Showing posts from November, 2009

'Tis the Season to be Crafty

The holiday season is upon us and it is the perfect time for kids to express their creativity. Holiday crafts are a great way to decorate for this time of year. They also make great gifts for the special people in your children’s lives! Many of the projects do not require much more than a few simple craft supplies and things that are probably already around the house. Below you will find books and websites with many ideas to get you started.

Hanukkah Crafts by Karen E. Bledsoe

Kwanzaa Crafts by Carol Gnojewski

Christmas Crafts by Fay Robinson

Websites for Christmas Crafts:

Websites for Hanukkah Crafts:…

Thanksgiving Trimmings

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, it’s time to get thinking about your holiday meal. The Mercer County Library System has just what you need to turn this Thanksgiving into one your friends and family will be talking about for years to come! Here are four titles to get you started:

How to Cook a Turkey: And All the Other Trimmings
Designed as a holiday survival guide for a wide range of home cooks, this book contains 100 recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts—including an entire chapter on pies—plus information on everything to do with turkeys, stuffing, and gravy.

The Thanksgiving Table : Recipes and Ideas to Create your Own Holiday Tradition
Covering everything from the foolproof secret to a moist bird and how to truss and carve it to menu suggestions and simple, elegant table settings, this book includes recipes for classics like cranberry relish as well as more innovative dishes, as well as a whole section devoted to vegetarians. Features do-ahead tips and plenty of…

Thanksgiving Fun

What did people eat at the First Thanksgiving? What did Pilgrim kids do for fun? What happened to the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians afterwards? Answer all your Thanksgiving questions at the library! We have many books on this topic, but these stand out for their balance and for being fun to read:

1621: A New Look at Thanksgivingby Catherine O’Neill
Giving Thanks: the 1621 Harvest Feastby Kate Waters
Celebrate Thanksgiving by Deborah Heiligman

Here is a game for 2 people played by Wampanoag children, though there are a number of variations on the rules:

You will need:
10 twigs or popsicle sticks
4 pebbles, peach pits, or shells
Paint one half of the pebbles blue, and half yellow (or whatever colors you wish).
Decorate the sticks if you like.

How to Play:
Each person gets 5 sticks.
The first person throws the pebbles like dice.
If all the pebbles have the same color showing, collect 2 sticks from the other player.
If 2 are yellow, and 2 are blue, give 1 stick to the other player.
If there is any oth…

Books to Get You Thinking - Special Holiday Edition

With the crisp November air around us and Thanksgiving just around the corner, it may be just the right time to start thinking about gifts for the Holidays. Books can make great gifts – they come in all flavors for every mood. There’s almost nothing better than to curl up with an engaging book on those cold days of January, long after the excitement of the Holiday season is over! This month I’ll highlight some nonfiction books that you could wrap up to give away.

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Timeby Greg Mortenson
The book describes one man’s mission to help alleviate illiteracy and poverty through building schools in the isolated villages of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The author builds a compelling case for education as a means to counter terrorism and political instability.

Strength in What Remainsby Tracy Kidder
Tracy Kidder the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Mountains Beyond Mountains presents another powerful narrative that follows t…

Some Seasonal Chestnuts

Name the book, made up of only 30,000 words, that catapulted Christmas from a second tier holiday to a first class-all-out national extravaganza season, that has never been out of print in over 150 years yet was written in a mere 6 weeks, and inspired more than 250 film, television and stage productions, not to mentioned endless book adaptations and illustrators. “Bah, Humbug”, you must have guessed it: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Even now, as you read this, this 2009 holiday season awaits the opening of a 3-D movie starring Jim Carrey as Scrooge.

For your holiday pleasure, travel a bit around Victorian London with the library’s collection of Victorian chestnuts:

Read how Dickens came to write his masterpiece in The Man Who Invented Christmasby Les Standiford. The infant Christ is replaced by Tiny Tim, the Holy Ghosts become the three ghosts of Christmas, and salvation depends on a single man’s generosity and spiritual renewal.

If you have some extra time (and who does during t…

Revisiting Sesame Street

Remember this little ditty?

D, D, D, D
Daddy dear, oh daddy dear
Do dogs have dreams, do ducks have ears?
Do dragons dance, why do gophers dig holes?
Do gophers dress up in their dirty clothes?

If so, you may also be picturing the animated song that debuted on Sesame Street in 1972, with letter Ds flying by between images of dreaming dogs, daisies, doughnuts, and dandelions. The past month or so, I’ve been revisiting my Sesame Street days.

It all started innocently enough with reading Michael Davis’ book, Street Gang: The CompleteHistory of Sesame Street. Davis’ book gives an in depth view as to how the show’s initial conceptualization (an informal conversation at a dinner party circa 1966) made its way into production. Davis reveals from interviews with cast, crew, and peripheral parties how timing, talent, drive, and luck aligned, allowing creators to produce an innovative approach to educate, as well as entertain, young children. Along with chronicling the show’s road to success, Street G…

Windows 7 Resources

The buzz in the tech world over the last few weeks has been all about Windows 7, the newest release of Microsoft’s operating system. After the confusing press about the reliability and features of the last Microsoft system, Windows Vista, there are a lot of questions about Windows 7 and whether it is a good idea to upgrade. While the choice is ultimately up to the user, there are a few resources that can help you make the decision. I’ll outline a few below, but first some thoughts and highlights about the new software.

The biggest advantage to Windows 7 is it is a more polished version of Vista, which in some areas seemed incomplete. Having said that, for those of you running Vista that may have qualified for the free upgrade or are frustrated with that system, moving to Windows 7 is a pretty safe bet. Some bloggers and reviewers are even calling a Vista to 7 move a no-brainer. The good thing about an upgrade from Vista is you can keep your old files and settings. XP users need to do a…

Think inside the box!

(click picture to enlarge)Create a text box in MS Office; add text, or image, in the text box and viola! you have an attention-grabber. There are manifold advantages when you type text or insert images in a text box: not only do you draw attention to your text when you put it in a text box, but you can move and position the text box anywhere on your document (woo-hoo, not restricted by margins!) Pictures which are notoriously hard to move suddenly become extremely mobile when placed inside a text box. You can add a single text box or quickly add multiple text boxes to a publication. To add a text box in
Word or Excel:
On the Insert tab, in the text group, click Text Box.
Simply click on a design from the gallery of text boxes and the text box you clicked on will be inserted on your document/worksheet.
On the Insert tab, in the text group, click Text Box.
Click in the slide where you want the text box, your cursor will look like an upside down sword.
Drag to draw the text box th…