Strange but True

No paper can be folded in half more than seven times.
Don't believe me? Feel free to try it.

For more strange-but-true facts, read Bla Bla: 600 incredibly useless facts.

The Cubicle

Do you work in a cubicle and wish they had never been created in the first place? Well, apparently the man who invented cubicles, or the "Action Office" as they were called early on, wished the same. According to a recent article in Fortune magazine, before his death in 2000, Bob Probst (the father of the cubicle) "lamented his unwitting contribution to what he called 'monolithic insanity.'" So will the cubicle continue its dominance in the world of office furniture or will we someday see the end of its existence?

While you ponder that question, check out some of these library materials: a movie, a comic strip, a book, a television show, and another television show. Something for everyone!

Award Bits - Caldecott 2006

The winner of the 2006 Caldecott Award for picture books is The Hello,Goodbye Window. The text is by Norton Juster and the illustrations are by Chris Raschka, who is illustrator for Charlie Parker Played BeBop, Mysterious Thelonius, and more.

The Play Ground

The Play Ground

Who needs the Westminster Kennel Club?
The Detroit Kennel Club Dog Show is back and it returns to Cobo on March 18th & 19th. Visitors will have up-close and personal time with breeders, owners, handlers and over 150 different breeds of dogs. Show highlights include conformation competition, terrier racing, demonstrations by the Michigan Technical Rescue Operations Team, American Kennel Club Agility Trials, specialty retail booths and more. More than 2,000 dogs from nearly 167 different breeds are expected to compete for honors at each show. You can check out all the breeds ahead of time in the The Complete Dog Book, an official publication of The American Kennel Club but, The Play Ground is rooting for the West Highland Terrier to win.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (3/5/06)

I'm not a huge fan of James Patterson's thrillers but millions are and he enters the list at #1. On the other hand I loved The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant and couldn't wait to read her latest book of historical fiction. For something completely different, check out her contemporary mysteries especially those featuring Hannah Wolfe.

At #1 is The Fifth Horseman by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro: the Women's Murder Club and Det. Boxer investigate suspicious deaths at a San Francisco hospital.

At #6 is In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant: in this "moody and bristling" historical novel a courtesan and her household fight for survival in Renaissance Italy.

My Name is Bilal by Asma Mobin-Uddin

On his first day at a new school Bilal sees a bully pull the scarf on his sister's head. He does nothing. In class he tells the teacher his name is Bill not Bilal. His teacher gives him the biography of Bilal ibn Rabah, one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He reads about the strength and courage of Bilal Ibn Rabah when he faced religious persecution by the Meccan's. Bilal learns through this book that it takes courage and strength to be who you are. This is one of the first books written about the struggles of an American Muslim child.

Norman Mailer receives France's highest honor

Norman mailer

In a ceremony at the French cultural Embassy on New York's Upper East Side, H.E. Jean-David Levitte, the French ambassador to the United States, awarded Norman Mailer, 83, France's Legion of Honor medal.

M. Levitte said the medal, which has only been bestowed on a handful of foreigners, was given to Mr. Mailer who is "...an American hero with a fierce love of freedom and an intellectual who has taken a stand in all the great struggles for his time."

During World War II, Mr. Mailer lived in Paris, studying at the Sorbonne. From that experience came The Naked and the Dead.

This is not the first time that the French have bestowed honor on Mr. Mailer. He adds France's 1983 insignia of Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters to his two Pulitzer Prizes (The Armies of the Night, 1969, and The Executioner's Song, 1980).

Listen to Leonardo, Contento, Pietro, and Nunzio

Talk about an engaging book on CD! Replay by Sharon Creech stars 12-year-old Leonardo (Sardino), who feels squashed in his big Italian family between his older sister, Contento, and two younger brothers, Pietro and Nunzio. As Leonardo prepares to act in a school play, he discovers a diary his father wrote at age 13. Gradually, Leo begins to understand how people and families change through time. This book on CD offers three hours and 45 minutes of literate entertainment for listeners age 8 and up.

FolkTale Bits - Arab

Arab children's literature continues to emerge. Notable titles to look for are The Three Princes: A Tale From The Middle East and Goha The Wise Fool, a collection of fourteen tales about the folk hero Nasreddin Hoca, also known as Goha. Goha is a man with a reputation for being able to answer difficult questions in a clever way ... a middle east trickster.
For further links try http://www.ala.org/BookLinks, click on "Web Connections" down the left-side menu, then choose "January 2006" issue. Scroll down to "Arab Children's Literatu

History Bits - 19th Century Libya

At the end of the nineteenth century in Libya, eleven-year-old Malika simultaneously enjoys and feels constricted by the narrow world of women. This slim piece of historical fiction draws a picture of Malika's daily Muslim life, which includes generous and understanding parents, well-drawn family and cultural roles, and a compelling story to keep the pages turning. Shadows Of Ghadames is a timeless glimpse into a traditional Muslim village.

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