Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas. I'm sure there will many new books under trees across Marlborough. I hear Santa is a big fan of reading.

The library will be closed Friday 12/24, Saturday 12/25 and Sunday 12/26. We'll open up with regular hours on Monday 12/27.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Quiet Storytime

We actually managed to have a (mostly) quiet storytime this morning at RML. Featuring the meditative art of coloring with crayons, quiet music, some yoga breathing, along with the some quiet books made for a lovely 1/2 hour respite in my day. We read "The Story of Ferdinand", by Munro Leaf, a classic if there every was one and one of my favorite books to read aloud. Martin Waddell's lovely (and often overlooked) "Hi, Harry" subtitled "The moving story of how one slow tortoise slowly made a friend" is a charmer. I also shared for the first time in a storytime "The Stars Will Still Shine", by the prolific genius Cynthia Rylant, with illustrations by Tiphanie Beeke; simple rhyming text with a message that is reassuring and uplifting.

Have a wonderful and peaceful Christmas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Busy Week Thank-Yous

We have had quite a week of Holiday Happenings at the Richmond Memorial Library this week. I hope everyone had a chance to join in the fun! We kicked off the week with our family ornament making night, had a few drop-in storytimes, danced our way through the middle of the week with the Nutcracker program and ended it on Friday with games, stories, and a craft with Ms. Eileen, me, and 3o of our storytime alumni. (I wish I could name you all, but just know that you are awesome!)

Many thanks to Friends of the Library whose generous fund-raising helped us sponsor the wonderful Holiday Happenings. Also thank you to Maria Grove who shared the Nutcracker with a crowd of tutu clad children. Thank you to our kind and generous page-extraordinaire Nancy M. who helped Eileen and I provide a safe, fun Not-Too-Old-For-Storytime event, as well as to the mothers who helped corral children at the school and accompany us to the library.

And, as always, thanks to our fearless leader Nancy Wood who enthusiastically and cheerfully signs off on the many wacky ideas that Ms. Eileen and I present her. I hope our patrons know that few library directors would be so supportive of the out-of-the-box ideas that Mrs. Wood is. Somehow she find the money in our tight budget to fund programs that bring smiles to the faces of our patrons, and to Ms. Eileen and me as well. If you or your family enjoyed any of our Holiday Happenings be sure to thank Library Director Nancy Wood.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ornament-Making Instructions

A good time was had by all last night as Ms. Eileen, and I, and 37 of our closest friends made ornaments from candy and other stuff. It was chaotic, messy, sugary, and fun. A few folks asked for information on making the ornaments so here you go:

Follow this link for directions on making the candy train.

The gumdrop ball was made without glue or toothpicks to stick the gumdrops in the styrofoam ball. I'll be curious to hear if the gumdrops stay on. Let us know.

For the cinnamon ornaments: For those who made them last night, you can either let them air dry for a few days, then add the ribbon, decorate with acrylic or puffy paint if you wish, and hang on your tree. Or you can put them in a 200 degree oven for an 1 to 1 1/2 to quicken the dry time. The recipe I prefer is 1/3 cup applesauce to 1/2 cinnamon. Last night the bowls we used were way too small. If making them again, try using a larger bowl so that you can stir the mixture, which initially appears too dry, until it forms a ball.

Finally, for the candy cane ornaments. Last night we had some hits and misses and here's what we learned. Smashing the candy in the freezer ziploc bags seemed to work well. It may be better to use one kind of candy per ornament (only candy canes, only Jolly Ranchers) because the different melt temperatures for each candy complicated things a bit. It's best to use ornaments that have fewer sharp turns and twists. A simple snowman or heart or star seemed to work best. Fill the ornament about a 1/3 of the way. Bake the ornaments at 325 for about 5 minutes until just melted. Letting them cook longer results in a more melted, thinner ornament because some of the filling spills out of the cookie cutter. Finally, add a hole in the ornament after it's cooled for a few minutes. Removing the ornament from the cookie cutter takes finesse. There will be casualties! Also, I don't think we needed to use quite so much Pam. I noticed that a lot of ornaments had a layer of oil on them afterward. You can dab the oil off I suppose. If you want to keep the ornaments beyond this Christmas, spray them with a clear shellac or polyurethane spray.

I hope you all had fun and thank you so much to all the parents who helped Eileen and I with instructions to others and cleaning up. Let us know if you try to make any of these ornaments and home and share with us the results.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Family Ornament Making

I hope you are signed up to join Ms. Eileen and I for an evening of fun, making Christmas ornaments. We will be making 4 different types of ornaments at different levels of difficulty so bring the entire family. The ornaments we'll be making include "stained-glass" ornaments from crushed candy canes, cinnamon ornaments, a candy train, and gumdrop ornaments. We'll play some Christmas music to get us all in the mood. There is still room so go ahead and sign up. We'll be meeting at the Senior Center at 6:00 p.m. Look forward to seeing you there.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fridays with Ms. Eileen

I have been terribly neglectful of updating everyone on the wonderful Friday storytimes with Ms. Eileen. Her Friday groups are so full of fun and energy and they always create wonderful projects. This week focused on SNOW (do you get the feeling Ms. Eileen and I are eagerly awaiting winter?!) and the bulletin board in the children's area shows a snowy scene with snowmen from last year's Friday storytime groups as well as frosted trees from today's groups. The trees are a bit of construction paper origami that are pretty cool. (Get it? Cool? Frosted? Snow-covered? Hehehe) Books focused on snow and snow play including "Sally's Snow Adventure" by Stephen Huneck.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

More Holiday Book Lists

Good news, the Connecticut Library Consortium just published its annual holiday booklists.

Link HERE for the 0-3 recommendations
Link HERE for the 3-8
Link HERE for 8-12
Link HERE for teens

Some highlights for me in the first age group include "Little Owl Lost" by Chris Houghton, a book I am dying to get my hands on, and "Dog Loves Books" by Louise Yates which just makes me so happy to look at. I love the look of Dog as he lays inside his book. Pure bliss.

The 3-8 category features two Elephant and Piggy books by Mo Willems (I'm a big fan), plus the over-the-top "I'm the Best" by Lucy Cousins, as well as "Life-Size Aquarium", by Teruyuki Komiya, a book you just have to see (and a new addition to our collection).

For older readers there's "Guys Read: Funny Business" edited by Jon Scieszka whom I've mentioned here on this blog, a collection of short funny stories that will get your reluctant reader wanting more. Plus "The Mysterious Howling", by Mary-Rose Wood, creepy good fun with a Jane Eyre type governess and children raised by wolves, for your adventurous reader.

Unfortunately, I'm only familiar with one of the books in the teen category (Will Grayson, Will Grayson, by John Green and David Levithan: an excellent read), but I'm sure all are unique and superior.

Have fun choosing and feel free to ask Ms. Eileen and me for some of our personal recommendations for your children.