Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy 4th!

The 4th of July is coming fast. I just love the way we celebrate our nation's independence--a fun-filled day spent with family and friends at picnics, barbecues, swimming holes, and concerts that culminates with a splendid display of illuminations.

If your family is looking for a good recipe for your celebration, maybe you'd like to try Virginia Pound Cake (topped with fresh Vermont strawberries, of course). You can find this recipe in Cooking Up History by Suzanne I. Barchers. Or maybe you'd like to start the morning off with Banana Berry Pancakes with real maple syrup. This is the Vermont entry in the United States Cookbook by Joan D'Amico. The Little House Cookbook by Barbara M. Walker includes instructions for an old-fashioned taffy pull. You can add some fun to the menu with items like Pretzel Butterflies, Potato Flip Flops, or Banana Dogs. Recipes for these and more can be found in The Secret Life of Food by Clare Crespo.

However you choose to celebrate the holiday, may it be happy and safe.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Springfield Library Infested ...

...with Reading Bugs!! You, too, can Catch the Reading Bug or experience a Metamorphosis.

All day, any day beginning today kids up to grade 5 can sign up for Catch the Reading Bug and those entering grades 6 and up can participate in Metamorphosis.

Catch the Reading Bug members will receive a reading journal, bookmark, stickers, Daily Buzz newsletter, and game sheet. Metamorphosis participants will receive a journal that doubles as a poster, bookmark, mood pencil or sticky notes, and a chance to win a n MP3 player.

So, sign up NOW!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Celebrate Juneteenth!

It's official--Juneteenth is now a state holiday to be celebrated annually on the third Saturday of June. It commemorates the emancipation of African Americans from slavery. Vermont became the 29th state to recognize this significant holiday last Tuesday.

The Emancipation proclamation became effective on January 1, 1863, though it had little effect on the lives of the slaves it was meant to free. In particular, Texas remained in control by Confederates, and its government refused to recognize the proclamation. On June 19, 1865, General Gordon Granger, accompanied by federal troops, entered Texas, took over, and enforced emancipation. Juneteenth, a combination of June and nineteenth, was first celebrated in Texas to mark this event a year later. Eventually, people of the southern states joined in on the annual commemoration. Now, much of the U.S. celebrates Juneteenth.

You can find out more about this holiday by reading the book Juneteenth: a Day to Celebrate Freedom From Slavery by Angela Leeper or by checking out these websites:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juneteenth
http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/JJ/lkj1.html
http://www3.kumc.edu/diversity/ethnic_relig/juneteenth.html

Vermont's first official Juneteenth will be held this Saturday, June 21. Celebrate this event like they do in Texas--with a backyard barbecue and ice cream.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Kindred Spirits: Celebrating 100 years of Anne

June 13 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. You can read about the book(s) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_of_Green_Gables, visit the official 100 Years of Anne site at http://www.100yearsofanne.com/, and learn about Anne and Prince Edward Island at
http://www.anne2008.com/.

Anne Shirley is an endearing character loved by millions. You are invited to attend the library's celebration of our kindred spirit on Wednesday, June 18. Beginning at 3:00, you can make a mini scrapbook. (Montgomery was an avid scrapbooker and often drew upon her keepsakes for storylines.) Join us for dessert of liniment cake and raspberry cordial at 6:30 followed by a reading and film segment. Participants are encouraged to wear straw hats, red (or green) braids, and/or puffy sleeves. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Maurice Sendak

Maurice Bernard Sendak was born this day in 1928. Dartmouth College Librarian Patti Houghton, a Weathersfield native, curated an exhibit at Dartmouth's Baker Library entitled "Facing the North Wind: The Morton E. Wise Collection of Maurice Sendak" (http://library.dartmouth.edu/news/?t=1&type=41). That exhibit is running now through the end of the month. Patti shared with me an interesting bit of information about Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, a book most of us are familiar with. One of Sendak's boyhood memories involved visiting relatives on holidays and family celebrations. In greeting, his aunts would pinch his cheeks and exclaim, "I love you so, I'll eat you up!" (Sound familiar?) If you look at his illustrations of the wild things, you might notice a resemblance to aunts and uncles. This information has made the book less scary and more fun for me!

Sendak's In the Night Kitchen has been a regular on the American Library Association's list of frequently challenged and banned books. I've heard all of the interpretations--sexual and non sexual--and I think people are reading too much into it. Enjoy the book for what it is.

In addition to those two Sendak books, we also have:
Alligators All Around
Chicken Soup with Rice
Higglety Pigglety Pop! : or, there must be more to life
Mommy? ( pop-up book)
Outside Over There
Pierre : a cautionary tale in five chapters and a prologue
The Sign on Rosie's Door
We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy
We also have books illustrated by Sendak as well, like, my favorite, the Little Bear Series by Else Holmelund Minarik.

Read a biography of Sendak on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Sendak and find out all of the awards and accomplishments of this best selling children's author.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Quotable Quotes

"How softly runs the afternoon beneath the billowy clouds of June ." (Charles Towne)

So reads the cryptoquote in today's Rutland Herald--a perfect selection for this beautiful June day. Perhaps you have an appreciation of writings and speech that are so effective and eloquent that they are worth remembering. Or maybe you are just interested in knowing what prompted or inspired the words. If so, the children's collection has two books you might be interested in:

Who Said That?: Famous Americans Speak by Robert Burleigh
Quotations for Kids compiled by J.A. Senn

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." (Albert Einstein)