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Dec 09

Celebrate the Holidays!

Posted on December 9, 2014 at 4:11 PM by Craig Jacobson

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With Thanksgiving behind us, we now look forward to the celebration that is Christmas/Hanukkah! And with so many great new books out there to help us celebrate, why not stop into the Frank L. Weyenberg Library and check some of them out today!

Below are just a few examples of the new Christmas books we have for kids this holiday season!
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Roc and Roe’s Twelve Days of Christmas by Nick Cannon
In this delightful picture book, written by America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon, Cannon’s twins with singer Mariah Carey are featured decorating the tree in their own unique version of the Twelve Days of Christmas. It is sure to be a hit with the kids who will want to read/sing along with Roc and Roe as they hang their special Christmas ornaments.

The Last Christmas Tree by Stephen Krensky
When everyone comes out to the lot to cut down their Christmas tree, one lone tree is sadly left behind. Not being as tall or well-shaped as the others, the last Christmas tree wonders if he is destined to spend Christmas alone when a little Christmas magic quickly comes his way. Krensky’s story is filled with hope and Christmas spirit, which is sure to leave your child rooting for this tree and appreciating the blessing that is family.

How Many Sleeps ‘til Christmas? by Mark Sperring
Sperring’s How Many Sleeps until Christmas, features adorable grizzly bear Little Pip and his Daddy Grizzle as Pip learns just how many sleeps there are to go before the big day. Filled with laughs and wonderful pictures, this adorable book is a great choice for the whole family!

Do you and your family celebrate Hanukkah, or perhaps a mix of both traditions?
Well, here are some new children’s books that are sure to please!
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Eight Candles and a Tree by: Simone Bloom Nathan
Sophie’s family celebrates both Christmas and Hanukkah, as her friend Tommy learns when he comes to spend the holidays with her. But in spending time with Sophie and her family, Tommy soon discovers that while blending the two traditions takes some time and thought it is a fun, great way to celebrate. This lively and well-written children’s book is a must read, helping to bridge the gap for many children who observe both religious holidays within their family.

I know an old lady who swallowed a dreidel by: Caryn Yacowitz
When a family gets together with their beloved Grandmother for a Hanukkah supper, they are shocked to discover that she has developed an insatiable appetite not only for food but practically everything in the room! Oh dear! In this hilarious story, augmented by witty parodies of great works of art such as da Vinci, Picasso, etc., this Grandmother is sure to bring a smile to your child’s face this Hanukkah as they laugh along with her hilarious tales and antics.

Hanukkahby: Trudi Strain Trueit
Looking for a book to help your children learn about Hanukkah? Well, this is the right one for you! Children will learn about the Menorah and what it represents, traditions and pastimes associated with Hanukkah, and an easy-to-understand exploration of how Hanukkah is celebrated in America today. This book is informative, fun, and definitely worth a look.

Who says the holidays are just for the kids? Adults can get in on the fun as well!
Are you a non-fiction fan or interested in reading some new adult non-fiction about Christmas?  Here are a few to consider!
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The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle by Joanne Huist Smith
Smith’s life was changed forever when she unexpectedly lost her husband. With her three children devastated and the holiday season quickly approaching, she wondered if it was even possible to keep her head above water when a series of random Christmas gifts began appearing on her doorstep from their “True Friends.” As the Smith family works together to solve the mystery of who is leaving the gifts, they begin to move passed their grief and find their joy once again. This true story will not only warm your heart, but will also serve as a reminder that it’s often the small, thoughtful things you do, not how much money you spend, that makes the real difference. (Note: Tissues may be needed.)

Santa Claus is for Real: A True Christmas Fable about the Magic of Believing by Charles Edward Hall
Every year the Radio City Music Hall hosts a grand Christmas Spectacular and every year Santa is, of course, the main attraction, bringing joy and hope to the countless children who come to sit on his jolly lap. Ever wonder what it’s like to be this Santa? What does the real man behind the suit think of it all? In this heart-warming book, Charles Edward Hall describes his personal journey and how, with each passing year, “Santa” himself continues to learn and rediscover the true magic of Christmas.

Lulu’s Christmas Story: A True Story of Faith and Hope During the Great Depression by Ludmilla Bollow
Lulu, a young girl living in Manitowoc, WI during the Great Depression, eagerly awaits Christmas when her excitement is quickly extinguished after learning that her Father has lost his job and any hope for a joyful Christmas feels lost. In this touching memoir, Ludmilla Bollow describes her family’s ups and downs as they endured the toughest Christmas of their lives and how they were able to get through it together. If you are looking for an inspirational example of local history from someone who lived it, this book is definitely one to check out.

And last but not least, for the savvy Christmas crafter here are some lovely and fun new options!

Christmas Crochet for Hearth, Home & Tree by Edie Eckman
Eckman creates a great resource for those looking to personalize their holiday. With well-labeled, step-by-step instructions for making bows, pillows, mittens, stockings, tree skirts, and more, everyone from beginners to the more advanced will find something beautiful and cost-effective here to interest them.

Celebrate Christmas with That Patchwork Place: 22 Festive Projects to Quilt and Sew by That Patchwork Place
Looking for new quilting and sewing projects this Christmas? That Patchwork Place provides twenty-two different options for creating gorgeous holiday décor that is sure to wow! Everything from an “Ode to the Grinch Quilt” to a Fireside Stars Mantel cover is featured in this wonderful book of projects. Spend some time with this book, you won’t regret it.

These are just a few of the many various materials we have to choose from. Stop in today and our Reference Staff will be more than happy to help you locate books or place items on hold!
And as always, we wish you and your family a very safe and happy holiday season! Enjoy!

Nov 24

It’s That Time of Year Again!

Posted on November 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Craig Jacobson

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The end of the year is quickly approaching, which means that everyone is revealing their top reading picks for 2014. So far Library Journal, Amazon.com, and Publisher’s Weekly have released their year-end favorites. Each list is extensive, some are ranked, while others are organized by genre. Here is your guide:

11.24.14 Blog 1.JPGLibrary Journal released their editor’s choices at the end of October with selections ranging from women’s fiction to graphic novels to science. The list is decidedly more precise to specific interests and readers who know what they like will find something on this list. Children’s and Young Adult content are not included in this list.  The Top Ten includes: An Untamed State by Roxanne Gay, No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald, Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War, A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James, The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert, Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans by Gary Krist, The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, Us by David Nicholls, Some Luck by Jane Smiley, and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin.

11.24.14 Blog 2.JPGAmazon.com ranks the best books of each year in a simple top 100 list. While primarily adult fiction and non-fiction, there is a small selection of children’s and young adult titles included as well. If you are interested to see what everybody has been reading this year, this list includes both popular best-sellers alongside critically acclaimed award winners. The top selections include Everything I Never Told You: A Novel by Celeste Ng, All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel, Redeployment by Phil Klay, In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides, and The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs.

Publisher’s Weekly selects a variety of titles similar to Library Journal, but adds in picture books, middle grade, and young adult materials. With thirteen different genres represented and over 100 titles there is sure to be a new book to try!  A few titles for youth highlighted by Publisher’s Weekly include Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan, My Teacher Is a Monster (No, I Am Not.) by Peter Brown, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee, Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff, Half Bad by Sally Green, and We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. 
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Additionally, the prestigious National Book Award winners were announced last week for fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. Looking for fan favorites instead? Browse through the Goodreads Choice Award selections which are nominated and voted on by the users themselves.  As winter settles in for the long haul, discover what you missed this year and visit the library to check out some new favorites!

Nov 13

Thanksgiving

Posted on November 13, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Craig Jacobson

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cornucopia.jpgHaving survived their first year in America, the pilgrims held a feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest.  Many look at this celebration as our first Thanksgiving.  Thinking of this meal, one might envision turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and pumpkin pies.  You might be right about the turkey, maybe the cranberries, but definitely no cranberry sauce.  Sugar was in short supply at that time and mashed cranberries would not be introduced into their diet for some time.  Truth be told, we know very little of that day.  Edward Winslow, one of the pilgrims, wrote ”Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors”. Rejoice they did, for 3 straight days.  That’s a lot of cooking.  In, Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving recipes and history from Pilgrims to pumpkin pie, there is more trivia about this special day as well as recipes ranging from old fashioned to today.

If you want information on how to cook and pull off a perfect Thanksgiving from planning the meal to washing the last dish, then Thanksgiving: how to cook it well, by Sam Sifton, the Time’s resident Thanksgiving expert, is the book for you.  He will show you how to cook a mouth-watering turkey, set a Thanksgiving table, and concoct festive cocktails.  He’ll show you how to do all this and more and with no stress.

Thanksgiving 101.jpgPerhaps you don’t have any special recipes for this special day.  The Thanksgiving Cookbook contains more than 340 recipes to make this day one you’ll never forget.  Don’t like turkey?  There are instructions for chicken, capon, Cornish hens, squab, duckling, goose, ham, and prime rib, as well as 37 different stuffing recipes.  This book pretty much covers all the bases.  When you’re trying to figure what you’re going to do with all those leftovers the next day, there are recipes for that as well. For you novices, there are foolproof recipes for turkey, stuffings, desserts, and much more in Thanksgiving 101.  

quilters holiday.jpgIf all you have to do for Thanksgiving is show up at someone’s home with a bottle of wine, you may have some time on your hands for a little reading.  If Thanksgiving mysteries are your thing, you might try the suspenseful Strangers at the Feast , Speak of the Devil, A Fatal Feast, and The Ghost at the Table.  If you want to mix mystery with recipes, then A Catered Thanksgiving is for you.  If you prefer something on the lighter side with a little humor throw in, then Thanksgiving Night and One Night at the Call Center would be a perfect choice for you. A Quilter’s Holiday and Thanksgiving are just great reads.

family thanksgiving.jpgYou can pretty much watch football all day, but after all that cookin,g you just might want to sit back, relax, and watch something different.  Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, A Family Thanksgiving, and An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving are all be great choices to add a little variety to the day.  And the day would not be complete without seeing A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

May your Thanksgiving day be a special one!

Book covers courtesy of Easicat.