Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Book Review: Earl the Squirrel by D. Freeman

4.5/5 stars. Fans of the children's classic Corduroy will adore Earl the Squirrel. Little Earl is growing up, but his mother is worried that his friend Jill has spoiled him with gifts. Earl makes up his mind to set out on his own to prove to his mother that he can find acorns on his own. Along the way Earl must confront challenges including the mighty bull Conrad. Earl outwits the beast and ultimately is rewarded with a bountiful harvest of acorns.

Published posthumously, Don Freeman's signature style and ability to capture childhood are timeless. Freeman's black-and-white scratchboard illustrations with splashes of red color here and there are eye-catching as well. A true classic. Highly recommended Fall reading for children in preschool through grade 3.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Book Review: Say Cheese - And Die Screaming! by R.L. Stine

4/5 stars. The new Goosebumps HorrorLand series is frightfully fun for all. In installment #8, Say Cheese - And Die Screaming!, Stine introduces us to aspiring news photographer, Julie. When Julie stumbles across an old and very rare camera, she just has to have it. However, Julie quickly learns that the camera is evil. Horrible things happen to everyone who is unlucky enough to be caught in the camera's lens. Can Julie break the curse of the camera in time to save everyone?

Later Julie receives an invitation to be a Very Special Guest at the HorrorLand Theme Park. It is soon obvious that all is not as it should be in HorrorLand. The Very Special Guests are all trapped. Can Julie and the other kids escape to Panic Park? Or are they doomed?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Celebrate Tolkien Week

"Come, my precious..." and join the fun during Tolkien Week (Sept 20 - 26, 2009). This special week honors J. R. R. Tolkien and his son/editor, Christopher J. R. Tolkien. It is a celebration of the Middle-earth cycle: The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings (including The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King), Unfinished Tales, and The History of Middle-earth.

The highlight of Tolkien Week is Hobbit Day, which is always celebrated on Sept. 22. Why the 22nd? That special date is marks the birthdays of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins; it is the date of the Long Awaited Party. In keeping with that theme, some libraries, schools, and bookstores prepare displays or host seminars about Tolkien and his works. Other celebrations are more festive. Take the Hobbit Day Celebration at the Parmly Billings Library in Billings Montana, for example. Patrons can make Hobbit Day cards, enjoy tea with crumpets, and view a special screening of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

However you decide to celebrate, make it a great week. Fun activities for Hobbit Day could include costume contests, games, exchanging cards/gifts and feasts. Another way to celebrate is to visit your local library and check out your favorite Tolkien tome.

For further information, visit the following:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Book Review: In the Night Kitchen by M. Sendak

3/5 stars. Despite being frequently challenged, In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak is a charming tale about a little boy. Mickey is awakened by noises and dreams of making cake during the night. His adventure is told through beautiful illustrations. Some readers will be offended by the depiction of a nude child; however, readers who enjoyed Where the Wild Things Are, will find this tale delightful.

Save Money @ Your Library

Looking to tighten those purse strings in this economy? Well, look no further than your local library. There you can check out the latest fiction bestsellers, audio books, e-books, and magazines. Public libraries also offer educational and entertainment programming for all ages. And don't forget the DVDs and video games.

For job hunting purposes, check out the Internet, computer, and printing services. Many libraries also offer free Wi-Fi for your laptop. Additionally, there are reference materials and databases for you to use when researching potential employers.

Prefer to purchase your books? Some libraries offer a Friends of the Library Bookstore where paperbacks are sold for bargain prices. Others offer a paperback trade. Just how much money can you save? Take a look at the following:

The Value of ONE Library Visit
Free program - $10.00
New Bestseller - $24.99
New Magazine $4.99
New Children's Book - 12.99
New DVD - $29.98

New Wii Video game - $39.99
TOTAL Value of ONE Visit = $122.94*

If you visit your Library once every 3 weeks, your yearly savings could total over $2000 ! Just think of what you could do with all that extra cash. So stop by today and discover the value of your very own library card.

To find your local library, visit the Library Locator.

*Based on 2009 prices.


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