Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hobnobbing with Celebrities

Come meet a local celebrity at the library this Saturday, November 1 from 1:30 to 2:30. Acclaimed children's author David Michael Slater will read from his book, Cheese Louise, and if there is time, Missy Swiss. He will then help kids get started writing stories of their own.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Creature Features

Need another reason to dress up the kids in their costumes? Want an excuse for a mid-week date? Drop by the library Thursday, October 30, between 1:30-8:30 p.m. to catch one of our vintage monster movies. You'll see black and white renditions of Frankenstein's monster and the infamous vampire Dracula. Comedians Abbott and Costello have their fun as well. With trivia and snacks, Creature Features will be fun for everyone.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nickel and Dimed: Blue Collar Reality

Nickel and Dimed documents Barbara Ehrenreich's attempt to be financially solvent as a blue-collar service industry worker. In the process, she stares down the same dirty road as millions of Americans, cleaning homes and hotels, waiting tables and working at Wal-Mart. She relates a story which would make a cultural anthropologist proud and deftly avoids being preachy in the process.

I suspect there are writers who would bargain their souls to be able to write with such simple clarity and to make humor and gravity sit together so easily in the same paragraph. If you are interested in social issues, this book will confirm your suspicions and possibly incite you to activism. I would, however, recommend this book to almost anyone, because it is primarily a book about people - a topic that never gets old.

~Charles Dunham

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bad Dog, No Biscuit

Down Girl's owner, Rruff, is very lucky to have her. She wakes him up with kisses before he can be scared by his alarm. She sings along with Rruff while he plays the guitar by the campfire. She and her friend, Sit, protect their masters' hiding places (read: garbage cans) from Here Kitty Kitty. Down Girl and Sit search for their lost owners in stinky leaf piles and scummy creeks. What would Rruff do without Down Girl?

Down Girl and Sit: Smarter Than Squirrels and Down Girl and Sit: On the Road, by Lucy Nolan, are wonderfully entertaining stories from a dog's point of view. You and your child will finally understand why dogs do the things they do. These are easy chapter books with cute pictures on every page. Even though they are appropriate for fairly young chapter book readers, they are also enjoyable for older readers (including adults like myself).

Some other fun, easy books from an animal's point of view include:
  • Runaway Ralph, by Beverly Cleary
  • Birdbrain Amos, by M. C. Delaney
  • Lucky in Left Field, by Betsy Duffey
  • Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery, by Deborah and James Howe
  • Babe, the Gallant Pig, by Dick King-Smith
  • Chester Cricket's Pigeon Ride, by George Selden
  • Stuart Little, by E. B. White

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rain Stomp at the library!

Tigard kids know all about not letting a rainy day get them down. Come celebrate this with Portland author and artist, Addie Boswell, on Sunday October 26th at 1:30pm. Addie will share her fun new book The Rain Stomper, a tribute to playing in the rain. She will also lead kids in a creative activity of their own. So put on your galoshes and join us in the Puett Room for this Weekend Adventure program!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Beyond Books

Did you know that we have a whole collection of Juvenile CD-ROMs available for check-out? They range from electronic story books to educational instruction to educational games to just plain games for fun. Here are just a few:
  • Little Monster at School (J Mayer)
  • Dr. Suess: Green Eggs and Ham (J Seuss)
  • Muppet Babies Preschool Playtime (J 372.21 MUP)
  • The American Sign Language Dictionary on CD-ROM (J 419 STE)
  • Jumpstart Spanish (J 468 JUM)
  • My Amazing Human Body (J 612 MYA)
  • Spy Kids Official Spy Codebook: Mission: The Underground Affair (J 793.932 SPY)
  • I Spy Spooky Mansion (J 794.8 ISP)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Time for School Reports

Now that school is back in full swing, we're starting to see school reports trickle in. May we recommend some of the great online resources available free from your library?

Online resources or databases are collections of reliable, accurate and current information accessed from the convenience of your home or library. Unlike the Internet, where anyone can post whatever they would like, these collections are reviewed and selected for inclusion. These resources offer newspaper and magazine articles, encyclopedia entries, images, and other reference materials.

Just go to the Washington County Cooperative Library Services homepage and click on Online Resources. Under the tabs on the left are headings "For Kids" and "For Youth" or you can always scroll through the full selection under "View All."

There are resources for all age groups and subjects. The World Book collection offers the breadth of an encyclopedia with the ease of keyword searching. Science Online offers everything from current research to science experiments. For state and country reports Culture Grams provides indepth facts with recipes and pictures.

Want a little instruction? Just stop by the Children's or Young Adult Reference Desk for a mini-tutorial for you or your student. These resources are a great way to boost your students research skills.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Creepy Coraline

One of my favorite scary stories is Coraline by Neil Gaiman. Usually known for his graphic novels and comic books, Gaiman's storytelling creates vivid imagery and veiled horror.

Coraline moves with her family into a new apartment, part of a large old house that has been divided. She immediately sets off exploring her surroundings, only to discover a locked door in her apartment. With the turn of a key she finds an apartment that looks exactly like her apartment, except for the strange woman in the kitchen. She calls herself Coraline's mother, except this woman has long fingernails, eats beetles, and has buttons for eyes. Coraline must find a way to escape before this "other" mother makes Coraline her "other" daughter.

While definitely creepy, there is nothing explicitly gruesome about this story, just unsettling. Fans of the movie Monster House and The Nightmare Before Christmas will find this an engaging book companion.

Coraline, which is being made into a movie, has its own website and a trailer for the film. The audio book version, which is read by the author, has an accompanying musical score pitch perfect with the story. A fun family read or listen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Children's Poet Laureate

The Poetry Foundation has announced the new Children's Poet Laureate -- Mary Ann Hoberman. She is the second person to hold this esteemed position. The first was poetry great Jack Prelutsky.

Poetry is one of the wonderful ways to encourage children to have fun with language. Nursery rhymes and songs are early poetry, that introduce youngsters to an early literacy skill -- phonological awareness. Playing with rhymes, words, and phrases increases a child's ability to learn how to read, by understanding that words are made up of sounds. Older children develop their sentence building skills. Children of all ages increase their creativity and imagination.

Stop by the Children's Room and check out the J 811s for books of poetry.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Scary, Spooky and Sick -- Mature Horror Books for Adults Only

We've been poking around the stacks, ever wary for the wandering wails of wayword ghosts, in search of truly terrifying and depraved books to satisfy the spine-tingling craving initiated by sharing saccharin-sweet Halloween tales with the little ones. If you're looking for a book that will keep you up at night - sometimes several nights even after you've finished the story - one of these may be just right for you.

Please remember, these novels are not for the faint of the heart and probably don't want to whip these out when the kids are around and some may even prove too visceral and grotesque for the most courageous readers.

Of course, there's no reason to bypass the standard scribes of the scary if you're looking for a late night fright. Some of the most famous and well-read writers include Stephen King, Anne Rice, Peter Straub, Clive Barker and Dean Koontz. Another author of note with whom you might be less familiar is Bentley Little. His works often take the mundane and familiar, say your local Walmart for example, and turn them into hotbeds of the macabre and shadow cabals.

A search through various Internet forums and discussion groups has also found several books that are so scary they've stayed with their readers far longer than the time they took to read. The following books could be classified as horror, thrillers or science fiction but all of them are haunting and all can be found at the Tigard Public Library (if someone hasn't gotten to them before you):
  • The Ruins - Scott Smith
  • The Terror - Dan Simmons
  • American Psycho: A Novel - Bret Easton Ellis
  • Infected: A Novel - Scott Sigler
  • Lost Boy Lost Girl: A Novel - Peter Straub
  • Lullaby - Chuck Palahniuk
  • Boy's Life - Robert McCammon
  • The Woman in Black - Susan Hill
  • Black Hole - Charles Burns (Graphic Novel)
If you find that reading isn't quite chilling enough, we highly recommend you look into downloading an audio book from our free Library2Go service. Once you login with your valid WCCLS library card, you can choose "Mystery & Suspense" from their fiction sidebar and browse more than 700 titles -- some of which you're even able to burn to a CD to take on the go with you.

If the above options leave you shaking in your boots, you might want to consider these top 10 lessons for surviving a zombie attach from The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks, also available in the TPL:
  1. Organize before they rise!
  2. They feel no fear, why should you?
  3. Use your head: cut off theirs.
  4. Blades don’t need reloading.
  5. Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair.
  6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
  7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
  8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
  9. No place is safe, only safer.
  10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.

~Darren Heiber

Friday, October 10, 2008

Marvelous Maurice

Attention all you Maurice Sendak fans: In honor of Banned Books Week, we have been displaying the work of the beloved author of Where the Wild Things Are and Mickey in the Night Kitchen in the display case in front of the Puett Room and along the shelves that house the juvenile music collection. You may be surprised at the number of books that Mr. Sendak wrote, illustrated, and collaborated on. Come by to check out these books soon; the display will not be up much longer!

Our next display will feature the work of Kevin Henkes, author of Olives Ocean, Lilly's Purple, Plastic Purse, and Owen.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New Non-Fiction!

We check in new books all the time. Here are a few of the new non-fiction for kids that caught my eye.

Big Brown Bat by Rick Chrustowski (J 599.47 CHR). This is great introduction to bats, with soft illustrations and a simple storyline. Readers follow a bat from pup (which is what the little ones are called) to independent adult. For ages 5-8.

Dr. Frankenstein's Human Body Book by Richard Walker (J 611 DRF).
This DK guide is a "monster," with plenty of diagrams, real pictures, and snipets of information. On heavy board paper, this is perfect for budding scientists to explore on their own or with a grown-up. For ages 5-12.

A Year at a Construction Site by Nicholas Harris (J 690). Follow construction workers as the build a new school. With plenty of detail and hidden objects to find, this book is great for youngsters who love heavy equipment, demolition and contstruction. Ages 4-10, for reading together or independent reading.

Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars by Douglas Florian (J 811.54 FLO). I really like Florian's artistry, both with words and illustrations. With page cutouts, collage, and quirky poems, this is a great book for sparking interest in space. Pair with other non-fiction books about the planets and all things out-of-this-world. For all ages.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Books for Sale!

It's time for the Friends of the Tigard Library semi-annual Book Sale! Build up your home library with the great deals offered at the sale.

When : Friday, October 10 from 9 am - 5 pm
Saturday, October 11 from 9 am -3 pm

Where: Library Community Room

What: used books, DVDs, CDs

Funds from the sale support Tigard Library programs and projects (like our book clubs).

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Letters about Literature Contest

Do you have a reader in your family who has a profound love for a certain book or author? Perhaps your child reads every book her favorite author publishes, or perhaps a book inspired her to do or believe something new. Well, your children may be interested in participating in a national contest, possibly winning prizes for themselves and their school libraries. Youths in grades 4th-12th are invited to participate, and all they must do is write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, explaining how that author's work changed the student's way of thinking about the world or themselves. Find out more about the contest and download submission forms here:

Write on!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Coming up this weekend

Are you looking for something to do Saturday from 1:30 to 2:30? Saturday, October 4 is World Card-Making Day, and the Tigard Library is celebrating by...any guesses? You got it. Making cards! People of all ages will be able to make their own cards and envelopes. We provide the materials, you just bring your creativity.