Friday, November 28, 2014

iPod Friday

(Picture adapted from jamona_cl on flicker)

At the end of the week I give myself a treat and listen to my iPod at work while processing books or working on the database.   These are my picks for today.                          What do you listen to at work?

Ellie Goulding - Burn

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Christmas Books for the Rest of Us!

Getting tired of all the sugary sweet and nice Christmas themes we are bombarded with starting November 1st?  These Christmas themed books have a different take on the season, be it weird, funny or terrifying.  I'll leave it to you to decide which is which.

Scared of Santa: Scenes of Terror in Toyland by  Denise Joyce
Nothing says Christmas quite like innocent children shrieking with terror as a stranger dressed in red drags them kicking and screaming onto his lap. This time-honored rite of passage is celebrated with a hilarious collection of more than two hundred and fifty priceless photos of kids' traumatic trips to Santa's workshop.

The Little Book of Christmas Stress by  Rohan Candappa
A how-to guide for infusing the holidays with extra touches of aggravation.   Embrace the true meaning of Christmas, and do all you can to encourage the generation of stress in yourself and those around you this Festering Season! If you're not sure how to get started suggestions include: Try to encourage as many of them as you possibly can. Or on visits to friends or relatives, shake their Christmas trees vigorously when no one is looking. And at selected moments try to spoil everyone's Christmas Day by bringing religion into it. And what would Christmas be without children? Delight your friends and relatives by secretly teaching their young children rude versions of Christmas carols.

Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater by Anne Marie Blackman
This gift book includes 200+ full-color photos of people in hilariously awful Christmas sweaters accompanied by funny captions. Some of the categories include festive fun, vintage ugly, homemade hits and misses, and pets rocking ugly Christmas sweaters.

As an accompaniment, here’s way to be more active in your Christmas-wear appreciations.
Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Book: The Definitive Guide to Getting Your Ugly On by Brian Miller
This timeless party book includes the history of the event, how to throw the perfect party, what to wear, and how to judge the all-important ugly Christmas sweater contest. With pictures.  Many special pictures.

A Classic from 1968, A Yak for Christmas by Louise Hillary
This is the story of a mountaineering family's Christmas in the Himalayas spent with sherpas.  Sir Edmund Hillary, his wife Louise and their children travelled through the Himalayas through the Christmas holidays to attend the dedication of a hospital in a remote mountain village they had helped finance. They deal with travel problems, the high altitude, and revel in the beauty of the mountains.  But lets be honest, Hillary's book made the list based on the title alone. Becuase, you know... A yak!

Perhaps it’s best not to leave this one out in plain view of the kiddies.
Santa Clause is Dead by Jason Twede
An Elf stumbles across Santa’s body in the middle of the forest. A single set of footprints lead to the body and disappear. There is nothing else around for miles. And so begins the most important investigation of detective Johnny Iceberg’s career. Disgruntled Elves, Mrs. Claus is less than half Santa’s age and wears a curvy, low-cut size 6, penguins can be police officers and polar bears are beat. Experience the quest of a jaded, bitter detective trying to save the life and resurrect the innocence of an anguished 11-year old girl who finds herself framed for the murder of Santa Claus.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies!: A Book of Zombie Christmas Carols by Michael P. Spradlin
Tired of the same old song?  Try out these hits, includeing classics  "We Wish You an Undead Christmas," "Zombie Claus is Coming to Town," and "Rudolph, the Zombie Reindeer!"

How to Catch Santa! by Dwayne Mc Millan
Ever wondered if it were possible to catch Santa? This book will prove that through ingenuity, patience, and hard work that even Santa isn't immune to a good old fashioned kidnapping. We will follow a very elaborate system and engineer various ways to pull off this marvelous feat. This guide will teach you:
•        How to Catch Santa in the North Pole!
•        How to Catch Santa from the Comfort of your Own Home!
•        How to Safely Release Santa Back into the Wild. (This is trickier than you might think!)

Dumb White Husband vs. Santa by Benjamin Wallace
A short Christmas story that will have you laughing out loud. Erik has planned the perfect Christmas for his family. The plan is foolproof, bulletproof and flame retardant. Nothing can undo the hours of planning and preparation. Nothing but odd-shaped packages, ill-timed fruitcakes and an errant neighborhood Santa Claus.

Are these a little too tame for you?  How about this one…

A Hacked-Up Holiday Massacre: Halloween is Going to be Jealous
Irreverent merriment. Diabolical debauchery. Gory good times. Editor Shane McKenzie has gutted the holiday spirit and left it to bleed out on the pages of this gruesome, extreme horror tribute to special occasions. Disturbing, graphic and darkly twisted this anthology of holiday horror will strip the sweetness from the silly season.  Not for those who shy away from gore.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Labyrinthine:  twisting and turning

Insouciance:  blythe, nonchalance

Evocative: suggestive

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Women's activists have marked November 25th as a day against violence since 1981. This date came from the brutal assassination in 1960, of the three Mirabal sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic. Governments, international organizations and NGOs are invited to organize activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem on this day.

 Violence against women continues to be a global pandemic and impacts on, and impedes, progress in many areas, including poverty eradication, combating HIV/AIDS, and peace and security. Violence against women is a consequence of discrimination against women, in law and also in practice, and of persisting inequalities between men and women.

 Physical. Sexual. Psychological. Economic. Violence against women takes many forms and affects women from childhood to old age. The roots of violence against women lie in persistent discrimination against women. Women who experience violence suffer a range of health problems and their ability to participate in society is diminished. This violence does not observe distinctions of culture, religion, race or age. It harms families, communities across generations and reinforces other violence prevalent

So how do we address this in the library?  There are several books available that can help approach these sensitive subjects with our young patrons on both an individual level and as a global issue.

I like that these books use animals as characters rather than people.  I think that it allows young readers to distance themselves from frightening situations without taking away any of the impact and validity of the situations described.

A Terrible Thing HappenedA Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M. Holmes
Sherman Smith saw the most terrible thing happen. At first he tried to forget about it, but something inside him started to bother him. He felt nervous and had bad dreams. Then he met someone who helped him talk about the terrible thing, and made him feel better.

Holmes has written a book that doesn't pretend that thing will go back to the way they were, but instead lets the reader know that many emotions can result from a tragedy such as anger, sadness, fear and that acting out can result when these emotions are hidden or ignored. Finding someone to talk to can help. There is also some information for caregivers at the end. We never learn what the terrible thing that happened to Sherman is, making this book relatable for all kinds of situations: bullying, divorce, abuse, death, accident, crime, and so on.

On a Dark, Dark Night by Sara B. Pierce
A bear cub sees his father strike his mother. He runs away, and is comforted by his friend Moose, who brings in another friend, Eagle. Eagle, taking on the role of the police officer, goes to the father bear and talks to him. Eagle brings him before the animal council, which Pierce calls “the animals’ version of our judicial system.” The council decides that the father bear can no longer stay i
n the village. Several seasons pass, the father returns, and he and the mother bear begin to talk about whether he can return home or whether he needs more time alone. The story leaves what happens next unsaid making the book suitable for a variety of situations.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Meme

Rosenplantz and Guildenfern. Literary humor.

Friday, November 21, 2014

iPod Friday

(Picture adapted from jamona_cl on flicker)

At the end of the week I give myself a treat and listen to my iPod at work while processing books or working on the database.   These are my picks for today.                          What do you listen to at work?

Niko & Vinz

Am I Wrong

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 20th is Children's Day

Children's Day 2014
Google has changed their logo to recognize the day and remind the millions of users of it's importance.

Today, November 20th, is the day the world celebrates children and is dedicated to raising awareness about exploitation, abuse, discrimination and crimes against children. 

This date was chosen because it is the anniversary of the United Nations adopting the Declaration of Rights of the Child (1959)and the Convention of the Rights of the Child (1989). Begun in 1954, The UN invited countries worldwide to devote November 20th of each year to "promoting the ideals and objectives of the Charter and the welfare of the children of the world."  This year also marks the 25th anniversary of the Convention. In those 25 years, infant mortality has declined.  School enrollment has increased. Of course, there is still much more to be done.  Read part of the UN Secretarial-General's message below.

There are many picture books that deal with the issue of children's rights.  Here are some that we use in my libraries:

Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams
In a refugee camp, two girls each claim a sandal as they have no shoes.  Realizing that the other girl as the matching shoe, they decide to share the sandal rather than have one go without. 
Ryan and Jimmy: And the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together by Herb Shoveller
Ryan, at the age of six, learns that many children in the world don't have safe drinking water and becomes an activist, raising money to build a well in Africa.
The Roses in My Carpets by Rukhsana Khan
War leads a family to move to a refugee camp.  The young son must find ways to provide for his family instead of going to school.
You and Me and Home Sweet Home by George Ella Lyon
 Sharonda and her mother are close to being homeless, staying with reluctant relatives until a group offers help.
Way Home by Libby Hathorn
 The story of a homeless boy called Shane who, whilst travelling across the city one night, befriends a cat.
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
A celebration of the world’s diverse cultures, both our similarities and differences.
For Every Child by Unicef
Ten principles which make up the Universal Rights of the Child - from the right to a name and a nationality and protection for handicapped children to the right of education and play - are illustrated.
Angel Child, Dragon Child by Michele Maria Surat
 Examines culture shock when an immigrant child moves from Vietnam to America and how students make fun of her and her experiences adapting to her new home. Understanding and friendship evolve.
Marianthe's Story: Painted Words and Spoken Memories by Aliki
In Painted Words, Marianthe's paintings help her to become less of an outsider as she struggles to adjust to a new language and a new school.   In Spoken Memories, a proud Mari is finally able to use her new words to narrate the sequence of paintings she created, and share with her classmates her memories of her homeland and the events that brought her family to their new country.
Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
A little girl longs to see beyond the scary sights on the sidewalk and the angry scribbling in the halls of her building. 
Welcoming Babies by Margy Burns Knight
Welcoming Babies shows the diverse ways we welcome new life around the world. It can be a springboard for discussions on traditions and culture.
The Story of Ruby Brides by Robert Cole
A little girl standing alone in the face of racism when she tries to get an education.
I Have the Right to Be a Child by Alain Serres
What it means to be a child with rights -- from the right to food, water and shelter, to the right to go to school, to be free from violence, to breathe clean air, and more.

Secretary-General of the UN's Message for 2014

The one thing all children have in common is their rights. Every child has the right to survive and thrive, to be educated, to be free from violence and abuse, to participate and to be heard.

These are innate human rights, as inalienable as those held by adults. But until 1989, these rights were not formally articulated in a legally binding instrument, nor were governments fully accountable to advance these rights for every child.

This all changed 25 years ago, on Universal Children’s Day, when the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It rapidly became the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history.

To date, almost every nation in the world has ratified the Convention. In every region of the world, it has inspired changes in laws, changes in policies, and changes in the way we perceive children as holders of their own rights and in the way we work to promote those rights.

It is fitting that we celebrate a quarter century of the Convention. But we must do more than celebrate. We must recommit ourselves to advancing the rights of every child, especially those who have been left behind -- those who have the least and need us the most.

Oxford Word of the Year 2014


verb meaning to inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device

According to Oxford, use of the word vape has doubled in the past year, peaking in April 2014 when the U.K.’s first "vape café" opened and when New York officials banned indoor vaping.

Honourable Mentions include:

bae n. used as a term of endearment for one’s romantic partner.
budtender n. a person whose job is to serve customers in a cannabis dispensary or shop.
contactless adj. relating to or involving technologies that allow a smart card, mobile phone, etc. to contact wirelessly to an electronic reader, typically in order to make a payment.

indyref n. an abbreviation of ‘independence referendum’, in reference to the referendum on Scottish independence, held in Scotland on 18 September 2014, in which voters were asked to answer yes or no to the question ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’

normcore n. a trend in which ordinary, unfashionable clothing is worn as a deliberate fashion statement.

slacktivism n. informal actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement, e.g. signing an online petition or joining a campaign group on a social media website; a blend of slacker and activism.

The definition of “vape” was first added in August, 2014.

The Oxford 2013 word of the year was "selfie" -a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically taken with a smartphone shared via social media.
(excerpt from: )

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Talisman:  a good luck charm

Scintilla: a spark or very small thing

Lagniappe:  a special kind of gift

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Meme


Friday, November 14, 2014

iPod Friday

(Picture adapted from jamona_cl on flicker)

At the end of the week I give myself a treat and listen to my iPod at work while processing books or working on the database.   These are my picks for today.                          What do you listen to at work?


Thursday, November 13, 2014

All About Those Books

Mount Desert Island High School in Bar Harbor, Maine has come up with
 a cute parody of Meaghan Trainor’s hit song, All About That Bass

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Inure:  to become jaded

Embrocation:  rubbing on a lotion 

Conflate:  to blend together

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

James Bartleman Aboriginal Youth Creative Award 2014

The James Bartleman Aboriginal Youth Creative Writing Award celebrates Aboriginal youth for their creative writing efforts and provides an opportunity for them to showcase their work to a broader audience. The Honourable James Bartleman was the 27th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario (2002 – 2007). Mr. Bartleman was the first Aboriginal Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
“These six young writers represent exactly what this award is intended to encourage. They have taken their own unique experiences and married them with their creative writing talent to create stories that move us and expand our understanding of one another.”  -The Honourable James K. Bartleman, Former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
Every year up to six Aboriginal students each receive the award of $2,500, a framed certificate, and a trip for them and two guests to attend the awards ceremony.  Congratulations to the 2014 winners:

Brooklyne Amyot
for her poem that compares Canada to a playground.

Natalie Court
for her poem about the beauty in what we often call our flaws.

Krista Lee
for her essay on multiculturalism in Canadian society and the role of Aboriginal peoples.

Anawahs Migwans
for her story about a girl born with one blue eye and one brown eye.

Steven Okeese
for his short story about same-sex relationships and the struggle for acceptance from family.

Jada Sofeafor her essay on hope in her community of Webequie.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday Meme


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Easy Remembrance Day Crafts

1) Finger Print Poppy Painting
Paper, red, green and black paint and some willing fingers!
Fingerprint Poppy Flower Craft for Kids! #Summer #veteransday #Spring art project |

2) Paint a poppy.   Use sponges, potato stampers or bingo dabbers to paint red poppies.  The cut them out and mount or frame with another colour.
Remembrance Day Poppy Craft, momstown arts and crafts, bingo dabbler poppy

3) Remembrance Day Lantern  Instructions from are here.

I was always bad at these when I was little but now I'm really good at them

4) Use your hands.
Handprint Canadian Maple Leaf Flag - an easy, fun craft for the kids!
"We hold the memory the love and hope" Remembrance day wreath children aged 6

5)  Mixed Media Poppies.
Open up your craft box and see what you can come up with.  Use these ideas from Pinterest as inspiration...or try them out yourself.
Great project by  Here are the instructions.

Remembrance Day Huichol Yarn Painting. Again from  Some newspapers, yarn in shades of red, modge podge, and black beans (or use dry pasta painted black)

Friday, November 7, 2014

iPod Friday

(Picture adapted from jamona_cl on flicker)

At the end of the week I give myself a treat and listen to my iPod at work while processing books or working on the database.   These are my picks for today.                          What do you listen to at work?

A Pittance of Time

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Why We Wear a Poppy ... Books that Help Explain Remembrance Day to Primary Students

On November 11, especially, but also throughout the year, we have the opportunity to remember the efforts of these special Canadians. In remembering, we pay homage to those who respond to their country's needs. On November 11, we pause for two minutes of silent tribute, and we attend commemorative ceremonies in memory of our war dead.
Following the First World War a French woman, Madame E. Guérin, suggested to British Field-Marshall Earl Haig that women and children in devastated areas of France could produce poppies for sale to support wounded Veterans. The first of these poppies were distributed in Canada in November of 1921, and the tradition has continued ever since, both here and in many parts of the world.
Poppies are worn as the symbol of remembrance, a reminder of the blood-red flower that still grows on the former battlefields of France and Belgium. During the terrible bloodshed of the second Battle of Ypres in the spring of 1915, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, a doctor serving with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, wrote of these flowers which lived on among the graves of dead soldiers:

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
John McCrae
The flowers and the larks serve as reminders of nature's ability to withstand the destructive elements of war by men, a symbol of hope in a period of human despair. In Canada, traditionally the poppies which we wear were made by disabled Veterans. They are reminders of those who died while fighting for peace: we wear them as reminders of the horrors of conflict and the preciousness of the peace they fought hard to achieve.

(source: How Do We Remember, Veterans Affairs Canada)

A Poppy Is to Remember  A Poppy is to Remember by Heather Patterson

This book helps to explain Remembrance Day and the importance of remembering and paying tribute to Canadian soldiers past and present. Includes a history of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance and of how to use poppies. The poem, In Flanders Field, is included.

The Red Poppy The Red Poppy by David Hall

Nipper is a messenger dog during World War I, carrying valuable information between the trenches and the battlefield. Along with Nipper, the story shows 2 enemy soldiers and their realization that uniforms and lines on a map can not erase the humanity between the two men. As they struggle to survive, they share stories, help one another and offer each other hope until they decide to rely on Nipper to escape their perilous situation.

poppyThe Poppy Lady by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh

Moina Belle Michael, a college professor from Georgia, first pinned poppies to soldier’s uniforms after reading the poem In Flanders Fields. She wanted to honor the soldiers and those who had died. Moina had been training to become a YMCA canteen worker at Columbia University’s Y headquarters to help World War I soldiers overseas. But when she completed training, she was then told she was too old to go.
So, she stayed behind doing what she can when she got the idea to establish the Flanders Field Memorial Poppy as a universal symbol of tribute and support for veterans and their families during World War I and II. Known as the Poppy Lady, Michael dedicated her life to servicemen and women, buying and placing fresh flowers in rooms where they would gather before heading overseas.

Where the Poppies Now Grow by Hilary Robinson
The carefree childhood for Ben and his best friend Ray becomes a distant memory when they join the army to serve their country. But, in the midst of battle can their friendship survive? Published to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War and in homage to the war poets Where The Poppies Now Grow, written in rhyme with powerful illustrations, is a touching tribute to honour all those who sacrificed so much for peace.