Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
Remember the swimming baby on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind? Amazing Baby explains infants’ swimming ability along with lots of other amazing baby facts in this really readable book loaded with pictures of lots of incredibly cute babies. Several of the gorgeous full-page color images are paired with semi-transparent overlays depicting anatomical systems at baby scale. On the topic of communication, Amazing Baby presents a holistic view of language development from first cries and the uniquely human anatomy that facilitates speech to the immensely important role that caregiver interaction incorporating stories, fingerplays, and nursery rhymes plays in language acquisition: “The more time these companions can give to patient conversation, the quicker a toddler becomes fluent in his spoken language.” The take away message from Amazing Baby: Babies are amazingly complex little beings and the first two years of life are crucially important for healthy development. If you’re expecting a new little person or if your amazing baby has already arrived, check out KPL’s great Baby Storytime programs just for caregivers and their babies from birth to two years old. And don't miss Family Storytime with Mr. Steve and Friends - it's fun for all ages!
Every month, I read Horn Book magazine. In the March-April 2009 issue, I came across a wonderful selection by Michael Joseph that pretty much sums up a good many of "do you have this book" type requests that we get from patrons. Here it is:
"We have a patron who is looking for a book
she read as a child. She can’t remember
the title. All she knows is,
there were lots of strange characters
who were large. They were shaped like flowers or clouds.
They had mouths like apple sections, they smiled a lot
and wore feathers, which implied something, but she isn’t sure
if it had illustrations: this is just the way the characters were,
she says. Sometimes they were part of the plot
and sometimes the plot was a part of them.
They moved around in subtle, circular ways, but she can’t
recall names, or any dialogue, and she can’t even say
if the book had a central theme, although maybe it was
There’s no place like home, or All you need is love;
but when we suggest that these sound
too much like the lyrics to songs, she nods her head.
She agrees but can’t recall if the book was green
or how long it took to read it.
While being read, it was part of everything and seemed to move
around a lot. It traveled with the characters:
Sometimes they carried it to the mountains or to the lake.
Sometimes the characters were clouds and floated on the lake,
they read to her out of the book that read to them,
and the trout splashed near the boat to listen closer.
The fat lazy bees hovered over sweet honeysuckle.
And all the spooky reeds leaned over to take a look.
Maybe the book has no title or author; but she
would like very, very much to know if p0ossible
here she can find a copy,
or another exactly like it,
for her granddaughter."
While the above may sound a little sarcastic, we CAN and HAVE found books for patrons with less information than this "poem" suggests. If there is a book that you fondly remember from your childhood, don't hesitate to ask the library staff at any service desk to help you find it. Chances are it did exist as you remember it, and chances are that we can find it for you!
I Read This Book About Thirty Year Ago
As the local and national economy struggles and job markets shrink, many have decided to pursue their aspiration of owning and running a small business. Such an enterprise is not an easy endeavor nor is it for everyone. But one of the best things a person interested in actualizing their entrepreneurial dream can do, is to empower themselves with fundamental knowledge of practices and procedures involved in the formation and growth of a small business. Accessing information is vital for successful business owners, both for those looking to start a business and for those already up and running. If you’re a small business owner or investigating whether or not you want to invest your time and money into becoming one, stop by the library and browse our Small Business Collection, located on the second floor. You’ll find books (legal structures, accounting, business planning, financing, marketing strategies, demographic data, tax guides, e.g.) reference materials, magazines, databases, and information about community and library programs that support local entrepreneurs with skills and knowledge training.
The small business start-up kit
Written by Heather Henson, this new David Small illustrated picture book tells the story of the Pack Horse Librarians who served the people of Kentucky's Appalachia beginning in the 1930s. Through the rain, through the snow, up the side of the mountain – she comes in all weather every two weeks to lend books. Unlike his sister, big brother doesn’t see the value in the “chicken scratch” the librarian brings until, recognizing all the effort “that book woman” goes through to bring books to the family and the joy the books bring his sister, he takes a look himself. While a packhorse bookmobile may seem antiquated compared to KPL's bookmobile service, mules in Venezuela and camels in Northeastern Kenya are used to convey books to more remote communities in the present day. Check out Masha Hamilton's The Camel Bookmobile, a novel based around library service via camel in Kenya.
That Book Woman
This week marks another observing of Banned Book Week, an annual American Library Association program that draws attention to historical and contemporary efforts to outlaw, burn or otherwise restrict the free and democratic flow of information, ideas and artistic imagination. Read or listen to such an attempt to ban The Grapes of Wrath from libraries during the 1930’s at National Public Radio and how in the wake of such restrictions, the ALA established the Library Bill of Rights.
Obscene in the extreme : the burning and banning of John Steinbeck's The grapes of wrath
Two big authors released their latest works today! Nora Roberts mixes mystery, romance, and home improvements in Tribute, while Iris Johansen and her son Roy teamed up to write the submarine-based suspenseful Silent Thunder. These authors' works (and more) can be automatically reserved for you when you sign up for KPL's Book My Favorites program. Why wait? It's easy and you'll be delighted each time a new book comes your way!
Here’s a plug for the topic guides on the new KPL website. During my first post-launch visit to the site, I found that the highlighted topic guide was “Parenting.” I took a look and realized that the guide will be useful for a local committee I’m serving on.
Today I distributed copies of the Parenting guide to the group. They were impressed to see such a variety of resources gathered together… …KPL catalog headings and website topics, books recommended by staff, databases, newspapers and magazines, community resources and websites.
The committee includes some early childhood development experts and educators, and they offered some suggestions for additional resources we could add. I’m glad the new website will be interactive so users of the topic guides can help us make them even better!
mother reading while child jumps on bed