Saturday, February 28, 2009


Are you a fan of Erin Hunters Warrior series? Catch all of the latest information about the clans at the author's website:

After a really cool introduction to the site, you can explore information about the books, meet the author, and play some games. You can even sign up for an e-newsletter that will give you advance notice when new additions to the various series become available. I found out from reading a newsletter that there will be a new series called Omen of the Stars. The cats will be introduced to a new foe: beavers! The first installment, The Fourth Apprentice, will be available next November. It's on my list to order!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Little Boys LOVE Trains!

Big ones do, too. I recently spent a weekend visiting relatives in Connecticut. My father-in-law (a BIG train aficionado) took us to the Essex Steam Train and the Connecticut River Museum. A huge model train display was set up at the museum--a big draw. Also available for viewing was the very first submarine used in warfare. Included was a replica for kids to climb into. Very fun! Bald eagles flying outside of the museum provided an extra bonus.

Near the museum is the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat. For an admission fee, families can ride the train or take a cruise on the riverboat. Special events like "The North Pole Express," "Caboose Weekend," and "Day Out with Thomas" are held. These are especially popular with kids.

Both of these attractions are in Essex, Connecticut, a three hour trip from Springfield. But, if you're looking for an exciting adventure for your little train lover and can afford the admission, it's well worth the trip.

For more information, visit these websites:

Or just pick up some of these books at the library:

All Aboard! : Passenger Trains Around the World by Karl Zimmermann
Seymour Simon's Book of Trains by Seymour Simon

For fun:
All Aboard! by Mary Lyn Ray
All Aboard! by James Stevenson.
And the Train Goes by William Bee
Chugga-chugga Choo-Choo by Kevin Lewis
Dinosaur Train by John Steven Gurney
Jingle the Brass by Patricia Newman
The Owl Who Became the Moon by Jonathan London
Thomas the Tank Engine Story Collection by W. Awdry
Train Song by Diane Siebert
Trains by Gail Gibbons.
Tupelo Rides the Rails by Melissa Sweet

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Book in Hand

We are very fortunate to receive a $500 grant from the Winnie Belle Learned Fund that will be used to buy books for our Book in Hand Story Time. This approach was developed by the librarians of the Erica Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. The program utilizes multiple copies of a picture book as a means to engage children in the reading process. In a traditional story time, the child listens and views a book read (usually) by an adult in a group setting. With Book in Hand, each child in the group has his/her own copy of the book in board book format. Each child can then follow along and explore the book as s/he desires, becoming physically and intellectually engaged. They learn and practice how to keep pace with reading as a group, use descriptive and expressive language, make observations and connections, and manipulate pages. Throughout the session, they can choose to lead the group or follow the lead of other children at will.

We will conduct a three week session of Book in Hand Story Time for toddlers and preschoolers on Wednesdays at 10:30-11:00 from March 11 through 25. We hope you will be able to attend with your child.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday to ...

...Abe and Charles! Two hundred years ago today, two babies were born who would each make a profound mark on our history.

Here are a few of our many titles on Lincoln:

Abe Lincoln Grows Up by Carl Sandburg
Abe Lincoln Loved Animals by Ellen Jackson
Abraham Lincoln by Amy L. Cohn and Suzy Schmidt
Lincoln : a Photobiography Russell Freedman
Mr. Lincoln's Gift : a Civil War Story by Whitney Stewart
The President is Shot! : the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by Harold Holzer

My personal favorite (and--dare I say it--a member of the soon to be published 2009-20010 Red Clover List):
Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek by Deborah Hopkinson

And don't overlook:
Good Brother, Bad Brother : the Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth by James Cross Giblin.

I recommend the following brilliant presentation for those interested in learning more about Charles Darwin:
The Tree of Life : a Book Depicting the Life of Charles Darwin, Naturalist, Geologist & Thinker by Peter Sís.

If you are more focused on the upcoming holiday, Valentine's Day, check out the our young adult blog at It contains a link to everything you ever wanted to know about Valentines and chocolate. It's well worth a visit!

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Mt. Redoubt is getting ready to erupt! This volcano is one of thousands that make up the Ring of Fire. It's located about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. Residents are readying themselves by purchasing masks and goggles to protect them from the ash that will eventually find its way to surrounding areas. As someone who spent many years studying and teaching geology, I find this all very exciting. Many kids who visit the library are intrigued with volcanoes as well. Cultivate your child's curiosity about these special mountains by visiting the websites or checking out the books listed below.
These websites have the latest updates on Mt. Redoubt's rumblings:

What's the Ring of Fire? Find a map here:

The following titles provide information about volcanoes in general as well as specific places.
Eruption! : the Story of Volcanoes by Anita Ganeri.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park by Sharlene and Ted Nelson
Hill of Fire by Joan Sandin
Volcano by Anne Rooney
Volcano : the Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens by Patricia Lauber

Watch the DVD Volcanoes for in depth information and the excitement of an eruption.

For some fun and adventure, read The Volcano Disaster by Peg Kehret.

Find out more about Alaska with these books:
Alaska by Tamra B. Orr
A Child's Alaska by Claire Rudolf Murphy