Monthly Archives: November 2013

Thanksgiving links


Dear readers and chickadees, I hope you’re having wonderful Thanksgiving days with families and friends. While yours truly is getting ready to watch the Ravens game (and wondering if/when eating another piece of pie would be acceptable), I’m thinking about how thankful I am for my job – my coworkers, my patrons, the work that I’m given the opportunity to do. It’s been a delightful and thrilling two months.

Now! Some links.

Mama Bear sent me this rather odd article, “Pigskin Pride and Prejudice,” from The Washington Post.

STOP TALKING ABOUT A FIGHT CLUB SEQUEL, CHUCK PALAHNIUK. (I mean, first, did he forget the first rule of Fight Club, and second, they kinda blew their wad with the twist in the first one.)

I’m one of the only children’s librarians I know who doesn’t have any tattoos. But if I were to get one, I’d probably get something like these.

Sister A sent me this link of YA authors sharing the YA books they’re most thankful for.

And speaking of, I’m thankful for you, my dear readers, who share my enthusiasm for the arts and crafts, ins and outs, and highs and lows of librarianship and reading. Thank you for coming on this journey with me so far.


Happy Thanksgiving/Hanukkah


and may the latkes be ever in your favor!

Saw Catching Fire last night. Really, really solid. Very good, and I can’t wait to see where they go with the third movie, even though Mockingbird = meh.

BUT! They showed the trailer for Divergent (!!! although I saw Shailene Woodley at the very beginning and got really excited that it was a The Fault in Our Stars trailer, but still, I’ll take Divergent). Yeeeeee!

It’s Christmas already, apparently


At my library. The tiny little Charlie Brown-style tree has been erected, and guess who made the ornaments? Yours truly. Here’s the tree from both sides. Can you see characters you recognize?



Love them.

In other news, I got to go to our children’s services working group meeting today, and see some people I hadn’t seen since orientation week, and talk about summer reading (already!) and other programming ideas. I also feel so guiltily lucky – other librarians don’t have the resources or space that we do at the main branch.

I’m very excited to share that the last of my family Hanukkah presents have come in, and I’ll post them here after Hanukkah (after they’ve been given, of course), because they’re library-related. If I post them now, the surprise will be spoiled for Sister A and Daddio and Mama Bear, so I’ll wait. 

Now, in links:

Entertainment Weekly readers have chosen the best YA novel of all time. Solid choice, but not my favorite. Link courtesy of Mama Bear.

Friend D sent me a Mental Floss link (God, I love that site) about novelists commenting on symbolism on their works. 

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I just finished Call Me Zelda. Meh, but lots of good Baltimore stuff in there.

Till next time, chickadees!


Some Gifty Books


Friend R has about 800 nieces and nephews (I’m slightly exaggerating here) and two rambunctious, intelligent little boys. She asked me about some picture book recommendations, and since I had a little free time earlier at work today, I thought I’d pull a list together, culled from ones I and my coworkers have liked.

The books listed below are all either picture books or Easy Readers. Most books that are written nowadays are entertaining for the adults too, because you’re going to read Madeline five million times to your kids (and by the way, thanks for never complaining – at least in my hearing – Mama Bear and Daddio). All of them are clever and funny and meaningful in their own ways, but I’ve separated them into categories to make it easier.

Plus, a bonus grown-up recommendation at the end!

Picture Books:

Artsy Picture Books

Ballad – Blexbolex

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild – Peter Brown

The Pete the Cat series by James Dean and Eric Litman

Gimme Cracked Corn and I Will Share by Kevin O’Malley (he lives in my hometown of Baltimore!)

The Day the Babies Crawled Away – Peggy Rathmann

Press Here and any other books by Herve Tullet

Funny, funny, funny Books

Count the Monkeys  – Mac Barnett

The Day the Crayons Quit – Drew Daywalt 

The Boss Baby – Marla Frazee (I’ve been giving this to every new parent I know; they all love it)

I Stink! and other truck-y books by Kate McMullan 

13 Words – Lemony Snicket

Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct and everything else Mo Willems ever wrote

Sweet Books

Say Hello – Jack Foreman

Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace – James Proimos

Bear Has a Story to Tell – Philip Stead

A Sick Day for Amos McGee – Philip Stead 

The Circus Ship  – Chris Van Dusen

The Scaredy Squirrel Series – Melanie Watt 

Wordless Books

Journey – Aaron Becker

Flora the Flamingo  – Molly Idle

The Secret Box – Barbara Lehman

Line 135 Germano Zullo


Easy Readers:

The Fly Guy Series – Tedd Arnold

The Dodsworth Series – Tim Egan


Annabelle’s All-Time Classics that Every Home Should Have, Based Solely On the Fact That These, And Many Others, Were Books That She Read a Million Times (I wish I had money enough to give all of these as a getting-started set to friends with babies):

The Puppy Book – (author unknown; the first book I ever read by myself)

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs – Judi Barrett

Madeline – Ludwig Bemelmans (see above)

Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle

Tootle – Gertrude Crampton

Freight Train – Donald Crews

Strega Nona – Tomie De Paola

Go, Dog, Go – P.D. Eastman

Corduroy – Don Freeman

Bedtime for Frances – Russell Hoban

Harold and the Purple Crayon – Crockett Johnson

The Philharmonic Gets Dressed – Karla Kuskin 

Curious George – H.A. Rey

Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever – Richard Scarry (My parents bought me, I think, three copies of this during my childhood)

The Nutshell Library – Maurice Sendak (why is the Really Rosie DVD out of print?!?!)

Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak

The Cat in the Hat – Dr. Seuss

Caps for Sale – Esphyr Slobodkina

The Monster at the End of This Book – Jon Stone

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – Judith Viorst (I own her entire collection, all signed *brags*)



And if you need a book for yourselves: my favorite book ever in the whole world, ever ever ever. EVER.

When failing technology makes your day


I really do enjoy working on weekends. I swear, that’s true. It’s different from weekdays.

Now, we’re only open four hours on Sundays, from 1- 5. So I was able to spend my morning making a new bulletin board, to replace my “New Twists on Old Tales” one. I felt rather gleeful to make such a bad pun and run with it. So dorky, but so great.


The question mark ran into the border a bit, but overall I’m quite pleased. I wanted to make sure I had non-fiction, picture books, board books, easy readers, and young adult books there – a good mix. I’d had a plan to brace some books in the middle of the board with pushpins, but it just wasn’t stable.

When the library opened, I expected most of our patrons – particularly teens, since that’s all they seem to want – to rush to the computers. But our computer management system was down almost completely across the entire group of libraries, so we made do. It was great – we pulled out some board games, we actually talked with patrons more (I told a three-year-old not to ride our stuffed zebra because sometimes it gallops off around the library and then we have to call the zoo and have their zookeepers come over to catch it and her eyes practically popped out of their sockets), and it was a true pleasure. Of course, the computers came back on a bit later, and then boom, back to asking the teens to turn their music down. Alas.

In What’s Annabelle Reading?, I just read Heidi for the first time ever, and it was terrific. Of course I’d seen Shirley Temple in the movie a million times, but I’d never read the book. Charming. In the mood for some YA, and loving almost anything to do with any of Henry VIII’s wives, I read this book about Katherine Howard because she was The Temptress, but it was rather shallow, she was still in love with Thomas Culpeper, blah blah blah. Not great. And then in a total and complete turnaround I read a new release that made me feel all gross in my tingly places. It was disturbing in all the right ways, and carefully written. I’d like to see more from that author.

Outreach on a Saturday


One thing I’ve been really curious about, but wasn’t sure I’d get a chance to do yet, is outreach. We try to partner/group/work with local groups, schools, and other places in the community. Today is National Adoption Day, and I was asked to go to this city’s courthouse to represent the library, give away some books, and pass out storytime schedules and library card applications.

I’m so glad I went. I was able to meet some wonderful new families, give some books to some really sweet kids, and see what the library can mean to the community. It was a truly lovely day – and I have to admit, I teared up a bit watching the ceremonies.

Ahh, enough sappiness for now. How about some links, chickadees?

Piggybacking on my Where the Wild Things Are post from yesterday, here’s a list of some great monsters in children’s lit, courtesy of Mama Bear.

What do young adult heroines say about us? (Also courtesy of Mama Bear.)

From Sister A, 100 of the best children’s books, per The Christian Science Monitor. I’ve read 70, which initially embarrassed me, but only reaffirms my resolution to read more of the classics.

Happy birthday, Max


It’s times like this that truly send home to me just how important things can all weirdly cluster together. Earlier this week was the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. Today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. It’s also the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, a show that I’ve only discovered in the past few years, but has made a huge impression on me.

And I didn’t even know the one that would mean the most to me: today is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Where the Wild Things Are.

(Confidential to LG: Happy birthday, you wild thing, you!)

Days like this make me feel insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Anyway, some links!

Friend D sent me a Doctor Who/Catching Fire mashup, which is hilarious.

Some Judy Blume books are getting new covers. They’re actually not bad.

Mama Bear sent me a textual analysis of Suzanne Collins’ writing; pretty interesting.

What do you think about this? (Also from Mama Bear.)