Showing posts from September, 2012

moving toward dreams

Unpacking and getting geared up for my first day as a Library Director! I still can't believe it. So excited and terrified! Anyway, while I wrap my brain around this change, thought I would share a book review for The Grapes of Wrath.

“The Dust Bowl of the 1930s lasted about a decade. Its primary area of impact was on the southern Plains. The northern Plains were not so badly affected, but nonetheless, the drought, windblown dust and agricultural decline were no strangers to the north. In fact the agricultural devastation helped to lengthen the Depression whose effects were felt worldwide. The movement of people on the Plains was also profound.” –“Modern American Poetry” page.

Set during the Dust Bowl, published in 1939, John Steinbeck's, The Grapes of Wrath, won the 1940 Pulitzer Prize (and was made into a movie later that year!); his novel paints a portrait of both the fictional Joad Family in their exodus from Oklahoma, and also an overview of the migrant worker experience…


Today marks the first day AND the 30th Anniversary of Banned Books Week!
Books are challenged for a slew of reasons: language, sexuality, immorality, anti-church, anti-government, anti-adults, sentiments of witchcraft, you name it. Why do we celebrate Banned Books Week? Well, we celebrate it in the hopes of raising awareness about these challenged/banned books (many of which are considered classics!), and also because we believe that people should have free access to and the ability to read whatever they want—each person should be able to judge what is best for him/herself!
FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO READ! For a list of most frequently challenged and banned books, click here. Also, thought I would share some quotes from some of my favorite books which have all been challenged and/or banned too! I am a REBEL!
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you…

a final and very farmy storytime

Thought I would share the notes from my last storytime here in OHCity. I am moving today, wish me luck! More stories on life in Sticks to come!

FARMS! 1.Intro myself and theme
“Shake Your Sillies Out,”#13, Raffi’s More Singable Songs
3.Flannel Board: Who took the Farmer’s Hat?,Joan L. Nodset 4.Prop Story: Many Colored Hens
5.Music/Movement: “Jumping and Counting," #7, Jim Gill's Irrational Anthem
6.Book 1: Barn Sneeze, Karen B. Winnick
7.Book 2: This Little Chick, John Lawrence
8.Music/Movement: “Pig on Her Head,” #7, The Best of Laurie Berkner Band

9.Music/Movement: “I Know a Chicken,” #16, The Best of Laurie Berkner Band I had an entirely different storytime planned, but wound up with a young crowd...moral of the story: if you do Family Storytimes, always plan on activities/books for young and old. I also kept it short as the crowd was RESTLESS!

crushing on Mo Willems and his latest

Mo Willems is one of my go-to authors for easy readers (i.e. the Piggy and Elephant Series); Knuffle Bunny is one of those silly stories I share with my pre-K/Kindergarten kiddos (btw, the mix of drawing with photos, GENIUS!); kids of every age love yelling at the pigeon in the Don't Let the Pigeon... series. I LOVE Mo Willems. I love his characters and his sense of humor. I love that his stories make ME laugh outloud. I had such high hopes for Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs...I was NOT disappointed.

Willems retelling is hysterical. I laughed outloud. I may have snorted...a little. He rethinks everything from changing the bears to dinosaurs, to the porridge, to the surprise ending; also appreciated is the final pages where Willems gives us AND the dinosaurs a moral of the story. I love the art work: the "poorly supervised little girl named Goldilocks," looks very much like an older Trixie (Knuffle Bunny Free); the dinosaur Dad has a hysterical mustache; in true Wil…

a eulogy

Cars to some people are just cars, but all of my cars have been special to me because I spend so much damn time in them. Never having very much money since getting my first car, I've always nursed my cars along, aided mercifully by my Dad and brother A3 (both mechanics). I spent hours in our garage learning oil changes, checking and filling and changing tires, changing wiper blades; learning what Dad considered the bare minimum. If only I'd paid attention I would have learned everything about cars, including how to replace an entire engine--yes, my Dad and brother actually did this over the course of several months using a lift that my Dad designed and built! I would be able to again wiggle under a car and actually know what to do. Even if it just meant handing my Dad tools, or sitting in the car and pumping the gas or brake pedals to get fluids coursing through lines, that time meant being with my Dad, and those are hours I will never get back and never get to repeat.


best library websites

According to the Cloudy Librarian, these are the top 10 public library websites in the U.S. (based on usability, laymans-terms-ology, how searchable it is, and how aesthetically pleasing it is):

Cleveland Public Library

Daniel Boone Regional Library

Johnson County Library

Saint Paul Public Library

Salt Lake City Public Library

New York Public Library

Steamboat Springs Public Library

Iowa City Public Library

Monterey Public Library

Oak Park Public Library

Click here to see Cloudy Librarian's sample questions used when examining websites, and for the full blog with more details.

I can tell

We're Going To Be Friends, The White Stripes

Sorry, I know I have been posting a lot of music and fluff lately. Still packing, getting to that point of frazzle because I hate the disarray. The past few days have been a whirlwind: worked my last Saturday; had a going-away work thing; dropped off my first load of boxes and picked up my keys; visited with my sister A1, Mike and my niece and nephew (7.5yrs and 6yrs) as they passed through; visited with my Mom since she is heading off to California next.

Tonight I get rid of my car, Harry (more on that soon), and pack pack pack! Gah! Too much!

Monáe Monday

Janelle Monáe - Tightrope [feat. Big Boi] (Video)

Have this song in my head; hoping for Monáe energy this morning...

I want to be...

Forever Young - Youth Group

When I worked at the Farm I used my iPod every day at work; there was always music, always a soundtrack. I miss those early mornings opening the Kitchen, sometimes alone, sometimes with others; I miss the warmth of the oven, it's hum almost a part of the music from my iPod. As I sorted and packed this past weekend I had hours of uninterrupted music; time spent forming a new soundtrack. The song which has stuck with me into this, my second to last week, is this one. Enjoy!

Also, welcome to new follower Deanna!

library love storytime

Because of some scheduling things that came up I am covering two family story times this week and also get to do the On My Own storytime group with the 4s and 5s. My storytime group last night was young and energetic with some great parents who really got into participating as much as the kids (which every librarian doing storytime LOVES!), so, I thought I would share what we did. Enjoy!
LIBRARY LOVE! 1.Intro myself and theme 2.Music/Movement:
“Shake Your Sillies Out,”#13, Raffi’s More Singable Songs 3.Book 1: Lola at the Library, Anna McQuinn, illus. Rosalind Beardshaw 4.Book 2/Flannel Board: I Took My Frog to the Library, Eric Kimmel, illus. by Blanche Sims w/flannel board pieces 5.Music Movement: “The Gong Song," #14, Jim Gill's Irrational Anthem 6.Music/Movement: “Jumping and Counting,” #7, Jim Gill's Irrational Anthem  7.Book 3: Reading Makes You Feel Good, Todd Parr
8.Book 4/Prop Story: The Wonderful Book, Leonid Gore w/puppets 9.Music/Movement: Bean Bag Rock,” #3, Bean Bag…

swept away

"May would tell Cletus and me, if she was here right now, that it's okay to grab for something or somebody that's being swept away from you. She'd tell us to hold on tight because we're all meant to be together. We're all meant to need each other.

She'd just remind us that there's more places to be together than this one. She'd tell us we don't have to give up if this life doesn't give us everything we want. There's aways another one..." --Missing May, Cynthia Rylant

Still working on my Newbery quest, though it's slowed down with the upcoming move. When I picked up 1993 Newbery Medal winner,  Missing May, I thought, "how the heck is this book supposed to convey anything about loss--it's only 88 pages long!" But it does! Really. Somehow Rylant is able to show the deep and profound sadness of Summer and Ob after May's death (Ob and May are family members who adopted Summer); somehow through Cletus, a strange nos…

beware the Jabberwock!

"Jabberwocky," as performed by the Muppets!

We have a bin of pop-up books that we let the kids play with while they're in the library, and yesterday as I was passing I noticed a new one, Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwock," (which for those of you who don't know, is a bit of verse taken from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There).

Anyone, as it's a rainy and dark day it feels right to share this weird and kinda creepy poem. I also happened upon the Muppet version...those Muppets, what don't they do?!

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"
He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffis…

some gobble gobble good news EARLY

GOOD NEWS!!! Upon checking my email this morning I got the word that Mummy Dearest and her kiddos Big Fish and Little Fish will be coming to Sticks for THANKSGIVING!! Sadly Hubby (Mummy Dearest's husband) won't be able to make it for Thanksgiving, but fortunately, I will be heading down south to see them for my birthday in October, so I will get to see the whole family then! 

I am so excited to hang out with my bestie, Mummy Dearest, and see her kiddos; can't wait to show them around Sticks and my new library! Because of my move last year and us missing each other on our visits to New England this year, it will be nearly a year since we've seen each other by the time I get to them in North Carolina!

a blog is to read

After reading The Horn Book Magazine's September/October 2012 article, " Artists Are To Watch: Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss in the 1950s,"--Johnson and Krauss were married, in case you didn't know--an article about the the FBI's belief that Crockett Johnson was one of "400 concealed Communists," I felt compelled to read Ruth Krauss' A Hole is to Dig, because A. I'd never read it before and B. it was illustrated by one of my favs, Maurice Sendak. 
A Hole is to Dig (1952) is a child's first book of definitions, written from the point of view of children, which means it results in pages like,
"A party is to say how-do-you-do and shake hands"
"A party is to make little children happy"
The book is sweet and simple and will make adults smile and children laugh. Sendak's illustrations, drawings which no doubt helped kick off his career are lovely; emotions are potrayed by simple lines,  circle, "o" mouths for s…

we've all got stories to tell

Fall is happening and Bear has a story to tell (in the aptly titled, Bear Has a Story To Tell by Philip C. Stead, illus. by Erin E. Stead), but all of the animals are too busy getting ready to hibernate or travel south for the winter to hear Bear's story. So, what's a bear to do? He does what any friend would do, he says goodbye for the winter and helps his friends...but will Bear ever be able to tell his story?

With it's steady pace and soft illustrations this story would make for a great bedtime story; the change of the seasons would make this a great story for a fall or spring too! Philp C. Stead weaves a lovely story and somehow manages to always communiate elements of love and kindess in his characters' simple interactions, i.e. A Home for Bird; A Sick Day for Amos McGee. And Erin E. Stead's illustrations are phenomenal! Her drawings give us soft, gentle characters you just want to pet and hug; her leaves and trees are sentinels of fall, capturing the seasons…

Friday flash back

Arrested Development - Tennessee

I LOVED this song when it came out; post NKOTB my brother A2 introduced me to R&B and Hip Hop and I loved it!

Happy Friday everyone!

don't quit reading

"Twenty Minutes a Day"
Read to your children
Twenty minutes a day;
You have the time,
And so do they.
Read while the laundry is in the machine;
Read while the dinner cooks;
Tuck a child in the crook of your arm
And reach for the library books.
Hide the remote,
Let the computer games cool,
For one day your children will be off to school;
Remedial? Gifted? You have the choice;
Let them hear their first tales
In the sound of your voice.
Read in the morning;
Read over noon;
Read by the light of
Goodnight Moon.
Turn the pages together,
Sitting close as you'll fit,
Till a small voice beside you says,
"Hey, don't quit."

--Richard Peck

nothing gold can stay

As I was driving out to my new city this past weekend (which I will hence forth refer to as Sticks, since it's in the middle of nowhere), I was marveling at the loveliness of the corn fields and trees and wide, open spaces. My heart was swelling with contentment. I must have looked like a lunatic, stopping to snap a photo on my camera, sending it to my brother with the caption, "Look! Fields again!" I am so happy. So happy to be getting back to the country; so happy and grateful for this new job/opportunity. I was and still am heart brimmingly happy! I am living in this glow that I know will eventually fade, so I am clinging to it and just being happy it's mine for a while. Ah, the fleeting wonder of things, like the fall, which is creeping up on us. Fall makes me think of this poem...which makes me think of The Outsiders, and damn it! Now, I have to watch the movie...
"Nothing Gold Can Stay"
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her earl…

just call me Weezie

Now that I've told all my family and friends, and it's been posted on Facebook, and my boss told the director and my coworkers, I can finally share my good news! I accepted a new position as a Library Director!! The shake-down:
I interviewed for this position back in May! It is in a small, rural community It is flat, farmy Midwest corn country out thereThere is another full time librarian and a very small staff of part-timers The city is 3 hours west of my current job, so that means I'll be moving over the next few weeks (poor Hemingway--he's just starting to love our apartment)I am getting my new apartment next weekend--it has shag carpet, NO LIE!! I will be getting area rugs to put over top of that! First order of business: interview and hire another full time librarian to replace someone who just left; order childrens, teen, adult books for the fall!!I am so sad to be moving away from my Bro A3, sis-in-law Dayna, and my niece, but am glad that at least my move puts m…

a gem down yonder

This week's Newbery book was 2001 winner: Richard Peck's A Year Down Yonder. The novel opens as Mary Alice is about to board a train, sent to stay with her grandma for a year when times are just too tough and her parents can't afford for her to stay in their tight quartes in Chicago. The year is 1937 and though the Great Depression is over, a recession has set in; things are hard for folks all over the place. Though she begins the year dreading the embarassing antics of her unconventional (*to say the least) grandma, Mary Alice's year flies by, and what unfolds in this book is a funny and nostalgia-inducing coming of age story.

One thing that I appreciated about Peck's story were the little tidbits of information that kids would stumble upon about  U.S. history: references to the Civilian Conservation Corp (C.C.C.), Roosevelt's Recession, and the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.), to mention a few. Peck sneaks these things into the story in such a …

a little gold goes a long way

Chris Cleave's Gold tells the story of cyclists Zoe, Kate, and Jack; it seems like everything they've ever done on and off the track has shaped them for the 2012 Olympics in London. Each struggles against their own demons: Kate and Jack are the parents of eight year old, Star Wars loving, Sophie who is battling leukemia; Zoe is always racing against the ghosts from her past, nightmarish memories.

Cleave's book gives the reader a very real sense of the physicality of professional cyclists. It was another Cleave success, but I think I still like his Little Bee a little better!

Would I suggest it? Yep.

I wish I still lived in Massachusetts

...when I see the cool things I will miss seeing at the Eric Carle Museum. Coming up is:
Beyond Books: The Independent Art of Eric Carle
September 30, 2012 - February 24, 2013
According to the museum's website, the exhibit of  what Carle refers to as, "Art Art," will include: Early posters and book jackets linoleum cuts, created for several adult titles by other authors caricature notes: funny and irreverent hand-drawn notes written to friends  Non-representational art or “Art Art:" abstract painted tissue paper collages created between picture book projects “Name Art:” names of close friends and colleagues captured in his famous painted tissue paper Metal sculptures/Glass sculptures: forays into three-dimensional realms, including metal sculptures and painted glass assemblages in collusion with his friend and renowned glass artist Tom Patti Costumes/Drawings: costumes and a set for The Magic Flute stage concert performed by The Springfield Symphony in 2001 Photographic stree…

recovering from the weekend with a cover

"Somebody That I Used to Know" - Gotye covered by Ingrid Michaelson

Labor Day state of mind

"Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country. All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation."--Samuel Gompers, founder and president of the American Federation of Labor

"Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country." -- U.S. Consulate For Kids website

So, in celebration of hard work here are a few books to share with the kiddos this holiday weekend:

Richard Scarry's What Do People Do All Day

Clifford Gets a Job


Mommies at Work

the root of the root

My dear friends Chris and Kate are getting married today, so again I find myself back home in Michigan for the weekend. Looking forward to celebrating our dear friends with the old gang; to enjoying a long weekend (we're closed on Labor Day!); to sharing time and meals with friends and family throughout the weekend. So, this morning as I get ready to watch my friends take the plunge I will share this, a very beloved poem which I had the honor of reading at a friends wedding years back. "I carry your heart" i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky …