Thursday, May 27, 2010

Monday is a Holiday

Monday is a very important day.  Public schools won't have any classes, the Post Office will be closed, and even the librarians will be taking a break. 

What could possibly keep the wonderful teachers, postal workers, librarians, and other adults away from their jobs? 

Memorial Day!

Memorial Day can trace its roots all the way back to 1866, right after the American Civil War ended.  In the beginning, people called it Decoration Day.  "Memorial Day" didn't become a popular name until many years later.  It was a day to remember the soldiers who had died in the Civil War, and enough people continued to observe the day that the government finally made it federal holiday in 1971.   People celebrated the day for more than one hundred years before it became an official holiday!

In the past, Memorial Day was held on May 30, but workers and students really like having a three-day weekend.  Today, Memorial Day is always held on the last Monday in May, and it's a day to remember soldiers who have died in many wars.  Needham will have services and a parade this year, so you can celebrate, too!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Big Al: a lonely fish

Clements, Andrew (1988). Big Al (Gr. PreS-2)

Al is a big, scary-looking fish.  None of the little fish will get close enough to find out that Al is also the nicest fish you'll ever find in the ocean.  Poor, lonely Al tries everything to disguise himself: he wraps himself in seaweed, he buries himself in sand, and he even tries to change his color.  Still, everyone is frightened by his scary teeth and enormous mouth.  When danger comes along, Big Al finally gets to prove his kindness and bravery.

Big Al's gentle, funny story reminds us that actions speak louder than words--and that looks don't tell us everything about the people around us.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Where's Spot? At the library!

Spot, the Dog, turns 30 years old this year.  To celebrate, Spot is making a special visit to the library to meet all of the wonderful people here.  If you missed seeing Spot last Friday (5/14) or Wednesday (5/19), you still have one more chance to join in the fun. 

Come to the library on Saturday, May 22 at 10:30am for Spot's last library visit before heading home!  There will be stories, songs, crafts, and plenty of time to give Spot a great big hug.  Bring a camera to get a picture with our fun friend!

You can also watch a video of Spot during the storytime on Wednesday.  NeedhamPatch visited the story room, took pictures, and got a great video of the story, a song, and a little game.

Friday, May 14, 2010


The bullying book-list has been newly updated!  There are books about how to deal with bullies, bullies who learn that it isn't fun to be picked on, books for parents, and books for kids.  Click "read more" to see the full list, or come into the children's room to get a paper copy.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Poetry (even for people who don't like poetry)

Not all poems are made the same.  Some rhyme, some don't.  Some are funny, some are serious.  Some are very long, some are really short.  Others, like concrete poems, use words or letters to create shapes and pictures.  Today's review looks at an entire book of concrete poems.

Grandits, John (2004).  Technically, It's Not My Fault (Gr. 4-8)

A school bus that eats children, the autobiography of a fart, an annotated thank you letter for a hideous sweater, and the best excuse for not mowing the lawn are just a few of the poems in this collection.  Each concrete poem is told from the perspective of Robert, an 11-year-old boy who likes skateboards, video games, and tricking the class bully.  The poems are funny, gross, goofy, sarcastic, and insightful--much like a pre-teen boy.  Even readers who don't like poetry can get into these poems.