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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Giraffe Watch

Are you one of the reported millions watching April the giraffe await the birth of her baby at Animal Adventure Park in New York state? I imagine everyone's heard about the live cam by now.

When I wrote this post yesterday afternoon, the baby had yet to put in an appearance on day six of the live cam watch. If April still hasn't given birth by time you read this, you may wish to come to the library to borrow a book about giraffes and get on with your life!

Aroner, Miriam. Giraffes Aren't Half As Fat. [J 599.73 ARO]

Borgert-Spaniol, Megan. Baby Giraffes. [E BOR]

Macken, JoAnn Early. Giraffes. [J 599.638 MAC]

Rumford, James. Chee-lin: A Giraffe's Journey. [J 599.638 RUM]

Schuetz, Kari. Giraffes. [E SCH]

Monday, February 27, 2017

Zinio eMagazine Service

If you missed the announcement a few weeks back about our new downloadable magazine service, you'll be pleased to know that with your Nesmith Library card you now have access to dozens of popular magazine titles--for free! These magazines may be downloaded to your computer or smart phone. Click here to get started.

What titles can you borrow? These:

American Patchwork & Quilting
Animals, Volume 1, Celebration Edition--Adult Coloring Book
Better Homes and Gardens
Clean Eating
Cloth Paper Scissors
Country Living
ESPN The Magazine
Every Day with Rachael Ray
Family Circle
The Family Handyman
Food Network Magazine
Golf Digest
Good Housekeeping
HGTV Magazine
Highlights for Children
In Touch Weekly
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Martha Stewart Living
Men's Health
Men's Journal
National Geographic Interactive
National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Traveler Interactive
O, the Oprah Magazine
OK! Magazine
Popular Mechanics
Popular Science
Reader's digest
Rolling Stone
Smithsonian Magazine
Star Magazine
Taste of Home
US Weekly
Vanidades USA
Vanity Fair
Woman's Day
Woman's World
Women's Health
Woodworker's Journal
Yoga Journal

The titles can be downloaded 24/7, so if you're on a trip, or stuck waiting for kids to finish soccer practice, you can occupy your time with a magazine!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Poetry Friday--A Grimm Birthday

On this day in 1786, Wilhelm Karl Grimm, German story teller and collector of tales, was born in Hanau, Germany. He and his brother, Jacob, who had been born in 1785, grew up to become famous for what is known as Grimms' Fairy Tales.

Lisel Mueller, in her collection Alive Together: New and Selected Poems [811.54 MUE] has a Grimm-related poem that is perfect for today:
Reading The Brothers Grimm To Jenny

Jenny, your mind commands
kingdoms of black and white:
you shoulder the crow on your left,
the snowbird on your right;
for you the cinders part
and let the lentils through,
and noise falls into place
as screech or sweet roo-coo,
while in my own, real, world
gray foxes and gray wolves
bargain eye to eye,
and the amazing dove
takes shelter under the wing
of the raven to keep dry.

Knowing that you must climb,
one day, the ancient tower
where disenchantment binds
the curls of innocence,
that you must live with power
and honor circumstance,
that choice is what comes true--
oh, Jenny, pure in heart,
why do I lie to you?

Why do I read you tales
in which birds speak the truth
and pity cures the blind,
and beauty reaches deep
to prove a royal mind?
Death is a small mistake
there, where the kiss revives;
Jenny, we make just dreams
out of our unjust lives.

Still, when your truthful eyes,
your keen, attentive stare,
endow the vacuous slut
with royalty, when you match
her soul to her shimmering hair,
what can she do but rise
to your imagined throne?
And what can I, but see
beyond the world that is,
when, faithful, you insist
I have the golden key--
and learn from you once more
the terror and the bliss,
the world as it might be?

I hope you will seek out this volume of poetry for it is filled with many other, equally thoughtful, poems.

Today's Poetry Friday Round-Up is being hosted by Karen Edmisten*. Please stop by.

Making Plans for February Vacation

February vacation begins Friday afternoon right after the last bell rings!

There are a number of things you can do with the kids besides traveling to ski resorts and heading south to Orlando. Friday and Saturday, in Lowell, MA (a short drive from here) there is the 2017 Lowell Winterfest. There will be soup, chocolate, music, and special activities for the kids!

How about visiting a museum? Your library card allows you access to reduced admission pricing at many museums in NH and MA. Click here to learn more.

At the Nesmith Library we have a number of activities planned. On Tuesday, February 28, from 1:00 to 3:00 children are invited to the library to create their own gingerbread houses with graham crackers. This activity is open to children of all ages and no registration is required.

Wednesday, March 1, from 10:00 to 11:00, is Makerspace Club. Kids will make duct tape flowers, and construct marble runs. This event is for children ages 7 and up; registration is required. Also on Wednesday is a Teen Harry Potter Interactive Movie (for ages 11 and up); registration is required.

Thursday, March 2, help celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday at 10:30. Try your luck at Dr. Seuss Book Bingo and enjoy a special birthday cake! This program is for children ages 5 and up; registration is required.

Of course, you can always come to the Library to take out books, DVDs, and CDs to bring home or keep the kids entertained in the car.

There is something for every kid at the Library!

Have a great vacation!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Literary Mystery

One hundred sixty-five years ago, a novel titled, Life and Adventures of Jack Engle, was published anonymously, and soon forgotten. Last summer the novel was discovered and found to be the work of Walt Whitman, a man better known for his poetry than his fiction. On Monday, The New York Times reported on the discovery, and the re-publication, of the book. It seems that this mystery novele provides a clue to the real-life mystery of who Walt Whitman really was.

Life and Adventures of Jack Engle is found on the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review website; click here.

You can read more about Walt Whitman the man in Walt Whitman's America: A Cultural Biography by David S. Reynolds or in any of the other Whitman biographies in our collection. We also have a PBS "American Experience" episode, Walt Whitman, [DVD B WHI].

Whitman's Complete Poetry and Collected Prose is found in 811.3 WHI.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Back in 2009, a nonfiction book was published that spent more than a year on the NY Times Bestseller List: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot [616.0277 SKL, AB/CD 616.0277 SKL, eBook].

HBO has adapted the book and it will be shown on Sunday, April 22. Henrietta Lacks' daughter is played by Oprah Winfrey. Once the movie has aired, I'm sure there will be renewed interest in the original book. If you haven't already read the book, I'd suggest you do it now!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Poetry Friday--Black History Month

This week let's celebrate the poetry of Rita Dove. Ms. Dove won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1987, and served a term as United States Poet Laureate (1993–95).

On the Bus with Rosa Parks: Poems [811 DOV] was published in 1999. Here is part of the publisher's description: "...these poems explore the intersection of individual fates with the grand arc of history. If there are heroes, Dove maintains, they continually reinvent themselves, as each of us must do every morning..."

Back when the earth was new
and heaven just a whisper,
back when the names of things
hadn't had time to stick;

back when the smallest breezes
melted summer into autumn,
when all the poplars quivered
sweetly in rank and file...

the world called, and I answered.
Each glance ignited to a gaze.
I caught my breath and called that life,
swooned between spoonfuls of lemon sorbet.

I was pirouette and flourish,
I was filigree and flame.
How could I count my blessings
when I didn't know their names?

Back when everything was still to come,
luck leaked out everywhere.
I gave my promise to the world,
and the world followed me here.

For the Poetry Friday Round-Up visit my librarian friend, Jone, at Check It Out.

If You Missed These the First Time

There are plenty of books to listen to besides the ones on today's bestsellers list. The books that were popular a year or two ago are still worth reading. You may have chosen to skip a title due to the holds list and then gone on to forget you wanted to read it. Now's the time to catch up on those titles you missed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Happy Birthday Susan B. Anthony!

Today is the 197th anniversary of the birth of suffragist Susan B. Anthony. She was born in Adams, MA and died in Rochester, NY in 1906.

In 1872, Susan B. Anthony voted in Rochester and was arrested for the crime of voting illegally in the presidential election (women were not granted the right to vote until 1920). She was convicted in a highly publicized trial, one in which the judge directed the jury to issue a guilty verdict. Anthony was ordered to pay a fine of $100, but she refused to do it. The Rochester authorities declined to take further action.

In 1878, Anthony and fellow activist, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, arranged for California senator, Aaron A. Sargent, to present an amendment giving women the right to vote. Known as the Anthony Amendment it took 42 years (1920) before it was finally ratified as the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Read more about Anthony and Stanton's work for women's suffrage in Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony by Geoffrey C. Ward [920 WAR].

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

The Library has been closed the last two days for snow, but we're now open and playing catch-up. So, for today, a simple wish to all:

© Eric Carle

Download a card by Eric Carle here

© Lita Judge

© Wendell Minor

© Ashley Wolff

All images posted by the artists on Facebook.

Visit the Library today and borrow one of the many picture books we have by these illustrators. Have a LOVEly day!

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Poetry Friday--Black History Month

February is Black History Month and for today, and the next two Fridays, I'll be featuring a black poet. Today let's look at a little-known poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1872-1906. Perhaps Dunbar would be better known if he hadn't died of tuberculosis, cutting short his career in his early thirties. To learn more about Dunbar borrow this recent addition to the children's biography section, Jump Back, Paul: The Life and Poems of Paul Laurence Dunbar, written by Sally Derby and illustrated by Sean Qualls [J B DUN].

There is a line from one of Dunbar's poems that is more famous than the man who wrote it and is frequently thought of as being written by another poet. That line is, "I know why the caged bird sings," and the other poet is Maya Angelou, who titled her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings [B ANG, AB/CD B ANG, also eBook].

Here is Dunbar's poem, which you can find in Jump Back, Paul:

I know what the caged bird feels, alas!
     When the sun is bright on the upland slopes;
When the wind stirs soft through the springing grass,
And the river flows like a stream of glass;
     When the first bird sings and the first bud opes,
And the faint perfume from its chalice steals—
I know what the caged bird feels!

I know why the caged bird beats his wing
     Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling
When he fain would be on the bough a-swing;
     And a pain still throbs in the old, old scars
And they pulse again with a keener sting—
I know why he beats his wing!

I know why the caged bird sings, ah me,
     When his wing is bruised and his bosom sore,—
When he beats his bars and he would be free;
It is not a carol of joy or glee,
     But a prayer that he sends from his heart’s deep core,
But a plea, that upward to Heaven he flings—
I know why the caged bird sings!

The poem is also found at the Library of Congress blog, "From the Catbird Seat," in a post titled, "The Caged Bird Sings: Paul Laurence Dunbar at the Library of Congress."

Visit Katie at The Logonauts for the Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Alice in Wonderland

Yesterday, I posted the White Rabbit's "I'm Late" song and I thought today I'd tell you about all the Alice in Wonderland related items we have in our collection.

There are the original books by Lewis Carroll: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; and, Through the Looking Glass with illustrations by John Tenniel [J CAR and eBook].
Lewis Carroll is the pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898). He wrote Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for the amusement of eleven-year-old Alice Liddell and her two sisters, who were the daughters of the dean of Christ Church College, Oxford, where Dodgson taught mathematics. The book was published in 1865, and its first companion volume, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, followed in 1871.

We also have other versions illustrated by different artists [J CAR].

There are adaptations for young readers such as the "Stepping Stones" version in eBook format, and, a stick-figure illustrated version by Jamison Odone [J ODO].

Of course there are several filmed and animated versions including the most recent one starring Johnny Depp [DVD ALI].

Also of interest may be The Other Alice: The Story of Alice Liddell and Alice in Wonderland by Christina Bjork [J 823 BJO] and The Lives of the Muses: Nine Women & the Artists They Inspired by Francine Prose [700 PRO].

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

I'm Late!

Sadly, the original song from the Disney animated film, Alice in Wonderland, is not available for adding to this post, but, the music is:

That was a pretty long introduction to an apology for a non-existent post for today!

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

A Bunch of Birthdays Today!

Remembering the people who were born on this day in...

John Deere, manufacturer.
Collins, David R. Pioneer Plowmaker: A Story about John Deere. [J B DEE]

Charles Dickens, novelist.
Fido, Martin. The World of Charles Dickens: The Life, Times and Work of the Great Victorian Novelist. [823.8 FID]

Laura Ingalls Wilder, novelist.
Walker, Barbara M. The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Classic Stories. [J 641.597 WAL]

Eubie Blake, ragtime pianist/composer.
All-American Ragtime: Original Hits by Ragtime's Greatest Composers. [786.2 ALL]

Gay Talese, author.
A Writer's Life. [B TAL]

Jimmy Greenspoon, rock organist (Three-Dog Night).
The Big Chill Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. [CD SOUNDTRACK BIG]

James Spader, actor.
Boston Legal. [DVD TV SERIES BOS]

Garth Brooks, country singer.

Chris Rock, comedian.
Saturday Night Live: The Best of Chris Rock. [DVD 791.45 SAT]

Ashton Kutcher, actor.
Dude, Where's My Car? [DVD DUD]

Monday, February 06, 2017


Papercrafts is just not paper dolls as can be seen from the Instagram post below:

Papercrafting encompasses the collage, origami, silhouette portraiture, quilling, and paper cutting such as that done by Hans Christian Andersen!

Like to learn more? Look for these introductions to papercrafting:

Fiarotta, Phyllis. Papercrafts around the World. [J 745.54 FIA]

New Papercrafts: An Inspirational and Practical Guide to Contemporary Papercrafts, Including Papier-Mâché, Decoupage, Paper Cutting, Collage, Decorating Paper Techniques and Paper Construction. [745.54 NEW]

Papercrafts and Origami: A Truly Comprehensive Collection of Papercraft Ideas, Designs and Techniques, With Over 300 Projects. [736.982 PAP]

Wilson, Janet. The Search Press Book of Traditional Papercrafts: Parchment Craft, Stencil Embossing, Paper Pricking, Quilling. [745.54 WIL]

In most cases, there's not not much in the area of tools required to begin papercrafting besides a pair of scissors and perhaps a ruler. As far as supplies is concerned, your junk mail or old books and magazines can be repurposed as crafting material! What are you waiting for?

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Poetry Friday--The Rain in Portugal

The Rain in Portugal: Poems [811.54 COL] is the latest collection from popular poet, and former U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. Another winner by my standards--it has more than one poem with a cat in it! Here's one:
Lucky Cat

It's a law as immutable as the ones
governing bodies in motion and bodies at rest
that a cat picked up will never stay
in the place where you coose to set it down.

I bet you'd be happy on the sofe
or this hassock or this knitted throw pillow
are a few examples of bets you are bound to lose.

The secret of winning, I have found,
is to never bet against the cat but on the cat
preferable with another human being
who, unlike the cat, is likely to be carrying money.

And I cannot think of a better time
to thank our cat for her obedience to that law
thus turning me into a consistent winner.

She's a pure black one, quite impossible
to photograph and prone to disappearing
into the night or even into the thin shadows of noon.

Such an amorphous blob of blackness is she
the only way to tell she is approaching
is to notice the two little yellow circles of her eyes
then only one circle when she is walking away
with her tail raised high--something like
the lantern signals of Paul Revere,
American silversmith, galloping patriot.

Quite the sense of humor has Mr. Collins!

The Poetry Friday Round-Up for this first week of February is being held at A Penny and Her Jots. Have a great weekend, and don't bet on any cats!

Stories of Baked Goods?

As mentioned yesterday, February is Bake for Family Fun Month. I listed a few books to get you started baking with your family. After you've baked a loaf of bread or some cookies and cakes, it's time to make a cup of tea, or pour a glass of milk, and enjoy the result. While doing so, read a book about baked goods to your kids. Yes, there are such things!

Christelow, Eileen. Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake. [JP CHR]
Five little monkeys try to bake a cake for their mother's birthday without waking her up.

Nakagawa, Chihiro. Who Made This Cake? [JP NAK]
While a boy and his parents go for an outing, little people invade the house and use their big construction equipment to bake a cake.

Parish, Herman. Amelia Bedelia's First Apple Pie. [JP HER]
While visiting her grandparents, literal-minded Amelia Bedelia finally learns, despite some mishaps, how to bake an apple pie.

Scanlon, Elizabeth Garton. The Good-Pie Party. [JP SCA]
Posy Peyton and her friends are very sad that she will be moving away, but when they try to cheer themselves up by baking a pie, they realize that Posy's leaving does not have to mean saying goodbye.

Teevin, Toni. What to Do? What to Do? [JP TEE]
Happy to have some companionship, Sophie bakes bread for visiting birds, but finds she has a problem when they will not leave.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

February is Bake for Family Fun Month!

Baking is a fine winter activity for families to undertake when the "weather outside is frightful." February is Baking for Family Fun Month and is sponsored by the Home Baking Association. If you click on this link you'll find video information, recipes, activities for each week of the month, and more.

To get started at home, look for these items in our collection (with recipes for everyone in the family including your pets):

Cone, Dani. Cutie Pies: 40 Sweet, Savory, and Adorable Recipes. [eBook]

Cookie Classics: Timeless Family Favorites. [641.8654 COO]

Gehring, Abigail R. Gluten-Free Miniature Desserts: Tartlets, Mini Pies, Cake Pops, and More. [641.5638 GEH]

Gilpin, Rebecca. Fairy Cooking. [J 641.5 GIL]

Katzman, Susan Manlin. Kids Cookies: Scrumptious Recipes for Bakers Ages 9 to 13. [J 641.8654 KID]

McQuillan, Susan. B is for Baking: 50 Yummy Dishes to Make Together. [J 641.815 MCQ]

Pérez, Camilla. Baking with Kids: Inspiring a Love of Cooking with Recipes for Bread, Cupcakes, Cheesecake, and More! [eBook]

Price, Pamela S. Cool Pet Treats: Easy Recipes for Kids to Bake. [J 636.7 PRI]

Ruperti, Yvonne. One Bowl Baking: Simple, from Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts. [641.86 RUP]

Smart, Denise. The Children's Baking Book. [J 641.815 SMA]

After a few trials in the kitchen, you may find your kids want to spread the good news that baking really is fun. If so, borrow Gifts in a Jar for Kids: Recipes to Make Your Own Gifts [J 641.815 GIF]. Kids can assemble ingredients, layer them in a jar, and add instructions. The lucky people receiving the jars will have no excuse not to bake with their families in February!