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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Introducing Zinio for Libraries

Browse, check out, and read 59 different magazines in your browser, or, download them to your mobile app. Once you check out a magazine you may keep it as long as you wish. To get started, you will need a valid Nesmith Library borrower card.

Here are a dozen of the titles that are available to you:

Clean Eating
ESPN: The Magazine
Highlights for Children
Mental Floss
O: The Oprah Magazine
Rachael Ray: Every Day
Reader's Digest
US Weekly

Click on the graphic above, or visit our website to get started.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey [JP RUU] by Margriet Ruurs, with illustrations by Syrian artist, Nizar Ali Badr, has just been added to our children's room collection. The book is special for several reasons:
  • It illustrates the plight of a Syrian family escaping from the turmoil of their home country.
  • It is presented in both English and Arabic languages.
  • The illustrations are created with stones.

Yes, you read that correctly, with stones! Here is a short video that shows the artist and his work:

This book would make a great classroom discussion starter for teachers at all levels. Art teachers can use it to show artists using non-traditional materials to express themselves. I think it could be a great visual lesson in metaphor, too.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Poetry Friday--It's the Lunar New Year!

Tomorrow, January 28, is the lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year in the United States. In China, the lunar New Year, also ushers in spring and thus is the Spring Festival, too. To learn more about the New Year, click here.

Each year is also associated with a particular animal from the Chinese zodiac. 2017 is the Year of the Rooster--the "Fire Rooster" to be exact!

In our children's collection we have quite a number of items on the Chinese New Year including a poetry picture book, My Chinatown: One Year in Poems by Kam Mak [JP MAK]. The year in Chinatown starts off with a New Year's poem titled "Winter," which is fitting for the book, since the author is from New York, and we all know it's still winter here in the northeast! Here's how it begins:

Back home in Hong Kong,
it's New Year.
Papa says we'll have New Year here,
in America, in Chinatown.
Mama says it will be just like home.

But it isn't home,
even when the firecrackers
hiss and crackle all night long
to scare off every evil spirit in the world.
In the morning, I go out alone
to kick through drifts of red paper.
Somewhere there will be one whole firecracker
hidden, waiting for me.

But I can't find one,
even though the air dances
with scraps of red,
a snowfall the color of luck.
It must be someone else's luck this year.
Not mine.

Don't you love the line, "a snowfall the color of luck"? Here's wishing you a snowfall of luck in the coming year!

Carol at Beyond LiteracyLink is hosting the Round-Up this year. Stop by and wish her a Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Massacre on the Merrimack

Tonight, at 7:00, there will be a presentation by author Jay Atkinson here at the Library. Atkinson’s book Massacre on the Merrimack: Hannah Duston’s Captivity and Revenge in Colonial America [973.25 ATK, also eBook] has been named as an Honors Book in the 2016 Massachusetts Book Award Program in the nonfiction category. The Windham Historic District Commission is sponsoring the event.

New Hampshire's students study the history of our fair state, and the story of Hannah Duston is one that captures the imagination of the children. For girls, it presents an especially vivid reminder that women can overcome adversity by their wits and strength. The legendary story, however, is not without its controversial aspects.

For those not familiar with Duston's story, here it is in a nutshell: In 1697, Hannah Duston a resident of Haverhill, MA, was taken captive by Abenaki First Nations peoples from Québec. She and her newborn daughter were held capture on an island in the Merrimack river near Boscawen, NH. She killed, and scalped, ten of her captors with the help of two fellow captives.

There are public statues of Hannah Duston in both Haverhill, MA and Boscawen, NH.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Looking Back Through Photographs

This short film illustrates what happens several dozen rolls of exposed film from the 1940s, which were never developed, after they are "rescued

The Rescued Film Project is saving film to preserve moments people thought were worth preserving. Old photographs show us life as it was lived in earlier times. They may reveal a world that we are seeing or learning about for the first time. Take a look at the photos in any one of these three books and find out what you didn't know!

Papi, Giacomo. Booked: The Last 150 Years Told through Mug Shots. [eBook]

Sandler, Martin W. American Image: Photographing One Hundred Fifty Years in the Life of a Nation. [770 SAN]

Taft, Robert. Photography and the American Scene: A Social History, 1839-1889. [770.973 TAF]

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2017 Youth Media Award Winners

Yesterday, at the American Library Association winter conference held in Atlanta, the winners of this year's youth awards were announced. The winner of the John Newbery Medal "for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature" is The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill [J BAR]. The winner of the Randolph Caldecott Medal "for the most distinguished American picture book for children" is Radiant: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat illustrated and written by Javaka Steptoe [on order].

The Coretta Scott King Book Award "recognizing an African-American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults" goes to John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, authors, and Nate Powell, illustrator for March: Book Three [YA CX LEW].

The Michael L. Printz Award "for excellence in literature written for young adults," was also awarded to March: Book Three.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award "for the most distinguished beginning reader book" goes to We Are Growing! by Laurie Keller [E KEL].

For a complete list of all the award winners and honor books, click here.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Handmade Hats

If you saw any of the photos from this past Saturday's women's marches, you surely would have noticed the pink hats with pointy ears. These hats were all made by hand.

Hats have long been knit or crocheted here in New England where winter weather makes them a necessity, rather than a symbol. No matter why you're looking for a hat, it's easy enough to learn how it's done with basic manuals for beginners. For those who already have some fiber arts skills, and are looking for patterns and helpful hints, we have these:

Bara, Brett. Clever Crocheted Accessories 25 Quick Weekend Projects. [eBook]

Cirka, Jennifer J. Easy Weekend Crochet Hats A Ski-Style Collection for the Entire Family. [eBook]

Epstein, Nicky. Knitting in Circles: 100 Circular Patterns for Sweaters, Bags, Hats, Afghans, and More. [746.432 EPS]

Norris, Kathy. Big Book of Loom Knitting. [746.432 NOR]

Preston, Cynthia. Too Cute Crochet for Babies & Toddlers: A Whimsical Collection of Hats, Scarves, Mittens & Booties. [746.43 PRE]

Rush, Helene. Head to Toe: 30 Original Designs for Hats, Mittens, and Other Accessories. [746.43 RUS]

Serviss, Diane. Knitted Beanies & Slouchy Hats. [746.432 SER]

Vogue Knitting: Chunky Scarves & Hats. [746.432 VOG]

Friday, January 20, 2017

Poetry Friday--"Turner to His Critic"

Have you seen the 2015 movie Mr. Turner [DVD MR] about the English painter J. M. W. (Joseph Mallord William) Turner who led a rather eccentric life? If you recall, in the film there's a scene where Turner has himself tied to the mast of a ship so that he can experience, first hand, the effects of a storm. As a result, Turner painted "Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour's Mouth Making Signals in Shallow Water, and Going by the Lead."

The painting above is also found in Side by Side: New Poems Inspired by Art from Around the World, edited by Jan Greenberg [808.81 SID]. The poem, "Turner to His Critic," by Grace Nichols, is written in the voice of the painter in response to one of the many critics of his work.
Turner to His Critic

Soapsuds and whitewash, Critic?
Man, don't make me livid.
I was tied in a snowstorm
To the mast of a ship.
Do you have the foggiest of it?
Do you know what it is to be buffeted?

The buzzard of a blizzard
And the waves churning over me
The wildness of the whirlwind
The horses foaming at my feet

Why, even the sea can see through
Her storm-spectacles
That this work is a masterpiece.
Soapsuds and whitewash indeed!
If I had my way, you, Sir, would be
Soap-sudded to the bottom of the sea.

Turner was nothing if not passionate about his painting, and, his critics. If you're not familiar with his work, please visit The Athenaeum where you'll find more than a thousand paintings and drawings.

Visit Violet Nesdoly/Poems for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Noise vs. Noise

Sometimes, you need to block out unwanted noise--like when you're staying at a hotel and you can't get to sleep. There are some pretty effective sound machines now available, which sounds counter-intuitive since you're creating noise to block out noise. These machines provide white noise and/or ambient noise, that is, noises that generally peaceful and relaxing. Steadily falling rain and waves crashing on shore are two examples. But, do you really want to pack something else in your overnight bag?

If you have a smart phone, you can download an app which provides relaxing noise. Or, you can go to a website like Ambient-Mixer.com and sample sounds to your heart's content. For sleeping you may find exactly what you need in the category titled, "All sort of weather atmospheres." Try "Dreaming Rain" on for size!

You can also come to the Library to borrow Rainforest Magic a CD of ambient sounds, one of which is "Summer Rain" [CD MISCELLANEOUS RAI].

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


If you, or someone you know, is preparing for U.S. citizenship, we recently added a kit of citizenship preparation materials to our collection: Civics and Citizenship Toolkit: A Collection of Educational Resource for Immigrants [KIT 323.62 CIV 2016].

What will you find in the kit?

5 Handbooks: Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States, The Citizen's Almanac, Expanding ESL, Civics, and Citizenship Education in Your Community: A Start-Up Guide, Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants, Bienvenidos a los Estados Unidos de América: Guía para inmigrantes nuevos

1 Naturalization Test

1 audio CD version of the Naturalization Test

1 DVD: The USCIS Naturalization Interview and Test)

1 DVD and CD-ROM set: Civics and Citizenship Multimedia Presentation

1 set flash cards

1 quick start guide

The kit was prepared by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Visit the website, www.uscis.gov for more information and additional resources.

The end goal of all the studying and testing is this:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Yoga for All!

I've posted many times about our collection of yoga books and DVDs. Today I'd like to remind you that yoga is everyone. From young to old, everyone can benefit from this centuries-old form of exercise.

Need an activity to do with the kids? Check out this article on "6 Yoga Moves You Can Do Together."

Here are more items on yoga and kids:

Garabedian, Helen. Itsy Bitsy Yoga: Poses to Help Your Baby Sleep Longer, Digest Better, and Grow Stronger. [649.122 GAR]

Harper, Jennifer Cohen. Little Flower Yoga for Kids: A Yoga and Mindfulness Program to Help Your Child Improve Attention and Emotional Balance. [FT 613.7 HAR]

Komitor, Jodi B. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Yoga with Kids. [613.7 KOM]

Pajalunga, Lorena V. Yoga for Kids: Simple Animal Poses for Any Age. [JP PAJ]

Schwartz, Ellen. I Love Yoga: A Guide for Kids and Teens. [YA 613.7046 SCH]

YogaKids. [J DVD 613.7 YOG]

Friday, January 13, 2017

Poetry Friday--National Hot Tea Month

January is National Hot Tea Month, and yesterday was National Hot Tea Day! In my book, every day is hot tea day, so I'm taking the liberty of celebrating today. Here's a short poem by Eileen Spinelli from Tea Party Today: Poems to Sip and Savor [J 811 SPI].


The air's a whiff of minty tea
A froth of cream spills from the sea
The sun is golden soup, so hot
The sky, a big blue porcelain pot
Brown sugar beach is soft and sweet
The day is good enough to eat.

This is a great poem for teachers to use in teaching metaphor, don't you think?

Head over to visit my friend Keri at Keri Recommends. She's hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up, and, I wouldn't be surprised if she has a pot of tea brewing. Be sure to ask for some honey in that tea!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

National Film Registry

"The National Film Registry selects 25 films each year showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation."

The 25 films added to the 2016 National Film Registry are:

  • Atomic Cafe (1982) [on order]
  • Ball of Fire (1941)
  • Beau Brummels, The (1928)
  • Birds, The (1963) [DVD BIR]
  • Blackboard Jungle (1955) [on order]
  • Breakfast Club, The (1985) [DVD BRE]
  • Decline of Western Civilization, The (1981)
  • East of Eden (1955) [DVD EAS]
  • Funny Girl (1968) [DVD FUN]
  • Life of an American Fireman (1903)
  • Lion King, The (1994) [J DVD LIO]
  • Lost Horizon (1937) [DVD LOS]
  • Musketeers of Pig Alley, The (1912) [on order]
  • Paris Is Burning (1990)
  • Point Blank (1967) [on order]
  • Princess Bride, The (1987) [DVD PRI]
  • Putney Swope (1969) [on order]
  • Rushmore (1998) [DVD RUS]
  • Solomon Sir Jones films (1924-28)
  • Steamboat Bill, Jr. [on order](1928)
  • Suzanne, Suzanne (1982)
  • Thelma and Louise (1991) [on order]
  • Walk in the Sun, A (1945) [on order]
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) [DVD WHO]

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sesame Street

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the Sesame Street character, Alistair Cookie, was based on the original host of "Masterpiece Theatre," Alistair Cooke.

Alistair Cookie was not the first, and is certainly not the last character based on a real person. Do you remember Meryl Sheep? Here, the Muppet character is playing against the in-the-flesh actress, Susan Sarandon!

If you enjoyed the two clips above, you're sure to like the two DVDs full of Sesame Street parodies, titled The Best of Sesame Spoofs, volumes 1 and 2 [J DVD SES]. Most of the people and things being parodied should be familiar, but some may have slipped away from memory, like Hill Street Blues, the 1980s police series upon which Sesame Street's "Hill Street Twos" is based. Others are quickly fading, like the reality stars, Jon and Kate Gosselin, parodied in "Jon and Kate Count to 8."

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Masterpiece Theatre

The first episode of PBS's "Masterpiece Theatre" aired on this date in 1971. The first series to air was The First Churchills and it was followed by many others that gained huge viewer followings. Probably the most remembered of the earlier offerings is Upstairs Downstairs [DVD TV SERIES UPS]. Poldark [DVD POL] and The Jewel in the Crown [DVD JEW] also enjoyed great popularity.

Recent "Masterpiece" hits are Downton Abbey [DVD TV SERIES DOW], and a remake of the early hit, Poldark [DVD TV SERIES POL], the third year of which is currently in production!

Beginning next Sunday is Victoria, which explores the life of the long-reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria. PBS has created a page offering, "everything you'll need to know before watching Victoria. Click here.

You may remember the very proper, Alistair Cooke, who hosted "Masterpiece Theatre" for many years at its beginning. He was so well-known for his part as host that "Alistair Cookie," a Sesame Street Muppet character was created! The show he hosted? "Monsterpiece Theater"!

Monday, January 09, 2017

Happy Birthday, Judith Krantz

On January 9, 1928, novelist Judith Tarcher Krantz was born in New York City. She attended Wellesley College and was a classmate of Barbara Walters (who eventually introduced "Judy" to her husband Steve Krantz).

After graduating from college she wrote for various magazines before publishing her first novel, Scruples [F KRA], in 1978. Krantz's last novel, The Jewels of Tessa Kent [F KRA], was published twenty years later. In total she wrote ten novels and five of them were adapted into television miniseries.

Happy 89th Birthday, Judith Krantz!

Friday, January 06, 2017

Poetry Friday--A Poem from Our Neighbor

The weather has turned really cold again after that brief time of warmth and snow melting earlier in the week. The cold on Thursday night put me in mind of a poem by the poet who lived on a farm up the road in Derry, Robert Frost.

Frost, around 1910.
Good Hours

I had for my winter evening walk--
No one at all with whom to talk,
But I had the cottages in a row
Up to their shining eyes in snow.

And I thought I had the folk within:
I had the sound of a violin;
I had a glimpse through curtain laces
Of youthful forms and youthful faces.

I had such company outward bound.
I went till there were no cottages found.
I turned and repented, but coming back
I saw no window but that was black.

Over the snow my creaking feet
Disturbed the slumbering village street
Like profanation, by your leave,
At ten o’clock of a winter eve.

From North of Boston, published 102 years ago, and on our shelf under 811 FRO.

Linda at Teacher Dance is hosting the Poetry Friday Round-Up. Do stop by!

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Old Movies

Between Nesmith Library's collection of DVDs, and those of the other 11 GMILCS libraries, you can get an education in the history of film from The Lumière Brothers' First Films [DVD 791.43 LUM] right through to last year's Academy Award for Best Picture, Spotlight [DVD SPO]. The 2017 Academy Award winners will be announced on Sunday, February 26, and you can bet the major award winners will find their way into our collection, if they're not already there.

Today, though, I'd like to remind you of some of the old musicals that await you on our shelves. Here's a baker's dozen:

Brigadoon. [DVD BRI]

Can-Can. [DVD CAN]

Damn Yankees. [DVD DAM]

42nd Street. [DVD FOR]

Funny Face. [DVD FUN]

High Society. [DVD HIG]

Mary Poppins. [DVD MAR]

Meet Me in St. Louis. [DVD MEE]

The Producers. [DVD PRO]

Summer Stock. [DVD SUM]

There's No Business Like Show Business. [DVD THE]

West Side Story. [DVD WES]

Yankee Doodle Dandy

There's a musical for everyone!

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Soup's On!

Yesterday, the weather wasn't fit for man nor beast. Not even a duck would have liked that rain. It was the kind of weather that make you long for a nice, hot, bowl of homemade soup.

Soup is one of those things that can be made without a recipe if you have a freezer full of leftover holiday turkey. Add some chicken stock, a few carrots, an onion, and some barley or rice and you're done!

If you don't trust your imagination, and require a recipe, then we have plenty for soup. Most general cookbooks have a section. If you didn't realize it, you can find cookbooks in eBook format, which you can download any time you're feeling up to cooking up new soup recipe. These eBook titles have been recently published:

Bender, Jonathan. Stock, Broth & Bowl: Recipes for Cooking, Drinking & Nourishing.

Davidson, Diane Mott. Goldy's Kitchen Cookbook: Cooking, Writing, Family, Life.

Drummond, Ree. The Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime: Comfort Classics, Freezer Food, 16-Minute Meals, and Other Delicious Ways to Solve Supper!

Healthy Slow Cooker Revolution: One Test Kitchen. 40 Slow Cookers. 200 Fresh Recipes.

Sweeney, Monica. Best Dollar Saving Dinners: Cheap and Easy Meals that Taste Great.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

A Resolution!

It's now the new year, and many resolve to do things differently in 2017, for example, eat more vegetables or get more exercise. Some even go so far as to embark on the latest celebrity-promoted diet. Might I suggest that you follow the Nesmith Library Chocolate Diet instead?

Not a diet of chocolate food, but a READING diet of chocolate-themed books! Yes, there are such things! And they're not just for kids! There's no deprivation involved and there are no hidden costs. All you need is your library card!

We have chocolate treats for everyone!

Bosch, Pseudonymous. This Book Is Not Good For You. [J MYS BOS]

Bright, Rachel. Love Monster and the Last Chocolate. [JP BRI]

Colgan, Jenny. The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris. [eBook]

Corrigan, Maya. Final Fondue. [eBook]

Evanovich, Janet. Turbo Twenty-Three. [F EVA, AB/CD EVA, eBook, eAudio]

The Only Thing Better Than Chocolate. [SC ONL]

Runcie, James. The Discovery of Chocolate. [F RUN]

Selfors, Suzanne. The Sweetest Spell. [eBook]

Sullivan, Tara. The Bitter Side of Sweet. [YA SUL]

Zevin, Gabrielle. In the Days of Love and Chocolate. [YA ZEV]