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

Get them while they're hot

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire takes the number one spot as's top selling DVD. At number two is Crash, winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Other hot DVDs in the top ten:

Walk the Line
Lady and the Tramp: 50th Anniversary Edition
Pride and Prejudice
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Howl’s Moving Castle
Good night, and Good Luck

What’s your favorite?

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.

Bee-Bim Bop Fun!

Would you ever think of going to the picture book section for a recipe? Well, no. But the picture book section is full of surprises.
Bee-Bim Bop by Linda Sue Park with illustrations by Ho Baek Lee is a lively story about a child and parent cooking the the traditional Korean dish of the title.
The recipe for Ms. Park's family version is included in the back of the book. The step-by-step directions are divided into tasks that kids can do, followed by the those that need to be done by an adult. What fun in the kitchen for a parent and child!
Linda Sue Park won the 2002 Newbery Medal for her book A Single Shard. She will be coming to the Library for National Children's Book Week in November.

An American Story

National Public Radio's Story Corps seeks oral histories from ordinary folks "as a record of the way we live today--and how we got here." In the case of Blanca Alvarez this is very literally a story of how she got here. In the Story Corps interview with her daughter, Connie, Alvarez describes crossing the border from Mexico to the United States over thirty years ago and the jobs she held to support her family in those difficult early years.

A Great Resource for Women's History Month

Jane Addams
Jane Addams, 1860-1935

In celebration of Women's History Month, Thompson Gale has launched a free website of information on the history of women--biographies, a historical timeline, a downloadable calendar, quizzes and activities to facilitate classroom discussion. Also included is Women's Rights on Trial, which includes information on 101 key trials of historical importance to American women since the settlement of the colonies.

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists!

There once was a guitarist named Ted
Who turned to a Pharmacist and said
“I shall come to the Pig
And dance such a jig
That they’ll cheer ‘til we all go to bed.”

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. Live at the Blind Pig on Wednesday, March 8. All ages show, $10 cover, with special guests The Duke Spirit and Les Aus. Jigs not guaranteed... but if we can get him to play “Me and Mia” or “The High Party” he usually does. (Incidentally, that’s the same night as the Pioneer High School career fair. Professionals such as yours truly will be there to talk about what we do. Hope to see you there! )

Adieu, Barney Fife!

don knotts

America's favorite deputy, Barney Fife, died last Friday of pulmonary and respiratory complications. From 1960-1965, Don Knotts was pitch-perfect as the nervous ninny sidekick to Mayberry's unflappable Sheriff Taylor--a legendary pairing, if endless re-runs of "The Andy Griffith Show" on TV Land are any indication. "Three's Company" aside, I was always happy to see Knotts as a kid, whether on the small or big screen. In the latter category, Knotts starred in the partly-animated The Incredible Mr. Limpet and The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again. Knotts was 81.

Samba no pé!

If you've ever been to Brazil you know it's that time again. Yup, that's right. It's time for the world's biggest party! Brazilian Carnival starts tomorrow. Can’t make it to Rio de Janeiro? Perhaps these sounds can take you there:

Compilations by Putumayo World Music: Acoustic Brazil and Brazilian Groove
Bossa Nova: Bebel Gilberto by Bebel Gilberto
Funk/rock: Cru by Seu Jorge, who starred in City of God
Classic collections: The Best of Caetano Veloso and The Best of Antonio Carlos Jobim

Have an interesting Carnival story? Post it here!

Andy Goldsworthy's Grand Rapids Arch


‘Using the often fragile and fleeting objects and elements of the natural world — snow, stones, twigs, streams—sculptor and photographer Andy Goldsworthy has emerged as among the most respected and influential artists working today.“

The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park’s newest treasure - The Grand Rapids Arch, is now permanently in place.

Check out Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time and images of his other installations the world over. Looking for a little outing over spring break? Bring the family.

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