Virginia Johnson

Farmyard Animal Friends

This year's Fredericksburg Agricultural Fair runs from July 23 to August 2, 2009. There will be many things to see and do, but the farm animals, homebaked goodies, and homegrown vegetables are always popular.

Beautiful Butterflies

They flutter around the tall, bright flowers in springtime and summer, only stopping to drink sweet nectar or lay their eggs on green leaves. Who would believe a gorgeous butterfly could come from a homely caterpillar?

You can watch this miracle happen at your house. Grab a butterfly book from the library to learn how to find their eggs and raise them from creepy-crawlies into splendid winged beauties. While you wait for them to grow, try a butterfly folktale or two. People around the world have made up stories about butterflies!

Dying for Tie-Dye

Feel like putting a little free spirit in your summer? Get on your oldest clothes, grab some buckets and rubber gloves, and head for the backyard to create beautiful tie-dye crafts.

Pet Rocks Rule

Pet rocks are back! Or, maybe they never went away. They've got a really, really long lifespan, after all. These throwbacks (careful where you aim them, though!) to the 1970s can be a lot of fun to collect or just use for interesting paperweights.

Pah-Rum-Pum-Pum: Follow the Drum

As every baby who's ever beaten a spoon against her high chair knows, there's nothing more fun than the rhythm of a pounding drum sound. Fast or slow, loud or soft, people around the world use the drum to build community spirit.

Deck the Halls

Holly and ivy, pine and balsam, there are so many sweet smells of Christmas. You and your family can make your own beautiful wreaths to decorate your home or give to friends and neighbors.

The Flu Bug Bites Back

Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the social scene, the bad news hits. That shot in your arm wasn't such a shot in the arm. In recent years, the doctors who designed the vaccine had to make a decision as to which strain to fight, Panama flu or Fujian flu. From their data, it looked like Panama would continue to grow strong and the beginnings of the Fujian strain would peter out.

Nutty for Peanuts

School's out! Time for cool and tasty treats made with everybody's favorite, peanuts. Peanuts are good for you, with lots of fiber, protein, iron, and calcium.* Here are four easy recipes to try while chilling this summer. After the recipes, we have listed a few books for the nuttier side of your summer reading.

Choo-Choos for You

Clickety-clack, down the track, faster, faster goes the train. Puff, puff, toot, toot, off we go. Grab a train book and settle in for story time where excitement waits around every bend.

Kangaroo Questions & Answers

They have sweet faces and tough guy moves. Kangaroo mothers carry their babies (called joeys) around in their pouches, making them a kind of animal called a marsupial. And, that's only the start of their strangeness. Read on to learn more about these amazing creatures from Australia's outback.