Saturday, March 22, 2014

Books On Film | Garfield{CKEY}&searchfield1=GENERAL^SUBJECT^GENERAL^^&user_id=WEBSERVER love Garfield, the titular character from Jim Davis' comic strip. Garfield is a cat who loves to eat and who has humorous one-sided conversation with his owner Jon and Jon's dog Odie. Davis started the comic strip, which holds a Guiness World Record for being the most widely syndicated comic, in 1978 and it still continues today.

As a child, I spent time watching the animated series 'Garfield and Friends.' These days children watch the CGI animated 'The Garfield Show' and it's spin-off graphic novels in addition to collections of the original comic strips.

Besides inspiring several television shows, Garfield was also adapted into two live-action movies (Garfield The Movie & Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties) with comedian Bill Murray voicing Garfield. 

If you know a child who liked the movie try introducing them to the comics.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Learning | Honeybees

"It's a very funny thought that,  if Bears were Bees, They'd build their nests at the bottom of trees. And that being so (if the Bees were Bears), We shouldn't have to climb up all these stairs."

--from the song, "Isn't it Funny How a Bear Likes Honey?"  in Winnie the Pooh, by A. A. Milne

Winnie the Pooh had a few problems with honeybees--namely, finding their hives, and then figuring out the best way to get their honey, without being stung. Some pondering, singing, and talking with his friends usually gets him past any obstacles he faces.

Have you heard about the real life honeybee problem? All over the world, these bees are dying off.  Scientists are still investigating the reasons for this problem, which has been given the name of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD, for short.) 

Would you like to learn more about it? Would you like to learn how to help keep honeybee numbers up?  Then SSJCPL has a book for you:

Apis mellifera--Western Honeybee 
Photo courtesy of woolcarderbee's photostream
 on Some rights reserved.
by Sandra Markle. 

Markle tells about the discovery of the problem, and explains how a honeybee colony is supposed to work, with female worker bees, drones, a queen, and larvae.  She explains what the worker bees do--like gathering nectar from flowers--and how their work helps both their fellow bees and people.  

She then discusses possible causes of CCD--changes in habitat, parasitic mites, fungus, pesticides or even cell phones! The cell phone theory has been disproved, but it may be that the other possible causes are all contributing to CCD.

Even though the investigation into the cause of CCD has not ended, there are a number of things being done to ensure that we do not keep losing so many bees. Markle explains the things that beekeepers and others are doing to make sure there are more healthy bee colonies, like giving bees a rest, keeping their hives cleaner, and splitting colonies, to name a few.

As if that was not enough, she also gives suggestions for everybody, so they can help keep bees healthy.  My favorite suggestion is to buy local honey; I usually get that at the Farmer's Market here in Stockton.  Mmmmmmm!  When I think about honey, I start thinking about Winnie the Pooh again.  I wonder how much honey I have left in that jar....

I really like the glossary in the back, which defines bee-related terms. Markle also provides a list of books and websites in the back of the book, for those who wish to study the problem further. 

This book is for grades 4-8, but I think there are some bright students in younger grades, who might enjoy having this book read to them.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Just Life| Egyptian Book Of The Dead & More

A couple of years ago, a patron asked me to find him the Egyptian book of the dead. I almost giggled at that question telling myself that there is no chance that we would have such a book. 

Immediately, images of mummies running around London from The Mummy Returns came to mind.

You can't imagine how shocked I was when I found that book in our catalog.

So, I am leafing through this book to find out what this book is all about. 

To my disappointment, you can't bring back the dead with this book. 

In ancient Egypt, the book of the dead (roll of papyrus to be exact) was buried with the deceased person to help him in his journey through afterlife. 

Apparently, afterlife was quite a perilous journey where you would be tested and questioned and attacked by all sort of monsters. There were gates to pass through and questions to be answered before moving to the next stage and before finally reaching the Paradise. There was even the possibility of a second death which was apparently the worst thing that could happen to an already dead person.


Depending on your wealth, you could buy a fill in the blank Egyptian Book of the dead or a customized one.

The other perculiar book in our Ready Reference area is the Devil's Notebook. The book is written by Anton LaVey, founder of the church of Satan. I don't have any desire to read this book, but it is available if you want to take a peek at it.

I tell you, this library is full of surprises.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha