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jillean's Blog

Holiday Handiwork

Wondering what gifts to buy for this gift-giving season? Well, why not make your own gifts like some celebrants of Kwanzaa do. You could make ornaments, dolls, treasure boxes or candle out of old jewelry, marbles, yarn, string or other small pieces you already have around. Here are some craft books to help you along.

All new crafts for Kwanzaa by Kathy Ross; illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm

Chinese New Year crafts by Karen E. Bledsoe

Headwrapping success!

We had a fabulous time at the Gele Headwrapping program this past Saturday. We learned three different ways to style our favorite fabrics and we learned about headwrapping from different cultural perspectives. We took some pictures in case you missed it. If you would like to see this program happen again, just let us know. A special thanks to Zarinah El-Amin Naeem for a colorfully fun workshop!

Science in the Real World

Ever wondered how things like hybrid cars or solar panels actually work? How do they help to save ethe environment? What is ethanol? What is a solar cell? Find out the answer to these questions with a series of books called Science in the Real World. To learn about hybrid vehicles, check out How Do Hybrid Cars Work? For solar panels, check out How Do Solar Panels Work?

The Art of Headwrapping - now open to all ages

Attention fashionistas! Get out your favorite piece of fabric or a scarf and come down to the library to meet master wrapper Zarinah El-Amin Naeem! She will be at the library on Saturday, November 21st from 2:00-4:00PM in the Purple Room, to demonstrate how to wrap your head in the Gele style. In addition to showing you how it's done, Zarinah will also discuss the origin and history of this African style now worn by people all over the world. Registration is required. See you there!

Reclaim your missing money

If you think you might not have received some money that was due to you, you may want to pay a visit to Missingmoney.com, a free service offered by the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators. Missingmoney.com searches governmental databases to track down any money that has been reported unclaimed. Simply enter your name and state to find out if you have stocks, bonds, uncashed checks or wages, certificates of deposit, trust funds or any other lost forms of money waiting for you. This could be just the holiday gift you've been waiting for!

How many cakes are fit for a king?

The Lion's Share by Matthew McElligott is a great way to learn about sharing, math and kindness. In this story, an ant is invited to dine with lion, king of the jungle. But when the other guests greedily gobble down dessert, they leave little for ant to share with the king. Ant's proposed solution quickly turns into a lesson in what happens when you promise to do something twice as much as someone else resulting in the perfect introduction to multiplication. How will it all turn out? If you like this book you might also enjoy Bean Thirteen, McElligott's story about division.

Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard

What happens when a grumpy bird is too bummed to fly? He just might meet some new friends! Check out Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard and some of our other "grumpy" favorites: Grump Groan Growl by bell hooks; The Grumpy Dump Truck by Brie Spangler; Grumpy Grandpa by Heather Henson; The Three Grumpies by Tamra Wight. Enjoy!

El Dia de los Muertos

Celebrate Day of the Dead with crafts! Make paper marigolds, a skull mask or an Aztec animal decoration with Paper Crafts for Day of the Dead. Make your own Q-tip skeleton with these instructions. To get you in the holiday spirit, read Clatter Bash!: a Day of the Dead Celebration by Richard Cleminson Keep and Ghost Wings by Barbara M. Joosse.

Save money this Halloween

Take a stroll around the Children's Library and you'll find plenty of inspiration for your Halloween costume. To save money, wear everything you already have in your favorite color and be Purplicious, Pinkalicious or Goldilicious. Pull out a toy instrument for your little one and they could be a Jazz Baby. Celebrate recycling by making a robot or a race car out of a box like our bunny friend in Not A Box. Or, team up with some friends, grab a bunch of old boxes and make your own Freight Train.

World Digital Library

Looking for primary documents? The World Digital Library can help. It contains manuscripts, maps, letters, rare books, recordings, film, photographs and architectural drawings from around the world and in different languages. You can browse their online collection by region, time period, topic, the type of institution that houses the item (like the Library of Congress or the Bibliotheca Alexandrina), or by the type of item. For example, here is a map of British Antarctic expeditions from 1907 to 1909 made by the famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton!

Fractions

Struggling with fractions? Let our materials help you break those numbers down. We've got everything:

Picture Books

Inchworm and a half by Elinor Pinczes ; illustrated by Randall Enos

The Wishing Club : a story about fractions by Donna Jo Napoli ; pictures by Anna Currey

Readers

Mary Clare likes to share : a math reader by Joy Hulme ; illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell

E, The Environmental Magazine

From heated discussions on coal and population growth to tips on skin care, cargo-ready bikes, green jobs and ecovilages, E, The Environmental Magazine has got it all. The current issue features an article on actress Daryl Hannah and her work in West Virgina and the work of ecologists to save California's giant green turtles (550 Ibs.!). The library carries last year's issues up the current or you can access their online edition.

Exercise your right to READ!

In celebration of Banned Books Week, these books were some of the most frequently challenged in 2008.

Green Reads Redux

Looking for more stories about kids working to protect our environment? You might find them in unexpected places. If you are a Fantasy Fiction fan try The Companions Quartet series by Julia Golding. If you like Realistic Fiction, try Night of the Spadefoot Toads by Bill Harley and Operation Redwood by Susannah T. French. If you like adventure, you might find Raining Sardines by Enrique Flores-Galbis exciting and full of suspense. You see, there are lots of possibilities when it comes to "green" reads. Enjoy!

Make your own toys

Want to build your own toy bike? We've got the book to get your started. Let's Make a Bike with Everyday Materials by D.M. Heller is one book in a series of do-it-yourself craft books. You can make a dumptruck, a fish, a monkey and an owl with scissors, glue, paper and lots of other materials that you might already have handy. Custom-made toys by you! How cool is that?