Saturday, December 18, 2010

parity and the poster boy

He used half the tape and a mess of staples, the boy trying to put together a poster for a class project. His posterboard is a squashed box pummelled to an unruly flatness and over it he has taped sheets and sheets of old flyers from our scrap paper box, taped together in the haphazard way only a ten year old boy can manage.
I can only imagine the remarks of the other children when he hands in his poster board project. This is not the first of its kind. I have mooched old box parts from our custodians for similar fixes.
Teachers - do you know not every parent will run out to the local stationary store and buy posterboard? Or the trifold posters - they cost up to twelve bucks or more of big foamy board pieces to display a few sheets of paper about a project. Not green at all either.
Schools - when you ask children for these outside of school purchases, when you assemble your ginormous school needs list in September, when you insist any child provide something besides himself at the school, you are setting some members of the community up for failure. Poor children cannot buy posterboards, fancy notebooks, special calculators and the like.
The little girl telling me sadly last year that the reason she was at the library and not at school was there was a class trip and her mother couldn't afford it - and she was too embarrassed to go to school and be placed in a different classroom (for those who didn't go).
Forget the big fundraisers for three day trips to some amusement park or the pricey D.J. you hire for a dance or whatever else...raise the money for the trips to museums etc. but only hold the trips if EVERYONE CAN GO. Kids do not need fancy notebooks in different colors to learn. They need a pencil, some paper, and a good teacher. Stop assigning mandatory computer homework to those who don't have internet access. Are you aware many of them cannot make it to the library as their parents both work long long hours?
I will never forget the kindergarten teacher who remarked to me at the end of the year that it was sad to see the kids who didn't get the milk and cookies at snack watch the others. I was sending in the requested 75 cents or so a week for milk and cookies snack. I looked at her - do you mean there are children who have no snack and have to watch the others snack? Well, yes, she said. Mind you, this was the end of the school year - and why hadn't she told us this in September? She thought we knew. Every mom in that school I knew did NOT know and we would have gladly taken turns baking cookies, paying for milk and juice for EVERYONE, not just a select few. In all the fuss raised about schools and the need for change that is going about lately - address the disparity between the have and have-nots. If one child gets something, EVERY CHILD GETS SOMETHING. We are all in this global family together, we better start acting like it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kudos to the great kid at the library..

After helping him get some books on tying knots - for practice, he told me, so he could get his boy scout badge, he thanked me and added "you're a really good librarian and you have nice hair."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who's Reading?

An owl inviting booklovers to post the name of their favorite or recently read books has been a modest success. Half of the little owls have been carried home after being colored in, but I think it has been a nice autumn-y visual in the library.

Friday, October 29, 2010

a weekend round-up

My favorites are choking up AOL - so here are a few things of interest - homeschoolers might find this site useful, I just love everything about this wonderful site and blog - and gimme some of those popcorn balls please! Want cuteness? Check out her (first attempt at, sigh) felting creations...really some people are annoyingly talented (scroll a post or two down). Speaking of talented - this blog seems to collect them - need craft ideas? Look no further. (Okay, look further, one of the beauties of the 'net is all the creative people just SHARING. Big wow.)
Did I ever share this fun Beethoven site?
I have listed this in other places (I think on other blog) but I love it so - the note "I will not start fires", I mean, interesting. Unfortunately all I have found is old gum stuck in the pages of picturebooks but I'm full of hope.

Eva Ibbotson

An interesting NYTimes obit on the writer Eva Ibbotson - I like her late publishing start and her magically inclined books as well as the adventurous ones, residing on our library shelves.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Versatile Blogger award

Quite thrilled to log on and see this lovely award from Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Thank you!

The criteria for accepting The Versatile Blogger Award are:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.
4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award

Seven things about me:

1. I love the ocean but hate swimming in it.
2. A cup of tea is more calming to me than meditation ever could be.
3. Monkeys weird me out. Real ones, not toys.
4. I spend a lot of time over at my other blog, Sun pours down like honey, and keep meaning to do more with this blog.
5. I like owls and one lives in our backyard.
6. I believe that God is alive and magic is afoot (thank you, Buffy St.M).
7. I'm proud to be half Scottish.

My chosen blogs are:
1. Scenes from the Moth House
2. Mouse
3. Wild Somerset Child
4. heaven and earth
5. Three Beautiful Things
6. la porte rouge
7. Cat musings
8. noble pig
9. cold antler farm
10. Allotment 2 kitchen
11. Vivien Swift the France blog
12. seven spoons
13. the heart of papercuts
14. vintage chica
15. Stuck in Customs

I will link to everyone tomorrow as it's well past bedtime now - merci!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Snook Alone

Snook AloneSnook Alone by Marilyn Nelson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Snook, abandoned inadvertantly, reminded me of Tom Hanks' character in Cast Away, only sadder and sweeter since Snook doesn't understand where his friend went or why. The details of the island and the creatures of the sand and sea and the lovely language are matched by the art by Timothy Basil Ering who certainly knows the poignancy in the curved back of a dog, head hung low.

View all my reviews

Eddie's Garden review

Eddie's Garden and How to Make Things GrowEddie's Garden and How to Make Things Grow by Sarah Garland

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An appealing and realistic story of a mother, boy and baby sister planning and putting together a back yard garden and reaping their harvest, warm and humorous family moments, especially some sibling for growing a similar garden yourself are in the back. The art is well-matched.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

A beautiful offering on love and loss

Tulip and Lupin ForeverTulip and Lupin Forever by Mireille Levert

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

She had me at "dog bee". This is a story about love and loss and an unusual one, not your typical dog and owner but a watering fairy named Tulip and her dog bee honeymaker named Lupin. When Lupin dies, Tulip is terribly sad. The story is spot on about the long lingering sadness of the loss of someone beloved and about the slow and careful bloom of recovery. If you have an artist/poet friend or family member (or someone with the soul of an artist and poet) who has lost a pet, this might be the perfect offering. The entire time I was reading and loving it even though misty-eyed thinking about our beloved Moky), I was thinking how my daughter will find this a perfect expression about her relationship with Moky and her new one with young TuckerBoo. I do, however, wish some of these books came with a little sticker from the publisher, however, as I know there will be parents tucked in next to their wee one reading happily and then - oh my - the realization you are in the middle of a very sad book in the armload you grabbed on the run from the library. Clever librarian I am, I will put it aside in my special issues shelf - the ones parents appreciate (so they tell me) so they don't have to slog through a bunch of picturebooks to locate the ones on grief and loss and other difficulties of being human.

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Psalm 23

Psalm Twenty-ThreePsalm Twenty-Three by Tim Ladwig

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

the two other women at my job saw this, sighed with that deep wow what a great book pleasure, and announced who was receiving this for a Christmas present. A mother, a brother. I think this might be the book I want to donate in honor of my mother that I like to do every year on her birthday. I love how it expresses the grace in everyday life (something I am apt to forget if not reminded) and I love how it shows the loving grandparents raising the children. A story brought to life via the wonderful illustrations all wrapped around the God-hearted words of the 23rd Psalm.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Arm of the Sea Puppet Theatre

Performing on the Green at the NRPL's summer reading kick-off a few weeks ago.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Housecleaning encore

A 2010 summer reading list, Aok teacher's calendar site,'s link to public libraries (fun reading ROAR, NYC's newsletter and calendar), Pediatrician's importance of reading to toddlers article, Columbia's Go Ask Alice info site, Carol Hurst which I think I must have as a sidebar, somewhere? health of all kinds questions and info for girls...,Medline great bereavement site with links for families and children, Family Education book lists broken down by age, Great extensive list and links of kid's magazines, extensive hispanic/Latino list of books and what else, more lists.

Some housecleaning

Going through my "faves" to clear up stuff, half of which I think I have had since library school and am loathe to just delete - so let me toss it all, over time, here Lyre's links to good links, the kids on the web many links, extensive links to authors site here, the zero to three page for child development, Over at Infoplease, list of best-selling hc children's books of all time up to year 2000, The Five Owls site, Enchanted Learning's pond site printouts (why do I have this? Well, we are near two large ponds we call lakes so..., Authors among us - librarians who are authors page,'s picture book directory, and I have run out of steam for now...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Harry Potter musings

I like this book a great deal...under Landmark books, what she writes about J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books is spot-on for me: "I am deeply grateful to J.K. Rowling ...I feel immensely lucky that they (children) all got to participate in the birth of a I looked around that night (a midnight book store party for HP books)...I saw many parents with their eyes shining with tears, just as mine were. We were all feeling the awesome power of a book bringing us together. The brilliance of HP, in addition to many other things, was that it was the story of a young boy who had already experienced a huge amount of loss in his life, but by going to a magical place, Hogwarts, he was able to recapture magic, and therefore childhood. The upside-down common sense of that, that you have to grow up in order to recover childhood, was sheer genius. In addition...this author recognizes the innate wisdom of children, their sense of justice, and themes that are not easy to grapple with...the books were a balm for a post 9/11 world."

It goes on and I certainly am not being timely with my HP posting, but I, too was so grateful my older children were able to have Harry Potter in their childhood...that kind of getting lost in another world wonderful - as well as introducing so many children to the power of reading...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

Round up

Why do children like the macabre and scary? I can almost picture the sweet Damien-like face of the tot "wolf going to eat the baby, mommy...". Elizabeth Kennedy has this nifty click-on calendar over on
No big-fisted angry parents in YA lit (the most terrifying adults seem to be inside children's books like the guy living in the shack in Appelt's The Underneath...)
Raising a Reader Tips never unwelcome to my filebox (which essentially is this blog since I am a horror at updating it for actual timely readers).
And I just get a kick out of this barebones assorted fingerplays blog...someone who is even more - oh hell, it's my filebox and deal with it - than I am....
head on over to Sun pours down for a cool photo.

Friday, April 23, 2010

In memory of Moky

I have loved this book by one of my favorite author/illustrators, Alice Provensen (the Maple Hill Farm books - A Year at Maple Hill Farm and the animal friends of MHF remain family favorites).
Murphy the dog in this book, is funny and lovely and feisty and always in trouble - much like our beloved dog, Moky, who recently and unexpectedly died. There is only one Murphy. There was only one Moky.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The helican

which is the punchline to a silly poem my Dad liked. Still half in Florida, half here. Will be updating soon and posting more Florida photos here and over on Sun pours down like honey blog.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Honoring a wonderful writer

A wonderful article here about the fine writer, Sid Fleishman. Besides his wonderful, The Whipping Boy, here is a link to his website which lists all his works of literature.

Friday, March 12, 2010

another lovely Stella offering

Was so pleased that this latest Stella was coming out - such a fan of this redhead - and even more pleased when I read it, such a wonderfully sympathetic of the world through the eyes of a toddler - capturing the magic of snow that covers the whole world and talking trees and thinking you are a turtle or a bird or a dog. Great stuff.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

From the Filebox

Some oldies and some new ones perhaps: fingerplays.
find the words to songs you might want to sing at Storytimes. This Indiana library has some excellent book lists (click on this for a cumulative stories book list and more). India Parenting has the words to some nursery rhymes (if like me you came to this librarian scene knowing the lyrics to more Grateful Dead and Rolling Stones songs than nursery rhymes...). The Niehs has the lyrics and sometimes music (although some is rather alarming organ music) to a ton of songs you might find handy. This preschool site has some good program ideas, the Youth Online club has a long list of resources useful in library programs. This age Zero to Three guide has a list of resources (ie. childhood trauma) from the gov't that you might find useful to recommend... that's it for this week. Enjoy the snow if you've got it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Adore this

A truly lovely book - the art is fantastic and matches the book so well, quirky and inventively and gentle. I love how it strolls through history and I love the relationship between the man and Clara.
My Travels with Clara by Mary Tavener Holmes, Illustrated by Jon Cannell, published by the J. Paul Getty Museum in California (

Monday, February 1, 2010

Springing ahead of the Winter cold

Some photos of the library windows painted for our First Grade Reading program kick-off - some of the school visits down already, the kids rising to the challenge of reading a lot of books over the remaining winter weeks. Hopefully looking at the butterfly flowers will keep us warm in the library as February and March do their gusty blustery chilly snowy best.