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Monday, July 31, 2017


It's a lazy summer Monday, sit back and enjoy this little film about the handiwork of children's book illustrator, Salley Mavor:

RABBITAT from UnderCurrent Productions on Vimeo.

Wasn't that fabulous? Come to the Library the book mentioned in the film, Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes [JP POC] and spend another day poring over the beautifully imaginative and intricate work of Ms. Mavor.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Poetry Friday--Charlotte Zolotow

Children's book writer, Charlotte Zolotow, the beloved author of Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present [JP ZOL], The Bunny Who Found Easter [JP ZOL], and dozens of other picture books, was also a children's poet.

She passed away at the age of 98 back in 2013. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of her birth, Changes: A Child's First Poetry Collection [J 811.54] was published. The "Introduction" was written by her daughter, Crescent Dragonwagon, and the lively illustrations are the work of Tiphanie Beeke.

The poems follow the seasons after beginning with the opening poem, "Change." Here's a fine little poem from the summer verses:
A Moment in Summer

A moment in summer
belongs to me
and one particular
honey bee.
A moment in summer
shimmering clear
making the sky
seem very near,
a moment in summer
belongs to me.

A little reminiscent of Emily Dickinson, don't you think?

Head over to the Poetry Friday Round-Up being held at A Word Edgewise and then go off to capture your own moment of summer!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

What Were You Reading Five Years Ago?

I came across the Publishers Weekly bestsellers list from July 16, 2012. Here's what the country was reading back then:
  1. Flynn, Gillian.  Gone Girl.
  2. Evanovich, Janet.  Wicked Business.
  3. Weiner, Jennifer.  Next Best Thing.
  4. Hilderbrand, Elin.  Summerland.
  5. Slaughter, Karin.  Criminal.
  6. Rollins, James.  Bloodline: A SIGMA Force Novel.
  7. Grisham, John.  Calico Joe.
  8. Martin, George R. R.  A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5.
  9. Furst, Alan.  Mission to Paris.
  10. Walker,  Karen Thompson.  Age of Miracles.
  11. Cussler, Clive.  Storm.
  12. Frank, Dorothea Benton.  Porch Lights.
  13. Patterson, James.  11th Hour.
  14. Walter, Jess.  Beautiful Ruins.
  15. Child, Lincoln.  Third Gate.
The number one title, Gone Girl, had only been released in June, and by July 16, it had already spent five weeks on the bestsellers list! It only goes to show you what a good plot and great pre-publication hype can do!

You may have gotten caught up in the Gone Girl mania at the time, or, you may have decided to wait until demand died down. I checked our catalog on Tuesday and found that we have the regular print, eBook, audiobook, eAudio, and two copies of the subsequent movie on DVD all available to borrow! We even have a copy in Chinese, titled Kong Zhi, sitting on the shelf! So, if you never read it back then, here's your chance to read it now!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Day the Army Desegregated

It was on this day in 1944 the the United States Army officially desegregated its training facilities. However, it still took four more years before the president, Harry S. Truman, signed Executive Order 9981: Integration of the Armed Forces, which integrated all the U. S. armed forces. That signing also took place on July 26.

Up to that point in the 1940s, African Americans had served in the military, but in separate units. Their service history was admirable. Here are a few items that highlight the service of Black units that served in World War II:

Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem. Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes. [940.54 ABD]

Holway, John. Red Tails: An Oral History of the Tuskegee Airmen. [940.5449 HOL]

McGowen, Tom. Lonely Eagles and Buffalo Soldiers: African Americans in World War II. [J 940.54 McG]

Morehouse, Maggi M. Fighting in the Jim Crow Army: Black Men and Women Remember World War II. [940.54 MOR]

Sheinkin, Steve. The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights. [YA 940.5453 SHE, eAudio]

Stone, Tanya Lee. Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles: America's First Black Paratroopers. [J 940.5412 STO, eBook]

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hurricane Supplication Day!

Sorry, no post yesterday. Summer is a crazy time here at the Library, and time got away!

If you lived in the U. S. Virgin Islands (composed of the islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John), then today would be a holiday. It is "Hurricane Supplication Day." What kind of holiday is that? you might ask. Some terrific/horrific storms develop in the Atlantic mid-August to late September. So, if you lived on an island in the ocean, you would quickly understand that it's a day to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season. Islanders attend church to pray--supplicate--for safety during the season.

Alexander Hamilton, a boy of 15, observed one such hurricane that took place in late August 1772,
It seemed as if a total dissolution of nature was taking place. The roaring of the sea and wind—fiery meteors flying about in the air—the prodigious glare of almost perpetual lightning—the crash of falling houses—and the ear-piercing shrieks of the distressed were sufficient to strike astonishment into Angels.

If the islanders make it through hurricane season, then, on the third Monday in October they celebrate Hurricane Thanksgiving Day! Let's hope the season passes uneventfully.

If you'd like to visit the U. S. Virgin Islands, you may want to wait a few months. In the mean time, you can prepare yourself by reading about the Virgin Islands National Park in National Geographic Guide to National Parks of the United States [917.304 NAT], and by listening and dancing to Quelbe, the official music of the islands.

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!