Monday, February 24, 2014

Three Fave's From the 1930s

As part of our 90th birthday celebration here at RML, we are focusing on a different decade each month. February is the 1930s, so I thought I would highlight 2 books published in the 30s - Ms. Patty's favorite and mine.
My pick: 

To the left is an earlier cover - the above one is the one I read, likely published in the 1950s. I spent a great deal of time reading most of the series as a kid growing up in the 1970s, and it amazes me that kids are still reading these today, over 80 years later.
My elementary school library was one of my favorite places, and there was a dark little nook in the back left side where all the Nancy Drew books were located on the bottom shelf. So the whole series reminds me of that place I loved, as well as the Media Specialist who had such a great impact on me that I became a Librarian! These stories were probably the beginning of my love for mysteries as well, and now that I think of it, my fascination with the game CLUE. 
So most people now know that 'Carolyn Keene" was merely a pseudonym, and the man who created 'Nancy Drew' was Edward Stratemeyer (and his famous Stratemeyer Syndicate who employed ghostwriters for series fiction). Stratemeyer died about 2 weeks after The Secret of the Old Clock was published in 1930. So who actually wrote the books? Well, after some googling, I came across a book that I now MUST READ! See the second link below. In all, there were 8 ghostwriters who penned these classics.

14 Fun Facts About Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her

Patty's pick:
"I've loved The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf since I was a little 
girl.   It was the special favorite of my younger sister, Laura, and I 
can't read the book without thinking of her. Ferdinand's primary wish, 
to sit "just quietly" and smell the flowers, validated my own need to 
spend lots of time by myself, outside, doing not much of anything.  
Ferdinand does his own thing, doesn't shrink from the aggressors or 
judge them, he merely meets them with his own strong pacifism; the 
epitome of quiet strength. And of course, there is the understanding 
mother ("even though she is a cow") which delighted me as a child and 
When my children were little I could not wait to share the book with 
them and was happy to discover they loved it as much as I did.  I 
continue to share "The Story of Ferdinand" in storytimes and it is one 
of those books that never fails to capture the children's attention.  
The tale is gentle, but exciting, and creates just that right about of 
tension that makes a picture book work so well. Combined  with Robert 
Lawson's charming illustrations (despite being black and white), you 
have a book speaks to the world of the child and also captures their 
Patty added some interesting factoids about this classic: 
From Wikipedia:
 The book was released nine months before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War,
and was seen by many supporters of Francisco Franco as a pacifist book.
    It was banned in many countries, including in Spain. In Nazi Germany,
 Adolf Hitler ordered the book burned, while Joseph Stalin, the leader of the
 Soviet Union, granted it privileged status as the only non-communist children's
 book allowed in Poland. India's leader Mahatma Ghandi called it his favorite book. 
From the New York Times, Pamela Paul:
In 1938, Walt Disney created a short animated cartoon of the story, which went on to win

 – deservedly – an Oscar for Best Animated Short Subject (Cartoons)

(This last bit is interesting since the Oscars are around the corner. )

Still on Amazon's list of best selling children's books!

You can even watch the Walt Disney short on YouTube:

So I have to mention my runner-up / Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright. I remember reading this as a young girl and really loving it. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for my daughter's experience. We tried to read this lovely story of growing up on a farm in Depression-era Wisconsin together, but we only made it a few chapters in. I have to admit, there isn't alot of action and it doesn't hold up as well as Nancy Drew 80+ years later. But I still love the main character Garnet, and all it's thimble magic.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Saying So Long to January!

I don't care what that groundhog says - SPRING could be in sight!  I don't hate winter - but I am a fan of more moderate temperatures.
So I'm cleaning out my iPhone pictures of all that Januaryishness.
 Here's a failed attempt at photographing our new employee, Mike. He wasn't cooperating.

These were from our Next Chapter Reading Club that met this month to talk about Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed.  We played around with some ice from outdoors, added salt and food coloring and let the kids go all science-y and stuff!

The salt and purple/green food coloring on this one made the coolest metallic looking color.  I just had a thought - Ms. Patty - we should have added glitter!!

Here's their own version of a rhyming poem the kids made based on the poem, "What I Love About Winter" from the book Winter Eyes by Douglas Florian:

'no school' days
fire blaze
ski time
banks to climb
make some snowmen round and fat
give them all a winter hat
catching snowflakes on your tongue
holiday carols to be sung
slide down a slippery slope
then in a hot tub with lots of soap!
soup that's hot
chili in the pot
angels in the snow
having nowhere to go!
find a little nook
and read a good book.
fuzzy socks,

And finally, a cutie pie moment from one of our smallish patrons that I just had to capture.
One great thing about January - snuggling at home with a good movie!