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Beaches and Oceans Take Two

Summers over, school has started back up for most the country (can I get a collective HUZZAH! from all the parents out there?); which means that for my library, storytime is once more in swing.

This year, seems like the library system is all about ‘Market Penetration’… (stop snickering… I hear you over there. Mind outa the gutter….) Which essentially means that we are attempting to get at least one active library user in every household. And guess what that means?

Yup….OUTREACH!

So every Monday we now do a storytime at the Mall. Sadly, it hasn’t been getting a lot – note any – participation. Granted, our regular storytimes don’t always have a lot of participation either; so I’m not sure if this new program simply hasn’t garnered any interest, or if folks just don’t know its there, despite our advertising.

In any case, the Storytime at the Mall will more or less be the same material we used at the Preschool Storytime the week before. At the moment, what few parents I have run across while there yesterday, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t think they realize we’re from the library. Pretty certain they thought I was an author selling my books or something.

They gave me the same ‘oh shit, I made eye contact’ look I know I get whenever I accidentally look at one of the vendors at a mall that pushes the samples on people.

I immediately came back to the library and made some signs proclaiming that the PUBLIC Library was presenting Storytime at the Mall and it was FREE. I also made a big bright orange sign that sasys “Storytime In Progress, Please have a seat”. I’m hoping it clears up some of the confusion and maybe will catch interest.

Certainly can’t hurt.

It’s been a long and stressful last few months; so it’s kind of nice to get back to something I enjoy doing.

I decided to do Beaches/Oceans again do to the fact that we had quite a few new really cute Beach and Ocean themed books that had just come in. Also…. I really could go for a nice beach vacation; so hey, lets pretend! LOL.

The first book I read was Beachy and Me by Bob Staake:

Which was a colorful, cute, rhyming book about a lonely girl who befriends a whale.

The second book was Barnacle is BORED, by Jonathan Fenske:

Which depicts a barnacle (obviously), who is essentially complaining about how dull his life is.  He starts comparing his life to the cute, colorful polka-dot fish that he sees and imagines all the fun things this fish must be able to do…all the way up until said fish gets eaten. Suddenly Barnacle isn’t so bored anymore.

The parents actually seemed to get a kick out of this more than the kids. I know, a little morbid. However, the very last page of the book shows the same little colorful polka-dot fish safe and sound in the eel’s belly stating how bored IT now is…… which yea, gets a cackle out of the adults.

After that we play a number/color recognition game I called ‘Feed the Shark’.  I crafted a shark head out of cardboard, complete with sharp teeth and google eyes that’s very reminiscent of a JAWS movie cover.

Most of the kids LOVED it. Though I did have one who refused to get near it, kept trying to throw the fish into it’s mouth. We kept trying to explain to her that Bruce was a NICE shark and wouldn’t bite her….. but she just wasn’t going for it.

I made some basic fish that I printed out on colored paper and then added numbers too. I used only 1-10 this time, but it has the potential to be used for the whole alphabet as well.

The last book I read was If You Ever Want to Bring a Piano to the Beach, DON’T!, by Elise Parsley:

This was just a goofy book on why exactly bring a piano to the beach was a bad idea. It was seriously cute and the kids- who were all smart enough to know immediately that taking a piano to the beach is just silly – were wincing and wide eyed at all the things that happened to this poor piano. It was a great book to engage the kids and get some participation.

After that we had our craft; Water-Resistant Clownfish. I had the kids put on the google eyes (with glue dots on the back to make stickers) on first, then we used white crayons to draw designs on the fish cutouts (on cardstock), after that we used watercolors to paint.

The kids didn’t understand why we used white crayons at first; but once they applied the paint and saw their designs ‘magically’ appear, they thought that was pretty cool.

We had quite a few very colorful clownfish swimming around the library after storytime.

I also had a cart of both fiction and nonfiction books about beaches and oceans available for the kids to look through and check out.

I used the same set up, minus the books to check out, for the Storytime at the Mall program.

On a completely unrelated note… well, not quite unrelated, but unrelated to Storytime…. Welcome the newest addition to our household.

This is Kip. A 2 month old kitten my supervisor found under a truck near the library. It was a group effort to catch the sweet little fuzzball and get him cleaned up and taken to the vet. But once everything was said and done; my husband and I decided to take him home. Our new house has been empty without a kitty-cat.

I haven’t decided what I’m doing for Storytime next week. I’ve found some cute, kinda silly new books that I like, so I might just do something along the lines of a “Silly Storytime’ again. “Goofy Storytime’ maybe? Hmmmmmm……

Well, until next time. Ciao!

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Lessons from the Hundred Acre Wood

Years ago, someone donated a series of self-help type books that taught life lessons through that cuddle ball of fluff – Winnie the Pooh.  I happened to be sorting through my flash-drive when I found this – I vaguely remember typing it up way back when, but I can’t remember why.  Perhaps it was for a different social media post?  In any case, I believe it was called Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, by A.A. Milne, Ernest H. Shepard (Illustrations).  Adorable little book and I’d love to have the whole series again, as I never got a chance to read them all the way through.

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So here are some life lessons from the Hundred Acre Wood:

~If possible, try to find a way to come downstairs that doesn’t involve going BUMP BUM BUMP to the back of your head

~When speaking to a Bear of Very Little Brain, remember that long words may bother him.

~When carrying a jar of honey to give to a friend for his birthday, don’t stop and eat it along the way.

~Don’t forget that a tail is a tail; it isn’t just a Little Bit Extra at the back.

~It is more fun to talk to someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?’

~When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an adventure is going to happen.

~Despite their claims to the contrary, Tigger’s don’t really like everything.

~Drinking your milk while talking at the same time may result in your having to be patted on the back and dried for quite a long time afterwards.

~They’re funny things Accidents.  You never have them till you’re having them. -Eeyore-

~Rivers know this; there is no hurry.  We shall get there some day.

~A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.

~Always watch where you are going, otherwise, you may step on a piece of the Forest that was left out by mistake.

~Never go indoors to practice a special Outdoor Song which has to Be Sung in the Snow.

~Try not to sit down on thistles; it takes all the Life out of them.  Besides, someone might have planned on eating them for lunch.

~When looking at your two paws, as soon as you have decided which of them is the right one; then you can be sure that the other is the left.

~The trick to succeeding in Poohsticks is letting your stick drop in a twitchy sort of way.

~To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks.

~If you secretly get into a kangaroo’s pocket and she begins to jump away, be prepared for a bumpy ride.

~You can’t help respecting anybody who can spell Tuesday, even if he doesn’t spell it right.  -Rabbit-

~The best place to dig a Very Deep Pit in which to catch a Heffalump is somewhere where a Heffalump is…only about a foot further on.

~When having a smackeral of something with a friend, don’t eat so much that you get stuck in the doorway trying to get out.

~A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one that you forgot about afterwards.

~When late morning rolls around and you’re feeling a bit out of sorts, don’t worry; you’re probably just a little eleven o’clockish.

~It’s always useful to know where a friend-and-relation is, whether you want him or whether you don’t. -Rabbit-

~Just because and animal is large, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want kindness; however big Tigger seems to be, remember that he wants as much kindness as Roo.

~When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and had other people looking at it.

~If you plant an Acorn, it will grow up into an oak-tree.  But it doesn’t follow that if you plant a honeycomb, it will grow up into a beehive.

~Be especially careful in dangerous places where an Ambush might occur.  An Ambush is a sort of Surprise.  Then again, so is a gorse-bush sometimes.

~When setting off on an Expedition, be sure to bring Provisions.  Or, at very least, things to eat.

~When going around a spinney of larch trees Tracking Something, be sure it isn’t your own footprints you are following.

~When conversing with Owls, remember that they think it is rather beneath them to talk about little cake things with pink sugar frosting.

~When you go after honey with a balloon, the great thing is not to let the bees know you are coming.

~Before floating up into the sky with a balloon in search of honey, make sure the bees you are looking for are the right sort of bees.

~Something about the way Very Bouncy Animals say How-do-you-do tends to leave one’s ears full of sand.

~People who don’t Think probably don’t have Brains; rather they have grey fluff that’s blown into their heads by mistake.

~When waking in the morning, remember that whether you’re first though is ‘What’s for breakfast’ or ‘I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today’ it’s the same thing.

~Brains first the Hard Work.

~When checking your Heffalump trap for Heffalumps, be sure to bring along a piece of string to lead them home with,

~When selecting a new bell-rope for your front door, make sure it isn’t someone else’s tail.

~When you are pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen, brush the honey off your nose and spruce yourself up the best you can, so as to look Ready for Anything.

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~Nobody can be un-cheered with a balloon.

~When trying to ignore a knock at your door, don’t yell out ‘No!’ when someone asks, “Is anybody at home?’

~When in doubt, keep in mind that “O gallant Piglet” is always a very thoughtful way of beginning a piece of poetry.

~It isn’t much good having anything exciting like flood, if you can’t share them with somebody.

~If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient.  It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.

~When climbing up a tree on the back of a Tigger, be sure to find out before you start if the Tigger knows how to climb down.

~When someone you love is wedged in a doorway and must wait to get thin enough to get out, read him a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort him.

~When searching for someone, it’s a good idea to determine whether the missing person is the sort of friend-and-relation who settles on one’s nose, or the sort who might be trodden on by mistake.

~It’s very hard to be brae, when you’re a Very Small Animal. -Piglet-

~You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you.  You have to go to them sometimes.

~When your house looks like a tree that has blown down, it is time to get a new house.

~When you fall on someone, it’s not enough to say you didn’t mean to; after all, he probably didn’t mean to be underneath you.

~If you look round and see a Very Fierce Heffalump looking down at you, sometimes you forget what you were going to say.

~Before beginning a Hunt, it is wise to ask someone what you are looking for before you begin looking for it.

~If you’ve eaten the honey that was meant as a birthday gift for a friend, just wash out the pot, get somebody to write “A Happy Birthday” on it, and present the pot as a gift.

~Sometimes a boat is a boat, and sometimes it’s more of an Accident.  It depends on whether you’re on the top of it or underneath it.

~If you are looking for Home and find instead a sand-pit, try looking for a sand-pit.  Then you’d be sure not to find it, which would be a Good Thing because you might find something that you weren’t looking for, which might be just what you were looking for.

~Even though eating honey is a very good thing to do, there is a moment just before you begin to eat it which is better.

~Drop in on anyone, at any time, if you feel like it.  If they say ‘Bother’ you can drop out again.

~Those who are clever, who have a Brain, never understand anything.

~Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.

~In case of Sudden and Temporary Immersion the Important Thing is to keep the Head Above Water.

~Tigger’s can climb trees.  Of course, there’s the coming down, too, which is difficult, unless one falls, in which case it is…easy.

~A bear, however hard he tries, Grows tubby without exercise.

~Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you.  And all you can do is go where they can find you.

~When someone gives you a bath that you really don’t want, one which changes your color, remember that you can roll in the dirt on the way home and get your nice comfortable color again.

~If you’re standing on a slippery bank of a river, be careful, if somebody suddenly bounces you loudly from behind, you’ll probably slip.

~If you think you see a Heffalump in a trap, make sure it isn’t really a Bear with an empty jar of honey stuck on his head.

~If you are trying to find your way home, and keep finding yourself instead back at the same sand-pit, it may be that the sand-pit is following you about.

~When making and expedition to discover the North Pole, be sure someone in the group knows what the North Pole looks like.  (It’s sure to be a pole stuck into he ground).

~It’s so much more friendly with two. -Piglet-

~Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.

winnie the pooh 1

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Alice in Zombieland

Being a huge fan of paranormal romance with authors like Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter as personal favorites…. I’m always a little leery when my favorites branch off into the younger genres. However, much like Kenyon’s Chronicles of Nick and Coles’ Arcana Chronicles….I need not have worried.
Despite the title; Alice in Zombieland has nothing in common with Lewis Carrol’s Alice in Wonderland.  If you’re looking for a retelling of the classic story, only with zombies…Then you’ll be disappointed.  However, if you’re looking for fun YA book with refreshing take on the zombie genre…then this is a book for you.  It has many characteristics that I personally find appealing and I know I’m not alone… the whole “good girl meets bad boy and sparks fly” motif; for instance. Classic and always a fun choice.   
Alice is strong female character – which I love. Even before her trip into Zombieland, she was a strong character. Cole is the very personification of what every parent worries their daughter will bring home; even while the daughter is secretly hoping to find that bad boy with a heart of gold.  Kat, Alice’s best friend, was an instant favorite; despite her extremely sunny, perky attitude, there is just something about her you have to love.  Perhaps it is the fact that nothing seems to truly get her down; or maybe it’s her unwavering support of her friend… whatever it is, by the end of the book, you will have as much of a vested interest in her welfare as Alice does.
Now for everyone’s favorite part…the zombies. Done over and over again in various media- zombies are a favorite…hands down. As if the idea of virtually unstoppable undead hordes wasn’t frightening enough….imagine for a moment that…you couldn’t see them. In Showalter’s Zombieland; only a select handful of people could see these monsters and fight them. Freaky thought huh? These zombies aren’t the undead as we are familiar with; rather they are actually evil infected spirits that rise and hunt people down to consume a person’s very essence.  If you’re attacked and lucky, if your spirit is strong enough; you die… and your spirit moves on; if you’re not, the infection takes hold and you rise to prey on others…starting with those dearest to your heart.
It’s up to Alice and a handful of other teenagers to beat back the hordes…and they aren’t the only ones out hunting. Another group hunts the zombies; but unlike Alice and her friends, they don’t want to kill the creatures.  They want to shove the infected spirits in a living host in an attempt to control them.   Add in the normal school drama, homework, teachers, and over-protective grandparents…and life suddenly got a whole lot more complicated

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Paranormal Romance

So since my hubby has been away on business the last week I have been chewing through books at a fairly impressive click.  I’m a paranormal romance fanatic…. I can’t get enough.  I love the genre…. I loved the genre long before it was cool to read ‘vampire romance’.  I loved the genre back when people would look at what I was read, wrinkle their nose, and sneer ‘how can you read that trash???”.   Probably one of the reasons I always thought Twilight was irritating…. other then promoting obessive behavior in teens.  Yea… think about it…. Edward dumps her and she looses over 6 months of her life…..then becomes suicidal in order to ‘hear Edwards voice’….. and when her bestie finally manages to drag her out of her depression….. she runs off to ‘save’ the jacka$$ who put her through all that crap…..  Now… would you want YOUR daughter to do that?  Yea…didn’t think so.  Plus….. Vampires aren’t sparkly…..just no….. but I digress.  Anyway, one of the benifits of the Twilight series was that it spawned an avalanche of paranormal romance authors to come out of the woodwork.  Suddenly the market is flooded with Vampires, Witches, Werewolves, Demons, Dragons, Otherkin and a whole slew of creatures that go bump in the night.  In my opinion, this is both a good thing…. and a bad thing….. Good because now there are TONS of books for me in a genre that a few years back had very slim pickings….. Bad because now there are TONS of books for me to shift through to find good quality Paranormal Romance.  And I’m sorry… all Romance is not created equal.  I don’t just want my characters to be having sex for the entire book.  What fun is that?  If I wanted that I’d go rent a freaking porno.   No… there has to be a plot…. the characters have to have depth….. the author has to make you care what happens to them…… so in my opinion…. at least one or both of them have to be tortured.   No, no…. I don’t necessarily mean they have to be strung up and quartered…. though that has it’s uses too….. but they have to have some sort of issue.  The story isn’t any fun if both the characters meet and fall instantly in love…. please…. when is it EVER that easy?   We all carry baggage that we have to wade through in order to be with that person who could be our one and only….. we all have to cross obsticles….. and that struggle is the very heart of what makes a romance novel worth reading.  Least in my humble opinion.  So I like my characters to be tall, dark, deadly, and handsome…. and can’t forget TORTURED.

 

I’ve been reading thise genre quite a while…. at least over a decade.  I’ve chewed my way from one side of the romance section to the other and am always on the look out for a new awesome author to be added to my Favorites list.  But so far… there are only a handful that make the cut.  How do I decide which ones make the cut and end up in my Favorites?  Simple…. the ones that I can’t put down and read over and over again.

So the list goes (in no particular order):

Gena Showalter: (series) Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress novels, Atlantis series

Kresley Cole: (series) Immortals After Dark

Laurell K. Hamilton: (Series) Anita Blake, Merideth Genry

Sherrilyn Kenyon: (series) Dark-Hunter series, Dream-Hunter series

Just to name a few.

Now I won’t go into all of them…. least not this very moment.  Probably will at another time.  If I tried now then it would be the never ending post.  So I will simply say if you havn’t read them…. you have GOT to try them.  I can garentee you won’t be disappointed.

For the time being, though, I would like to focus on the first name on my list…. Gena Showalter.  Why am I focusing on her???  Simple…. I just finished a couple of her books this week and need to rave about them.

At the top of the list  Darkest Surrender the story of Strider and his Harpy Kaia.  The premise of the series revolves around several warriors who in ancient times opened Pandora’s box and unleashed all the demons that had been caged inside upon the world.  As punishment, Zeus, paired each of the warriors with a demon…..essentially cursing them and bonding them forever.  If the warrior ever was killed, the demon would be unleashed upon the world again to find a new host and continue it’s destruction.  Now known as the Lords of the Underwold, they try to live as best they can with their demons all the while trying to keep one step a head of the Hunters who believe they are the root of all evil and trying to dodge interfering overbearing Deities.  If you decide to read this series (which I highly recommend that you do) I would start off with the first book Darkest Night.  Go in order with this series or I garentee you’ll be wonder WTF happened because you missed something.  Now back to Darkest Surrender; Strider is the Keeper if the demon of Defeat.  Any challenge he precieves he has to win at otherwise suffer excurciating pain for several days.  Kaia is a Harpy…. a decendent of Lucifer himself.  I have to say some of my favorite characters are the Harpies…. Wonderful character additions.  Do to a mistake she made as a child that cost her people hundreds of lives Kaia was forever labeled ‘Kaia the Disappointment’.  Forever trying to prove her worth Kaia is a fierce warrior carrying some serious self-esteem issues.  And this Harpy has her sights set on the Strider; the Keeper of the Demon of Defeat….. but like all men….. he’s being a pain-in-the-a$$.  As much as he is facinated by Kaia and some times kinda-sorta- likes being around her…. he knows that once he has her…. once the challenge is gone and he has his conquest…. he’ll loose interest.  He has already spend centuries being jerked around by woman who knew his weakness – once issued a challenge, ANY challenge, he has to win it otherwise suffer horribly- he’s reluctant to start any sort of relationship with Kaia knowing that one day he’d loose interest and hurt her.  Plus there’s the small fact that she slept with his friend Paris, Keeper of the Demon of Promiscuity.  Then comes the news that Kaia and her sisters – outcasts from the Harpy world- have been invited to the Harpy Games…. an event that they havn’t been invited to since Kaia’s mishap as a child.  They can’t refuse…but to go is to walk into an obvious trap…. and to make matters even more complicated…. the first prize is an artifact that the Lords desperatly need.

I won’t get to much further into it without it being a spoiler….and I’d hate to spoil this book for you.  Great book and a great read.  I couldn’t put it down.  I love the Harpies.  They are so much fun.  Filled with emotional ups and downs, battles, sizzling love scenes and wonderful angst…. you’ve gotta read this book.

 

Next comes Darkest Seduction, the previously mentioned Paris’s book….Keeper of Promiscuity or as Paris calls him… Sex.  One of the Lords of the Underworld, Paris has to sleep with a different person every day in order to stay alive.  Never has he been able to have the same woman more then once….. until he is captured by  the Hunter Sienna Blackstone.  In his escape from the Hunter’s care… Seinna is killed.  Only to be brought back to life by Cronos, the ancient Titan and God-King, and forced to be the Keep of the Demon Wrath.  Newly possessed by Wrath, Seinna is wracked with the need to punish and kill those around her.  Host to the demon Wrath and neither dead nor alive… Seinna is imprisoned by the God-King until she agrees to do as he commands… to obey him in all things.  Paris… having found out about Seinna’s imprisonment… will stop at nothing to get to the one woman he thought was out of his grasp forever.  Joined by the ever amusing William and a stoic Angel he’s in for one hellva fight.

I’ll be honest…I wasn’t all that fond of Paris.  I mean I didn’t not like him…. but I wasn’t drooling in anticipation like so many other were.  Silly me.  This book was great… longer then the others.  There were tantalizing glimpses of other character stories that do have me drooling in anticipation.  Seinna… for all I initically thought was going to be a weak whinny character turned out to be quiet but strong willed and kind.  Paris… who initially was so bright and happy…. turned so dark and dangerous.  It was wonderful watching these characters unfold as the story went…. to experience the emotional roller coaster that they were on.   A wonderful addition to the awesome series…only to find out…. that the Angels are having their own spin off!  *does happy jig*

Wicked Night is set to come out at the end of June, the first in her new Angels of the Dark series.  I can’t wait.  Watching the stoic holier-then-thou angels fall one by one is going to be so much fun.

Well I hope you enjoyed my lil review and I hope I sparked your interest to go out and get these books.  They really are awesome reads.

Thats all for today ya’ll

~Nyx

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