Sock Monkeys at the Library

You can never go wrong with monkeys.  Or puppets. Combine the two and you have magic! This week, we made sock monkey puppets and had crazy hair day for storytime.

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After being inside for days because of the cold, many of the kids were happy to get out and do something fun. Needless to say, it was a wee bit loud at the library!

monkey2But we all enjoyed ourselves and hopefully, everyone had fun with their new little friends at home.

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Just a sample of all the fun things we do each week with our young friends.

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Sea creatures

This week, we’ve had several kids in the library looking for books on various sea creatures. It’s project time! Lucky for us, we happen to have a large number of books on everything from whales to sharks to jellyfish, so the kids are leaving with two books each on whatever species they’ve chosen. (So much better than an entire class doing a project on corn–in French! Uh, our selection there is small, to say the least.)

But it reminded me of a recent story I read about a “Christmas Whale”, the loneliest whale in the ocean. This particular whale has been swimming a channel in the North Pacific Ocean since at least 1989.  That’s when researchers started tracking him.  A Baleen whale (a cetacean without teeth) uses sound to communicate and has a very particular vocalization frequency range (between 10 and 31 Hertz).  This one, however, vocalizes at 52 hertz…much higher than the other whales in his category.

Scientists have been listening to whales in the North Pacific for years and usually pick up this particular whale’s vocalizations between August and December (which is why they call it the Christmas Whale).  Here’s where it gets sad.  While whales use their vocalizations to attract other whales, to find a mate or family member, no other whale on record has ever answered the Christmas Whale’s call. It simply drifts along the corridor of microphones, sending out whale-message after whale-message, only to finally swim off.  Alone.  Every year. Breaks your heart, doesn’t it?

It’s possible the other whales just can’t “hear” the Christmas Whale, since its song is so different. Or maybe they won’t acknowledge it, sensing it as something foreign. Either way, it must be a lonely life for C.W.  You can read more about this interesting creature on the Wood’s Hole Ocean Oceanographic Institute’s page. Or you can listen to a recording of the 52 hertz whale vocalizations at at NOAA here.

So far, no one has asked about books on whales, but I’ll certainly suggest this if we get any more students in to do projects.

We’re going to the dogs!

Once again, we’re planning for our summer event called PAWS TO READ.  It’s a wonderful program we’ve done for the past three summers and we’re looking forward to having our pals Stryder and Sandra back at the library. So, just what is Paws to Read?

This is a wonderful program for reluctant readers aged 6 – 10.  They visit the library once a week (while we’re closed) and spend a short time reading to our fluffy friend Stryder.  Stryder is a standard poodle who has been specially trained as a therapy dog for children. He loves to listen to kids read and he’s really patient. He comes to the library with his owner Sandra who also helps.

If you have a reluctant reader who would like to participate this summer, please give us a call or come to the library to sign up. Your child must be able to read, but might have an issue like lack of confidence or reading issues that prevent him or her from enjoying books. We’re taking names right through to the end of June, and then we’ll set up a schedule for July and August sessions.

Happy Reading!

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?

If you’re fluent in Latin, you’ll know what the title is all about. What if you just want to impress your friends? Here’s a handy list of Latin sayings that you can pepper into your daily conversation (I know I’m going to!).

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?
- How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Sona si Latine loqueris. – Honk if you speak Latin.
Vacca foeda – Stupid cow
Utinam barbari spatium proprium tuum invadant!
- May barbarians invade your personal space!
Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!
- May faulty logic undermine your entire philosophy!
Radix lecti – Couch potato
O! Plus! Perge! Aio! Hui! Hem!
- Oh! More! Go on! Yes! Ooh! Ummm!
Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem!
- Stand aside plebians! I am on imperial business.
Fac ut vivas. – Get a life.
Ventis secundis, tene cursum. – Go with the flow.

Have fun with it!

(Thanks to Dark Roasted Blend for the great list!)

Published in: on January 23, 2012 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Lions and cougars and snakes! Oh my!

This weekend, my husband and I watched a new documentary called “The Elephant in the Living Room”. At first, I thought it would another movie about people with exotic animals as pets, but this was so much more than that.  The movie follows an Ohio law officer who deals with exotic pets and their misplacement in our society on a regular basis, while explaining the exotic pet subculture along the way.  One of the main stories throughout the movie dealt with a man who was given a lion cub as a way to help him out of his depression, and several years (and more lions) later, he begins the biggest fight of their lives, struggling to keep the pets he’s come to love in a place that doesn’t want them.

This movie was a real eye opener about people and the subculture of exotic pets that most of us probably don’t believe is a problem.  But it certainly is, and as more and more wild animals (poisonous snakes, crocodiles, lions, spiders and much, much more) make their way into our natural world because their owners have lost control or don’t know what to do with the “pets” anymore, the general population is at risk. You can get a bit of a feel for the movie here (but I’d recommend going out and renting it this weekend!):

I’ve talked in the past about some great books we have at the library about people who start up their own “zoos” after purchasing a few exotic animals, and the lack of regulations in Canada especially, that allow people to do this. Here’s a link to a past post.  If you’d like to read more about the problem, feel free to come in and ask for some books about the subject. I can see this problem getting worse as the world makes it easier for people to bring in animals and purchase animals from breeders without having enough knowledge about the risks. One of the most frightening things they showed in this movie were the live auctions, held in barns and arenas, for the purpose of selling exotic animals to the general public. To see a young boy of five or six proudly holding a baby crocodile or a container filled with a rare venomous snake is terrifying.  Not only are people putting themselves in danger, but once they tire of these animals, they’re being let go in the wild. Wouldn’t you love to come across a 9 foot python in your backyard someday? The people in Florida are having just such a problem. Because of some stupid person, pythons are now breeding in the everglades and animal control officers say they won’t ever be able to eradicate the beasts from the area now.  Pythons are there for good.

(Did you know that almost all of the exotic animals you see at Ray’s Reptiles shows have been rescued….and from places as close by as Brockville!  Think about that the next time they show up in our area with that giant yellow snake!  That was someone’s PET at one point!)

Okay, enough ranting for today.  Go out and see the movie. Talk about the idea with your kids. Come in and get some books.  Educating ourselves is the only way we’ll gain control over something like this.

Published in: on August 29, 2011 at 11:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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We’ve gone to the dogs!

Today is our final session for Paws to Read with our pal, Stryder (and Sandra!…can’t forget her).  We’ve had a wonderful time this year getting to know Stryder better and he was such a great listener!  Eight kids took part this summer and we alternated weeks so that everyone had a chance to read several times. Stryder and his brother Bree were wonderful listeners and we think they both enjoyed the stories very much (especially the ones about animals!).

Stryder getting ready to listen to a story

Stryder’s brother Bree

Thanks again to Sandra for giving up her time each week to come and listen and provide this wonderful service to kids who are a little insecure about reading. We’ve heard from many of the parents who said how much their children have enjoyed coming each week and getting to know the dogs.  Hopefully, we’ll do it all again next summer!

Published in: on August 24, 2011 at 8:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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