Science & Nature

11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter

11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter

11 Experiments That Failed is as hilarious as it is messy. Author Jenny Offill and artist Nancy Carpenter combine their talents as one young scientist stretches the limits of curiousity—and her mother's patience!

Offill tells her story through questions, hypotheses, and results, allowing the reader to fill in the narrative blanks. 

Question: Can a kid make it through the winter eating only snow and ketchup?

Hypothesis: Ketchup and snow are the only food groups a kid needs.

What Happened: Stomachache. Brain freeze. Love of ketchup wavering.

Happy Birthday to the Delightful Bruce Degen

One of children’s literature’s most beloved authors and illustrators was born in June. Bruce Degen created Jamberry and illustrated the hugely successful Magic School Bus series.

On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne and Illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky

On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne and Illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky

On a Beam of Light starts with a little boy who barely talked as a child, who got in trouble at school, and who was told he would never amount to anything. That boy was named Albert Einstein.

Molly Bang

Growing up with Books and Traveling the World

With a scientist/writer for a mother and a research physician for a father, it’s little wonder that Molly Bang grew up to be a writer and illustrator who would eventually make it her mission to create books that drawn children into the world of science. Her family kept a large library and would often give each other books illustrated by the famous Charles Rackham as gifts. Molly found these to be inspiring.

After she graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in French, Molly traveled to Japan to teach English at a university there for 18 months before returning to work on master’s degrees in Oriental studies. Then it was back overseas to illustrate health manuals for UNICEF, as well as Johns Hopkins and Harvard, working, among other places, in Calcutta and Bangladesh.

STEM in the Library

If you're the caregiver for a school age child, then STEM is probably already a household word. An acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, STEM is a focused initiative in the nation's schools and ties in closely with the library's educational mission. Its origins lie with Congress’ America Competes Act, aptly named because when it comes to these subject areas, the consensus has been that our students are not prepared to do the STEM-related jobs we will need filled in the near future. 

One-Dog Canoe by Mary Casanova with pictures by Ard Hoyt

One-Dog Canoe by Mary Casanova with pictures by Ard Hoyt

I set off one morning in my little red canoe.

My dog wagged his tail.

“Can I come, too?”

It’s a perfect day to explore the lake for a young girl and her dog. They’ve got snacks, paddles, and life jackets--everything a One-Dog Canoe needs. The only problem is, they’re having such a good time that soon all the critters in the lake want to join them.

Farmers' Markets

Books for a Trip to the Farmer's Market

A trip to the farmer’s market is one of the highlights of a visit to “Aunt Bek’s” house.  Recently, my six year-old niece declared she couldn’t wait to go to the market.  The only correlation I could make during the cold winter months was the grocery store and I kept wondering why the sudden interest in food shopping.  Finally it dawned on me that she meant the Farmers’ Market.  Her enthusiasm is understandable.  There she meets the people who planted the seeds and grew the produce.  The farmers welcome her, encouraging her to touch and taste a new and wide variety of food.  Never an adventurous eater, this is a chance for her to possibly expand her palette.  She also loves helping choose the ripest plums, pay for them and carry the bags.  

Starting in May, the library will visit each of the four area Farmers’ Markets once a month, offering information on library resources, checking out a few recipe books for cooking the delicious produce and providing quick, fun hands-on activities for children.  

Fabulous Friday: Shoot for the Stars

Shoot for the Stars

On January 11, 2013 CRRL Headquarters had the pleasure of welcoming the Rappahannock Astronomy Club to Fabulous Friday: Shoot for the Stars. Mr. Jerry Hubbell, President of RAC, and Mrs. Linda Billard, the editor of RAC’s newsletter, came and talked to a group of thirty-two parents and children. The focus of the program was constellations and how we can see shapes in the stars the same way we see shapes in the clouds.  After Mr. Hubbell talked about some of the better known constellations, he and Mrs.