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Weyenberg Library Blog

Apr 25

Spring, Spring, Spring!

Posted on April 25, 2016 at 2:21 PM by Craig Jacobson

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spring-640958_960_720.jpgSpring is here and with it comes warm weather…. and rain!  But let’s not focus on the rain.  Let us instead celebrate the warm weather, children playing outside, the return of baseball, planting your garden and basking in the sun. 

If you are looking to celebrate spring or to talk to your little ones about the seasons, here are some great picture books to read aloud.
When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes
Olaf Welcomes Spring by Disney
Time for Spring by Crockett Johnson
The Thing About Spring by Daniel Kirk
And then it’s spring by Julie Fogliano
In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb by Marion Dane Bauer
Spring is Here! by Will Hillenbrand

If you are looking for some activities to keep the children entertained outside, check out some of these books!
ZoomFun Outside (J 796 Z76o)
Get Outside Guide ( J 796.083 H758g)
Kids Camp! (J 796.54 C197k)
Sidewalk Chalk (J 796.083 M175s)

Baseball season has started up again, which means there will be many t-ball games, little league games, high school games, as well as the Milwaukee Brewers games being played over the course of the spring and summer.  If you like reading about the Brewers just as much as watching them, here are some titles you can find at the library!
If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers: Stories from the Milwaukee Brewers dugout, locker room, and press box by Bill Schroeder
The Story of the Milwaukee Brewers by Sara Gilbert
100 Things Brewers Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die by Tom Haudricout
Milwaukee Brewers Facts & Trivia by Jeff Everson

Now is the perfect time to start planning your garden, with the weather warming up and the mosquitos not too bad yet!  If you are looking for any gardening ideas or want to get your children involved, here are some titles to help!
Container Theme Gardens by Nancy Ondra
Cultivating Chaos by Jonas Reif
Straw Bale Gardens Complete by Joel Karsten
The Nitty-Gritty Gardening Book by Kari Cornell
How to Create a New Vegetable Garden by Charles Douding
Growing the Midwest Garden by Ed Lyon
Gardening Lab for Kids by Renata Brown

Apr 14

Celebrating the Bard

Posted on April 14, 2016 at 1:43 PM by Craig Jacobson

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This April 23rd marks the 400th anniversary of the playwright William Shakespeare’s death. Though he lived be only fifty-two years old, the legacy Shakespeare left behind continues to endure. The work of Shakespeare serves as the inspiration for countless reinterpretations in the form of plays, film, television, novels, and more. From the 16th century to the present, a defining characteristic of Shakespeare’s work is that it can be enjoyed by all, no matter your level of education or wealth. Even though the lower and upper classes were severely divided, Shakespeare plays were performed for all; from serfs and beggars to the Queen of England herself. This fact remains true today, but the antiquated language continues to be a barrier to many. However, going beyond Shakespeare’s original work, people with an interest in Shakespeare can find something to enjoy that has been inspired by the playwright. From literary collections to non-fiction to modern-day retellings, there is an abundance of work; the suggestions below only scratch the surface! 


  • Shakespeare Basic for Grown-Ups by F. Foley & B. Coates – If you are looking to get a quick introduction to Shakespeare’s life, use of language, and overview of each play and the sonnets, this guide is an excellent place to start.
  • Shakespeare’s Insults: Educating Your Wit by Wayne F. Hill – Already a bit familiar with the work of Shakespeare? The book is made up entirely of insults from each play. Broken up into individual lines, this allows the casual reader and scholar alike to see the unique ways that Shakespeare used and manipulated the English language.    
  • ludwig.jpgHow to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig – This book is an excellent introduction to both teaching and appreciating the work of Shakespeare and a perfect example of how his works can be made accessible to all. 
  • Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt – Will in the World is a thorough biography of Shakespeare that is accessible to the casual reader by examining the life of Shakespeare in the greater context of the historical period and culture which nurtured his success.


  • lockhart.jpgBoth A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart were inspired by the tragedy of King Lear which focuses on the family dynamics of an aging patriarch and the difficult task of divvying up the inheritance between his three daughters.
  • Street Love by Walter Dean Myers and Juliet by Anne Fortier both reimagine the family rivalry and tragedy of Romeo and Juliet set in the modern day.
  • Hamlet is told anew in The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski, which is set in rural Wisconsin, and Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein, telling the story of Hamlet from a new perspective. 
Mar 29

Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder…

Posted on March 29, 2016 at 11:23 AM by Craig Jacobson

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wright brothers.jpgMan has dreamed of flying for many years.  The Greek myth of Icarus tells how he flew too close to the sun and the heat of the sun melted the wax on his feathers and he crashed to the sea.  Around the 5th century, the Chinese flew kites.  In 875, using silk, wood, and feathers, Abbas ibn Firmas of Spain glided for a short while after jumping off a cliff.  He had calculated his take off and flight, but had failed to think of how he would safely land.  He survived the crash, but never attempted another flight.  The first hot air balloon that carried passengers launched in Paris in 1783.  Sir George Cayley would build and fly the first glider in 1853 in Yorkshire, England.  Many more would try and fail to build the first successful airplane.  Finally, in 1903, two brothers from Dayton, Ohio would succeed where so many others had failed.  With only a high school education, these two invented a three-axis control, which allowed the pilot to steer the aircraft and maintain the equilibrium of the plane.  Pulitzer Prize winning author, David McCullough, tells their dramatic story in, The Wright Brothers.

flight.jpgOne of the best known pioneers of aviation was Charles Lindbergh.  Two British aviators had already successfully crossed the Atlantic as a team, but Lindbergh did it alone and between two international cities.  The Flight of the Century describes Lindbergh’ and how it became a turning point for the aviation world.

calculated risk.jpgCalculated Risk: the extraordinary life of Jimmy Doolittle, aviation pioneer and World War ll hero, tells the extraordinary life of anther barnstormer who won every major air race at least once.  Jimmy Dolittle would go on to become a four-star general who would lead the Tokyo Raid in World War II.

aviators.jpgThe Aviators is another book that tells the story of Lindbergh and Dolittle, as well as that of Eddie Rickenbacher.  Eddie was known as America’s Ace of Aces during World War l and at its conclusion, had 26 victories.  Rickenbacher again served America during World War ll, this time as a civilian, and would later become the head of Eastern Airlines.

higher call.jpgAn incredible true story of combat and chivalry in the skies during World War ll is recounted in A Higher Call.  Twenty-one-year-old pilot Charlie Brown is flying his first mission over Germany when his plane is badly damaged.  On his tail is a German Messerschmitt flown by 2nd Lieutenant Franz Stiger, a former airline pilot from Bavaria who sought to avoid fighting in the war.  That should have been the end of the story, but it continues 47 years later.

wonderful women.jpgWhile men accounted for most of the action in World War ll, we can’t forget about the Women Airforce Service Pilots, otherwise known as WASP pilots.  Almost 2000 women flew cargo planes, bombers, and fighters in some of World War ll’s most dangerous missions and their lives are depicted in Those Wonderful Women in Their Flying Machines.

amelia earhart.jpgAnd of course, the history of aviation would be remiss if one did not include Amelia Earhart. She was the 16th woman to be issued a pilot’s license and she set many records, including the one for being the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.  On her attempt to fly around the world solo, her plane disappeared on July 2, 1937.  Did she run out of fuel or did something else happen?  W. C. Jameson tries to answer that question in his book, Amelia Earhart: beyond the grave.  If you would like to know more about Amelia, you might want to join us here at the library on Tuesday, April 5th at 6:00 P.M. in the Tolzman Community Room.  Actress Leslie Goddard will give a performance of Amelia Earhart as she talks about Earhart’s life and fascination with flying.

Happy reading and see you on April 5th!

Pictures courtesy of Easicat.