Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day! This holiday, observed April 22nd every year since 1969, increases public awareness of environmental issues such as recycling, pollution, energy, and global warming.

People all over the world will pitch in today to help make our planet cleaner and greener. There are lots of easy things you can do to help care for our planet today and every day. Here are a few ideas:

1. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Or, better yet, if there's enough sunlight coming in, leave the lights off when you enter a room.

2. Reuse the back-sides of paper.

3. Turn off the water when you're not using it, specifically when brushing your teeth.

4. Don't leave the refrigerator open for too long. Decide what you want to eat before opening the door because it takes more energy to cool the refrigerator down after the warmer air has come in.

5. Unplug unused electrical devices throughout your house. Anything plugged into an electrical socket, but not turned on will still use some energy.

6. Pack a greener lunch: Use a cloth bag instead of paper bags, and pack your food in reusable plastic or metal containers, instead of plastic wrap or foil. You can also pack your drink in a reusable bottle or thermos, and even try using a cloth napkin instead of paper ones.

7. Reuse things to make crafts! Check out a book on Earth-friendly crafting!

And why not read a few short stories about our Earth for inspiration? Here are some titles to get you started:

Ballyhoo Bay  by Judy Sierra

Just A Dream by Chris Van Allsburg

Annie Glover is Not a Tree Lover by Darleen Bailey Beard

Arthur Turns Green by Marc Brown

Dear Children of the Earth: A Letter From Home by Schim Schimmel

The Great Trash Bash by Loreen Leedy

Dinosaur Woods: Can Seven Clever Critters Save Their Forest Home? by George McClements

Miss Fox's Class Goes Green by Eileen Spinelli

Trash Trouble by Larry Dane Brimner

Monday, April 15, 2013

National Library Week!

Yay! It's National Library Week! Come to the library sometime soon and celebrate with us librarians!

The week draws attention to the important role of libraries and library workers. With your (free) library card, you can get access to hundreds of books, dvds, video games, CDs, downloads, and activities at your library--all at no cost! The library is a community place that welcomes everybody!

This year's National Library Week theme is "Communities matter @ your library" and this year's honorary chair is Caroline Kennedy.

Some important dates to recognize this week:

• Tuesday, April 16 – National Library Workers Day. NLWD is a day for library staff, users, administrators and friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers. Tell everyone what makes a library employee special to you by submitting your favorite worker’s name and why they are wonderful to the NLWD site.

• Wednesday, April 17 – National Bookmobile Day. This day celebrates our nation’s bookmobiles and the library professionals who provide this essential service to their communities. Show your support for bookmobiles by thanking staff or writing a letter to your library.

• Thursday, April 18 – Support Teen Literature Day. This celebration raises awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today's teens. Support Teen Literature Day also highlights some award-winning teen authors and books. (Did you know there are six book awards just for teen books? Why not learn about the Alex, Edwards, Morris, Nonfiction, Odyssey, and Printz awards?)

For up-to-the-minute information on National Library Week, follow the #nlw13 tag on Twitter or come into the library!

Friday, April 12, 2013

National Pet Month!

Happy National Pet Month! This is a month recognized in the United Kingdom to help promote responsible pet ownership and highlight the important work of pet care professionals. Even though we don't live in the UK, we can celebrate too! Pets give us so much love and companionship, it's important to recognize those who help facilitate their health and happiness!

To celebrate, I'm sharing a picture of my pet. That cute, gray guy above is Benjamin, my cat! He was adopted from a shelter in Farmingdale, NY called A Wing and a Prayer Animal Rescue on August 31st, 2011 and he's now two-years-old! We love him very much!

Interested in learning about pet care? Here are a few books to get you started:

Dogs: How to Choose and Care for a Dog by Laura S. Jeffrey

Cats: How to Choose and Care for a Cat by Laura S. Jeffrey

My Dog!: A Kids' Guide to Keeping a Happy and Healthy Pet by Michael J. Rosen

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of cats, Cat Breeds & Cat Care: A Comprehensive, Practical Care and Training Manual and a Definitive Encyclopedia of World Breeds by Alan Edwards

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Small Pets and Petcare: Essential Family Reference Guide to Keeping the Most Popular Pet Species and Breeds, with 800 Photographs by David Alderton

The Complete Book of Pets & Petcare: The Essential Family Reference Guide to Pet Breeds and Petcare by David Alderton

Baby Pets by Margaret Miller

Remember, celebrate your pets this month as well as the people who help keep pets happy and healthy all year long!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

National Poetry Month

It's National Poetry Month! According to, National Poetry Month was established in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets to widen the attention to poetry, poets, and to poetic heritage. It's a month when schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets get together to celebrate poetry and its place in American culture.

Want to celebrate at home? has a list of 30 ways you can do that.

Or why not reserve a poetry book this month? Here are a few ideas:

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature's Survivors by Joyce Sidman, illustrations by Beckie Prange

Poetry Speaks Who I Am edited by Elise Paschen

Something Permanent photographs by Walker Evans, poetry by Cynthia Rylant

The Pain Tree: And Other Teenage Angst-Ridden Poetry collected and illustrated by Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd

Hour of Freedom: American History in Poetry compiled by Milton Meltzer, illustrations by Marc Nadel

It's a Woman's World: A Century of Women's Voices in Poetry edited by Neil Philip

My Name is Jason, Mine Too: Our Story, Our Way by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

International Children's Book Day 2013!

Happy International Children's Book Day! Since 1967, International Children's Book Day has been celebrated on April 2nd, Hans Christian Andersen's birthday. It's a day to inspire a love of reading and to call attention to children's and teen's books, particularly those that have been passed down through generations or passed across multiple cultures.

Interested in reading one or more of these passed-around stories? Check out information on Batchelder Award. This award is given to the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and has since been translated into English for publication in the United States.

Click her for a list of winners of this award from 1968-present.

This year, however, I decided to focus more on Hans Christian Andersen himself, instead of on a list of books, since he is the one who seems to have inspired it all.

Hans Christian Andersen was born April 2, 1805 in Denmark and was a prolific writer of plays, travelogues, novels, and poems. However he is best remembered for his fairy tales, a literary genre in which he almost accredited with entirely.

In 2009, I had the privilege of getting to visit Denmark and seeing this statue of Hans Christian Andersen. (I'm the one holding a whole pile of shopping bags.)

Aside from statues all over the world, Andersen's legacy is an important one. Some of his most favorite fairy tales are still read everywhere today: The Emperor's New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, The Nightingale, The Princess and the Pea, Thumbelina, and The Ugly Duckling. Additionally, his stories laid the groundwork for other children's classics, such as The Wind in the Willows and Winnie the Pooh.

Why not read one Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales today? And have a great International Children's Book Day!

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fool's Day

It's April Fool's Day! Have you ever played an April Fool's Day joke on someone? Or had one played on you? When I was a kid, I made a snake out of silly putty and used it to try to scare my mom as she was coming out of the bathroom. And once, in first grade, my best friend talked to me, in detail, about how she was moving in a month... and I believed her!

Sometimes called All Fools' Day, the origins of this day are uncertain. Some people say it's a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stemmed from the adoption of a new calendar in some ancient cultures (before the Gregorian Calendar).

DiscoveryNews has an article on its history here.

April Fool's Day is observed throughout the Western world.  In the USA, practices include playing pranks and trying to get people to believe ridiculous and untrue things. In France and Italy the day is called "April Fish" (or "Poisson d'Avril" in French and "Pesce d'Aprile" in Italian.) For "April Fish" French and Italian children sometimes tape a picture of a fish on the back of their schoolmates, crying "April Fish!" when the prank is discovered.

Want to learn more? Reserve one of these books:

April Foolishness by Teresa Bateman

April Fool's Day by Melissa Schiller

Look Out, It's April Fools' Day by Frank Modell

April Fools! by Else Holmelund Minarik
Copyright 2009 Laura Druda