Rebecca Purdy

Spring Hope

Sharing the Seasons: A Book of Poems

I have hope for spring! Every year, I reach a point where I can’t bear another minute of cold, ice or snow, let alone the barren, brown landscape. Then February and my first harbinger of spring arrives, the Maymont Flower & Garden Show. Despite it all, I am filled with hope. If the weather is wearing you down, a book full of spring may be just what you need to keep trudging along! 

Sharing the Seasons, selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins, celebrates each season with poems and David Diaz’s vibrant illustrations. My favorite spring poem is by Fran Haraway and describes someone who ignores the chilly, north wind, the leafless trees and the lack of crocuses and though it’s much too cold, sits outside. Focusing instead on the almond tree buds and insisting, despite all other evidence that spring is here.  
  
Old BearLike Old Bear in the book by Kevin Henkes, I even dream of spring. Throughout his hibernation, Old Bear dreams of being a cub again with “flowers as big as trees” and a crocus he can take a nap in. His dreams progress through the seasons, the palette changing from the pinks and purples of spring to the yellows and oranges of autumn until he finally awakens. At long last he pokes his head out and “it took him a minute to realize that he wasn’t dreaming,” spring was indeed here!     
 

Historical Picture Books in Honor of Black History Month

Henry's Freedom Box

Black History Month begins tomorrow and the library has recently updated the bibliography, “Our Stories: The African-American Experience,” recommending many wonderful recently published titles.   Here are just a few of the historical picture books that made the list.

Two titles are Caldecott Honor winners. Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad, by Ellen Levine and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, tells the true story of Henry “Box” Brown. When his wife and children are sold to pay for their master’s debts, Henry can stand it no longer. With the help of a white doctor, he hides inside a wooden crate and mails himself to an abolitionist in Philadelphia. Travelling by train and boat he at last arrives to freedom. 

The details painted on every character’s face are a powerful complement to the text. Henry’s joy in his family and the pain at their loss are beautifully conveyed. The picture of Henry upside down in his box is my favorite. One hand is splayed, reaching towards the reader as he struggles to hold himself up just a little, attempting to relieve some of the pressure on his head, neck and shoulders. 

One Librarian's Favorite 2010 Books for Ages 7-10

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Since March, Capitol Choices, a group of public and school librarians, booksellers and children’s literature specialists have been attending meetings monthly to find the one hundred best books of 2010 for young people. Members take their charge seriously, committing to read everything nominated in a specific age group.

Recommended Teen Book Award Winners

Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing by Ann Angel

I am thrilled to share my first column with Caroline’s readers. Through the years, I have helped many of you find the titles Caroline recommended so I know how enthusiastically the column was embraced and will endeavor to continue her tradition of sharing great books for children of all ages. Luckily, children’s literature is in my blood. I began shelving books in the Headquarters Library children’s department while still in high school.

If we picked the Caldecott...

City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems illustrated by Jon Muth

Every January the children and teen services departments of libraries across the country are abuzz with anticipation.  Somewhere in the United States, select groups of librarians are attending closed door meetings to decide which books deserve a variety of awards, from the Caldecott for illustration to the Printz for best book for teens. 

If you like The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong and City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

For City of Bones, I would recommend,

 

Lament (and its sequel Ballad) by Maggie Stiefvater.

On the day of an important music competition, talented but painfully introverted and nervous Deirdre Monaghan is helped to perform by the compelling and enigmatic Luke Dillon and finds herself inexorably drawn into the mysteries and dangers of the faerie world.

 

Wicked Lovely (and its sequels Ink Exchange and Fragile Eternity) by Melissa Marr .

Legend of the Guardian Trailer Released

Enjoy this trailer for "Legend of the Guardians," the animated movie covering the first three books in Kathryn Lasky's Guardians of Ga'Hoole series!  The movie will be in theaters September 24th! 

  

Winners of the 15th Annual Teen Art Show

Thirty-eight students in grades 9-12 from Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Stafford and Westmoreland county particpated in this year's show.  The talent is immense, the art is phenomenal and difficult choices were made.  Local artist, Johnny Johnson, generously donated his time to judge the grades 11 and 12 contestants.  Those artists experienced the other side of an art show and were the judges for those in grades 9-10. 

 

Best in Show was awarded to senior, Katy Shepard for "Roman Myths of Love" (shown above)

Teen Art Show

Good news!  The deadline for this year's Teen Art Show has been extended to Wed, Feb. 24th!  Don't miss out!  http://teens.librarypoint.org/teen_art

Stitches:--A Memoir by David Small

Five Scenes from David Small's "Stitches" from Stitches: A Memoir... on Vimeo.

As if David Small's graphic autobiography Stitches:--A Memoir wasn't powerful enough on its own, five scenes have been turned into eleven minutes of heart-wrenching video.  If you've read the novel, is it worth it?  Absolutely.  Hearing 'mama's little cough," slamming of cupboards and moving her "fork a half inch to the right" further enhances the viewers understanding of David Small's traumatic, childhood home.  If you haven't read this book, which was nominated for the 2009 Young People's Literature Award by the National Book Foundation, place a hold today!  It's worth enjoying in all formats!