero realm, you really should read this book:

The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore [741.5973 LEP, eBook, eAudio].

Or this one:

Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World's Most Famous Heroine by Tim Hanley [eBook].

Friday, June 02, 2017

Poetry Friday--Found Ku

I belong to a number of Facebook groups that focus on haiku. Last week the following "found ku" was posted by Norman Darlington:

© Norman Darlington; posted with permission.


the cook & the gardener
that first time
in a borrowed tent

My co-worker, Elaine, and I found a few ku of our own while we were checking books in and out.


a fly went by
frog and toad together
...the close shave


the forgotten sisters
happily ever after


Russian winter--
the nest
good as gone

We probably could have spent our entire desk shift finding little poems amongst the books, but we had customers' returns to check in and books to check out! Amazing how work can both help and hinder the creative process!

If you'd rather read haiku than move books around to find them, borrow The Haiku Anthology: Haiku and Senryu in English, edited by Cor van den Heuvel [811 HAI].

Please stop by Buffy's Blog for the Poetry Friday Round-Up!

Thursday, June 01, 2017

It's Strawberry Festival and Book Fair Time!

The Friends of the Library of Windham, FLOW has been holding its annual Strawberry Festival and Book Fair for three decades! Proceeds from the what is now a major community event go to help the Nesmith Library purchase items or make improvements that are outside the normal budget parameters. It also pays for the Library's museum passes, and, supports author presentations at the schools, such as the recent visit by author/illustrator Chris Van Dusen.

The Book Fair portion began last night with a special pre-sale for FLOW members, seniors, and teachers. Here's the rest of the schedule:

June 1, today!
Book Fair
9:00-5:00 in the Nesmith Library multipurpose room.

June 2, Friday
Book Fair
9:00-2:30 in the Nesmith Library multipurpose room.

June 3, Saturday
Book Fair
9:00-2:30 at the Windham High School.

June 3,
Strawberry Festival
10:00-4:00 at the Windham High School.

Head up to the High School where there will be demonstrations by local dance and martial arts studios, sand art, carnival games, a gymnasium full of inflatables, face painting, raffles, and food, food, food!

The Strawberry Festival and Book Fair will be held rain or shine! There's plenty of parking at the High School.

And did I mention there's strawberry shortcake?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Henry David Thoreau

July 12 will mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau. Look for celebrations to occur, especially in New England since Thoreau hailed from Concord, MA. The USPS has issued a Thoreau commemorative stamp and a First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony was held last week at Walden Pond.

People have long admired Thoreau's writings on living a simple life, one that eschewed modernity and an accumulation of wealth. Others have called Thoreau a hypocrite and not a likeable guy! I suppose it's something that readers have to decide for themselves, so, pick up A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers; Walden, or, Life in the Woods; The Maine Woods; Cape Cod, found together in one volume [818.3 THO].

Head down to Concord for a visit to Walden Pond--it's only an hour away! Or borrow a copy of Thoreau's Walden by Tim Smith [974.44 SMI], one of the "Images of America" series of photographs, if you want to do some armchair traveling.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Here's Where They Are!

Last week I alerted readers to the short film, Love Actually, 2, which was scheduled to be shown on Red Nose Day, May 24. At that time, only the trailer was available, but now, the very short film is up on YouTube for all to see.

And, since not every character from the movie is updated in the sequel, here's another short video that includes a few more:

Visit our DVD section to find many films starring the actors from Love Actually [DVD LOV]. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

Hugh Grant: Florence Foster Jenkins. [DVD FLO]

Keira Knightley: The Imitation Game. [DVD IMI]

Laura Linney and Liam Neeson: The Other Man. [DVD OTH]

Bill Nighy: Pirate Radio. [DVD PIR]

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

The Library is closed all day today in celebration of Memorial Day.

There are those who survived service in World War II, but they are now in their late 80s and 90s. Of the 16 million who served, there are 620,000 remaining. Our veterans are dying at the rate of about 372 a day! With approximately 3,600 WW II vets left in New Hampshire, it means the number to be remembered on each Memorial Day will continue to grow.

If you're in the Boscawen area you may wish to visit the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery and pay homage to those who served our country.

Photo courtesy NHSVC.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Poetry Friday--World Lindy Hop Day!

Lindy Hop? If you're not familiar with that term, how about jitterbug? Swing dancing?

"Family tree" from lurklurk.org.

Today's the day to celebrate the Lindy Hop (and its variations)! Why May 26? Because it's the birthday of Frankie Manning, the man who popularized the Lindy Hop.

You can see in the clip below from the Marx Brothers film, Day at the Races, the incredible athleticism involved in dancing the Lindy Hop!

Dream Variations
by Langston Hughes

To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently,
       Dark like me--
That is my dream!

To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance! Whirl! Whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening...
A tall, slim tree...
Night coming tenderly
       Black like me.

The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes [811 HUG].

Head down to Louisiana where Margaret is hosting the Round-Up at Reflections on the Teche. Perhaps she'll demo a little Cajun dancing on World Lindy Hop Day?

In the Arctic

I can't imagine you didn't hear the recent news about the seed storage facility in the Arctic that was flooded by melting permafrost. The seeds, fortunately, were not lost, if they had been then perhaps our future existence on Earth may be jeopardized! If you missed the story, click here.

Permafrost has preserved and protected biological materials, and, it has resulted in scientific discoveries in addition to problems. (Several problems are outlined here.) There are mammoth remains being discovered, which you can read about it in Woolly Mammoth: Life, Death, and Rediscovery by Windsor Chorlton [J 569 CHO]. And, there's the fascinating story of the discovery of the cause of the Great Flu of 1918 that Gina Bari Kolata wrote about in Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It [614.518 KOL].

With continuing climate changes, we're probably in store for more news from the Arctic. We can only hope that the news is good.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Lady with the Lamp

"The Lady with the Lamp" is a name applied to Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), a nurse who devoted her life to caring for and about her patients. The sobriquet is from an article about Nightingale's work in Crimea, which appeared in the British newspaper, The Times.
She is a "ministering angel" without any exaggeration in these hospitals, and as her slender form glides quietly along each corridor, every poor fellow's face softens with gratitude at the sight of her. When all the medical officers have retired for the night and silence and darkness have settled down upon those miles of prostrate sick, she may be observed alone, with a little lamp in her hand, making her solitary rounds.
This rather romantic representation of Nightingale is from an 1891 painting by Henrietta Rae.

Image courtesy Wellcome Collection.

Nightingale's birthday anniversary was on May 12, and a very interesting article about her love for statistics and record-keeping, was published with the title, "Florence Nightingale Was Born 197 Years Ago, and Her Infographics Were Better Than Most of the Internet’s." You can read it, and see what was probably one of the world's first "infographics," by clicking here.

We have many juvenile and teen biographies on Florence Nightingale, as well as the adult biography, Nightingales: The Extraordinary Upbringing and Curious Life of Miss Florence Nightingale by Gillian Gill [B NIG].

Learn more about infographics in Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling by Jason Lankow [302.23 LAN].

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Where Are They Now?

Fans of the movie, Love Actually [DVD LOV], will be pleased to know that a sequel of sorts, Love Actually 2, has been filmed and will be shown this Thursday as part of a telephon on NBC.

If you miss the telephon, I imagine the short film will be on YouTube by Friday, but for now, here's the trailer:

Novel writers also fall in love with characters and attempt to write sequels to classic novels. Some are successful, others, not so much! Here are five such attempts:

Aiken, Joan. Eliza's Daughter: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. [eBook]

Jeffers, Regina. Christmas at Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Holiday Sequel. [eBook]

Kalpakian, Laura. Cosette: The Sequel to Les Miserables. [F KAL]

McKay, Hilary. Wishing for Tomorrow: The Sequel to A Little Princess. [J MCK]

Ripley, Alexandra. Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind. [F RIP]

Monday, May 22, 2017

Hey, You, Banana Tooth!

NPR has reported that scientists at Oklahoma State University determined that the bite of a Tyrannosaurus rex could exert about 8,000 pounds of force on its prey. According to one of the scientists,
That's like setting three small cars on top of the jaws of a T. rex--that's basically what was pushing down.

A T. rex tooth was as long as a banana! Imagine the size of a toothbrush that would have been needed for proper dental care!

Kids have always been fascinated by T. rex and other dinosaurs and this is evident by our extensive collection of dinosaur books in the our children's section. Everything from picture books to musical CDs!

Bailey, Gerry. Tyrannosaurus Rex. [J 567.9129 BAI]

Holtz, Thomas R. Digging for Tyrannosaurus Rex: A Discovery Timeline. [J 567.9129 HOL]

Lennie, Charles. Tyrannosaurus Rex. [J 567.9129 LEN]

McClatchy, Lisa. Dear Tyrannosaurus Rex. [JP MCC]

Nickel, Scott. T. Rex vs Robo-Dog 3000. [J CX NIC]

Sloan, Christopher. Tracking Tyrannosaurs: Meet T. Rex's Fascinating Family, from Tiny Terrors to Feathered Giants. [J 567.912 SLO]

A T-Rex Named Sue. [CD CHILDREN TRE]

Friday, May 19, 2017

Poetry Friday--Flower Fairies

Finally, after what seemed like weeks of clouds and rain, the sun came out! Against a backdrop of bright blue skies, the flowering trees and shrubs are gorgeous. It is time for our fairy village wee folk to come back from their winter hiatus, so look forward to seeing them soon.

In anticipation, and in keeping with the abundance of spring flowers, today we'll take a look at The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker [821.912 BAR]. The collection is compiled from the books written and illustrated by Barker and published during the period 1923-1985. It includes poems written by Barker, as well as fairy poems from such writers as Robert Herrick and Walter de la Mare.

Owing to epilepsy, Barker, was homeschooled as a child and spent much time alone. This led her to use her imagination. She was also a self-taught artist. Kate Greenaway was one of her influences, as can be seen from her illustrations.

Here's "The Song of the Apple Blossom Fairies" from A Flower Fairy Alphabet:

Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge will be rounding up the Poetry Friday links this week!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Happy Birthday, Tina Fey!

Comic actress, Tina Fey, was born on this day in 1970. Tina's full name is Elizabeth Stamatina Fey. "Tina," obviously is a nickname.

Photo by Gage Skidmore, courtesy Wikipedia.

Fey became known for her stint on Saturday Night Live, which she joined in 1998. She left in 2006 to work on other projects (TV 30 Rock and films). She returned as a guest on SNL in 2008 where her impersonation of vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, was a huge success.

Look for these Tina Fey films:

Admission. [DVD ADM]

Man of the Year. [DVD MAN]

This is Where I Leave You. [DVD THI]

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. [DVD WHI]

A multi-talented individual, Fey also wrote the bestselling Bossypants [B FEY, AB/CD B FEY].

Happy birthday, Tina!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Letters about Literature

Each year, the Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library participates in the Library of Congress competition, "Letters about Literature," in which children and teens write to the author (living or dead) of a favorite book, poem, or speech about "how that book affected their lives." The New Hampshire winners for 2017 were recently announced and the letter writers now go on to the national judging.

The three authors written to by this year's NH winners are Esther Earl who wrote This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl [YA B EAR, AB/CD B EAR], Jerry Spinelli, author of Stargirl [YA SPI, eBook, eAudio], and Gary Paulsen, writer of Harris and Me: A Summer Remembered [J PAU]. Read the books, and then read the letters and see if they've impacted you in the same way.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Less Is More

It's rather unfortunate that in elementary and high schools there seems to have been a focus on quantity rather than quality in writing, thus kids end up shrinking margins and expanding spaces to achieve the page requirement for the assignment.

Truly, though, a few words, well thought-out and written can say more than pages of filler verbiage.

Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure from Smith Magazine [920.02 NOT] is an example of "less is more." You can't get much shorter than six words and still express a thought! The premise of the six-word memoir project is the story that
Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in six words. Papa came back swinging with "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." Some say he called it his best work.

From the Introduction to Not Quite What I Was Planning.
Although the book was published in 2006, Smith Magazine has continued the Six-Word Memoir Project. You can read more about it here.

Here are a few example of the memoirs you'll find in the book:

My life's a bunch of almosts.
Shari Bonnin

Verbal hemophilia.
Why can't I clot.
Scott Mebus

Fact checker by day,
liar at night.
Andy Young

Detergent girl:
Bold. Tide. Cheer. All
Martha Clarkson

If you're having problems writing concisely in your work or private life, look for William Brohaugh's Write Tight: How to Keep Your Prose Sharp, Focused, and Concise [808 BRO].

Monday, May 15, 2017


Did you know that on May 27, you have the opportunity to get an up close view of baby goats? There will be
...a fun day with food, drinks, door prizes and of course everyone's favorite backyard friend...GOATS. The adorable critters are being brought to us by our friends at MillCreek Dairy in Chester NH. Goat selfies or other photo ops are encouraged!
It will all be happening at Blue Seal in Derry.. Read more here.

Goats seem to be in social media quite a bit of late. Did you catch the video on Facebook of the yoga group practicing with baby goats? I have it on good authority that a Nesmith Library staff person will be exercising with goats! Sessions take place at Jenness Farm in Nottingham, NH for ages 14 and up. In case you missed the video, here it is:

Would you like to raise goats of your own? Look for The Backyard Goat: An Introductory Guide to Keeping Productive Pet Goats by Sue Weaver [639.39 WEA] to get you started.

If your kids want to read stories about goats, there's the classic folktale, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, which is available in eAudio, or in picture book form [JP THR]. Then, if you want even more fictional goats, there are these:

Church, Caroline. Little Apple Goat. [JP CHU]

Fox, Mem. Let's Count Goats. [JP FOX]

Helquist, Brett. Grumpy Goat. [JP HEL]

McPhail, David. David. A Girl, a Goat, and a Goose. [E MCP]

Westera, Marleen. Sheep and Goat. [J WES]

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Poetry Friday--It's Limerick Day

The master of the limerick, Edward Lear, was born on this day in 1812. What better day to celebrate Limerick Day than on Lear's birthday!

The late Myra Cohn Livingston gathered a collection of limericks that was published back in 1991 and is titled Lots of Limericks [J 821 LOT]. Of course Lear is well-represented! This one of his appeals to me:
There was a Young Lady whose nose
Was so long that it reached to her toes;
     So she hired an Old Lady,
     Whose conduct was steady,
To carry that wonderful nose.

If you're an illustrator, imagine how much fun you could have illustrating it!

You probably remember a time when the name limerick was attached to a poem of "questionable" subject matter. You needn't fear reading the poems in Lots of Limericks out loud to your kids, they are all "clean"!

Tara, at A Teaching Life, will be hosting the Round-Up this week. Be sure to stop by.


The other day I received an email notice from a crafts store. The message was promoting an organization called "The Crayon Initiative." Strange name, isn't it? It's stated intention is:

Donate your unwanted crayons and we’ll recycle them into new ones.

Then we’ll donate them back to schools, hospitals, arts programs and other organizations invested in our children.

It's a recycling effort that puts trash to good use! Check out the website here, and consider donating your old crayons, or perhaps a little money.

Speaking of crayons...you may not realize it, but we have about a dozen picture books that have crayons as their subject! Here are five:

Daywalt, Drew. The Day the Crayons Quit. [JP DAY]

Hall, Michael. Frankencrayon. [JP HAL]

Hubbard, Patricia. My Crayons Talk. [JP HUB]

Johnson, Crockett. Harold and the Purple Crayon. [JP JOH]

Porto, Tony. Get Red!: An Adventure in Color. [JP POR]

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Cool, Clear, Water

One of the things I love about social media is the unusual videos shared. The video below, taken in a desert location, came from a friend out west. Although our drought has now ended, I think we can still appreciate the efforts that an animal, living through a drought, or in a desert, must go through to get a drink of fresh water. The person who made this video gave the animals a helping hand!

Not all the animals seen on the video are desert creatures, but, if you're interested in the animals that naturally live in a desert, look for one of these:

Arnosky, Jim. Watching Desert Wildlife. [J 591.754 ARN]

Fleisher, Paul. Desert Food Webs in Action. [J 577.54 FLE]

Parker, Steve. Deserts. [J 577.54 PAR]

Schwartz, David M. In the Desert. [JP SCH]

Tuesday, May 09, 2017


Did you happen to catch the segment on 60 Minutes about the last surviving prosecutor in the post-WW II Nuremberg trial? If not, please click here.

For more about the Nuremberg trial, look for one of these from our collection:

Judgment at Nuremberg. [DVD JUD]

La Bella, Laura. The Nuremberg Trials. [YA 940.531 LAB]

Marrus, Michael Robert. The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial, 1945-46: A Documentary History. [943 MAR]

Or watch this video from the National Archives:

Monday, May 08, 2017

No Socks Day!

It's No Socks Day!
No Socks Day is your chance to let your feet fly free and your toes taste the tarmac.

You may choose to go without socks, but don't choose not to borrow one of these:

Boohbah: Squeaky Socks

Bunting, Eve. Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? [JP BUN]

Cleary, Beverly. Socks. [JP CLE, eBook]

Curtis, Alice. Knit Your Socks on Straight A New and Inventive Technique with Just Two Needles. [eBook]

Montgomery, Lewis B. The Case of the Stinky Socks. [J MYS MON]

Nedwidek, John. Ducks Don't Wear Socks. [JP NED]

Phelps, Isela. Loom Knitting Socks: A Beginner's Guide to Knitting Socks on a Loom, With Over 50 Fun Projects. [746.432 PHE]

Sock Loom [Kit]: Knit Your Own Socks! [KIT 746.432 SOC]

Stone, Connie. Adorable Sock Dolls to Make & Love. [745.592 STO]

Woodruff, Elvira. George Washington's Socks. [J WOO]