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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fractured Fairy Tales and Fables

At least once a year, I like to pull out the fractured fairy tales and fables. Grade-schoolers of all ages enjoy these, as do I!

The Gingerbread Man
The Gingerbread Man is beloved by everyone. The Gingerbread Man Loose at School by Laura Murphy is a recent hit with kindergarten through second grade. One of my favorite Gingerbread tales though is The Yuckiest, Stinkiest Best Valentine Ever by Brenda Ferber. It is illustrated by Ted Arnold of Fly Guy fame and will have all ages cracking up. It’s especially fun around Valentine’s Day, but would be a fun, silly read any time.

There are a lot of send-ups of Goldilocks, and I’m delighted that Mo Willems took this on in Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. The humor is largely in the drawings. You also won’t want to miss Margie Palatini’s Goldie and the Three Hares.


The Little Red Hen
Rebecca and Ed Emberley’s eminently simple, traditional re-telling of The Little Red Hen in bold colors will instantly appeal to preschoolers while grade-schoolers will enjoy Philomen Sturges’s The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza). If you want to introduce a child to cooking, try Janet Stevens’s Cook-a-doodle-do. A big, brown rooster, who is the great grandson of the little red hen, is tired of chicken scratch and wants to try his hand at baking. There are the three requisite “not I” responses, followed by three eager (though inept) volunteers. Lots of hilarity and fun wordplay ensues. There are sidebars with cooking explanations that will allow you to discuss the technical aspects of cooking or at least concoct your own strawberry shortcake. 
Jack and the Beanstalk
One version of Jack and the Beanstalk that caught my eye when it came out was Jack and the Baked Beanstalk by Colin Stimpson. Jack and his mother are left high and dry when a highway bypass is constructed right over their cafe. The Depression era illustrations give this book a unique point of view. The giant looks like a bored Wall Street Banker. Diane Stanley takes this tale in an entirely different direction in The Giant and the Beanstalk. In this version, the focus is on the Giant who encounters various Jacks from other nursery rhymes as he strives to find the Jack holding his hen. 

The Three Little Pigs
There are a number of folktales that have taken on a delightful Southwestern or Hispanic twist as seen in The Three Little Tamales by Eric Kimmel, aka the three little pigs, or Kimmel’s Cactus Soup which is a play on Stone Soup. Half the fun of reading Susan Lowell’s Little Red Cowboy Hat is the dialect. For an African version of the Three Little Pigs, read Jan Brett’s The Three Little Dassies. It brings to life a desert landscape with an eagle, their natural predator, trying to destroy each dassie’s home. 

The goofy rhyming text in Falling for Rapunzel by Leah Wilcox features a maiden who is hard of hearing and keeps throwing everything over the castle wall to her suitor except her long braid. Kids will die laughing. And right now the graphic novel Rapunzel’s Revenge is all the rage.
Don’t overlook the fractured fables. John Rocco’s Wolf! Wolf! is set in Asia and relates the Boy Who Cried Wolf story from the perspective of a sage, old wolf. In Ed and Rebecca Emberley’s rendition of The Ant and the Grasshopper, the vibrant, funky insects practically dance right off the page. The grasshopper strikes up a New Orleans-styled marching band that follows the ant right back to his hill. His burden made light, the ant opens up his tunnel to shade and shelter the musicians who let the “good times roll.” The Caldecott honor book, Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young is a charming reworking of The Blind Man and the Elephant. The black and white images are very effective in portraying this ancient Persian tale.

For longer riffs on fairy tale themes that are popular, you might want to try Wendy Mass, E. D. Baker, Vivian Vande Velde, Michael Buckley, Gail Levine or Gregory Maguire.
--Maggie Wrobel, Centreville Regional Library


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hit the Road With a Great Audiobook for Adults^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^Words or phrase&searchoper1=AND&thesaurus1=GENERAL&search_entries1=GENERAL&search_type1=SUBJECT&special_proc1=&searchdata3=ocean at the end of&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER
Gaiman's performance brings emotional depth to his dark, imaginative, modern fairy tale.^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^Words or phrase&searchoper1=AND&thesaurus1=GENERAL&search_entries1=GENERAL&search_type1=SUBJECT&special_proc1=&searchdata3=dress your family&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER
Sedaris makes you laugh out loud with tales from his childhood.^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^Words or phrase&searchoper1=AND&thesaurus1=GENERAL&search_entries1=GENERAL&search_type1=SUBJECT&special_proc1=&searchdata3=fall of giants&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER
John Lee's narration brings an international cast of characters to life in this first installment of an epic trilogy.^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^Words or phrase&searchoper1=AND&thesaurus1=GENERAL&search_entries1=GENERAL&search_type1=SUBJECT&special_proc1=&searchdata3=Hotels, Hospitals and Jails&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER
Biographical account of the author's life, post- Jarhead fame. It took some time to warm to Swofford's voice, but who besides the author could capture the raw emotion of this story?^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^Words or phrase&searchoper1=AND&thesaurus1=GENERAL&search_entries1=GENERAL&search_type1=SUBJECT&special_proc1=&searchdata2=stockett&srchfield2=AU^AUTHOR^AUTHORS^Author Processing^Author&searchoper2=AND&thesaurus2=AUTHORS&search_entries2=AU&search_type2=AUTHOR&special_proc2=Author Processing&searchdata3=help&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=NOT&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&searchdata4=DVD&srchfield4=092^092^GENERAL^Phrase Processing^Title call number&searchoper4=AND&thesaurus4=GENERAL&search_entries4=092&search_type4=092&special_proc4=Phrase Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER
Four narrators enliven this rendition of Stockett's bestseller. Immerse yourself in a trip down south with this highly praised audiobook.{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER
Perfect audiobook for roadtripping your way to adventure. Strayed gives a modern twist to the classic tale of self-discovery in the wild. Soon to be a motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon.^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^Words or phrase&searchoper1=AND&thesaurus1=GENERAL&search_entries1=GENERAL&search_type1=SUBJECT&special_proc1=&searchdata3=travels with Charley&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER
John Steinbeck, at age 58, sets out with his dog Charley to see America. His keen observations and insights make this audiobook a great traveling companion.{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER
Irish Detective Cassie Maddox goes undercover to investigate the murder of a young woman who eerily resembles her. Beautifully read by Heather O'Neill.
For more great suggestions. including some fun celebrity reads,

-Ginger Hawkins, Centreville Regional Library, Rebecca Molineaux, George Mason Regional Library & Rebecca Wolff, Centreville Regional Library

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sharing Stories at Richard Byrd

Intern Eleanor Lamb created
 a poster series for a
Library Stories gallery.
“I love visiting the library in the neighborhood with my kids and helping them pick out books. You see children’s eyes light up.”
     -Tim Kasik, Crestwood Elementary principal

“I consider the library a community center. As a volunteer and community leader, I use it for meeting space.” 
     -JB Young, local leader

Most library customers come to the library hoping to find a good story. They don’t expect to walk through the doors and find that they ARE the story. At the Richard Byrd branch this summer, users of the library have had the chance to add their experiences to the collective story of the library. Eleanor Lamb, a student intern from The College of William and Mary, has spent the summer gathering and sharing these stories for the Friends of the Richard Byrd Library. Visit Richard Byrd Library from August 18 to August 22 to tour a poster gallery featuring highlights of the Library Stories project. Tux, the Richard Byrd mascot, will make a special appearance from 1-3 pm on August 19th.

Friends President Christine Peterson identified the Library Stories project as a way to support both the library and the Springfield community during the Fairfax County Public Library’s 75th anniversary celebrations this year. After careful research and assistance from the American Library Association, the Friends successfully applied for a generous grant from the Exxon Mobile Corporation to support the project.

Janelle Cesari discusses her
childhood library experiences.
To capture the story of what the library meant to the people of the community, Lamb asked visitors a new question each week. The questions ranged from “What kind of library books do you like?” to “How has the library improved you as a person?” The answers reveal both the special place the library has in the hearts of users and the vital role the library plays in the community. The answers were not all complimentary, however. Lamb and Peterson chuckled over one little girl who commented that she didn’t like coming to the library, because it was too quiet for her.

Lamb found that libraries have had a profound impact on many users’ lives. Janelle Cesari, growing up in a small, blue-collar town in Pennsylvania, related that the library opened up the world to her. For some, getting their first library card was a significant milestone. Lamb said, “I talked to three kids who had just gotten their library cards that same day, and they were so excited. I got pictures of them with their cards, and they couldn't wait to get ready for school with them.” 
Lee District Supervisor Jeffrey McKay
speaks on his use of library meeting rooms.

For others, library services are critical to their daily life. Supervisor Jeffrey McKay not only takes his children to the library but also uses library meeting spaces professionally.  Yessy Vargas, an immigrant from Peru, brought her daughter to storytime even though she was initially hesitant to come to the library. “Because of storytime, my daughter loves to read and write,” Vargas said. Eleven-year-old Evelyn Fernandez comes to the library all the time with her mother and siblings. “I come here during school a lot. I read books and do my homework. I use the computer sometimes for science projects,” Fernandez said.

Robert Byrd Breyer, grandson of Richard
Byrd, comments on his library experience.
When asked if the Library Stories project held any surprises, Friends President Christine Peterson remarked, “Maybe just the sheer number of people who rely on the library so heavily.” Referring to the many programs and community services Richard Byrd offers to those who are new to America, Peterson said, “This is critical for our community. This makes Springfield better and makes those individuals better, and I hope that continues into the future.”

To see the range of stories the Friends have collected this summer, you can check out the Friends of the Richard Byrd Facebook page.  New stories will be added to the Facebook page through December. 

-Rebecca Wolff, Centreville Regional Library

Friday, August 08, 2014

Children's Audiobooks the Whole Family Will Love

Headed out of town this month with the kids? These audiobooks will make the car trip much more fun.

Click on a book cover to find out more about that title. or cd&srchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^Words or phrase&searchoper1=AND&thesaurus1=GENERAL&search_entries1=GENERAL&search_type1=SUBJECT&special_proc1=&searchdata3=chasing vermeer&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER

Petra and Calder, brainy classmates, pool their talents to solve the mysterious disappearance of a Vermeer painting on its way to an exhibition. Ages 9 and up.{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER

Life is always interesting for Clementine and her family, especially when she gets one of her very creative ideas – like helping her friend fix her hair in art class. Ages 6 and up. or cd&srchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^Words or phrase&searchoper1=AND&thesaurus1=GENERAL&search_entries1=GENERAL&search_type1=SUBJECT&special_proc1=&searchdata3=frindle&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER

Nicholas Allen has plenty of good ideas, but creating a new word for the dictionary is his greatest one yet. Ages 8 and up. or cd&srchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^Words or phrase&searchoper1=AND&thesaurus1=GENERAL&search_entries1=GENERAL&search_type1=SUBJECT&special_proc1=&searchdata3=lawn boy not returns&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=NOT&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER

When the 12 year old narrator inherits his grandfather’s riding lawn mower, it is the start of a wacky summer of earning money and free enterprise. Ages 10 and up. or cd&srchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^Words or phrase&searchoper1=AND&thesaurus1=GENERAL&search_entries1=GENERAL&search_type1=SUBJECT&special_proc1=&searchdata3=gregor the overlander&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=NOT&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER

The summer Gregor and his little sister Boots fall through a grate into Underland, a world of giant cockroaches, bats and rats, he finds his destiny. Ages 9 and up.

Jim Dale’s narration brings the magical world of Harry and all of his friends and enemies alive in this modern classic. Ages 9 and up.{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER

Ralph, a brave and reckless mouse, makes friends with a boy named Keith and discovers the thrills of motorcycling. Ages 7 and up. or audio&srchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^Words or phrase&searchoper1=AND&thesaurus1=GENERAL&search_entries1=GENERAL&search_type1=SUBJECT&special_proc1=&searchdata3=superfudge&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER

Laugh out loud with Peter Hatcher as he deals with little brother, the mischievous Fudge. Ages 7 and up. or audio not dvd&srchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^Words or phrase&searchoper1=AND&thesaurus1=GENERAL&search_entries1=GENERAL&search_type1=SUBJECT&special_proc1=&searchdata3=the tale of despereaux&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER

Despereaux Tilling, a mouse, Roscuro, a rat, and Miggery Sow, a serving girl, embark on a journey that takes them from a dungeon into a glittering castle in this rousing adventure. Ages 6 and up. or audio&srchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^Words or phrase&searchoper1=AND&thesaurus1=GENERAL&search_entries1=GENERAL&search_type1=SUBJECT&special_proc1=&searchdata2=dahl&srchfield2=AU^AUTHOR^AUTHORS^Author Processing^Author&searchoper2=AND&thesaurus2=AUTHORS&search_entries2=AU&search_type2=AUTHOR&special_proc2=Author Processing&searchdata3=the witches&srchfield3=TI^TITLE^SERIES^Title Processing^Title&searchoper3=AND&thesaurus3=SERIES&search_entries3=TI&search_type3=TITLE&special_proc3=Title Processing&library=ALL&match_on=KEYWORD&shadow=NO&sort_by=-PBYR&user_id=WEBSERVER

Miranda Richardson narrates this deliciously evil story of child-hating witches and the English boy and grandmother who fight to destroy them. Ages 9 and up.

-Carolyn La Chance, Pohick Regional Library

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Summer Dinners, Outdoors

What’s your go-to cookbook? The one that never lets you down, whose recipes you trust and consistently helps you turnout dinner night after night or provides inspiration when cooking for friends?

During summer, my go-to cookbook author is Jamie Purviance, Weber grill master extraordinaire. He’s achieved a somewhat legendary status in my house. How can you not love a chef whose website says, “Grilling is about much more than food and fire. It is about the ways people all over the world live the good life outdoors.” Fire up the grill!
Purviance’s grill recipes work every time and the side dish pairings he suggests are so tasty they can steal the show. Try the Pork Tenderloin and Bacon with Stewed White Beans from Real GrillingAfter we served this dish at a dinner party, my friend Amanda e-mailed the next day, "The Beans! Must have the recipe!" Vegetarians will find plenty of recipes for meatless main courses as well.
Find a collection of Purviance’s cookbooks at your local Fairfax County Public Library branch or check out other grilling cookbooks to get the most out of grilling season. Now, if he only showed up to do the dishes… a girl can dream.

-Ginger Hawkins, Centreville Regional Library
And in case you didn’t know, your library card gets you free access to your favorite cooking magazines through our new Zinio service. Download one of these if you don’t have time to run to the library before dinner: Eating Well, Everyday with Rachel Ray, Food Network Magazine, Martha Stewart Living, Taste of Home, Vegetarian Times, and Weight Watchers. Zinio instructions are available here. Find a list of all available magazines here.