Monday, December 16, 2013

Have an Origami Christmas

 Once again, library director Fran has festooned the library with garlands of origami ornaments. If you want to try your hand at folding your own, drop by the library and pick up some origami paper and a sheet of directions.
Except for the strand of cranes, these ornaments are different stages of a folded balloon. You can stop after a few folds to get a hanging diamond (just add thread and a paper clip).

Or  do a few more folds to get an elongated shape. It looks very cool done in shiny foil.

Once you blow into it you get a fat box, called a "balloon".   If you like to see things being folded, here's a video showing how to fold an origami balloon.

For younger hands, try folding an origami Christmas tree. It takes just a few simple folds of paper and then you can have fun decorating it any way you like. Here's how.

If you're looking for easy-to-make Christmas ornaments for youngsters, check out these ideas:
For those who want to explore more origami, we've got more than a dozen books on origami on our shelves, ranging from Easy Origami to Not-quite-so-easy all the way up to Sort-of-difficult Origami. There are two books full of things to fold for the holidays and - if you have an animal loving kid in your home - there's a book of Animal Origami.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Great Books to Share on a Chilly Day

The first snows have come, and it's getting to look a lot like winter. This is a great time to cozy up with a book to share with a young child. Whether you've got a fire going in the wood stove or you snuggle beneath a quilt, sharing books will warm your soul. Here are a few titles we've got on our shelves.

Moon glowing, by Elizabeth Partridge

While autumn leaves twirl down, a squirrel, a bat, a beaver and a bear prepare for winter. Squirrel stashes, bat swoops, beaver builds and bear eats.  

Animal hibernation, by Jeanie Mebane.

Why do aquatic frogs spend the winter buried in mud? Why do garter snakes coil together in dens? This book shows animals hibernating in some unique ways.

Molly, by golly!: the legend of Molly Williams, America's first female firefighter, by Dianne Ochiltree

“Our Molly is as fine a cook as any in New York City,” the lads of Fire Company No. 11 liked to boast. They argue about whether her hasty pudding or chicken roly-poly is the best. Or maybe it’s the hot apple tansy, venison stew or codfish muddle. Then one winter day, with many volunteers sick with influenza (it’s 1818), Molly jumps into action to stop a house fire.

Bugs and bugsicles: insects in the winter, by Amy S. Hansen

Every fall, insects disappear. Where do they go? The dragonfly dies, leaving its young safe in the muddy bottom of a stream. The monarch butterfly sails the air to dry mountains in Mexico. But the Arctic woolly bear caterpillar freezes solid, then thaws out to live another day. Check out how other insects outwit winter by turning into bugsicles.

Winter trees, by Carole Gerber

A boy and his dog walk through a wintry forest and discover the wonder of winter trees, one at a time. "Crunch! Our footsteps make the only sound." The boy looks closely at different trees, examining bark, limbs, even the sharp needles of a spruce.

The trees of the dancing goats, by Patricia Polacco.

During a scarlet fever epidemic one winter in Michigan, a Jewish family helps make Christmas special for their sick neighbors by decorating trees. This begins some Hanukkah miracles, too.

Swamp Angel, by Anne Isaacs

Angelica Longrider (aka Swamp Angel) wrestles a huge bear, known as Thundering Tarnation, to save the winter supplies of the settlers in Tennessee