Thursday, September 28, 2006

I've been using this library since the tender age of 5. In that time (as I am now much, much, much older (although I won't say how much)), the library has gone through many changes. I am across the following pictures in a box in the library's attic. What a delight to see how it once was. As we look toward the future of the library and the changes we need to make to improve overall library services, I'm reminded again how dear this library is to me. In grammar school, I came here after school to read and do homework and such. As a child, I thought this building to be the grandest one in town, and I did daydream once or twice about living in the library. (The picture on the upper left was to be my bedroom as the view was quite lovely.) I think that it's true what some folks say about how buildings can evoke feelings. This building - this lovely, dear library - always makes me feel that things are good and right. I do so love this library.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

If you're looking for a fun day trip, I suggest visiting the Portland Headlight and Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. I decided to go on a wim yesterday and it was great! The views are beautiful, I could just stand there (or sit on one of the many benches) and look out at the water for ages. There's a small museum (only $2 admission), I didn't think it was that spectacular but there was a short video playing that I found interesting. There's a gift shop as well with some very nice items, although too expensive for a college student lol. What I liked most about the park was the pathway that led along the water and all the way down to the actual park where there's even a small beach. It was quite the hike! It was very hilly, but there were benches placed strategically throughout that gave excellent views of the lighthouse and water. The beach was awesome, very small, but instead of sand (just a small strip right before the water) there were large, round rocks. Past the beach are some more historical landmarks (Fort Williams) to check out.

If you do decide to go, I advise you NOT to follow the directions on the official website. They look really easy and simple, but after driving around Portland for nearly an hour I realized they weren't. After driving past the Casco Bay bridge for the 3rd time I decided to cross it just for the heck of it, and sure enough there was the sign directing the way to Cape Elizabeth! So frusturating.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

There are lots and lots of firsts in parenthood. One of the best firsts is the first time your child hears a new story. The following are some stories that evoke looks of delight and wonder in the face of my son, Jack (age 4).

"Danny and the Dinosaur" by Syd Hoff. A delightful and timeless early reader from the 1950's, this book is a charming story of a boy who meets a dinosaur in a museum and the day they spend together. Memorable lines include "This is the most fun I've had in a hundred million years."

"Charlie Parker Played BeBop" by Chris Raschka. This was always one of my storytime favorites, and reading it one on one with a child is a total trip. My husband (who plays the drums) loves the lyrical rhythm of reading this story aloud.

"In the Night Kitchen" by Maurice Sendak. Sendak is a master at combining words with illustrations just so. This is my favorite of his stories, as well as being one of Jack's all-time favs. We both appreciate the opportunities for yelling certain lines out loud ("Quiet down there!!").

"My Father's Dragon" by Ruth Stiles Gannett. This is a super first read-aloud for young listeners. I appreciate the author's use of lollipops, hair ribbons and the quiet teaching about the importance of picking up after oneself (especially tangerine peels).

I could go on and on...(but verbose librarians can get tedious...) If you're looking for something new, also check out our Children's Room page for suggestions, or try (Esme Raji Codell's fantastic-fabulous blog... Esme is the author of "How to Get Your Child to Love Reading" and one of my favorite books for older elementary age readers - "Sahara Special.")

I feel as if I'm the only one contributing to this's so lonely :(