Saturday, October 30, 2010

And the winner is...

I am so excited to give away my copy of Dragon House by John Shors!! And now, the winner...


Congratulations!!! I've sent you an email requesting your snail mail address!!!

Thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks for reading my blog!!!

**winner chosen using Sequence Generator**

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Spooky Wednesday!!

***Just a reminder!!! If you haven't entered my latest giveaway - you TOTALLY SHOULD!!!***


Ok, that's my weird attempt at making a spooky ghost noise through the computer. Just imagine me trying to freak you out. Did it work?

Anyway, since it's so close to Halloween, I thought we'd do books about Halloween and books about pumpkins. I've heard from some families that they don't "do" Halloween, which is why I broke it up with some pumpkin books (in which, the pumpkins eventually turn into jack-o-lanterns...sneaky, huh?)

It's Pumpkin Time by Zoe Hall

Halloween Night by Elizabeth Hatch

Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington

Can I get a WHOOT WHOOOT for Wednesday?!?!?! Of course, it's FMRNS night!!! Tonight, we've decided to watch a drama, since we haven't watched one since I've been back to town! The movie is a drama from 1970 called A Man Called Horse, starring Richard Harris. I'm looking forward to it!! Of course, we also get to watch ANTM tonight, too, which totally rocks my face off!! Who will be eliminated tonight?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dear Library Patron

Dear Library Patron,

Thank you for coming in to the library today...and every day. It brings joy to all our hearts that you are the first one in the door almost every day in order to make it to one of our public computers.

We don't really appreciate the fact that you constantly look at lingerie ads and things of the sort right in front of our circulation desk, so our fine employees get a nice show of naughtiness every day, but we'll let all that slide.

We will not, however, tolerate your lack of appropriate dress. Please always remember to put on your belt. While it may have been mildly amusing, it was entirely disgusting to see your crack staring at us while you were on the computer.

Thank you,

Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarian

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Please welcome - Zak Morgan!!!

We were very lucky to be able to welcome an awesome children's musical guest at my library recently. Zak Morgan is a Grammy Nominated Children's musician, and he performed a fabulous show here!!!
Zak used music, magic, theater and comedy to encourage children to use their imaginations and read. What's so great about Zak is that he has this amazing attitude - he's been performing for years, and you can tell it's what is in his heart. He's not afraid to get down and get silly, and he's not afraid to challenge the kids with "big" words.
The show at our library was a smaller show, and Zak was simply amazing. His attitude and his personality drew out laughter, participation and silly faces from the kids - and he even got one very shy girl to come out of her shell to dance and clap around with the other kids!!
If you are thinking about a fun musical program for your library or school, seriously, check out Zak's website - Zakland!!! He performs shows all over the country - about 200 shows a year! - so really, you should look into his services, because the program was amazing!!!
I've also had a chance to listen to Zak's latest CD, The Candy Machine, and it is really great. Zak's website describes it as "a poetic concept album for the entire family, in which the precocious Suzy and her timid younger brother Joe embark on a selfish search for the elusive Island of Sugar, but discover the Golden Rule instead." The music is a lot of fun - I highly enjoyed it! You should also check out "When Bullfrogs Croak" (the CD that was nominated for a Grammy!!!), and "Bloom."
Anyway, check this guy out, order his music, book him for shows, see if he's going to be in your area. It's worth it, he's great!!! Oh, and he has awesome shoes. Just sayin.'

Also, remember to enter my latest giveaway!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I feel like dancin!'

Can I just tell you, yet again, how much I love my job? Seriously, you can't get any better!!!

Today, I did a fabulous story time with a dancing theme. I had just a small group today, but it was great to get them up and moving!!! We always start our story times off with "Shake My Sillies Out" by Raffi - a GREAT way to get moving and get rid of a little energy!!! And, I can't help it, I LOVE to shake my sillies out!!!
Then, of course, we read some great books:

Cha-Cha Chimps by Durango

Down by the Cool of the Pool by Mitton

Boing by Bruel

We also danced the Tooty-Ta by Dr. Jean and Friends. If you don't know how to Tooty-Ta, you need to learn!!! Way too much fun, I just gotta say!!

We also made a "Dancer's Wand" as our craft today. Just a wooden dowel (which they colored however they wanted!), and a long piece of ribbon! Super easy, but the kids loved it!! After we made our craft, I put on some music and we all danced (mom's included!!!). Soooooooo much fun.

And the best part? A little boy (who I've been told has really come out of his shell since I got here - he used to sit on his nanny's lap during story time, and now he sits on the carpet!!), waved his dancer's wand at me and said "Bye Miss Real!!! Thank you for letting me dance with you today!!!" Yeah. BEST.JOB.EVER.

What could make this day even better?! Why it's FMRNS Night!!! WHOOT WHOOOOT!!!! Last week at the time of posting, A and I weren't sure what we were going to watch. We decided on Sleeper, a Woody Allen futuristic comedy from 1973 with Woody (of course) and Diane Keaton. Well, it started out as entertaining, but then I realized that I can only take so much Woody Allen before I kinda want to puke. So about halfway through, we stopped it and deemed the movie (with a judging tone in our voices) NOT LIST-WORTHY!!!!!!!

This week, however, I am looking forward to Paris, je t'aime, a foreign film from 2006. We are confident that this movie will make the cut!!

P.S. Don't forget to enter in my latest giveaway!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Review and Giveaway - Dragon House by John Shors

I just finished a beautiful novel titled Dragon House by John Shors. This novel really pulled at my heart and left me thinking about the characters, and the real live street children living in Vietnam.

The story is about Iris, who promised her dying father she would continue to live his dream of opening up the Iris Rhodes Center for Street Children in Vietnam. Iris’s father, who was a soldier during the Vietnam War, decided to give back to Vietnam by opening this wonderful center for the children who have been living on the streets. Iris is joined in Vietnam by Noah, an Iraq war veteran who lost his leg during an explosion that killed his best friend. Dealing with his own demons, and trying to please his mother, Noah reluctantly accompanies Iris to Vietnam.

We are also introduced to several Vietnamese. Thien, who is the manager of the center, is a calming influence on both Iris and Noah. She is the one who knows how to get things done, and helps in every way to open the center. We meet Qui and Tam, a grandmother and her granddaughter, who have been forced to beg on the streets to be able to buy food and medicine. Mai and Minh are two young children who have been abandoned by their parents. They are forced to beg, sell postcards and fans, and play games against foreigners in order to raise money to give to the man who “protects” them from harm. This man spends the money they earn all on Opium and prostitutes, while leaving the kids barely enough to eat.

Not only do you get instantly drawn in to the characters and everything that’s going on with them, but the descriptions of Vietnam are very vivid. You can almost feel the wind in your hair when Shors talks about dodging potholes and other vehicles while moving around the city on a scooter. The scenery and characters are talked about with such care, you know that a lot of time, effort and emotion was put into this novel.

John Shors is dedicating part of the profits of Dragon House to the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation, which works with children in crisis throughout Vietnam. This organization gives these children a chance at a different life – and what more can you ask for, really? Please visit John Shors’ website to learn more about the author, his books, and the charitable organizations he supports.

I highly recommend this novel. It was an emotional ride at times, just thinking about everything that these characters had to go through. You will be thrown right into this whole other world, and I would guess that you will be touched by this story.

In fact, I want to pass this one along, so I am going to host a giveaway!!! All you have to do is leave a comment here on this post by Friday, October 29. I will use to choose a winner!!! Be sure to leave a valid email address, if not, you will not be entered. I need to be able to get a hold of you, right?! Good luck to everyone, and happy reading!!!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Truckin' along!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!!! I'm super excited that it's finally the Best Day of the Week!! WHOOT WHOOOOOOT!!! It's hard to wait a whole week, but it is always exciting when it comes around again!
This week, I got in a brand new book about Trucks, so I decided to base my story time around that theme! I found some great ones for story time!!!

Red Truck by Kersten Hamilton

I'm a Truck Driver by Jonathan London (this is the New Book!)

Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia

A and I, however, are slacking in the FMRNS department. We totally forgot to plan tonight's feature. As of the writing of this post, we still hadn't decided - and I am not sure what our options are, even. Lame, I know. As soon as I know anything, I promise to fill you in!!

We are planning on getting in our Wednesday night extras. Right now, we're into Cycle whatever (16, I think?!) of America's Next Top Model, and after that we catch the second hour of Hell's Kitchen! Then, after our feature film, we have started watching the first season of The Good Wife with Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth and Matt Czuchry. AWESOME SHOW!!! Very well written - check it out if you haven't seen it already!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Book Focus

So, we just got in a new book by TonyDiTerlizzi, the author of The Spiderwick Chronicles. The new book is called The Search for WondLa, and it's been getting some good buzz! Here's the review from School Library Journal:

Twelve-year-old Eva Nine is being raised by Muthr, a pale blue robot who is loving and maternal (she speaks in the sweet, unflappable tones of a 1950s sit-com mom), in an underground home on the planet Orbona. When a marauder destroys her home, she leaves Sanctuary in a quest to find other humans like herself. Above ground she finds a fantastic and frightening world populated by malevolent wandering trees, a giant beast who is pursuing her, nasty sand-snipers, and more. With the aid of Rovender, a lanky blue creature with backward-bending knees, and Otto, a giant water bear with whom she can communicate telepathically, Eva faces many dangers, including capture by a taxidermist who wants to skin her in order to create a living fossil for display. This first book in the series concludes with her arrival at her destination in the ancient city of ruins. The abundant illustrations, drawn in a flat, two-tone style, are lush and enhance readers' understanding of this unique universe. In addition, augmented reality is used in three places. By holding up the page from the book to a webcam, an interactive map appears on the screen. Readers can watch as the landscape where Eva Nine is traveling unfolds. DiTerlizzi is pushing the envelope in his latest work, nearly creating a new format that combines a traditional novel with a graphic novel and with the interactivity of the computer. Yet, beneath this impressive package lies a theme readers will easily relate to: the need to belong, to connect, to figure out one's place in the world. The novel's ending is a stunning shocker that will leave kids frantically awaiting the next installment.

Reading Level: 9-12
Pages: 496

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Colorful Wednesday!

Since it's fall and the leaves are starting to change colors, I decided to do my story time about color today! The kids all loved telling me what their favorite color is, and seeing if they could find it on the jungle carpet we have on the floor of our story room! Today we read...

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont

Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? by Bill Martin, Jr.

It's also FMRNS night!!! Right now, it's ANTM season, so before we watch our fabulous movie, we watch the latest episode of ANTM. FIERCE!!!

Last week, we decided not to watch Alien: Resurrection, since we only have a couple horror movies added to the Ph.D program of The List (this list has not been updated with Graduate School Year 1 or 2 yet!). So we watched Foul Play, a 1978 comedic mystery starring Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase. Of course, it was FABULOUS!! So, I got out of watching a horror movie for one more week...but alas, A says this is the week for Alien Resurrection...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Library question of the day

As I was walking in to work this morning, there was this little family - a mom, a dad, and an 18 month(ish) old little boy. Now, I get to work 30 minutes before the library opens, so needless to say, we weren't going to be opening for another 30 minutes.

The family is walking up to the door, and they were about to try open the door when...

Real Librarian: I'm sorry, the library doesn't actually open for another 30 minutes.
Young Dad: Oh, that sucks. Can we come in anyway?
RL:, I'm sorry.

Can we come in anyway?!?! Because we frequently let people in before or after hours...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Review - The Red Thread by Ann Hood

I recently read The Red Thread by Ann Hood, and I found that I just couldn’t put it down. Maya opens the Red Thread Adoption Agency after visiting an orphanage in China, where she learns about the laws that restrict families to having one child (they can only have a second child if the first is a girl and the second is a boy). Maya is tormented by the loss of her own daughter, and this agency is a way for Maya to help other families.

We get to see into the lives of six couples who are in very different places in their lives, who want children for very different reasons. The Red Thread held onto me as I read about the couples and followed them through the orientation process, the emotions – excitement, doubt – that came with waiting, and the fear and joy of being a new parent.

Another aspect of this novel that really captivated me is being able to see into the lives of the women in China who were forced to give up their children. The transitions between the couples who were adopting the girls and the women from China who had no other choice were seamless.

Ann Hood was able to capture the emotions in this novel perfectly. Though this novel is a work of fiction, Ms. Hood took from her own experience of the loss of her daughter and the adoption of a baby girl from China.

I absolutely loved this novel and how it seemed to just catch my attention and tug on my heart from the very beginning. It is a heartwarming novel, one that I think will touch anyone who reads it!