Oh, the Thinks You Can Think

Oh No, George!

Some of us are cat people and some of us are dog people. I am a cat person. I am not a dog person. That's not to say I don't like dogs. I do. Really. Long ago, I even shared a home with a sweet beagle for a time. It's just that after that experience, I prefer to enjoy other people's dogs in their homes or parks or even at the library where we have some wonderful dogs come in and visit. But even though I am not a dog person, I still appreciate a good dog story, and recently have enjoyed some delightful stories about dogs.

The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case

Five words on the cover of a new children's book caught my attention, and I knew I had to read it.  One was Mystery (I really like mysteries), one was Cake (I adore cake!), and the other three were Alexander McCall Smith - a favorite author of mine!  McCall Smith explains in an afterword that he felt compelled to explore the childhood of Precious Ramotswe, the heroine of the No.

SO B. IT

So B. It is a very special novel by Sarah Weeks.  Heidi, a twelve year old girl lives in Reno, Nevada with her mentally disabled mother and a quirky neighbor.  Homeschooled by her neighbor, Bernadette, Heidi lives a very unconventional life.  Her mother has a vocabulary of only 23 words,  Bernadette is afraid to leave her apartment, and Heidi's one friend, Zander, is overweight, loves junk food,  and lives in a world of made up stories.

The mysteries of how Heidi and her mother arrived at the apartment, who pays for their apartment, and what her mother's strange word "soof" means,  haunt the reader as well as Heidi.   When Heidi finds a roll of film and has the photos developed they reveal her mother at a Christmas party held at Hilltop Home in Liberty, New York.   Heidi simply cannot rest until she pieces together Mama's past.  She decides she must travel there alone in order to discover who her mother is, and, in the journey she discovers a great deal about herself.  This book is about identity, asking questions, and living both with and without the answers.  A memorable and unusual story,  So B. It would be great for ages 9 and up.

*Selected as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

Look for Early Literacy Spots at the Library

EarlyLitandPatThere are so many everyday opportunities to talk with your young child about letters and numbers and other early literacy concepts -- things your child knows about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. You can point out letters on street signs and store names, or note the numbers on speed limit signs and addresses on buildings. We are reinforcing this idea that developing a child's knowledge of letters, numbers, colors, shapes, sizes, etc. can happen in small ways every day, by creating "Early Literacy Spot" activities throughout the children's area of the Main Library.

Soldier Bear

We librarian types tend to pay a lot of attention to award-winning books, although we can't deny we're often a little disappointed when our personal favorites don't win. The Mildred L. Batchelder award is given each year by the ALA's Association for Library Service to Children "...to the most outstanding children's book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States."

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