Caroline Parr

Creeps from the Deep

          The Gulf oil spill, terrible though it is, has focused attention on one of the least-known environments on earth. Scientists used to believe that the deep ocean was uninhabited. As scientist Tim Flannery explains, “The eternal dark, the almost inconceivable pressure, and the extreme cold that exist below one thousand meters were, [scientists] thought, so forbidding as to have all but extinguished life. The reverse is in fact true....(Below 200 meters) lies the largest habitat on earth.”
 
          While less than 10% of this area has been explored by humans, what we have discovered to date has found its way into children’s books filled with tantalizing glimpses of ten-foot-long red worms and the enormous clams, crabs and tube worms that thrive around deep hydrothermal vents. 

Beyond "Goodnight, Moon"

          If you find yourself in New York City this weekend, stop by the 42nd Street Library at 2:00 on Sunday, May 23rd.  The New York Public Library is hosting a Margaret Wise Brown Birthday Sing-in on the steps in honor of the late author’s 100th birthday.  Cupcakes are promised, and all are welcome.

          Most parents who’ve raised children in the last fifty years are familiar with Brown’s most enduring work, “Goodnight, Moon.”  Written in hypnotic rhyme and illustrated in warm reds and greens by Clement Hurd, the book did not make a splash on first publication in 1947, selling a respectable but modest 6,000 copies that fall.  But the book gradually found an audience, and by now total sales reportedly top 11 million copies.

Read - Or Re-read - This Intriguing Series

Since librarians are always scrambling to keep up with the latest books, re-reading is a pleasure we rarely enjoy.  But this spring sees the release of the newest title by Megan Whalen Turner in a series whose first book appeared in 1996.  Reason enough to start again at the beginning!

Meet the authors this Saturday

 

    Meet authors Michael Hemphill and Sam Riddleburger tomorrow at 10:00 as they bring their wacky senses of humor to the Headquarters Library.  Kids ten and up will love their story about Stonewall Hinkleman, a typical twelve-year-old boy whose parents are ardent Civil War re-enactors.  This means that every weekend he’s dragged (his word) to another Civil War battle site.  His father reveres an ancestor, Cyrus Hinkleman, who fought and died in the war, despite the fact that, as Stonewall puts it, “He was shot in the butt… Which can only mean one thing.  He was running away when he was shot.”  Dressed in a scratchy wool uniform and dragging a bugle that he barely knows how to play, Stonewall sulks around wishing he could play his Game Boy.

The Wild Life of a Children's Book Author

 

Writer Sy Montgomery has been chased by a gorilla, bitten by a vampire bat, and assaulted by an amorous parrot. But it’s all good – these experiences and more have found their way into her award-winning books for children. 
 
This coming Saturday, April 17, Montgomery will be accepting the Children’s Book Guild of Washington Nonfiction Award at the National Geographic Society in Washington. Both kids and adults are welcome. Ticket information is available at www.childrensbookguild.org. 
  

Spring Flings

          The arrival of spring brings thoughts of gardens, poetry and spring training.  Kevin Henkes’ new picture book, “My Garden,” will get your preschoolers in just the right mood for digging in the dirt.  The young narrator helps her mother in the garden, shooing away the rabbits, watering and weeding.  “But if I had a garden…” the little girl muses and, before you know it, she has imagined a special garden all her own. 

 

 

Celebrating Spring Holidays


    From board books to gorgeously illustrated picture books, there are plenty of ways to share the upcoming holidays with young readers.   Tomie DePaola’s “My First Passover” is simple enough to read with your toddlers.

March Madness, Kids' Books Style


    When people talk about brackets, I think bookshelves.  Sure, I’ve heard about March madness and basketball, but up till now I haven’t paid much attention.
    Then I discovered School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kids’ Books, complete with celebrity judges, a Big Kahuna Round and, yes, brackets.  Now you’re talking my language!

Irish Stories and Lore

    St. Patrick's Day may have passed, but you can continue to celebrate at home by stocking up on Irish stories and lore from the library.  Edna Barth’s “Shamrocks, Harps, and Shillelaghs” provides quirky facts and legends associated with the holiday.  Did you know that St. Patrick was not Irish himself but was born in Scotland?  Or that Americans have been celebrating St. Patrick’s Day since 1737?  (That year’s gala was held in Boston, of course.)  Along with fascinating details about Irish harps, Irish poetry and St. Patrick’s Day parades, Barth weaves in much of the history of Ireland for readers nine and up.

Learn Everything You Need to Know!

          What made Jay Leno crave an audience?  What lesson did Steve Forbes learn early and never forget? What influenced Steve Wozniak?  

          Children’s literature specialist Anita Silvey conducted interviews with these three and over 100 other people in the arts, business, and sciences to discover what inspired and influenced them as children.  The result is her new book, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book, Life Lessons from Notable People from All Walks of Life.”