Ethiopia-the faraway land on the horn of Africa, was Jane Kurtz's home when she was a young girl. Her parents were missionaries there, and her playmates were dark-skinned, smiling children. They mostly lived in grass-covered huts with dirt floors covered with mats—as did Jane and her family. The boys might work as cattle herders; the girls would help their mothers with cooking until it was time for them to be married.
To the Europeans, the West was a great unknown. Many people believed that over the western sea there was nothing but darkness and danger. Yet throughout the past, travelers tried to find out what was on the other side of the water. There are very few traces of those first explorers. They lived in times when most people could not write, so stories of their discoveries were passed down as tales told around hearth fires. Sometimes they were believed, sometimes not. Russell Freedman’s Who Was First? Discovering the Americas looks at the evidence behind this puzzle.
"Hello, My Name Is Ruby," a small bird exclaims to anyone who will listen. She may be tiny, but Ruby makes up for her size in terms of sheer friendliness. Despite differences in size, color, and species, Ruby asks each of them if they would like to be her friends.
My latest earworm isn't by Taylor Swift or Blake Shelton. It's the children's song “Mr. Golden Sun” with lyrics “Oh, Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun,/Please shine down on me."
That miraculous, amazing, warm orb that we try so desperately to avoid in the depths of summer now holds so much promise. Rare recent sightings increase expectation and intensify the longing. Until the cloudy days are gone, enjoy some sun-filled books.
“Like Butter on Pancakes” by Jonathan London is a charming, rhyming picture book celebrating a young boy’s day in the sun. London perfectly captures the joy of being awakened, not by a shrieking alarm, but instead as “First light melts like butter on pancakes, spreads warm and yellow across your pillow.” The sounds of the day beckon our young protagonist to “do the pajama dance in a puddle of sun.” Even the cat gets in on the action, purring and “rolling in the light.” The language is a joy to read, it “sizzles” and “whistles” and “ka-ka-kadoos,” while G. Brian Karas’ pencil and watercolor illustrations, colored with the softest palette, are so warmly drawn you can almost feel the warmth.
At first snow days are a blast, but when they recur day after day, week after week, joy can quickly devolve into boredom. Luckily, the public library offers a variety of family fun from great books for reading aloud, audiobooks for listening and DVDs for family movie nights to end the day. Here are some books guaranteed to entertain even on snow day number three.
Channel your inner leprechaun at the library! A St. Patrick's Day celebration for children is not complete without searching for a pot of gold or shaking a shillelagh. We hope you can join us at one of our upcoming special events. We also have some great booklists for further fun, St. Patrick's Day and Stories from the Emerald Isle.
Louie is a picture-book character who notices the little details. A Perfectly Messed-Up Story begins to tell Louie's tale, but the book does not get very far before our hero discovers a startling fact that derails the entire story. There's a big, nasty jelly stain on the page!
Running is one of the easiest ways for you to stay fit and have fun. If you practice running, you can keep up better in all kinds of sports. You can also run in local races sponsored by the Fredericksburg Area Runners Club.
Sam & Dave Dig a Hole is exactly what it sounds like. Two boys start digging a massive hole to see what they might find. Such an activity is a tried and true milestone for any child explorer, but few make it as deep as this pair does.
The Terrible Two is a devious satire of middle school life where no one is spared. Miles Murphy was the prankster king at his old school, then he had to move to boring, old Yawnee Valley, famous for its abundant cow population. Miles is not happy. He will have to establish his pranking cred all over again.