Quick Picks from CMCL

April 24, 2014

Kid’s Corner: Celebrating Earth Day with School Age Kids and Teens!

Filed under: Kid's Corner — Tags: , — jennytf @ 10:50 am


“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” -Jane Goodall

If you think about it, every day is Earth Day! Try the books and websites below and find a way to make a difference in the world! These are wonderful choices for upper elementary school age and older.

Books for Older Kids and Teens


Tracking trash: flotsam, jetsam, and the science of ocean motion by Loree Griffin Burns
Describes the work of a man who tracks trash as it travels great distances by way of ocean currents.

The Manatee Scientists: Saving Vulnerable Species by Peter Lourie
Highlights the work scientists are doing to protect the manatee, an endangered species.

The Gorilla Doctors: Saving Endangered Great Apes by Pamela Turner
Mountain gorillas are one of the most endangered species in the world. Now they are facing a new threat, from the very tourism that is helping to protect them: exposure to human disease. This is the story of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project and its work to provide medical care to the gorillas.

Hive Detectives: Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe by Loree Griffin Burns
Join bee keepers and bee scientists as the investigate the deadly scourge of today’s bee populations-hive colapse.

The Chimpanzees I Love: Saving Their World and Ours by Jane Goodall
Dr. Jane Goodall recounts the exciting adventure of her work with chimpanzees, now an endangered species.


Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy’s attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.

Scat by Carl Hiaasen
Nick and his friend Marta decide to investigate when a mysterious fire starts near a Florida wildlife preserve and an unpopular teacher goes missing.

Flush by Carl Hiaasen
With their father jailed for sinking a river boat, Noah Underwood and his younger sister, Abbey, must gather evidence that the owner of this floating casino is emptying his bilge tanks into the protected waters around their Florida Keys home.

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer
Luc is an orphan, until he meets a Professor who claims to be studying chimpanzees, and they head off into the jungle–but when the Professor disappears, Luc has to fend for himself and join forces with the chimps to save their forest.

Online Resources

Earth Day Printables from TIME for Kids: Read about Earth Day projects, calculate your daily water use, learn about sources of energy in the U.S., and more! (K-6)

The Greening STEM Toolkit from the National Envirionmental Education Foundation. This is a 20 page PDF document full of ideas to increase environmental knowledge in K-12 students. It includes projects on gardens, climate, weather, energy efficiency and water resources.

Jane Goodall Institute Learn how to take action helping the environment in your community through the Roots and Shoots program.

-Jenny F.

April 23, 2014

Straight Out Of The Box: Turkish Towel, Sea Sacs, and All Things Seaweed

Filed under: Info, Straight Out of the Box — Tags: , , , — ErinM @ 8:33 am

Jacket1Green Rope, Cat’s Tongue, Feather Boa Kelp… the descriptive, common names for vegetation growing in the ocean, far from our gaze. Thanks to Josie Iselin and her new book An Ocean Garden: the Secret Life of Seaweed, we get to see the beauty of these plants, before they end up as bric-a-brac on the beach. — Erin

seaweed 3 seaweed 2  seaweed 1

April 22, 2014

In the Know: Celebrate Earth Day Every Day

Filed under: In the Know, Movies — Tags: — LGP @ 6:03 pm

Liwiserrecyclebraries help patrons celebrate Earth Day every day by sharing resources community-wide, whether it’s books and media, or offering a place for people to gather and share ideas. This week we’ll be highlighting sustainable practices and ideas — check out this event and more at Cedar Mill Library!

See “Dirt! The Movie” This Friday, April 25, 7 – 8 PM.

Join us for a screening of “Dirt! The Movie”, a documentary about the little-known relationship between humans and the often-unappreciated material beneath our feet. It’s a witty and humorous look at what dirt is, where it comes from, and why it’s important to everyone. Find out more about the film and come by for a great discussion!

Sponsored by the Washington County Sustainability Program – find out more Earth Day-related events here.

Volunteer at a cleanup event with SOLV(E)


Find books to share with your kids about sustainability and the Earth

Kids Corner: Thank You Earth! – suggested picture books for kids

Sustainable Gardening Ideas from the library

Edible Gardens


Blurbs From the Branch: Another Excellent Mystery by Preston & Child

whitefireThe latest collaboration between Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child is called White Fire. It features Agent Aloysius Pendergast, a main character from many their other books. This is the 13th Agent Pendergast book they have written.

Agent Pendergast is a tall, pale imposing figure, always dressed impeccably in a black suit. He is a genius reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, able to discern clues from a crime scene. Sherlock Holmes has clearly been an influence for Preston and Child as they’ve developed this character, and in this book they even wrote their own Sherlock Homes story which they incorporated into the plot.

The story opens at a luncheon in 1889 which includes, among others, Oscar Wilde and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Oscar Wilde relates a story which we don’t get to hear, but includes details so gruesome it sickens Arthur Conan Doyle with revulsion, even though he is a doctor. The story he tells him relates to some miners killed by a grizzly bear in Roaring Fork Colorado.

Then we move to the present when Corrie Swanson, a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, is looking for a topic for her thesis. She decides to investigate the 150 year old murders of the miners at Roaring Fork. She ends up getting into much more than she bargained for, and Agent Pendergast, who has been a mentor for Corrie, gets involved. Pendergast uses the story told to Arthur Conan Doyle and an unpublished Sherlock Holmes story, along with Corrie’s forensic investigations, to help solve the mystery of what happened to the miners.

It is not necessary to read the Agent Pendergast books in order, and this one certainly stands alone. However, the books include recurring characters and storylines that might be helpful to be familiar with before reading this one. This has been one of my favorite books in the series, and if you haven’t read them, this would be a good place to start. I loved the inclusion of the Sherlock Holmes story; it could have been written by Arthur Conan Doyle. I found this book very enjoyable and would recommend it to anyone interested in a thrilling detective story.


April 18, 2014

Checking In: Spy Thrillers

ipcressI’ve been on a spy thriller kick recently, first inspired by the classic BBC miniseries adaptation of John Le Carre’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and fueled by the more modern flair of Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon novels. Somewhere in the middle of all this cloak and dagger, I decided the list was getting long enough that I’d better share a few of the better ones here. A couple of them have even been adapted to the screen!

It was recently recommended that I read Len Deighton’s “The IPCRESS File,” and I decided to put it next on my list. I had just finished a pair of James Bond books, which are practically parody as far as the world of spycraft goes, and I was hoping for something with a little more grit and realism to it. The IPCRESS File, delivering a great mix of classic spooks and strange, fantastic science, is now near the top of my list as far as favorite spy novels go. IPCRESS follows a nameless narrator, who has worked for British military intelligence his entire adult life. In stark contrast to action packed, bullet-spitting, lady-bedding, martini-drinking James Bond, our narrator is an awkward man, sarcastic and self-deprecating, and sometimes even a little bit naive. He’s paranoid, far less sure of himself than Mister Bond, and is not at all accustomed to killing or death, despite the occasional necessity of the act. At the beginning of the novel, he is transferred to a different, more secret and elite branch of intelligence to work with a man named Dalby. What happens next is for you to discover, but I can say it is full of chasing and betrayal with a hefty dose of conspiracy. AND, this is also one of those books where the film is just as good- if not better! Featuring a young Michael Caine as the main character (who receives a name – Harry Palmer – for the film), the plot was tweaked in all the right ways and none of the wrong ones.

bondspinesSince I feel bad for knocking on James Bond back there, I’d better feature him as well. In the early Cold War days, Ian Fleming decided to take a distinct anti-Communist slant and invent James Bond, the ultimate Western spy. Most of you have certainly seen him portrayed by one or more super suave British men in the plethora of films that have been made, but reading the novels is a different experience entirely. Bond reads more like a well-written pulp novel than a complex thriller, but that makes the novels fast paced and easy to digest – much like the movies. You may also be surprised how much the plots differ between page and screen – Moonraker is an excellent example of a film that went completely off the rails when compared to the book. Although Bond often comes across as an arrogant jerk, you find yourself unable to argue with him – after all, he is undoubtedly much cooler than you or I could ever be.

kill artistIn the modern day of espionage authors, Daniel Silva has begun to take the reins as the Chief Spymaster with his books featuring Gabriel Allon. Allon is a spy for Israeli Intelligence (in the novels, his employer is called “The Office,” not quite mentioning that it is really the Israeli Mossad) while maintaining cover as an artist and art restorer. His first job in intelligence was to uncover the killers of Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympics, but left The Office after his wife and son were attacked in a revenge-bombing by Tariq al-Hourani, the leader of the Munich Massacre. Pulled out of retirement by a man who wants to assassinate Tariq for his own reasons, Allon joins a small team of agents and begins the story of The Kill Artist. Allon has an unconventional background and personality for a secret agent – while most of them tend to be old, British men (see next paragraph for the reason why), Allon is native Israeli, with a character history tied deeply to his culture and a personality shaped by his experiences and heritage. He is highly intelligent and introspective, speaks five languages fluently, and more than anything wants to restore people, even as he is constantly coerced into destroying them. If you like the first one, you can look forward to at least thirteen more novels, and more as soon as he writes them. A movie adaptation of one of his novels is in the works – supposedly – but there’s been no official peep about it yet. Stay tuned.

And now we come to the Grand Master, the one who took a niche genre and flung the shutters open on it: John Le Carre. His novel, The Spy Who Came In From the Cold is almost certainly the most famous spy thriller ever written, and it’s the one that most thoroughly sets up Le spy who came inCarre’s complex world of espionage: the Circus. Headed by a man known only as Control, and kept in line by perpetually (but never truly) retired spymaster George Smiley, the Circus is the nexus of power for British intelligence. In the novel, Control asks the narrator, named Alec Leamas, to “go back into the cold one more time;” that is, to re-enter the land beyond the Iron Curtain for one last mission. This mission is to trick the East Germans into executing one of their own for treason – no easy task, and one which puts Leamas at the point of a very long spear stretching from England all the way to the dismal reaches of East Germany. No author portrays the intense paranoia and moral poverty of the Cold War era like Le Carre, and although that rarely means a happy ending for his characters, it always makes for a riveting story.


To place holds on the film versions of any of these titles, click on their respective covers:

ipcress film     bond dvds     spy cold cover

April 17, 2014

Kid’s Corner: Yum, Yum Baby! Early Literacy Activities at the Grocery Store

Filed under: Kid's Corner, Kids — Tags: — jennytf @ 8:15 am

Exposing your children to the world around them and talking about what they observe helps build their early literacy skills while going about your daily routine: driving in the car, waiting for appointments, and even at the grocery store!

The grocery store is chock full of opportunities to build your child’s print awareness, vocabulary, phonological awareness and narrative and letter knowledge skills. Here are some fun activities and games to do with your child on your next trip to the store.

baby store

Ideas for Babies

Bring board books for baby to play with while riding around in the shopping cart. Skill: Print Motivation

We recommend: Black on White and White on Black by Tana Hoban; Global Babies by Global Fund for Children; Where is Baby’s Belly Button by Karen Katz; and I Like It When by Mary Murphy

Point out what you’re buying and tell your baby what it is. “Bananas! Your favorite” Skill: Vocabulary
toddler apple

Ideas for Toddlers

Point out word and picture relationship on cans, signs, etc. “See the picture of peas? This words says peas. The picture and word tell us what’s inside” Skill: Print Awareness

Some great toddler books for building print awareness are: My Car by Byron Barton; Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh; The Big Red Bus by Judy Hindley; and Clip-Clop by Nicola Smee

Make ‘his’ shopping list with pictures of a few items for him to look for in the store. Skill: Vocabulary, matching skills and visual discrimination- Letter Knowledge

Talk about how you’re going to use the grocery items. “We have some peanut butter, bread, and apples. When we get home, we’re going to make sandwiches and slice the apples. Then we’re going to eat them for lunch.” Skill: sequencing- Narrative Skills

Play a guessing game for a grocery item by giving your child hints. “The next thing on the list is something we drink. We have it at breakfast. We put it on cereal.” Skill: Vocabulary

Point out and describe something in the produce section, then look for other things that fit that word. “I see tomatoes- they’re red. Can you see anything else that’s red?” Give her the name of red items she doesn’t know. (Buy one and have it for lunch). Skill: Vocabulary

kid store

Ideas for Preschoolers

‘Her’ shopping list: Let her scribble a list while you’re making yours (children copy the actions of the grownups in their lives). Share the shopping list. Let her have a few items on her list to look for, and check them off when you find them in the store. Skill: Print Awareness

Recommended books for preschoolers that show how print is useful: Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells; Put It On the List! by Kristen Darbyshire; and Polly Jean Pyjama Queen by Steve Webb

Play “I Spy” with the sound of the letter in your child’s first name. “I spy something that starts with the sound ‘puh’ like Paul.” “Yeah- potatoes!” Let’s see how many other things we can spy that start with your sound.” Skill: Phonological Awareness

Let her pick the sound you’ll look for in the store that day. On the trip home, see how many things she remembers. Skill: Phonological Awareness

Rhyming “I Spy”: “I spy with my little eye something that rhymes with silk” Give another hint if necessary for success. “It goes on cereal.” Take turns being the person spying and the person guessing. Skill: Phonological Awareness, Vocabulary

Shop the alphabet. Starting with an ‘a’, see how far up the alphabet he can spot the letters sequentially. Or find all the letters in a word you choose- like his name. Skill: Letter Knowledge

Happy Shopping! Do you have your own favorite early literacy tips for the grocery store? We’d love to hear from you.  -Marianne




April 16, 2014

Inside Scoop: Spin a Good Yarn

Filed under: Info, Inside Scoop — Tags: , , , , , , — ErinM @ 9:20 am

To start at the very beginning, yarn is spun from fiber. Fiber could be derived from plants such as flax (linen), cotton, bamboo or hemp. Fiber also comes from protein sources such as wool from sheep, goats (cashmere) , llama, alpaca or rabbit (angora). Other protein sources are silk, soy and milk.

A great resource is The Field Guide to Fleece : 100 Sheep Breeds and How to Use Their Fibers by Deborah Robson. Fibers are spun with tools such as a hand spindle or a spinning wheel.

Learn to spin your yarns -

The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs : Techniques for Creating 80 Yarns by Sarah Anderson ; foreword by Judith MacKenzie

Teach Yourself Visually Handspinning by Judith MacKenzie McCuin.

Spin, Dye, Stitch : How to Create and Use Your Own Yarns by Jennifer Claydon

There are annual fiber festivals in Oregon where you can see fibers in action – and the animals in action too:

Columbia Gorge Fiber Fest, Hood River in April

Black Sheep Gathering, Eugene in June

Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, Canby in September

– Lisa

Jacket01 Jacket02 Jacket03 Jacket04

April 15, 2014

Blurbs From the Branch: Whodunnit???

Filed under: Blurbs from the Branch, Books, Books to Film — Tags: , , — Becca B @ 8:00 am

murderorientexpressOne dark and stormy night, I had the chance to watch the old classic movie, Murder on the Orient Express. It was the perfect, dreary setting for watching this gem of a movie. Full of mystery, intrigue and an A+ cast—Sean Connery! Albert Finney! Lauren Bacall! Anthony Perkins!—this thriller does not disappoint. Set on a train in 1935, things go from bad to worse for a random group of strangers after the train gets stuck in a snow storm. A mysterious murder occurs, but who did it? The brash American? The hostile Mafioso? The timid missionary? Watch this excellent movie and see for yourself why it is one of the greatest murder mysteries of all time. You might also really enjoy reading the masterful novel by Agatha Christie that the movie is based on!


April 14, 2014

Off the Shelf: a tool for every project, a project for every tool

Filed under: Books, In the Know — Tags: , , , , — Mark @ 10:32 pm

cool toolsIf you’re like me, this is the time of year when you get that irresistible urge to hit the spring cleaning really hard, get fantastically dirty in the garden, tackle those back-burner projects or create that new thing you’ve envisioned all through the long dark winter. You feel renewed and recharged just by opening your front door and stepping into solar power. And as these things go, you’ll find yourself trekking to your hardware store of choice to pick up the tools and other materials you’ll need. Before you get started, put your feet up and relax in the porch swing with a glass of wine (Becca B’s April 1st post can help you with this part!) and peruse Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities, by Kevin Kelly and his knowledgeable staff at http://kk.org/cooltools/.
antique toolsWithout underestimating the value of digital tools that quickly become obsolete, Cool Tools focuses on any tangible, physical object that qualifies as a tool, and not just any tool, but a cool tool. A cool tool is defined as “anything useful that increases learning, empowers individuals, does work that matters, is either the best or the cheapest or the only thing that works.”  The tools featured in this marvelous catalog will encourage you to try something new on your own, inspire you with new ideas, provide fresh insight into persistent problems, and finally fix that old hitch in your get-along once and for all.

And if you’d like to hang out in that porch swing just a little bit longer, reminiscing about projects of long ago, you might enjoy indulging your procrastination by comparing Cool Tools with the library’s copy of Encyclopedia of Antique Tools & Machinery, by C. H. Wendel. It’s fun to see how basic designs have developed over time and how technology continues to evolve.

OK now. Get busy. And enjoy every minute of it. –Lynne

April 11, 2014

Checking In: The Day the Crayons Quit

Filed under: Books, Checking In, Kids — Tags: , , , , , , — Eric D @ 9:00 am

I decided to get in touch with my inner child this week when a book came across the returns desk called The Day the Crayons Quit, written by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers. The story is told through letters from a box of crayons to their owner, a young boy named Duncan. Duncan just wants to do some coloring, but for one reason or other, his crayons are dissatisfied with their treatment, and they’ve decided to go on strike until their demands are met. Black Crayon, for example, is tired of being only used for outlining. Blue needs a break from coloring all the sky and water all the time. And Orange and Yellow both think that they are the REAL color of the sun. What is a little boy to do?

You may recognize the art style from Oliver Jeffers’ other children’s titles – notably, The Incredible Book Eating Boy and Stuck, which he wrote in addition to illustrating. Both books are wonderfully absurd and just a little bit surreal, and would be excellent additions to any afternoon of reading. In the first, a little boy named Henry just loves books, but the only way he can experience them is by EATING them! Somehow he’s going to have to find a way to digest his reading material without literally digesting it. Stuck is about a boy who gets a kite stuck in a tree, and the story of how he gets it out is- well, I don’t want to spoil it…!

Book Eating Boy     Stuck

But, we were talking about The Day the Crayons Quit! It’s a hilarious book, and not just for the kids. It’s not a great leap to imagine this as a slightly more colorful version of The Office, and I found myself grinning or outright laughing at most of these beleaguered crayons’ letters. The book is perfect for young artists, and it has healthy doses of both persuasive writing and conflict resolution without ramming the lessons down anyone’s throat. So give this one a try and, the next time YOU open a box of crayons, remember: they have feelings too.

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