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Thorndyke Thoughts: History Mysteries

Hey Kids,

One of my librarian friends told me about an event where she heard Marc Aronson give a talk about history. That might sound boring, but he wasn’t just talking about names and dates. If you like mysteries, investigations, questions and answers, following clues, and challenging what other people think, then you might like to try some of his books. Usually he writes for upper elementary (4th and 5th grades) or for middle schoolers, but your parents might even like these.

Ain't nothing but a man: my quest to find the real John Henry by Scott Reynolds Nelson with Marc Aronson — If you’ve heard of Paul Bunyan, maybe you’ve also heard of John Henry, the legendary man who beat a steam drill. Did you know he was a real person? In this story Scott Nelson tells about his discoveries of John Henry, the real man.

The griffin and the dinosaur: how Adrienne Mayor discovered a fascinating link between myth and science by Marc Aronson with Adrienne Mayor ; illustrated by Chris Muller — Dinosaurs have fascinated people for a long time, but even before people knew there were dinosaurs, they had found their bones and made up stories of what they must have been like.

Thorndyke Thoughts

Hey Kids,

Because of my superior location near the New Book shelves, I get first crack at the new items that come in, including the chapter books, the picture books, even nonfiction and biographies. Did you know that a biography is a book about a real person? Today I snuck a new biography about Peter Roget, the person who made Roget’s Thesaurus. Guess what? A thesaurus is not a dinosaur. It’s a list of words, and the ones that mean the same thing are all grouped together. Peter Roget always made lists of things, from when he was a very little boy, and one day those lists became his first thesaurus. 

You can even browse a version of Roget’s Thesaurus online.

The right word: Roget and his thesaurus by Jen Bryant, author ; Melissa Sweet, illustrator


Find other fascinating stories about real people in the J Biography section at the back of the Children’s Department, or ask a Children's Librarian.

 

Happy Grandparents Day

Hey Kids,

It was a back-to-school week for a lot of you, but before you get too caught up in the school routine, I thought I’d remind you about a holiday coming up tomorrow. National Grandparents Day is the first Sunday after Labor Day, and a perfect time to show a little extra love to the people in your life who act as grandparents to you. My family is made up of bears and I’ve lost touch with many of my ancestors (it's a distant cousin in the photo), but don’t let that happen to you! 

Come to the library on Sunday, September 7 to make something for the grandparents in your life, or to take a picture with a grandparent. If you’re looking for a special story to share, you can also look up “Grandparents” as a subject or keyword in our catalog.

Thorndyke Thoughts

Hey Kids,   I don't know about you, but right around February, I'd thought we'd never get here.  But now, the trees are green, the Ducklings are hatched, we've Relayed for Life out in Heritage Park, and pretty soon it will be Liberty Fest.  And then...school will be out, summer will hit full blast and it will be Connect Your Summer time once again.   I don't know about you, but this is one of my favorite parts of the year. The library is hopping, books and other items are flying off the shelves, and you can find something fun to do at the library pretty much every day.  There's a little bit of info about Connect Your Summer on the library website right now, and the librarians and other staff are working hard to finalize last minute details to make sure CYS is extra fun this year.  If you can't wait until Monday, June 16th to sign up, there are some things you can do right now. Make sure you have a "My Account" with a user name and password all ready to go.  Talk about it with your grown-ups so they know that you really really want to participate this year.  And get started on your reading.  It's never too early to pick up a good book!
 Bear Hugs, 
Thorndyke  

Thorndyke Thoughts

Hi kids.  So, all last month I was dressed like a duck in anticipation for the little ducklings arriving in the courtyard of the Children's Library. All April...no ducks. No sooner do I put on my patriotic best for Memorial Day, but 7 little adorable fuzzy ducklings arrive in the library. I'm tempted to dress as a patriotic duck for the next month, but I can't compare to their cuteness. So  next week when you are here for storytime, make sure you peek in the courtyard for a view of the ducks! They are super cute.  Spring has officially sprung.Bear Hugs!
Thorndyke

Thorndyke Thoughts


Hey kids, while we were shivering in the snow last week, LB was taking a historical jaunt through sunny Charleston, SC.   One of the first things he visited was Fort Sumter, where the Civil War officially began in 1861.  He learned a lot about cannons while touring the fort and even saw a few original cannon balls.  He also spent a day on  a historical rice plantation learning about life in the South.  He ended the week touring a battleship that served in World War 2, and an aircraft carrier that picked up the Astronauts of Apollo 8.  Whew! Even with all that traveling through time, he still managed to visit the library.  He is one busy bear.  
Bear Hugs, 
Thorndyke

Thorndyke Thoughts


Hey Kids.   That, above, is my view of the Children's Library right now. Boy!  Do I miss you all!  It's been a week and a half since the Children's Library has closed and I can't believe how quiet it's been around here.  But that doesn't mean that it hasn't been eventful.   With the book sorter room closed, the pages who check in and shelve all the books have been moved into the front of the Children's Library. Right now I can see about 20 carts, half of them full of books and DVDs and stuff, and that doesn't even count the ones that are out where all the patrons are!  I am completely boggled by the amount of things that get checked out at the library.  And today, the construction guys are putting new flooring in the entrance tunnels to the Children's Library.   Picture a big grown-up construction guy putting flooring in the smallest of tunnels...they are sure working hard!  If you want to see what it looks like in the library, be sure to ask a grown-up to help you check out Facebook and Twitter, where all the pictures of the library construction are being posted. Hopefully, you'll all be back to see me soon. 
Bear Hugs, 
Thorndyke

Thorndyke Thoughts

Hey Kids.   You know, LB has done some pretty cool stuff, but this might just be the coolest thing he's done in a very long time.   LB was at Super Bowl XLVIII this weekend.   You know, the big game where the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos.  And not only did he go to the game, but he went to a Victory Party afterwards where he got *this close* to the Vince Lombardi Trophy.  Whoa.  Of course, in order to get LB through security, he needed to go like Flat Stanley. Have you read that book? It's a good one. While I think LB will be basking in the excitement of this adventure for awhile, it really makes me want some Marshawn Lynch's Skittles.   Mmmmm...
Bear Hugs,
Thorndyke

Thorndyke Thoughts

Hey Kids.   The ALA Youth Media Awards (aka the Caldecott, amongst others)  Were just announced this morning.  Guess what?  One of my picks won!   Woo hoo! The winner of the 2014 Caldecott Award is....

Locomotive by Brian Floca








And I also picked on of the honor award winners...

Flora and the flamingo by Molly Idle








Yay! Congrats to all the winners! 
Bear Hugs, 
Thorndyke

Thorndyke Thoughts

Hey Kids.  Big things are happening at the library soon.  BIG THINGS.  As in Renovations and Construction.  As you can see, I'm already prepped for the changes to come. I've got my construction hat on and I've established a protective zone all around me.  Why do I need that, do you ask?  Because the Children's Library is where much of the construction stuff will be happening. The construction workers will be storing stuff and working here.  That means...that the Children's Library will be CLOSED for at least two weeks!   I don't know quite how I'll manage.  I'm sure I'll go through withdrawals from seeing all of you. I hope I don't get bear-ied in sawdust! But never fear...I have a plan.    Since I'll literally be hanging it out in the thick of things, I'm going to your Bear-on- the-Spot Reporter.  I'll be giving Bear-Eye views on how the construction is going.  And I may have to venture out to Adult World once in a while to clear the ringing from my ears. What I'm saying is, is that even though you won't see me every day, I'll still be making my presence known.  look for updates from me and my Little Buddy, LB, in the next few weeks here at the library.
Bear Hugs,
Thorndyke 

Thorndyke Thoughts


Hey Kids. It's that time of year again.  Monday, January 27th is the big day...the day they announce the winners of the 2014 Caldecott Award.  Which means its time for me to blog about what books I think are in the running. I tell you, it was a tough field this year.  I do not envy those people on the Caldecott committee one bit.  But I do wonder if they'd consider letting a bear on the committee one of these years. Any who, as follows, in no particular order (okay...maybe it's in alphabetical order) are my picks. 

Hank finds an egg by Rebecca Dudley — This wordless picture book tells the story of a friendly monkey helping an egg get back to its nest.  The picture are photos of a handmade world. Photography and Arts and Crafts are two under represented art categories in Caldecott winners. Perhaps this is the year this changes? 

Thorndyke's Thoughts

Hi Kids.  With all the snow and cold last week, I sure missed all of you.  I was even cold in my big fur coat. But now that things have warmed up a bit, I'm glad you are back visiting the library. Especially for storytime.  And speaking of Storytime, I have a favor to ask.  This week in Storytime we are celebrating all things bears, because, well, not to toot my own horn, but my Birthday is on Friday.  You know what would be the bear-y best birthday gift?  If you would bring a bear to Storytime.  I love seeing all of you, and I'd love to meet all the bear friends who live at your house.  I promise that they will have a wonderful time! Thanks!Bear Hugs, 
Thorndyke

Thorndyke's Thoughts

Hey Kids. Don't be fooled by LB's most recent picture. He is not in Paris, France. He is in Las Vegas, Nevada. Who knew they looked so much alike? He was there last week, soaking up the sun.

From what I can tell, Las Vegas is like having everything in one place. There is a bit of New York, a bit of California, a little bit of Detroit, and even a castle. You could play some pretty good jokes on your friends, like LB did to me, by taking pictures there. Sneaky Bear.

Bear Hugs,
Thorndyke

Thorndyke Thoughts

Hey kids. Boy. Librarians sure like bears. They find them everywhere. Miss Ruth found one of my cousins at the Paradise Inn at Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington. Have you ever been to a National Park? They are all over the country and have some of the prettiest scenery. And you might just see some wild animals (like bears!) in their natural habitat. What makes Mt Rainier so special is that this beautiful mountain is actually a volcano! It hasn't erupted in a few thousand years though, so you don't have to be afraid if you visit. And it's so tall, you can actually see snow and glaciers on top, even in the summertime. Whoa, that's tall. As you can see, my cousin is in charge of the mail that all the tourists send home to their friends and family. I like mail too. That's a hint, in case you didn't pick up on it. I'd love to hear from you!

Bear Hugs,
Thorndyke

Thorndyke Thoughts

Hey Kids. It looks like LB made a brand new friend on his latest travel adventures, eh? Hard to believe that in all the traveling LB has done, he's never made it to the Upper Peninsula (UP). Until now. While he was there he toured two local libraries, climbed some trees and went on a couple of hikes. And here's some interesting trivia he learned on his trip. We, who live in the Lower Peninsula, often refer to those who live in the Upper one, "Yoopers". Well, in like fashion, those who live up there call us "Trolls" because we live under the bridge. I don't know about you, but I have been inspired by that moniker. I think I'm going to go find myself a copy of the Three Billy Goats Gruff to read. Have you read that one? It's one of my favorites.
Bear Hugs!
Thorndyke.