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Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Month May Be Ending, But the Problem Remains

There is much to be concerned about when walking through the woods. I'm afraid of getting lost or twisting an ankle. What I'm most afraid of, though, is ticks. Ticks are multiplying like crazy, and Lyme, a tick-borne disease is being recognized as a real health problem in our area.

In New Hampshire, this month of May was recognized by Governor Sununu as Lyme Disease Awareness Month. The Governor points out that NH had the second-highest incidence rate in 2016. The state has information here about tick-borne diseases, with links to several fact sheets. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has plenty of information on Lyme and ticks.

A book published in 2018, The Lyme Solution: A 5-Part Plan to Fight the Inflammatory Auto-Immune Response and Beat Lyme Disease by Darin Ingels, is now in our collection [616.9246 ING, also eBook]. I hope you'll never need to borrow it.

Information is available, it's up to you to read it and be prepared for when you take your next walk in the woods.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Strawberry Festival Time!

FLOW (Friends of the Library of Windham) is once again throwing Windham's biggest party--the annual Strawberry Festival and Book Sale! The Festival has grown by leaps and bounds since its early beginnings in front of the old stone Armstrong building that housed the Nesmith Library.

The 35th Festival will be held at the Windham High School and will provide activities for all ages, musical entertainment, demonstrations, raffles, balloons, and more. The "more" definitely includes--Strawberry Shortcake!

The Book Sale preview begins this afternoon, 3:00-6:00, here in the Library multipurpose room. This early sale is for FLOW members, senior citizens, and teachers. If you haven't joined FLOW, you may do so this afternoon and take advantage of the preview. The sale is open to all tomorrow, 9-5, and Friday, 9-2:30 pm. After 2:30 the books will be packed up, and relocated to the High School for Saturday's 10-2:30 sale hours.

You don't want to miss this great event, the proceeds of which funds FLOW's support of Library's museum passes, children's events, and author visits at Windham public schools. Visit the FLOW page for more information and a schedule of Saturday's entertainment.

Library staff will be at the High School to hand out flyers for this summer's reading activities and events! We are grateful to FLOW for all that they do in support of the Windham community and especially the Nesmith Library.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day 2018!

The Library is closed today in honor of those who died in various military conflicts throughout our American history.

Visit us tomorrow when we open again at 9:00 AM.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Poetry Friday--It's National Tap Dance Day!

Get your tap shoes on and get ready to dance! It's National Tap Dance Day, a celebration of the uniquely American dance form of tap. The day is also the anniversary of the birth of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson who was born in 1878 in Virginia. Robinson was the grandson of a slave. He went on to become a tap dancing sensation and performed on stage and in Hollywood films. National Tap Dance Day was officially declared by an act of Congress in 1989.

Rap a Tap Tap: Here's Bojangles--Think of That! [JP DIL] by Leo and Diane Dillon, pays tribute to Robinson through rhyme:
There once was a man who danced in the street.

Rap a tap tap--think of that!

He brought pleasure and joy to the people he'd greet.

Rap a tap tap--think of that!

He didn't just dance, he made art with his feet.

Rap a tap tap--think of that!

He danced past doors; some were open, some closed.

Rap a tap tap--think of that!

He danced past folks in fancy clothes.

Rap a tap tap--think of that!

Margaret at Reflections on the Teche is hosting the Round-Up on this Memorial Day Weekend.

Have a good weekend. Remember that the Library is closed on Monday, so we'll see you on Tuesday!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Fascinating Hats!

Did you watch the royal wedding last Saturday? Lovely, wasn't it? Did you also find yourself gawking at the choice of hats?

Fascinators are what those gaily decorated, little sideways hats are called, and the royal family and friends seem to love them! There were fascinators and your more standard variety of hats such as the Queen wore. If you missed the hoopla, check out the hats here.

You probably won't find any adult fiction titles that center around hats, but there are plenty of children's picture books that do!

Asch, Frank. Happy Birthday, Moon. [JP ASC]

D'Amico, Carmela. Ella, the Elegant Elephant. [JP DAM]

Johnson, D. B. Magritte's Marvelous Hat. [JP JOH]

Judge, Lita. Red Hat. [JP JUD]

Klassen, Jon. We Found a Hat. [JP KLA]

Slobodkina, Esphyr Caps for Sale. [JP SLO]

Van Laan, Nancy. This is the Hat. [JP VAN]

Won, Brian. Hooray for Hat! [JP WON]

That's not even half of the titles we have about hats! Come down to the Library and see what else is waiting!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Sally Ride--Launched Again!

This time not into space, but into the world of postage stamps. She will be collectible as well as provide your mail with an inspiring decorative touch--the United States Postal Service is releasing the Sally Ride commemorative Forever stamp today.

Sally Ride, born in 1951, became the first American woman in space when she flew aboard the space shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983.

After her adventures in space, Ride became an educator and wrote books for children such as Mission Planet Earth: Our World and Its Climate--and How Humans Are Changing Them [J 551.6 RID].

Sadly, Sally Ride passed away in 2012.

Even the youngest children can be inspired by her story. She and a dozen other women are celebrated in She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton [JP CLI].

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Another Star Wars Movie (And Another LEGO Connection)

Yes! The latest one is called Solo: A Star Wars Story and it will open in theaters on Friday!

We will add the DVD to our collection when it is released. Until then, there are a bajillion other Star Wars movies to choose from. And a bajillion plus Star Wars books!

Did you know that LEGO Star Wars is a "thing"? If not, then you need to pick up one or more of these:

Dolan, Hannah. LEGO Star Wars Character Encyclopedia. [J 688.725 DOL]

Dowsett, Elizabeth. Lego Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. [E LEG]

Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars. [VIDEO GAME LEG WII]

Malloy, Chris. Ultimate LEGO Star Wars. [J 688.725 MAL]

Star Wars LEGO: The Empire Strikes Out. [J DVD STA]

Monday, May 21, 2018


If you think you're a skilled LEGO builder, take a look at this piece built by Sarah von Innerebner.

The detail is amazing, isn't it? It's not something I would attempt, but it does inspire me to rewatch the original animated Disney's Beauty and the Beast [J DVD BEA]. Or the more recent live action version [DVD BEA].

Friday, May 18, 2018

Poetry Friday--May I Bring a Friend?

Are you all ready for the royal wedding tomorrow? You've received an invitation? What if you want to bring a friend?

I'm sure the royal family would love to accommodate you, but, if they've read Beatrice Schenk de Regniers' May I Bring a Friend? [JP DER] they may hesitate a wee bit.

May I Bring a Friend? won the Caldecott Award in 1965 for 1964's best illustrated book for children. The illustrator was Beni Montresor. Montresor was also known as a designer of costumes, sets, and the lighting for operas. The illustrations for May I Bring a Friend? certainly have a grand opera vibe!

De Regniers poetry, though, is what brings me back to the book at least once a year! Here's the opening:
The King and Queen
Invited me
To come to their house
On Sunday for tea.

I told the Queen
And the Queen told the King
I had a friend
I wanted to bring.

The King told the Queen.
"My dear, my dear,
Any friend of our friend
Is welcome here."

So I brought my friend...

The little boy brings a giraffe to tea, a hippo the next day, and he and his out-of-the-ordinary friends continue to visit throughout the week.

A whole lot of fun awaits you in this book!

You'll find more poetry fun today at Sloth Reads where Rebecca is hosting the Round-Up!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

What Are You Doing Saturday Morning?

A good portion of Americans will be watching the wedding of Britain's Prince Harry and American, Meghan Markle, on May 19. The ceremony begins at noon in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and will end around 1:00 pm. The ceremony will be officiated by The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. (See more of the schedule here.)

Photograph by @alexilubo.

Noon at Windsor Castle will be 7:00 am here, so get ready to eat breakfast in front of the telly!

If you want to feel a part of the festivities, wear a fascinator or a tiara. Perhaps white gloves? For your breakfast, bake some scones the night before, and purchase clotted cream to go with them. If weddings make you verklempt, be sure to have a box of tissues handy!

Are you ready? Not until after you borrow one of these:

Brown, Tina. The Diana Chronicles. [B DIA, eAudio]

Cannon, John. The Oxford Illustrated History of the British Monarchy. [941 CAN]

Edwards, Anne. Royal Sisters: Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret. [B ELI]

A Heritage of British Monarchy: A Chronicle of History, Romance and Scandals. [DVD 352.23 HER]

The Royal Wedding: William & Catherine. [DVD 942.085 ROY]

Smith, Sally Bedell. Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life. [B CHA]

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Elizabeth Palmer Peabody & Her Sisters

Elizabeth Palmer Peabody was born on this date in 1804. You may not be familiar with the name, but, you may have heard of the "Peabody sisters of Salem." The Peabody sisters were three very accomplished women who spent their formative years in Salem, MA. Elizabeth was the eldest sister, followed by Mary Tyler Peabody born in 1806, and Sophia Amelia Peabody in 1809. Her siblings also included three brothers, but it was the sisters who made names for themselves. Mary was an educational reformer and married fellow reformer, Horace Mann, of "Go west, young man," fame. Sophia was an artist-illustrator and married novelist, Nathaniel Hawthorne. Elizabeth, too, was an educational reformer and started the first kindergarten in the U.S., modeled after the kindergartens of Germany. She believed that play was important to the development of children and had educational value. (A belief in the value of play has come back into educational consciousness once again in the 21st century.)

Elizabeth was also a bookstore owner, and quite possibly became the first American woman publisher when she started her own printing press. She and her sisters led busy and intellectually stimulating lives! You can read about them in The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism by Megan Marshall [eBook].

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Did You Know?

Did you know 1940s Hollywood star, Hedy Lamarr, was also an inventor? And not the inventor of a new mop or better mousetrap, but the inventor of the communication technology that led to today's WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth! She was a woman clearly ahead of her time since she did her scientific work 70 years ago.

This Friday, NHPTV will air PBS's American Masters, "Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story."

We a biography of Lamarr, Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World by Richard Rhodes [B LAM]. If you miss the television airing, look for Bombshell in our DVD collection [DVD B LAM].

Friday, May 11, 2018

Poetry Friday--All Kinds of Mothers

Sunday is Mother's Day and I imagine there will be many mother poems today for Poetry Friday. You can check them out at the Poetry Friday Round-Up being hosted at Jama's Alphabet Soup.

Let's make it a point to celebrate all mothers this weekend, both human and animal! Here's a poem from the point of view of a seal mother. It is from Rudyard Kipling's "The White Seal," a chapter in the novel, The Jungle Book. You can find the excerpt in Poetry For Young People: Rudyard Kipling, edited by Eileen Gillooly and illustrated by Jim Sharpe [J 821 KIP].
Oh! Hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us,
    And black are the waters that sparkled so green.
The moon, o’er the combers, looks downward to find us
    At rest in the hollows that rustle between.
Where billow meets billow, then soft be thy pillow;
    Oh weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!
The storm shall not wake thee, nor shark overtake thee,
    Asleep in the arms of the slow swinging seas.

As you may expect, after reading this sweet poem, someone has set it to music as a lullaby.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Don't Forget! Sunday is Mother's Day!

If you haven't sent your mother a card yet, you'd better stop reading and run off to the post office right now! With any luck, it'll arrive on Saturday and you'll be considered a model child.

You may be interested in comparing your experiences of being a child, or a mother, with someone else's. Look for one of these MOMoirs!

Bui, Thi. The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir. [CX B BUI]

Cohen, Alice Eve. The Year My Mother Came Back. [eBook]

Corrigan, Kelly. Glitter and Glue: A Memoir. [B COR, eBook, eAudio]

Hall, Meredith. Without a Map: A Memoir. [B HAL, eBook]

Kear, Nicole C. Now I See You: A Memoir. [B KEA]

Kimmel, Haven. She Got Up Off the Couch: And Other Heroic Acts from Mooreland, Indiana. [B KIM, AB/CD B KIM]

Lerner, Betsy. The Bridge Ladies: A Memoir. [B LER]

Myers, Alyse. Who Do You Think You Are?: A Memoir. [B MYE, AB/CD B MYE]

Wariner, Ruth. The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir. [B WAR, AB/CD B WAR]

Weldon, Michele. Escape Points: A Memoir. [eBook]

Happy Mother's Day! to all of Windham's moms!

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Dogs, Art, and the City

Today's post draws together a number of elements. First is the recent death of children's book author/illustrator, Alice Provensen. She was 99 years old. She had written and illustrated books well into her 90s.

In 2015, Provensen published Murphy in the City, a picture book about a dog named Murphy that becomes separated from his visiting-from-the-country family [JP PRO]. The book was a follow-up to A Day in the Life of Murphy, which had been published 12 years earlier [JP PRO].

In the city, Murphy comes across many dogs, and that leads me to the second element of today's post--city art. Last weekend I spent time in Salem, MA, a small Massachusetts city known for its history, and, its witches. Outside of the PEM (Peabody Essex Museum), I'll bet you never thought of Salem as a place to discover contemporary art. In certain neighborhoods, though, you'll find building walls exploding with color. And, on several of the walls depictions of dogs, cats, and other animals! Here's a small sample:

If only Murphy, the little dog in Provensen's book, had looked up, I'm sure he would have discovered a world filled with art!

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

The Boxcar Children

The Boxcar Children is a series of children's mysteries that were originally written by Gertrude Chandler Warner and were published beginning back in 1924. Four orphaned children, Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny find an abandoned boxcar and turn it into a home. Today, there are more than 150 Boxcar Children titles. We don't have 150, but we do have dozens in our collection, found in J MYS WAR and a few to be listened to J AB/CD MYS WAR.

The Boxcar Children film was released in 2014 [J DVD BOX], and Surprise Island, based upon the second book in the original series, is being released today!

Friday, May 04, 2018

Poetry Friday--Amy Lowell's "Petals"

It's now officially spring. I know, I know, spring, by the calendar is already a month and a half old, but this week the flowers declared "It's Spring!" On Wednesday, at 9:00 am, in front of the library, only one daffodil was fully open. By 4:00 pm, after a few hours of 80 degree temperatures, several were open. It was magical!

Amy Lowell was a New Englander and, so, understood how important the flowers are to us. She speaks metaphorically of petals in the poem below, but people who don't love flowers, don't write so intimately about them.

Life is a stream
On which we strew
Petal by petal the flower of our heart;
The end lost in dream,
They float past our view,
We only watch their glad, early start.
Freighted with hope,
Crimsoned with joy,
We scatter the leaves of our opening rose;
Their widening scope,
Their distant employ,
We never shall know. And the stream as it flows
Sweeps them away,
Each one is gone
Ever beyond into infinite ways.
We alone stay
While years hurry on,
The flower fared forth, though its fragrance still stays.

Read more Amy Lowell poetry in Amy Lowell: Selected Poems [821 LOW].

Visit Friendly Fairy Tales where Brenda will undoubtedly have links to a few more poems of spring and flowers!

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Happy Birthday, James Brown!

James Brown was born on this day in 1933. He passed away in 2006. James Brown was known as "The Godfather of Soul," and his performances were legendary. One particularly notable one occurred shortly after Martin Luther King, Jr. died in 1968. The story of that April 5 concert was recounted by former congressman, Barney Frank last month.

Wednesday, May 02, 2018


In the space of a day, I heard or read about three hummingbird related things. I'll take it as a sign that it's time for a hummingbird post.

The most unusual hummingbird reference was about the popularity of Hummingbird cake. Have you heard of it? I hadn't until yesterday. This decadent cake, made with crushed pineapple and bananas, is a favorite with cake lovers down south. Southern Living magazine lists its history back to 1978. Click here for a recipe and to learn more.

I saw on Facebook that some local gardeners are getting ready to put up their hummingbird feeders. I can only hope the little guys don't freeze! If you're thinking of gardening this weekend, you might want to add some flowers that attract hummingbirds. Native Plants of the Northeast: A Guide for Gardening & Conservation by Donald Joseph Leopold [635.951 LEO] will show what what ones are native to this area.

The third reference was to an Native American story about how the stars came into existence--a brave hummingbird flew up into the darkness and poked holes through it to let in the light! These kinds of stories, which explain "why" or "how" something came into existence, are called "pourquoi" stories. Pourquoi is the French word meaning "why."

If you're in need of a smile today, you can't go wrong with hummingbirds!

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

The Merry Month of May

It seems that spring is finally here, and if that's not enough to get you celebrating, there are these:

National Bike Month. www.bikeleague.org/bikemonth

Take a ride along the Windham rail trail. Then, read Bicycle Science by David Gordon Wilson [629.2272 WIL] to learn the secrets of bicycle aerodynmics and how you remain upright while riding!

Gardening for Wildlife Month. www.nwf.org/Garden-for-Wildlife

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants by Douglas W. Tallamy [639.9 TAL] can get you started. If you don't want to plant your own garden, visit the Library's Butterfly Garden, which was created and is maintained by the Windham Garden Club.

Here's a video by Doug Tallamy explaining the benefits of native plants:

National Meditation Month. www.thedeepcalm.com

We have much material on mediation, in multiple formats; browse through the 158.1 and 294.3 print and audiobook sections.

Mystery Month. www.booklistreader.com

In our fiction section, look for the hundreds of books with the green mystery stickers.

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. www.hhs.gov/fitness/

We have plenty of sports books, but we also have books for children that emphasis overall fitness rather than athletic skills. Stay Fit!: How You Can Get in Shape by Matt Doeden [J 613.7 DOE] is one such title.

Enjoy all that May has to offer!