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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

It's February Vacation--What Do We Do? Part 3

It's going to be sunny and around 56 degrees today, so GO OUTSIDE! If you like the outdoors head to one of the NH Audubon locations. There's one in Concord at the Susan N. McLane Audubon Center, and another in Auburn at the Massabesic Audubon Center. Before you head out, stop by the Library to borrow one of our birding guides found in the adult and children's sections under 598 or J 598.

Perhaps, since it is school vacation time, you won't want to head to a NH center? Less than an hour south from here, in Massachusetts, you'll find the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary. MA February vacation took place last week, so you shouldn't be caught up in crowds if you go today. I recently visited and it was delightful. If you're a bird person, you'll find plenty to identify! It's also maple sugaring time, so look for the trees that are being tapped.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

If you go outdoors this week be sure to wear waterproof boots since trails will be wet and muddy. And, I must remind you that ticks have already been sighted, so check yourself thoroughly after your adventure! Have fun!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

It's February Vacation--What Do We Do? Part 2

Feeling crafty?

This afternoon, from 1 to 3 PM, head to the Library to make your own sand art! All supplies are provided. This activity is free and no pre-registration is required. It is appropriate for all ages, but an adult should stay with younger children to provide assistance. While supplies last.

If you can't make it to our drop-in craft afternoon, stop by the Library and borrow one of our children's crafts books that will supply you with inspiration, and, instructions!

Look for one of these:

Fisher, Diana. Rockin' Crafts: Everything You Need to Become a Rock-Painting Craft Star! [J 751.42 FIS]

Kenney, Karen Latchana. Super Simple Magnets: Fun and Easy-to-Make Crafts for Kids. [J 745.59 KEN]

Kingloff, Amanda. ProjectKid: [100 Ingenious Crafts for Family Fun]. [745.5 KIN]

Link, Mary. 100+ No-Sew Fabric Crafts For Kids Hours of Fun, Oodles of Projects, Gifts, Toys, Playful Decorations & More! [eBook]

Ross, Cathy. Fairy World Crafts. [J 745.5 ROS]

We have many more, just browse the shelves in the J 745 section to see what you can find!

Monday, February 26, 2018

It's February Vacation--What Do We Do?

After a day or two of the kids unwinding at home--reading books, playing games, etc., you may want to look elsewhere for something to do.

Head down to Charlestown and visit the USS Constitution Museum! This week is right in the middle of a model ship show.

The USS Constitution Model Shipwright Guild and the USS Constitution Museum present Masters of Miniature. With handcrafted models of all sizes, types, and materials, you can explore the intricate art of model making as practiced today. Explore the show through our scavenger hunt or join in the fun of a hands-on activity – either way, a visit to the Museum and the show is a great way for your family to spend the day! Admission to the Museum and Model Show are by suggested donation.
This is not for the toddlers in your family, but it may be perfect for your 4th grader (or older) who has some sense of history, appreciates the effort required to build a model ship, and who is able to be awed by the concept of miniaturation!

Speaking of models--something else to do this week would be to hane the kids bild models. Borrow The LEGO Adventure Book: Cars, Castles, Dinosaurs & More! by Megan Rothrock [J 688.72 ROT], or any of the dozens of LEGO books we have at the Library, for samples of 200 different things to make!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Poetry Friday--"To a Kitten"

We can find changes in the climate, changes in public opinion, changes in popular music, but one thing that will never change is A CAT.

If there's anything on the floor, a cat will chase it. If there's something on a countertop, a cat will bat it off. If there's even a small patch of sun, a cat will place itself under it and purr.

I Am the Cat, by Alice Schertle, illustrated by Mark Buehner [J 811 SCH] is now 19 years old, but the poems inside it, will never grow old! Here's "To a Kitten" and its accompanying illustration:
To a Kitten

You stalk a string, subdue a flannel mouse,
         on hunter's paws prowl through my house
alert for balls of dust and other prey.

A raindrop sliding down the windowpane
         will make you wild. You entertain
us both with your assaults upon the glass.

Creep toward my finger--leap! And when you land,
         I'll hold you purring in my hand
to feel beneath your ribs a tiger's heart.

I had a cat that would jump in the shower after I finished bathing and would assault the drops going down the curtain liner. Needless to say, my curtain liner had to be replaced regularly!

This week's lucky rounder-upper of poetry links is Elizabeth Steinglass!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Happy Birthday, Ansel Adams!

Born on this day in 1902, Ansel Adams is one of America's most famous photographers. His breathtaking landscapes, taken out west, are iconic. What you may not know about are the photographs he took to record the Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar. It is fascinating look at the camp, but, one needs to realize that the photographs did not tell the whole story... To view the photos, visit this Library of Congress collection.

Ansel also wrote about the art of photography in books such as The Camera [770 ADA] and The Print [770 ADA], and he was featured in the documentary film from PBS, Ansel Adams [DVD B ADA].

Monday, February 19, 2018

President's Day

The Library is closed today in observance of President's Day. (The federal holiday is officially known as George Washington's Birthday.)

If you have no plans before noon, you may wish to tune into this special event:

President and Mrs. Carter, Live on President's Day

UNH Broadband Services is New Hampshire’s Internet2 connector for education and research as part of the Internet2 US Unified Community Anchor Network (US UCAN) program. Our community has once again been asked by President Carter and his National Historic Site in Plains, GA to live stream a very special event on President’s Day from 11am-Noon ET, February 19th.

President and Mrs. Carter will share their thoughts on three fascinating topics:

The vision for the Department of Education when it was created.
Reflections on the Women’s Movement.
How the role of the president has been affected by technological advancement in information dissemination such as social media.

The event will take place in the auditorium of Plains High School, part of the National Park Service Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.

Link to the livestream: http://carter.internet2.edu/

Friday, February 16, 2018

Poetry Friday--"Aftermath"

Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash.

This has been another difficult week due to the horrific mass shooting that took place at a high school in Parkland, FL. So, for today, a simple poem by New England writer, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

When the summer fields are mown,
When the birds are fledged and flown,
     And the dry leaves strew the path;
With the falling of the snow,
With the cawing of the crow,
Once again the fields we mow
     And gather in the aftermath.

Not the sweet, new grass with flowers
Is this harvesting of ours;
     Not the upland clover bloom;
But the rowen mixed with weeds,
Tangled tufts from marsh and meads,
Where the poppy drops its seeds
     In the silence and the gloom.

Found in The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow [811.3 LON].

Visit my librarian friend, Jone, at Check It Out, for this week's Poetry Friday Round-Up.

Just a reminder that Monday is a federal holiday, so the Library will be closed.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

2018 Youth Media Award Winners

The American Library Association's awards for excellence used to consist of the Newbery and Caldecott winners, which were selected by a committee and announced at the ALA Midwinter Conference.

The more encompassing "Youth Media" name is an indication of what is, in 2018, nineteen different awards. They still include the Newbery, awarded to "the most outstanding contribution to children's literature," and the Caldecott, "the most distinguished American picture book for children," but they also include the Printz for "excellence in literature for young adults," the Odyssey for "best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults," the Sibert for "the most distinguished informational book for children," and fourteen others.

This year's winners were announced on Monday, at the conference in Denver.

The John Newbery Medal went to Hello, Universe, by Erin Entrada Kelly [J KEL].

The Randolph Caldecott Medal went to Wolf in the Snow, written and illustrated by Matthew Cordell [JP COR]. (Wolf in the Snow is a nearly wordless book, so perhaps I should have said conceptualized and illustrated by Matthew Cordell?)

For a complete list of award titles and persons, click here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ya Gotta Have Heart!

A few titles with HEART for today! (But maybe not the type of heart you were looking for today...)

Clark, Mary Higgins. Just Take My Heart. [F CLA, LP CLA, AB/CD CLA]

Cole, Joanna. The Magic School Bus Has a Heart. [E COL]

Dev, Sonali. A Distant Heart. [eBook]

Dunn, Joeming W. The Heart: A Graphic Novel Tour. [J CX DUN]

Hall, Michael. My Heart Is Like a Zoo. [JP HAL]

Kirby, Jessi. Things We Know by Heart. [YA KIR]

Rosenfelt, David. Heart of a Killer. [eAudiobook]

Have an awesome Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

It's Mardi Gras!

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and the start of the Lenten season that culminates in Easter. Lent is a season of deprivation and so, Catholic communities spend the day before the start of Lent celebrating with music, dance, parades, food, and drink. In the United States, New Orleans is the place to go for Mardi Gras.

New Orleans Mardi Gras is also the setting for these novels:

Brite, Poppy Z. Soul Kitchen. [eBook]
If you can't stand the heat...Get the hell out of New Orleans! Liquor has become one of the hottest restaurants in town, thanks in part to chefs Rickey and G-man’s wildly creative, booze-laced food. At the tail end of a busy Mardi Gras, Milford Goodman walks into their kitchen—he’s spent the last ten years in Angola Prison for murdering his boss, a wealthy New Orleans restaurateur, but has recently been exonerated on new evidence and released.
Brown, Sandra. Fat Tuesday. [F BRO]
During Mardi Gras week, an ex-New Orleans cop avenges the acquittal of his partner's murderer by kidnapping the defense attorney's trophy wife, only to fall in love with her.
Dodd, Christina. Thigh High. [eBook]
Nessa Dahl always had the good sense to steer clear of trouble. Then Jeremiah MacNaught showed up in New Orleans, determined to get to the bottom of a string of bank robberies by two women wearing Mardi Gras masks. Little does Nessa realize that the handsome investigator is convinced she's involved with the crimes--or that he's willing to do anything to get the truth.
Frost, Jeaniene. Reckoning. [eAudiobook]
In New Orleans, a pair of undead serial killers is about to turn Mardi Gras into a horror show unless the immortal hitman Bones can hunt them down first.
Kenyon, Sherrilyn. Night Embrace. [eAudiobook]
Dear Reader: Life is great for me. I have my chicory coffee, my warm beignets, and my best friend on the cell phone. Once the sun goes down, I am the baddest thing prowling the night. For centuries, I've protected the innocent and watched over the mankind, making sure they are safe in a world where nothing is ever certain. All I want in return is a hot babe in a red dress. Instead, I get a runaway Mardi Gras float that tries to turn me into roadkill and a beautiful woman who saves my life but can't remember where she put my pants.
Smith, Julie. New Orleans Mourning. [F SMI]
Policewoman Skip Langdon attempts to solve the murder of Chauncey St. Amant who is murdered during the New Orleans Mardi Gras Parade.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Random Acts of Kindness Week

This is Random Acts of Kindness Week! It began yesterday and runs through Saturday, February 17. Of course, every day should be a random acts of kindness day, but we can make a special effort to model kind behavior to our youth during this specially designated week.

Adults may be familiar with the book by Catherine Ryan Hyde, Pay It Foward [F HYD]. The book was made into a film starring Helen Hunt and is rated PG-13, so watch the film with your older children. Start a discussion. It is a fine example of the cumulative effect of kind actions.

There are numerous picture books for younger children on the subject of kindness including:

Cuyler, Majorie. Kindness is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler. [JP CUY]

Hennessy, B. G. Because of You. [JP HEN]

Knapman, Timothy. Cowboys Can Be Kind. [JP KNA]

Lamstein, Sarah. I Like Your Buttons. [JP LAM]

Nelson, Kadir. If You Plant a See. [JP NEL]

Pearson, Emily. Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed. [JP PEA]

Woodson, Jacqueline. Each Kindness. [JP WOO]

Have a lovely and loving week! (Don't forget Valentine's Day is coming up on Wednesday!)

Friday, February 09, 2018

Poetry Friday--Love Poems

Valentine's Day will be over by time next week's Poetry Friday comes around, so, let's celebrate a little early with a poem from a hand-sized volume by Nikki Giovanni titled, Love Poems [811.54 GIO].
A Poem of Friendship

We are not lovers
because of the love
we make
but the love we have

We are not friends
because of the laughs
we spend
but the tears
we save

I don't want to be near you
for the thoughts we share
but the words we never have
to speak

I will never miss you
because of what we do
but what we are

Other books in our collection that may have a poem that would be perfect for your Valentine:

The Bride's Book of Poems. (Compiled by Cary O. Yager.) [808.81 BRI]

The erotic spirit: an anthology of poems of sensuality, love, and longing. (Edited by Sam Hamill.) [808.81 ERO]

Essential Poems (To Fall in Love With). (Edited by Daisy Goodwin.) [eBook]

Giovanni, Nikki. Bicycles: Love Poems. [811.54 GIO]

Kooser, Ted. Valentines. [811.54 KOO]

Neruda, Pablo. 100 Love Sonnets. [861 NER]

Head over to visit with Australian children's writer, Sally Murphy. She's hosting this week's Round-Up of poetry links.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary

I'm sure you're familiar with the nursery rhyme that goes:

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.

It is thought that the rhyme may be
...connected to Mary, Queen of Scots (1542–1587), with "how does your garden grow" referring to her reign over her realm, "silver bells" referring to (Catholic) cathedral bells, "cockle shells" insinuating that her husband was not faithful to her, and "pretty maids all in a row" referring to her ladies-in-waiting--"The four Maries". Source: Wikipedia

Contrary Mary was considered so contrary (she was claimed to have plotted the death of Queen Elizabeth I) that she was beheaded on this day in 1587!

The fascinating story of Mary Queen of Scots can be found in Antonia Fraser's biography, Mary, Queen of Scots [B MAR] or Jane Dunn's Elizabeth and Mary: Cousins, Rivals, Queens [920 DUN]

Wednesday, February 07, 2018


On this day in 1827, ballet was introduced to America by Mme. Francisque Hutin in a Bowery Theater performance that took place after Much Ado about Nothing. The audience was reportedly scandalized by Hutin's costume! And many of the ladies in the theater got up and left. There was much ado about perceived nakedness in the newspapers of the day!

The picture below is from the same year, and is the only known depiction of Mme. Hutin. It is a typical ballet costume of the period.

Image courtesy NYPL Digital Collections.

Lincoln Kirstein has outlined the history of ballet in Four Centuries of Ballet: Fifty Masterworks [792.809 KIR]. There are 474 illustrations in the book, including some from La Somnambule (The Sleepwalker) also from 1827, but performed in Paris.

It is hard for us to imagine the uproar over "the public exposure of a naked female" that resulted when ballet was introduced to America, 191 years ago today.

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Eat Local

If you visit the Library this week you'll find our display case filled with locally made products--a small sampling of what you'll find at the Salem, NH Farmers' Market. The Farmers' Market provides local farms and independent businesses with the opportunity to display and sell their wares year round, instead of just during the planting/harvesting seasons.

The Farmers' Market stated goal is
...to increase visibility to not only help farmers and entrepreneurs but also help fill a growing consumer demand for fresh, healthy foods.

When spring comes, the Salem, NH Farmer's Market will begin selling the fresh produce that everyone expects from a farmer's market.

Keep busy between now and then by planning your own garden, or, read a book with a "locally grown" theme. Here's one:

Maxwell, Edith. Til Dirt Do Us Part. [eBook]
The produce is local--and so is the crime--when long-simmering tensions lead to murder following a festive dinner on Cam Flaherty's farm. It'll take a sleuth who knows the lay of the land to catch this killer.
Don't even think about the snow forecasted for tomorrow!

Monday, February 05, 2018


Did you hear the news that Tom Hanks will be portraying American cultural icon, Mr. Rogers? It will be a good while before the film, You Are My Friend, hits the big screen, but, if you enjoy bio-pics (films about the life of a real person), then there are plenty others to choose from as you wait.

Coal Miner's Daughter. [DVD COA] (Loretta Lynn, musician)

Coco before Chanel. [DVD COC] (Coco Chanel, fashion designer)

Erin Brockovich. [DVD ERI] (Erin Brockovich, environmental activist)

Frida. [DVD FRI] (Frida Kahlo, artist)

The Last King of Scotland. [DVD LAS] (Idi Amin, Ugandan dictator)

Lincoln. [DVD LIN] (Abraham Lincoln, American president)

Milk. [DVD MIL] (Harvey Milk, LGBTQ rights activist)

The Pianist. [DVD PIA] (Wladyslaw Szpilman, Polish pianist)

Temple Grandin. [DVD TEM] (Temple Grandin, scientist)

Walk the Line. [DVD WAL] (Johnny Cash, musician)

Friday, February 02, 2018

Poetry Friday--February 2

February 2 is associated with Groundhog's Day in the United States, but did you know the tradition of predicting the length of winter based upon an animal came over from Europe, and, that it dates back to Roman days? If a hedgehog emerged from hibernation and saw its shadow in the moonlight (the hedgehog is nocturnal), then there was the expectation that winter would take another six weeks to arrive. We just substituted a groundhog for the hedgehog.

Irish poet, Paul Muldoon, writes of the creature in a poem titled, "Hedgehog."
by Paul Muldoon

The snail moves like a
Hovercraft, held up by a
Rubber cushion of itself,
Sharing its secret

With the hedgehog. The hedgehog
Shares its secret with no one.
We say, Hedgehog, come out
Of yourself and we will love you.

We mean no harm. We want
Only to listen to what
You have to say. We want
Your answers to our questions.

The hedgehog gives nothing
Away, keeping itself to itself.
We wonder what a hedgehog
Has to hide, why it so distrusts.

We forget the god
Under this crown of thorns.
We forget that never again
Will a god trust in the world.

Read an interview with Muldoon here. Regrettably we don't have the book that contains "Hedgehog," Poems 1968-1998, but we do have Muldoon's Pulitizer Prize winning book of poetry, Moy Sand and Gravel, on our shelves [821 MUL].

Please head over the Mainely Write for this week's round-up of poetry links.

Thursday, February 01, 2018

Romantic Comedy--Alive and Well!

People often bemoan the passing of romantic comedy. But, rest assured, it is alive and well if 2017 was any indication. We've added several new DVDs to our collection that were released in the past year and are labeled as “romantic comedies.” This month of
Valentine's Day is the right time for a little light-hearted romance--come visit the Library and pick up one of these:

Between Us. [DVD BET]
The Big Sick. [DVD BIG]
Everybody Loves Somebody. [DVD EVE]
Home Again. [DVD HOM]
The Lovers. [DVD LOV]
Paris Can Wait. [DVD PAR]

And if you're feeling nostalgic, we have these classics, and many more:

Born Yesterday. [DVD BOR]
Bringing Up Baby. [DVD BRI]
It Happened One Night. [DVD IT]
My Man Godfrey. [DVD MY]
Overboard. [DVD OVE]
The Philadelphia Story. [DVD PHI]
Pillow Talk. [DVD PIL]
Sleepless in Seattle. [DVD SLE]
Some Like It Hot. [DVD SOM]
Take Me Out to the Ball Game. [DVD TAK]