Monday, September 29, 2008

The Great Stevens Frenzy

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Red Clover Conference at the Basin Harbor Inn in Vergennes. The keynote and endnote speakers were Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel, lovingly known as the Stevens Sisters. Their book, The Great Fuzz Frenzy, was the 2007 Red Clover Winner, Vermont's Children's Choice Picture Book Award. They were fantastic speakers--entertaining and inspirational. They helped us recognize the child within ourselves and reminded us who, as children's librarians, are first and foremost in our professions.

We have several books by the Stevens Sisters (Susan writes and Janet illustrates). Check them out--you won't be sorry!

And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon (a 2002-2003 Red Clover Selection)
The Great Fuzz Frenzy (the 2006-2007 Red Clover winner)
Help Me, Mr. Mutt (brand new)

We also have books by each individual sister as well. You can find them listed in our online catalog by their names.

While you're at it, take a look at this year's Red Clover selections. As a committee member, I can honesty say that each title is carefully selected by ten pairs of critical and knowledgeable eyes. And the real winners? The kids--our Red Clover readers.

Monday, September 15, 2008

May Peace Be With You

The United Nations' International Day of Peace will be celebrated on Sunday, September 21. On this day, the global community--each one of us individually and as a group--is asked to make efforts to promote peace.

You can participate on a small scale by sharing with your family a book about peace that might spark a discussion. We have these selections to offer:

The Big Book for Peace edited by Ann Durell and Marilyn Sachs

Can You Say Peace? by Karen Katz

Why War is Never a Good Idea by Alice Walker
Manneken Pis : a Simple Story of a Boy Who Peed on a War by Vladimir Radunsky.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Vermont Reads

This Fall's Vermont Reads selection is A Restless Spirit: the Story of Robert Frost by Natalie Bober. Copies are available now at the library.

While this event is for adults and young adults, the books by and about Robert Frost that we have in our children's collection are worth a mention:
Birches illustrated by Ed Young
Cow in Apple Time illustrated by Dean Yeagle
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening illustrated by Susan Jeffers
Making Poems for America by Gorham Bert Munson
Robert Frost, America's Poet by Doris Faber

To celebrate Vermont Reads, we have the following programs scheduled that are suitable for adults and young adults:
September 17 @ 7:00 pm: "The Endurance of Robert Frost" presented by Jim Schley, Executive Director of the Frost Place in Franconia, New Hampshire
October 15 @6:30 pm: "Take a Bite Out of Poetry"- Enjoy pizza while listening to and reciting bad poetry (your own or someone else's).
October 23 @7:00 pm: Book discussion

Even if you're having difficulty finding time to read the book because of "promises to keep before you sleep", you are still welcome to attend the programs. See you there!

Monday, September 1, 2008

North to Alaska...

... and then home to Vermont. My husband and I were fortunate enough to spend the past two weeks in our 49th state. While there, I learned a lot about the native cultures and enjoyed spectacular scenery. The photo of the totem pole at the right was taken at the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage ( ). Did you know that many totem poles tell stories and family histories? Early missionaries to the region discouraged the carving of totem poles and even burned existing ones because they thought they were a form of pagan worship. Instead, they are a medium for artistic expression with something to say. This particular one celebrates the act of handing down family stories and folktales from one generation to the next.

With your own stories in mind, you can help your child make his/her own totem pole by using a paper towel tube. Directions can be found at

Learn more about totem poles at any of these websites:

While in Anchorage, we visited the statue of Balto (pictured at left). Balto was the leader of the sled dog team that made the final leg of the diphtheria serum run from Anchorage to Nome that saved the lives of many children. This 1925 event is commemorated each year by the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. You can read all about it in the book Balto and the Great Race by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. There is another statue of this dog hero at Central Park in New York City.

Other books of interest that are in our collection include:
Akiak : a Tale from the Iditarod by Robert J. Blake
Iditarod Dream by Ted Wood
Woodsong by Gary Paulsen
Kiana's Iditarod by Shelley Gill
Carving a Totem Pole by Vickie Jensen
A Child's Alaska by Claire Rudolph Murphy
Alaska by Donna Walsh Shepherd
The Hungry Giant of the Tundra by Teri Sloat
Arctic Memories by Normee Ekoomiak
Song of the North by Frank Asch
Arctic Lights, Arctic Nights by Debbie S. Miller