Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Babies need books too!

I was just catching up on my blog reading, and this post on Book Moot reminded me of one of the most important pieces of furniture in an infant's room: book shelves! Baby showers are a great opportunity to help a loved one start a library for their little one(s), and board books are the way to go. Board books often have just the right high-contrast pictures and minimal, rhythmic text to support very early literacy, and their thick, sturdy pages are perfect for the gooey fingers of little people who are just beginning to develop fine motor skills. So, give your babies books! And make sure they are on a low shelf, a crate, or even a basket for easy access once independent mobility ensues.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Get Gaming

Family getting bored? Escape after-holiday dreariness with a trip to the library. Monday, December 28, bring the whole crew to our Family Game Fest from 2-4 p.m. in the Community Room. Do a little Dance, Dance, Revolution, or maybe bowl a few games on the Wii, or enjoy a good old-fashioned board game. Definitely fun and completely free.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blessing's Bead

I love stories that span multiple generations. This one starts in the early 20th century in a remote Eskimo village and is from the point of view of a young girl, Nutaaq. She is saying goodbye to her older sister, and the one thing she has to hang on to is a lovely blue bead. The bead was a gift to her sister from her new Siberian husband, which her sister has now given to Nutaaq to keep until they meet again. But a plague rages through the land and Nutaaq is one of the few survivors, not knowing whether her sister survived or not.

Fast forward two generations, and Nutaaq's great-great-granddaughter, Blessing, happens upon the blue bead when going through her grandmother's things. Blessing has just been sent to live with her grandmother, who she hardly knows, while her mother is in rehab. The bead becomes sort of a security item for Blessing, and her grandmother does not know she has it. As she comes to terms with some losses in her life, she also gains understanding of her Inupiaq Eskimo heritage.

I don't feel like my short summary really does the book justice, but I LOVED this book. It is in our Young Adult collection, but I also think it is appropriate for upper elementary-aged kids.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Huichol Yarn Art

Join us for our Weekend Adventure, Huichol Yarn Art in the Puett Room from 1:30 to 2:30 on Saturday, Dec. 19. This is one of my favorite crafts I've done in a long time, and I hope you enjoy it, too.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

All-ages Animanga

Looking for something to do with your kiddos during the break? Join us for All-ages Animanga on Wednesday, December 23 from 4-6 p.m. in the Community Room. We will be watching Kiki's Delivery Service, another great film from Studio Ghibli. We'll also play some Nintendo Wii, snack on Japanese treats and have some film-related games and prizes. 'Tis a jolly good time for the whole family!

Monday, December 14, 2009

How Do You Say...?

If you're like me you studied a language in high school or college. Now, I'm lucky if I can remember a few words, much less grammar, sentences and verbs. 

Maybe you want to learn Italian for trip, or Spanish for work. Maybe your youngster has asked about other languages and wants to try it out.

You're in luck because the library now offers Mango Languages. With twelve languages to choose from, you'll learn grammar, vocabulary, and verbs through listening and written exercises.  Best of's free (we've already paid for it!). You can even create an account to track your progress over time.

Mango Languages is one of the online resources brought to you through Washington County Cooperative Library Services.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mitten Weather

Our Mitten Tree moved into the Puett Room last week and is already blossoming with mitten donations. All month you and yours can bring donations of mittens, scarves and other warm things to our tree and we, in turn, will deliver these to the Good Neighbor Center. 

Here are a couple of mitten stories in honor of our tree.

Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London. As adorable as ever, Froggy decides that he needs to play in the snow (even though frogs sleep through winter). He attempts to get outside and play, but keeps forgetting to put on all of his clothes. Lots of fun sounds and a fantastic punch line.
A Hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Stoeke.  Minerva wants to explore outside, but it's a little cold. This is a great story for audience participation, with plenty of misunderstandings to laugh at.

Knitty Kitty by David Elliott. Knitty Kitty knits warm things for her little kittens. Beautiful rhyming text and an "Ahhh" ending.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Help Others and Help Yourself With Our Food-for-Fines Drive

Guess what! Thanks to last year's resounding success, we're holding our second Food-for-Fines drive Sunday, Dec. 6 through Saturday, Dec. 12. Food collected will be donated to a Tigard food pantry to be distributed to local families in need.

The Library initiated the Food for Fines program last year to assist patrons and others hit hard by the recession. Library users donated 2,493 pounds of food while the Library waived nearly $1,000 in fines.

Here's what you need to know if you want to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity: Every two non-perishable food items donated will equal $1 in fines. A maximum of $10 per account may be waived with food donations, but patrons may contribute as many food items as they wish. The library will also accept cash donations to the food pantry (but these won't count against your library fines). Donated food will be used only toward payment of fines—not for damaged or lost items, or accounts that have been sent to collections.

Acceptable donations include:

  • Canned meats (tuna, chicken, salmon etc.)
  • Canned and box meals (chili, soup, macaroni and cheese etc.)
  • Peanut butter
  • Pasta, rice, cereal
  • Canned fruits
  • 100% fruit juice

It's important to remember that the Library will not accept unlabeled or rusty cans, homemade, perishable or open items.

If you've got any questions don't hesitate to call us at 503-684-6537 or log onto our main website at

Monday, November 30, 2009

Giving Books

Need gift giving ideas? I'm pretty partial to this list of books paired with related items and arranged by age group (tiny tots to teens!). With 105 book titles to choose from (non-fiction and fiction) there's bound to be something for the youngsters you know. Thanks to MotherReader for developing the list!

I'm thinking Scaredy Squirrel with an emergency kit, nuts and a flying squirrel puppet, if such a thing exists.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Animal Weather

Some animals just seem happier at certain times of the year. Frogs seem to croak more on summer nights, birds frolick in spring sunshine and deers seem to love the moments inbetween night and day.

The picture book If Frogs Made Weather by Marion Dane Bauer examines these animal preferences in simple beautiful text and illustrations. Each spread feature an animal at what weather one supposes they would select if they could.

"If geese made weather, / leaves would flare / in the bright blue air. / Frost would tip the lawn. / And the sky would sigh / with the lonely cry of / 'Going. Going. Gone.' "

Perfect for preschoolers and grade schoolers alike, this is a great introduction to animals and their habitats. The art itself combines layered paper to create fantastic texture, something gradeschoolers could mimic in their own art.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Animal Love

Awhile back I posted books by child author, Isabella Hatkoff. They are all stories about remarkable animals. I have run across other books about animals and their special relationships with humans, animals of their own species, or animals outside of their species. I think they're worth sharing.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jigsaw Jubilee

Like puzzles? Want to make your own? This Saturday from 1:30 to 2:30 in the Puett Room we will be making our own jigsaw puzzles. Come join the fun!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Picture Books for Bigger Kids

Children who are learning to read still enjoy being read to. Picture books often include difficult "rare" words (ones not often used in conversation) which helps their vocabulary and comphrehension skills. Here are some picture books that are great for 1st through 3rd graders.

The Hat by Jan Brett A young girl starts silliness when she airs out her woolen clothes for the winter.

The Mysterious Tadpole by Steven Kellogg It doesn't take long for Louis to realize that he tadpole is not a frog.

Trust Me, Mom! by Angela McAllister Ollie takes his first solo trip to the store, only to find out that his mom didn't warn him about ghosts, witches and aliens!

The Last Badge by George McClements Samuel has earned every badge exept one -- the Moon Frog Badge. Can he earn it and enter his families' book of Scouting Greatness?

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watts Squirrel is frightened of everything and never leaves his tree, until a fortunate accident has him trying out new things.

Know others? Share in the comments.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

National Gaming Day: A Gathering of the Ages

Calling all generations: Celebrate the American Library Association's National Gaming Day at the library on Friday, November 13.
Grandparents grab your grandkids to mingle and play at the Library!
Join us for Board Games, Bingo, Chess, Nintendo Wii, and swing dance and music.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Where is it?

I love the simple picture book Where's Spot? by Eric Hill. Spot's father searches for him everywhere. With each lift-the-flap, he finds a different animal but not Spot.

In addition to reading the words on a page, having a conversation about what you see and think is important as well. For example, "Spot's not under the rug. What is under the rug? What noise does he make?" If you see your child interested in something in particular on the page, focus your questions and answers on that. Even if your child doesn't answer, you can do so saying, "That's right. That is a snake, a green snake, hiding under the rug." This builds vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Continue these skills by playing a game around your house. Pick an object familiar to the child and go on a search for it. Look for it under the sink, behind the sofa, in a cooking pot, under the bed, or wherever else. Wait for your little one's response and then answer them.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Friendship Between the Spinach Eater and Hip Shaker

Qualm (quahm, quawm)
a sudden feeling of apprehensive uneasiness; misgiving

Reminisce (rem-uh-NIS)
to recall past experiences, events, etc.

Popeye lives with his grandmother who exercises her brain by constantly reciting the chronological order of all the English kings and queens, and exercises Popeye's brain by teaching him a new word every week, including the ones listed above. After a bunch of rainy days, Popeye is going to go crazy if he has to stay in his house any longer. On a day that seems just like any other, he and his big dog, Boo, meet Elvis. In fact, that day is not just like any other. Popeye, Boo, and Elvis venture further than Popeye's grandma allows him and explore the woods near where he has always lived. But this time, Popeye sees something he has never seen before: a cardboard boat, and it has a message in it! What could this mysterious message mean? Who could be sending it? Will Popeye get in trouble for going further than he is supposed to?

As an adult, The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis, by Barbara O'Connor, made me reminisce about when I was a child and I could completely remember what it felt like to experience the excitement of a child over such seemingly small things. I know I would have loved this book as a child, and I have absolutely no qualms about recommending this book for kids. I loved it and I think your kids will, too. I'm thinking it would be good for 3rd grade and up.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Almost Astronauts

In 1961, thirteen women pilots underwent testing to examine if they were made of the "right stuff" to be astronauts. They passed with flying colors, handling the pressure, stress, isolation and disorientation better than they male counterparts. And then the government said they were incapable of becoming astronauts, because of their gender.

This is their story told in a powerful new non-fiction book Almost Astronauts:13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone. Stopped from their dream by jealousy, prejudice and unwritten rules, these women never accepted their fate. A powerful story for anyone wanting an understanding of America's quest for space.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Written by Kids

Have your kids shown interest in writing and publishing their own books? If so, they are not alone. In fact, there have been a few quite successful child authors in recent years that they could use as inspiration. Take a look:

  • Penda Diakite, Portland author of the children's picture book, I Lost My Tooth in Africa
  • Isamu Fukui, author of the Truancy series for young adults
  • Alec Greven, author of the How To Talk To... books for elementary-aged children, starting with How to Talk to Girls
  • Isabella Hatkoff, author of several true stories about amazing animals, great books for young and older readers alike
  • Cayla Kluver, fantasy author for young adults
  • Christopher Paolini, author of the popular Eragon series for upper elementary and older kids

New Potty Kits Have Arrived!

Thanks to WCCLS, the library has acquired six brand new potty kits! The Youth Sevices staff here at the library are very excited about them because they are all gender neutral. So parents no longer have to wait for a gender specific bag! The kits contain eight fantastic resources for you and your child. The kits contain six picture books, one DVD, and one book for parents.

The contents for children include:
A Potty for Me! By Karen Katz
Even Firefighters go to the Potty: A Potty Training Lift-the-Flap Story By Wendy Wax
Everyone Poops By Taro Gomi
No More Diapers for Ducky! By Bernette Ford and Sam Williams
On Top of the Potty and Other Get-Up-and-Go Songs by Alan Katz and David Catrow
Time to Pee! By Mo Willems
Go Potty Go! For Boys and Girls DVD

And for parents:
Keys to Toilet Training, 2nd edition by Meg Zweiback

Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Versions of Old Tales

One of the story times that I most looked forward to was New Versions of Old Tales. I told the stories of the Three Little Pigs and Rapunzel, and then read books that were twists on those well-known tales. In fact, after the story of Rapunzel, I had one little girl tell me "I'm scared." It turns out that my crowd was a little young to really appreciate the fairy tales and their silly counterparts. The books are so much fun I thought I would share some titles with parents whose kids are old enough to be familiar with some of the traditional fairy tales and who might appreciate an alternate version.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Calling all Diary of a Wimpy Kid Fans!

Parents, did you know that yesterday (Monday the 12th) was the release of the 4th installment of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book? It is called Dog Days and it picks up where we last saw Greg and Rowley, hanging out at the country club. I won't say what happens next because I don't want to give it away! But, I will say I stayed up until almost 1 am last night reading it, and the laughs kept coming!

In recognition of this new release, we have Diary of a Wimpy Kid goodies to giveaway. Kids can come visit the juvenile fiction area in the library and pick up some take home activity sheets, and a bookmark, and other fun goodies (while supplies last, of course), and they are going fast! Just look for the great big Greg Heffley standee, and that's where you'll find all the fun goodies!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Health Care for Tigard-Tualatin students

While at the Tigard High School bask to school night, I learned about a wonderful resource for Tigard/Tualatin students and staff. Affordable health care! The School-Based Health Center at Tigard High School supplies medical and mental health services to students and TTSD staff, regardless of their ability to pay. Please find out more here:

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Shape of Things

Letter Knowledge • One of the first steps of learning the letters is understanding shapes, since shapes make up letters. Notice shapes around you.

Scavenger Hunt •Pick a shape (circle, square, triangle). Hunt through your house for things with that shape. Count them as you go. If you can, take a picture of each item and make a shape book with your photos.

Creeping Caterpillars! •Caterpillars change their shape. Cut several circles out a plain paper. Have your child color them. Glue the circles together to make a caterpillar.
Books with Shape

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Music in Books

I just finished reading The Magician's Elephant, the newest book by Kate DiCamillo. It kept striking me how I could totally imagine this book as a musical. I heard through the grapevine, in fact, that it is going to be turned into a movie, so I'll be very disappointed if it is not a musical. I'm actually not going to review this book for this post, although it is a good read for elementary kids who would enjoy a fantastical story about family ties, caring for others, and magic.

Anyway, the book made me think of other books that also incorporate music into them. Jane Cabrera, Iza Trapani, and Nadine Westcott (author and/or illustrator), have turned many children's songs into picture books. Even if your child can't read yet, s/he will likely know the songs in these books and be able to "read" right along with you while you sing the words on the pages. This feeling of mastery will encourage your child's enjoyment of books.

Here are just a few more of my very favorite books that are also songs. Your kids may not know these songs, but they sure are beautiful books!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Celebrate Banned Books Week

Thanks to Omnivoracious for the link! See our displays and booklists for more information.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Mixed Up Files

This month's Super Readers book was The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. Twelve year old Claudia decides she's had enough of home and runs away with her little brother to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While there, they discover a mystery surrounding a small sculpture. This story is a fantastic family read, combining family dynamics, adventure, investigation and secrets.

Things to talk about...

What's fair? Are Claudia's chores fair? Is it fair to her parents for her to run away?
Why are secrets so exciting? Is it still fun if nobody knows you have a secret?
Where would you like to run away to? (This is a question for grownups too!)


Eat peanut butter crackers and chocolate bars.
Check out an art book, like Name That Style and The Art Book for Children, and look at art together.
Create your own masterpieces using yarn, fingerpaints, clay or anything else you have handy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Early Literacy, Ch. 6: Vocabulary

Last but not least is the early literacy skill, Vocabulary. That kind of speaks for itself. Children who are developing this early literacy skill are increasing the number of words they know.

Here are some ways you can help increase your child's vocabulary:

  • Just read a book. Did you know that books have 3 times as many rare words in them than just regular conversation?
  • Don't simplify hard words when reading; instead, explain them.
  • Practice dialogic reading. What, you may ask, is dialogic reading? Basically, it is having a conversation about what you are reading. Include your child in the story. Ask open-ended questions about what they see in the pictures and what they hear in the words you are reading.
And that brings us to the end of my little lessons on Early Literacy. Until next time...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

With Fresh Eyes

I loved this post over at Booklights* (which if you don't follow, you should!) about which titles we read as children we wish we could read again for the first time. You know, those stories that just seemed so amazing and you couldn't wait to turn the page.

Add your favs in the comments below!

*Booklights is a fabulous blog sponsored by PBS by several children's book experts with book ideas, reading tips and much, much more.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Early Literacy, Ch. 5: Print Awareness

Now on to our next Early Literacy skill, Print Awareness. Children with this skill know how books work. They know the front of the book from the back, the direction the print usually flows, and upside-down vs. right-side-up. I still always get excited when my 21-month-old son picks up a book and turns it around so that it is facing the right direction. I also love when he then looks at the cover, throws it down, and picks another book. He definitely has his definite preferences according to his mood. But that's another story, and I'm sure you don't want to hear me prattling on about my little boy.

Things you can do to encourage your child's development of Print Awareness:
  • Get one of those little photo albums that fits one picture per page (you can find them at a dollar store). Take some pictures of your child's favorite people and things and then type or write up one- or two-word labels to put in the other sleeve that faces that picture.
  • Leave books in places where they are available for your child to experience in his/her own way, not way up on a forbidden shelf.
  • Let your child help with the grocery list, even though s/he don't know how to write or spell yet. Just remember what s/he told you for each thing s/he wrote down, because the scribbles will probably only make sense to him/her.

Join me in a couple of weeks with my final installment of Early Literacy, Ch. 6: Vocabulary.

Monday, August 31, 2009

News, News, News

So if you haven't seen it online yet...the new fall schedule is out! You can pick up your copy in the library or check it out here. New this fall...a second Family Story Time on Fridays (now 10:30 and 11:30), a second Preschool Story Time on Thursdays (1:30, in addition to Mondays at 10:30) and a special monthly story time for children with special needs. As always, we're offering fantastic Weekend Adventures, Super Tuesdays and special events.

In reading world news...Reading Rainbow will be off the air shortly. Have no fear, you can still check out episodes at your library.

You or your kids fans of The Series of Unfortunate Events? If so, glad tidings for you, as Lemony announces that there is a new series in the works. Bad news...not until 2012!

Fall means new events for grown ups as well. Check out the full offerings here, or pick up a schedule at the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor. Highlights include book groups, computer classes, job seeker classes, music and movies.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dogs & Tales

Do you have a child who could use a helping "paw" with reading? The library's Dogs & Tales program starts again on September 9th. What's Dogs & Tales you ask? Every Wednesday evening from 6-7:30 two pet therapy teams come to the library so that kids in Kindergarten through 5th grade have a chance to read to a dog! Did you know dogs are non-judgemental, kind and attentive listeners? Yup, and ours sure love books, and kids too. If you are interested in signing your child up for a 20-minute time slot, or you just want to know more about this cool program, please call 503-684-6537 and ask for the Children's department. We register up to two weeks in advance. To quote one of our seven-year-old Dogs & Tales regulars: "When I have to read in class at school and I get nervous, I just pretend that I am reading to one of the dogs and I feel better!"

Monday, August 24, 2009

So What Do You Want?

This blog is almost a year old! How did that happen?! Time for a mini-review.

What do you like? What do you wish we would talk about? What do you want us to cover? Comment away!

(For example...We're thinking of putting up audio files to the songs we sing at story times. Interested?)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Birthday, Library!

Five years ago, library staff, patrons and volunteers helped to move the library into its new building. Since the move, the library has added programs, hours and a lot more books (and stuff!). You are checking out 2x as many books now (over 1.2 million last year alone versus around 600,000 then).

Help us celebrate at our birthday party, this Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Enjoy music, games, crafts, and of course, cake! You can also get a behind the scenes tour of the library. While you're there, test your library knowledge with our trivia to win some fabulous prizes.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Early Literacy, Ch. 4: Print Motivation

And so we continue with another installment of Early Literacy. Print Motivation. I realized I've already talked some about Print Motivation, but in the interest of continuing with my little Early Literacy mini-lectures, I'll repeat myself. Kids who have the skill of print motivation like books. Yes, liking books is actually considered a skill. You may ask, "How do I encourage print motivation in my child?" Depending on your child, this may be the easiest skill to master, or it may be the most difficult. Try some of these things:
  • Find a time to read when you are BOTH in a good, relaxed mood. Do NOT try to force your child to read.
  • Help your child find books that interest him/her. It's even OK if s/he wants to read the same book over and over again. That's actually normal.
  • Find ways that will involve your child in the story. For examle, repetition is great; your child will love joining in and feeling extra smart because s/he knows what to say along with the story. Stories that involve the audience in some way are good, too. Think Mo Willems' Pigeon books.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Join the (Book) Club!

Registration for the library's book clubs is getting started. Space is limited, so registration is required. Call the Children's Desk or stop by to reserve a spot!

Kids Book Club (1st-4th graders) Meetings at 3:30 on the 4th Monday or Tuesday of every month

Each month kids read a different book nominated for the Beverly Cleary Children's Choice Award. At the end of the year, they get to vote on their top pick! Each meeting features book discussion and fun activities.

Super Readers (4th-6th graders) Meetings at 4 on the 3rd Tuesday of every month

These readers read a bit of everything in this fun club. They meet to talk about the book with other readers and enjoy crafts and activities.

Teen BookTRON (6th-12th graders) First meeting on Sept. 17 at 4:30

Reading Young Readers Choice Award nominees, the teens enjoy book discussion, crafts and activities.

And adults, don't forget the library offers two book clubs for you too! The Morning Book Group meets at 10:30 on the second Tuesday of each month. The Evening Book Group meets at 7 pm on the fourth Wednesday of every month. Check out the library's page for more grown up events!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fat Cats, Cow Birthdays, and Rhyming Dust Bunnies???

Time for me to share another of my recent favorite picture book authors and illustrators: Jan Thomas. He (or she, not sure which) has a very recognizable style with silly, cartoon animals. The books are all very short and very silly. His (or her) newest is called Can You Make a Scary Face? It's all about pretending and it will get your child standing up and sitting down, chasing a tickly bug off her nose and into her mouth, and scaring away a giant frog. It's got a great and yes, silly, ending that I won't give away. And if you can't get enough of the first Rhyming Dust Bunnies, a new Dust Bunnies book, Here Comes the Big, Mean, Dust Bunny, is coming out in November.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Favorite New Picture Books

Want to move beyond train and princess books? Love Eric Carle but can't bear to read The Very Hungry Caterpillar one more time? Check out some of these shiny new picture books that have recently been added to our collection. Clicking on the title will link you to our catalog where you can check availability or place a hold. Happy Reading!

Birds by Kevin Henkes

Fascinated by the colors, shapes, sounds, and movements of the many different birds she sees through her window, a little girl is happy to discover that she and they have something in common.

Dragon Is Coming! by Valeri Gorbachev

Mouse Frightens all of the animals she sees by shouting that a dragon is going to eat the sun, and then come after them.

Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney

Llama llama experiences separation anxiety on his first day of nursery school.

Martha Doesn't Say Sorry by Samantha Berger

Martha is ready to do just about anything - except say those three little words: I am sorry. Will this sweet but stubborn otter learn the ultimately rewarding feeling that comes with apologizing?

The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett

Duck is trying to hatch the oddest egg of all.

Scaredy comes up with a Bad Action Plan to avoid sleep but between counting stars, playing cymbals and making scrapbooks, disaster still strikes and exhaustion takes its toll. Will Scaredy find sweet dreams?

Zoo Day, Ole!: A Counting Book by Phillis Gershator

Abuelita takes her granddaughter to the zoo in this bilingual book. They have fun counting the animals and other things that they see. Dos squirrels running! Tres bears standing! Cuatro seals splashing!