Pajama and Family Storytimes, April 15 and 18

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My two last storytimes at Neighborhood Branch went quite well. I particularly enjoyed Pajama Storytime, since I had my usual cadre of participants – College Friend D and his son J, and was happily surprised by a mid-storytime visitor, College Friend C, and her three, G, H, and E! I didn’t even know they lived near me! Hooray!

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All of my books were new this week, and, no, your eyes aren’t deceiving you; that is indeed a French book in the middle (the title translates to One Wolf, Two Dogs, and Three Underpants). We had a lot of fun with that, as I read it to them in English. Side note: thank you, Mesdames E and T, for my Lower School French! The rest of the books, in English, were Interrupting Chicken and Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type. (I recommend the latter for older children, as I had to take some time to not only explain typewriters – damn, I’m old – but also the concepts of bargaining and negotiation.)

On Saturday, for Family Storytime, I wanted to really emphasize the concept of National Library Week (HOLLA!) So after Rrralph, borrowing Coworker S’s puppet, which you can see looks uncannily like Rrralph, and Tikki Tikki Tembo, which took freaking forever, and should be used only with older kids, I asked the participants what we see and do at the library. The first thing they said was “storytime,” which was lovely. We talked about movies and books and meetings and book clubs and all kinds of things that happen in libraries. Neighborhood Branch Boss happened to be watching this part, which was nice. The kids were super-responsive, which was relieving.

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So in the spirit of National Library Week, we then read Dinosaur vs. the Library, a new book for me, and the kids were eager roarers, even the one who hadn’t seemed interested in storytime at all up to this point. His parents told me afterward that he loves dinosaurs, so I suppose I hit his happy spot with a book about a roaring dinosaur.

In other news, one child told me this week that she loved me, and another told me I was his favorite librarian, even though he’d only met me 30 seconds before.

And then today I almost needed to break up an argument between patrons over who got to use the copier next.

Links! (You may notice the common theme of National Library Week running through these links.)

In recent deaths, Nobel Laureate Gunter Grass, and one that really tugs at my heartstrings, a literary figure by proxy, actor Jonathan Crombie, who played Gilbert Blythe in the Kevin Sullivan adaptation of Anne of Green Gables. (Here’s what Forever Young Adult had to say.)

This may not be child-friendly, but it’s fan-tastic (get it?).

Just hug your librarians anyway.

Right now I’m absolutely obsessed with Wolf Hall, so the news that… well, just read this for yourself.

And so, so, so many more.

From Camp Friend D:

I think they have been community anchors all along.

From Friend C:

Who wrote, “See how important your work is!” – but this is a viewpoint I hadn’t considered.

From Friend D:

Facts you probably didn’t know about The Great Gatsby.

If it’s done right, it can be very good.

From Friend P:

A new Wrinkle in Time?

From Friend R:

I’m biased, but I agree.

From Mama Bear:

Both Sister A and I got perfect scores. How will you fare?

This may have just decided my next vacation.

Or time it carefully for this?

I will get to these. I promise.

These are the tip of the iceberg.

EW talks with My Birthday Twin about Paper Towns.

My hero, Beverly Cleary, turned an astounding 99 years old earlier this week. YOU GO, BEVERLY CLEARY. FOUR FOR YOU, BEVERLY CLEARY. #meangirls Here are some of her “vintage” covers. I have to put that in quotes because some of the covers are the ones I had growing up, so they’re not quite as vintage as some of the other ones in the link.

Libraries, in any form, are amazing.

Summer reading, essential. Computers, not so much.

READ BANNED BOOKS. As often as you can. And make it a point for people to see you reading banned books. Congratulations to Sherman Alexie for topping the list.

So many terrific choices!

How sad to be remembered for these reasons.

From Sister A:

In other Beverly Cleary news, things every BC fan knows to be true.

Being a feminist in the kids’ section.

Any list about libraries and librarians has to include MatildaPeriod.

Any of your homesteads on here, chickadees?

“Don’t forget Alistair Cookie of Monsterpiece Theater,” she wrote (because she shares a birthday with the real Alistair Cooke.)

Maybe during that vacation to London, I’ll “accidentally” get locked in here.

Mama Bear loves British crime novels. Give her a dead body on a moor, and she’s very happy. Here are 11 new series.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I zoomed through quite a few books recently, helped along by some welcome days off. Sometimes you read two books, back to back, and one is not great, and then the other is super-great, and the comparison is striking. First I read Invisible City, and figured out who the murderer was once all the main characters were introduced, so, meh. But then I read The Arrivals (which would make a great YA crossover, now that I think of it), and loved every page and every character. I demand a sequel.

After that I read an acknowledged rip-off/knock-off/blatant copy/”contemporary retelling” of my favorite book ever ever ever (so much so that the first sentence was “Last night I dreamt I went to [not Manderley] again”), and easily recognized which character was which… interesting, but not necessary to read. Next, speaking of not necessary to read, I read possibly the most depressing book I’ve ever read – and I’ve read Sophie’s Choice – and a YA book to boot. It’s called The Bunker Diary and had zero redeeming value to it, no resolution, no growth… I’m glad it was a quick read because it left such a bitter taste in my mouth.

LUCKILY! Who arrived on my holds list but the hilarious Amy Poehler, praise Beyonce, to cleanse my palate after that. So I read Yes Pleasehooray, which was fun, and then happened to grab a copy of Cary Elwes’ As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride, which I recommend to anyone who loves the movie, loves Cary Elwes (you should on both counts, frankly), or books about moviemaking. Not surprisingly, everyone had a great time making the movie and laughed a lot. Wish I’d been there. I think I’ll watch it tonight.

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