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Tuesday & Thursday: 10 am- noon; 2 pm- 5 pm; 6 pm- 8 pm (no Tuesday morning hours in summer)
Saturday: 10 am- noon; 2 pm- 4pm


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Holidays and History: Passover, Easter, Patriot's Day

April is more than pea-planting time. There's a handful of holidays that need celebrating, starting with Passover, on April 3rd.

Passover celebrates the freeing of the Jews from Egyptian enslavement about 3,000 years ago. In The Passover Lamb, by Linda Marshall, Miriam and her family are looking forward to the seder at her grandparent's house. This is an especially important year for Miriam, because it will be her first year to ask the traditional four questions. But there are complications... one of the sheep gives birth to triplets. Papa says they'll have to stay home to take care of the third baby that needs to be bottle fed every four hours... but Miriam has a plan.

Easter comes early this year... April 5th - that's the first Sunday after the full moon following Spring equinox. Given the weather, you might want to dye your eggs brilliant hues if you plan to hide them behind the snowdrifts.

If you're looking for a traditional tale for the little ones, check out the board book, Peter Cottontail. Or read Winnie the Pooh's Easter, by Bruce Talkington. Pooh discovers a huge egg decorated with polka-dots, and Rabbit thinks it can talk. But none of Pooh's friends can make it talk. Finally it's cracked open for an Easter surprise.

 On April 19th, people in Boston celebrate Patriot's Day to commemorate the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775. Patriot's Day also honors Paul Revere's midnight ride. There are some great books for young history buffs.  

George, the Drummer Boy, by Nathanial Benchley, tells the story of the battle at Lexington and Concord as seen through the eyes of George, a British drummer boy. The text is simple enough for young readers to enjoy.

Older readers might enjoy Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill, by Francis Russell. This is an account of the early events of the American Revolution through the evacuation of Boston in 1776.

You could probably recite "Listen my children and you shall hear of the midnight ride of Paul Revere...." from memory. But Christopher Bing adds so much more to this book with his artwork, maps, documents, letters. This is a treasure trove for kids who love to dive into history.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Got the Winter Blahs? Do Something New

It's getting to be that time of year again.... the snow has settled into sedimentary layers, the brilliant blue sky calls, but the temperatures (and wind chill) hang south of freezing. And the kids are bored, bored, bored with the toys scattered around the house.

If that's the case, head down to the library and check out something to do. Yes, you heard that right. There are a bunch of bright backpacks for pre-school to first-graders that have puzzles, books, and games. Each pack also has a "make and keep" booklet with dot-to-dots and mazes and a book-related activity. 

Each backpack has a theme: dinosaurs, trucks, stars, oceans...

Each backpack also contains a Parent Field Guide, too. The "field guides" list ideas for things to do with the backpack, fingerplays, and an alphabet of activities that connect fun with learning.

If you want to learn something new, check out the Explore Bags. You can learn to knit, crochet, use a camera, discover science, weave something - even whip up a batch of cookies.

 The knitting EXPLORE bag has knitting needles, a book of instructions and yarn for your first project. The weaving bag contains a loom with enough loops to make a bright potholder. Decorate a paper chef's toque and dive into the cooking bag to learn how to make healthy snacks (and not-so-healthy desserts). And yes, the photography bag has a digital camera and a book filled with cool ideas on how to use it.

Fight the Winter Blahs with Fun!