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Sunday, May 17, 2015

International Museum Day

One of my favorite things to do when I have free time is visit a museum.  I love seeing the dinosaur exhibits, going inside a real submarine, or entering into a garden full of butterflies at the nature museum.  We have so many places to visit where we can learn more about our local history too, like the Chicago History Museum, the Elgin History Museum, Cantigny Park, and the Roselle Public Library.  Then there is the gorgeous artwork at the Art Institute of Chicago.  I could wander around that place for hours.  We are truly blessed to be in an area that is enriched with the cultural opportunities our museums offer.

May 18th is International Museum Day.  May is a beautiful month to begin going on family outings again after the long winter.  The weather is getting nicer and the beautiful sunshine is out making the outside world so inviting with the bright colors of blossoming tulips and the green, green grass.  Did you know that the library offers passes to some of our local museums?  You could go to LegoLand, Brookfield Zoo or the Illinois Railway Museum.  Admission offers vary per museum, but the passes provide library card holders great discounts to visit these local attractions.  I have checked out a few passes myself and have had some great family outings.  Stop in at the "Ask Me" desk in Youth Services and I can help you find a great museum to visit.

The Chicago museums have some upcoming free days too that you can visit with your family.  On
May 21st, the Museum of Science and Industry is offering free admission.  Check out other great opportunities at Chicagoland museums.  With summer quickly approaching, you can plan some great excursions to these wonderful museums set down by beautiful Lake Michigan.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Chocolate Chip Day!

I LOVE chocolate chips!  They're great in cookies, ice cream, pancakes, waffles, brownies and lots of other things.  May 11th is Chocolate Chip Day.  I intend to celebrate it by making some chocolate chip pancakes.  Have you ever made chocolate chip faces in your pancakes?  It's so much fun and delicious to eat.  What a splendid way to start the day.  Later in the day I'll need to make some chocolate chip cookies to share with my friends to help celebrate the day!

Who put the cookie in the cookie jar?  Not me, but I wish I had!  It was Ruth Graves Wakefield, who in the 1930s created the original chocolate chip cookie at her Toll House Inn in Whitman, Massachusetts.  She had run out of baker's chocolate so she decided to use chopped up semi-sweet chocolate morsels and discovered that the pieces didn't melt into the dough as she expected.  It was the birth of chocolate chip cookies as we know them today!  In the United States, 25% of all cookies baked are chocolate chip!

In honor of the day, why not make some chocolate chip cookies with your mom, dad, aunt, grandma, etc?  It can be a delicious dessert after dinner!

Monday, May 11, 2015

What do kites, tulips and bikes have in common?

May is a particularly busy month filled with so many celebrations.  One of my little known favorites is Fly a Kite Day on May 12th.  It makes me think of that great Mary Poppins song, Let's Go Fly a Kite.  I really love the sense of fun and freedom that comes with flying a kite.  It's so awesome when your kite catches the wind and it starts to ascend into the air.  I may not be great at flying kites, but my eyes are always drawn to the sky to follow the bob and weave of a kite and to see how high it can go.  Maybe I'll try making my own kite.  The library has books on how to make your own kite and tricks to flying it successfully.  What a great family project that would be!  The next time the sun is shining and a nice breeze is blowing, why not ask if you can go fly a kite!

While you are flying these kites, you may get attracted to the beautiful tulips that have sprung up in the area.  May 13th is Tulip Day.  I immediately think of the country Holland when I see tulips.  Did you know that there are 109 different types of tulips that can be grown in gardens and parks?  Tulips bloom into vivid colors, announcing spring and reminding me that summer is just around the corner.  Tulips also make me think about planting my flower garden.  There is this great new book the library got a few months ago about planting butterfly gardens.  The title is Super Simple Butterfly Gardens:  A Kid's Guide to Gardening by Alex Kuskowski.  I think I may check it out to inspire me for some gardening ideas.

With summer being around the corner, it's time to dust off my bike, pump up the tires, put my helmet on and take a cruise around the neighborhood looking for those beautiful tulips.  May is National Bike Month and it is celebrated in many communities in the area.  It was established in 1956 for the purpose of sharing the many benefits of bicycling and to encourage more folks to give it a try.  Bike to Work Week is May 11-15, so you may see a lot more people peddling around town.  Maybe I'll even join in and ride my bike to the library that week.  It's a great way to get my exercise and to help preserve the environment.  Just make sure you follow the bike safety rules so that you get to your destination safely.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thanks, Mom!

As Mother’s Day quickly approaches, it’s a time to reflect on how much I appreciate, respect and admire my mom. After all, she is the one who made sure I did my best in school by making sure I finished my homework, kissed my boo-boo’s when I got hurt, and was my biggest cheerleader when I did something great. My mom is also the one who took me to get my own library card. Okay, so I have always been a “book” geek. I LOVE reading! I will read anywhere; in a chair, on the stair, in a train or a plane (I think you get the idea). When I got my own library card, my mom opened up a whole new world for me. After all, when school ended for the summer, where would I get my books? I couldn’t afford to buy new ones every week. I devour books and I don’t mean I eat them, I just read books really fast because I cannot wait to see what happens at the end of them! I remember walking up the stairs to the Youth Services area and seeing rows and rows of books just waiting for me to check them out. Mom made sure I came for story times, puppet shows and of course she signed me up for Summer Reading!

The library is a great place to get ideas to celebrate what a great mom she is! I can check out the many different cookbooks the library has and then plan a great meal for mom. Did you know moms actually enjoy when others do the cooking? But maybe I want to make something special for her. Well, there are lots of books filled with great crafts that I can choose to make for her. Don’t forget about the great drawing books, too. Moms really do love when we make them cards and put our beautiful illustrations on them. So on May 10th, don’t forget to show your mom how much you love and appreciate her. And to my mom, I say thank you for being a great mom!

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Eiffel Tower

Bonjour!  Bienvenue á la tour Eiffel.  I can just imagine hearing those words as I gaze up at the wonder of the 126-year-old structure known as The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.  The tower is named after its creator, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel who built it in 1889 as the entrance arch to the World’s Fair.  Little did he know that this tower would become a cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures on Earth.  It’s included in books like The Magic Tree House:  Night of the new Magicians by Mary Pope Osbourne and in movies like the Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen title, Passport to Paris.   

The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and welcomes almost 7 million visitors a year (75% of the visitors are from another country) making it the most visited monument that you have to pay for in the world.  It is as high as an 81-story building and has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels.  My stomach is starting to rumble at the thought of French food!  And I don’t mean French fries!  The third level is the observatory platform which is 906 feet above the ground.  I hope you aren’t scared of heights!   If you want some great exercise to burn off the calories from the delicious food, you can climb down the 300 stairs from the first level to the ground.  

During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world.  It held that title for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930.  But the tower could not be undone and added an aerial atop the tower in 1957, making it 17 feet taller than the Chrysler Building.  Incredibly, the Eiffel Tower was almost demolished when its 20-year lease on the land expired in 1909, but luckily it was saved due to its value as an antenna for radio transmissions.  I cannot imagine a Paris without it!

So if you’d like to learn about the Eiffel Tower and more about Paris, France and you can’t afford the trip there, the library is quick way to immerse yourself in the culture that is France.  If you love architecture and creating your own buildings with blocks or Legos or simply drawing them, there are lots of books on the subject on our shelves just waiting for you to take them on a trip to your home.  So I bid you adieu until the next time!

Wonders of the World

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A day for a famous mother

“Baa, Baa, black sheep, have you any wool?  Yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full.  One for the master, and one for the dame, and one for the little boy who lived down the lane.”  I can still hear my grandmother singing this Mother Goose nursery rhyme to me when I was little.  May 1st is the day we celebrate Mother Goose.  Did you know that Mother Goose was probably more than one person?  There are many rumors about who “she” might have been, like Queen Bertha of France who had one foot larger than the other and tended to waddle like a goose.  However it’s more likely the rhymes and fairy tales were written by numerous authors, both men and women.   The first published Mother Goose nursery rhymes appeared in England in 1781, but they were passed around for hundreds of years by word of mouth.  The library has a whole series of Mother Goose rhymes for you to enjoy.

Derrick Rose caught reading.

May is also Get Caught Reading month, a nationwide campaign to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read.  Reading Mother Goose rhymes as well as books and magazines actually stimulates a child’s brain to grow.   Reading to children gives them a huge advantage when they start school.  I know I always like my brain stimulated with a good book!  You can take advantage of our wonderful Youth Services librarians and be part of their story times during the summer.  Check out our library calendar for days and times.

There are so many materials to “Get Caught Reading” at the library.  You might catch me reading a new 2016 Monarch, Bluestem or Caudill nominee.  Plus we have so many cool animal books and biographies about famous people.  There are a ton of amazing books to read in Youth Services, sometimes I just want to curl up in a comfy chair and read the day away!  I’d love to catch you reading in the library!

 Mother Goose Books
2016 Monarch Nominees
2016 Bluestem Nominees
2016 Rebecca Caudill Nominees

Friday, April 17, 2015

Celebrate....Plant a Tree

On April 22, a humongous celebration is going to take place with one billion people from 180 countries around the world taking part in it. No, it's not my birthday. It's Earth Day! The Earth is a gigantic place, having a diameter of 7,926 miles and seventy-one percent of it's surface covered by water with the remainder being land surface. It's important for us all to make sure we are doing our best to take care of the Earth so that it will continue to provide for generations to come. That's why back in 1970, Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson and eco-activist Dennis Hayes organized the first Earth Day. As a result, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed at the end of 1970. The EPA has enacted many laws to help our environment, including the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act.

So what can I do to help the Earth you ask? You can start by making sure your family is recycling. If everyone in the United States recycled their newspapers, the lives of 41,000 trees would be spared. Did you know that one SINGLE tree can detoxify the air of up to 60 pounds of pollutants?

Which makes me think of Arbor Day on April 24th. Let me give you a quick language lesson; Arbor in Latin means "Tree Day." In 1872, J. Sterling Morton, the Secretary of Agriculture to President Cleveland, created this environmental holiday where citizens are encouraged to plant trees and care for the already existing ones. During the first Arbor Day, it is estimated that one million trees were planted on that single day! "Plant Trees" was the Morton's family motto. The legacy of the Morton family remains in Lisle, Illinois where their estate was turned into The Morton Arboretum. You totally need to check this place out and take a quiet walk on the 16 miles of hiking trails through the woods. It's an oasis of magnificent trees and beautiful landscapes.

So celebrate this beautiful planet we live on. If you see some litter as you are out for a walk, pick it up and place it in a garbage can or a recycle bin. Spring is a great time to plant a tree or enjoy the beauty of nature by checking out a Museum Pass for Cantigny Park in Wheaton or the Chicago Botanic Gardens in Glencoe.

Earth Day books
Tree books

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