Joy of cooking without meat

If you are tired of wiping and bleaching that goes along with cooking (to prevent the spread of salmonella, etc), try cooking vegetarian meals.

A few favorite cookbooks:
How it All Vegan by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Banyard
The Family Vegetarian Cookbook by Nava Atlas
Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson

Cant wait to try:
Vive le Vegan
Vegan with a Vengeance

Also, check out the following blogs for ideas:
The Vegan Lunchbox
Bunnyfoot

Happy Birthday, Alice Hoffman

Today, March 16, is the birthday of Alice Hoffman, author of more than twenty books and several screenplays. Her latest book for young teens, Aquamarine about a wise mermaid, has recently been made into a film. Hoffman's books are infused with magic so that sometimes it's dificult to tell the real from the unreal. Ghosts can be as important in the development of the story as the flesh and blood characters like in The River King and the moral concerns can be both contemporary and timeless.

Imagine the Edge!

These are not just for kids. M.T. Anderson has two new books with two different illustrators and they are lovely "share alouds" for elementary school ages! In Me, All Alone, At The End Of The World and A Serpent Came To Gloucester Anderson's melodious prose wrap around dramatic pictures and make these original tales memorable.

How to Love a Rat

Walter: the Story of a Rat by Barbara Wersba is the story of an unlikely relationship between Walter who has been able to read since childhood and Miss Amanda Pomeroy, recluse and writer of books about a secret agent mouse. Walter begins to write letters to Miss Pomeroy, his first, stating: "I live here too," and her reply, "I know." Interspersed throughout this small gem are references to other mice heroes and classics of literature. A sweet story for the child and lover of literature in al

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.

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