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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?