Saturday, March 14, 2015

Books On Film | Cinderella

This weekend will see the release of the live-action version of Walt Disney's Cinderella. The classic animated Cinderella was originally released in 1950. 
With the help of her fairy godmother, a kitchen maid mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters attends the palace ball where she meets the prince of her dreams.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Learning | 5, 6, 7, Nate!

I spent my evenings this week listening to an audiobook for tweens. You know, tweens, those people who are no longer small children, but not quite teenagers yet (never mind not quite being adult yet.)  

The main characters in Five, Six, Seven, Nate! are thirteen years old.  The narrator of this story is Nathan (Nate) Foster, a theater geek who is leaving home to appear in his first Broadway musical. Okay, so he'll be playing Alien Number Seven, not actually starring in ET: The Musical, but, still! This could be his big break.

After Nate says goodbye to his best friend (and fellow theater nerd) Libby, he arrives on the first day of rehearsals to find that practically everybody else in the production has professional experience.

Five, Six, Seven, Nate gives us a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes production of a Broadway musical, and the large number of (often interesting) people involved in making a show happen.

I listened to the audio version of this book, because it was honored by the 2015 Odyssey Award committee. This award is given to the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults available in English in the United States. The author of the book, Tim Federle, reads the book out loud in the audio version. He makes the character of Nate come alive.

I see that Five, Six, Seven, Nate! is the sequel to a book called Better Nate than Never. I'll be looking for that one and reading it soon. I hope there will be more books about Nate. He's such a likable character.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

She's Crafty | String Art

A few posts ago I talked about two interior decorating books we have in our library. One of the books, Bright Bazaar by Will Taylor, showcased a home with these really cool string art boats nailed directly into the wall. You can read that post here if you like: Bright and Fearless Decorating.

After seeing these boats I began thinking about string art more and more. What projects I've done in the past, what really appeals to me, and what I can actually do.

Back in the day I made string art earrings. You get tightly coiled wire, make a shape--usually a tear drop--and then you wrap different colors of thread round and round the coiled wire to make cool designs.

Kate's Earring by Fenn. Some Rights Reserved.

I made these by the boat load. Not literally, but I literally did make a large number of them.

Then for a teen program the idea of making string art on cork coasters or tiles was considered. However, I opted for something else, but I am not opposed to revisiting the idea. If you get the right materials you don't even need a hammer to make cork string art, just some thick cork, little nails, and a pile of strings in every color imaginable. I can see kids, teens, and grown people enjoying a bit of string art in the library.

String Art Heart by Personal Creations.
Creative Commons 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What is really catching my eye right now for my personal use is big, bold, and colorful designs. I'm thinking pop art in strings. Quotes, in strings. Abstract three-dimensional wooden sculptures...with strings.

String art by Dominique Falla. #altsummit.Photo by designmilk. Some rights reserved.

Untitled, sculpture of mixed-wood, screws, string and acrylic by Tyson Koehn.
Photo by Ali Eminov. Some rights reserved.

There is something fascinating about the craft of wrapping threads of all kinds around nails or other objects to create either chaos in straight lines or an orderly geometric pattern. In fact, did you know that string art can be used to illustrate one of the main ideas of calculus? Yes, the idea that straight lines can be used to represent curves is easily revealed in string art. Just take a look at the curves created by straight lines in the earring above. If you want to learn more about the educational uses of string art check out, Cool String Art: Creative Activities that Make Math & Science Fun for Kids!


Monday, March 9, 2015

Just Life| Children Biographies

A while back, my husband came home from Safeway and besides getting our usual groceries, he had bought these small children biographies for our daughter.

I asked, "you got these from a grocery store?" I was really impressed.

The very fist thing that caught my eyes about these children biographies was their book covers. Look at them. They are just fun and inviting. 

So far we have read quite a few of these biographies at home. You can find these biographies in our library system too.

I would give these biographies to at least a third grader. Each of these books has around 100 pages or so.

This biography series is called: Who was--?

And here are a few of these books that we have added recently to our collection.
So on your next visit to your local library, don't forget these children biographies.

Signing off until next Monday- Panteha