Humeston Public Library

This blog is written by a librarian in a small town in south central Iowa. Originally, this blog began as a reader's advisory to highlight some of the great reads available to loan to our library patrons. However, the focus of the blog was too narrow so I have changed the address and now include anything involving our local library on this blog site. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

More Warm and Fuzzy books

If you are in the mood for easy to read books that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy then I have another series of books to recommend. I stated on an earlier post that one of my hobbies is quilting. So, once again, I was thrilled to find a nice fiction book that had quilts, quilting and quilters as part of the main plot. I have really enjoyed the Elm Creek Quilts series by Jennifer Chiaverini. I have read all 9 books in this series and eagerly await the next one if there is another one. Without giving away the entire storyline, I will say that that the setting is a mansion in Pennsylvania and the plot generally follow one themes. Some of the books explore the history of the family that built the mansion and the ancestors of the current owner and the others tells about the present-day activities at the quilt camp that the mansion is now used for. Chiaverini does a great job with character development. Her descriptions are colorful and vivid. While you need not be a quilter to enjoy the stories, the references to quilting seem accurate. The author is a very inclusive when it comes to the different styles of quilting. Quilters have different preferences and styles and they are all welcome at Elm Creek Manor. Just reading one of these great books makes me want to slip away for a week at quilt camp. But, since I am always busy at the library, I'll have to settle for going to quilt camp in my dreams while I am tucked in under one of my favorite home made quilts.


I have begun a new outreach project for the Humeston Public Library. Twice a month I lead activity time at the local preschool and 2 area daycare centers. I have so much fun working with kids age 2 to 5. Today I was at the preschool and I read the story Baghead by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. This cute book tells about how a young boy spends an entire day with a brown bag on his head. He manages to do all of his normal activities throughout the day. Finally his sister asks why he is wearing the bag and he reveals that he cut his own hair and the result was not very good. This book has great illustrations and it a story that kids can really connect with. I just hope none of the kids I read to today go home and cut their hair.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Is It Really About Elephants?

I want to write briefly about a new book in our collection. The Des Moines Register has shown Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen at the top of the best seller list for several weeks. I admit that our library doesn't often have very many of the books on the Register's best seller list, but we usually have two or three in our collection. I read a short review on this book and thought it was worth adding to our collection. I have not yet had the opportunity to read this book but initial response is very positive and those who have read it said it was enjoyable and that they would recommended it to others. Maybe some day I will get to read it and will find out just how much of the story is really about elephants.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Can Books Teach Manners?

Back to a children's book for this post. My son loves books. He seems to like all sorts of picture books. He especially likes books with pictures of tractors or machinery. I try to bring home one of this type each time but I also like reading books with a variety of other themes to him.

The "Mom's Choice" book this past week was May I Please Have a Cookie by Jennifer Morris. This is, of course, a picture book. It doesn't have any pictures of tractors, but it has a great message. The characters are friendly alligators so that adds another cute dimension to the book. Anyway, the story begins with the mother alligator making some delicious looking cookies. Alfie, the little boy alligator, really wants to have one. His mom, wanting to teach a lesson, asks if he can find a better way to get a cookie. The book details the different stunts that Alfie tries that really don't work. In the end, Alfie asks him mom for a cookie very nicely with a please and he gets his cookie. So, this was a nice book about using the word please when requesting something.

Just the fact that it is a nice book was not the only reason that it was my choice of the week. What happened a few days later made my decision for me. Out of the blue, my son climbed on a chair and pointed to one of his toys that we put up high to keep it out of his sister's reach. He looked at us and pointed again and said "Toy, please" We were dumbfounded. This was the first time he had used "please." Hmm...Did he learn this word from this book? Maybe. Maybe not. But it was sure nice to hear him say it. And we did get his toy down for him since he asked so nicely.

Books for children

I'm always happy to find good books for small children, so I appreciate Jackie's posts. I don't have children, grandchildren, or even nieces and nephews (though I have quite a few honorary nieces and nephews) but I do have a fairly new little neighbor (just turned 1) and I am looking for titles for him. I went into the bookstore to get a book or two for his first birthday--and came out with $80 worth of books! And Christmas is coming....

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Warm Fuzzy Books...Literally

I mentioned in my last post that I am quite busy with my kids and my part-time job at the local library. However, occasionally, I do get to do some hobbies such as sewing, knitting, quilting, scrapbooking and reading books without pictures. Recently, I was thrilled to find two books that were centered around one of my hobbies - knitting.

I ordered the book The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber for the library because she is a popular author among the fiction readers in my town. As I prepared the book for circulation, I was intrigued by the book jacket description and decided that I should be the first to read it. I found the references to knitting were accurate and believeable. This is a warm, fuzzy story about an unlikely friendship between four women that was knit together at a class offered by a local yarn shop.

Debbie Macomber later wrote the book A Good Yarn, which I also read before anyone else. This book refers to the characters and events in the first book and is also centered around the same yarn shop. Once again, an unlikely friendship is formed between new characters with different issues.

I highly recommend both of these books to anyone looking for easy-to-read books that will leave you with a happy, warm, fuzzy feeling when you turn the last page. My library patrons agree. I have had 100% positive feedback on both books. So pull out a nice hand-knitted afghan on a cool fall day and enjoy one of these great books by Debbie Macomber.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Spud Rules!

As a mom of two young children, I rarely get to read anything but children's books. Since I am a librarian, it is very handy to bring home a variety of interesting books for my children to look at and for me to read to them. Some of my recent choices have especially pleased my three year old son. We read Go, Spud, Go! by Kim Ostrow several times each day for about two weeks. This book has very few words but it has great pictures of Bob the Builder, his crew of talking equipment, and the infamous Spud the scarecrow. After reading this book a few times, my son was able to recite several parts of the story. He was disappointed when we returned it to the library, but I promised I would bring home another good book for him to read for a couple of weeks. I recommend this book to young children -particularly Bob the Builder fans- and their parents or grandparents.