26 January 2010

Some reference questions are easier than others.

Some reference questions are easier than others.
An actual question at the reference desk today:

Patron. "How do you spell 'ho' as in 'whore'"?
Librarian. "Ho. As in ho, ho, ho, Santa Claus. You would think there might be some kind of apostrophe, but I don't think most people use one".
Patron. "It wouldn't be 'who'"?
Librarian. "I don't think so, because that would be who".
Patron. "Okay. Thanks".

I didn't cite my source, but here is a source:
Here is a classical reference:

1. derogatory. A sexually promiscuous woman; (also, sometimes with weakened force) a woman.

1964 R. D. ABRAHAMS Deep down in Jungle Gloss. 266 Main who', best girlfriend. 1988 R. WALTERS Treat her like Prostitute (song) in L. A. Stanley Rap: the Lyrics (1992) 298 Now your girl she don't like to have sex a lot And today she's ready and she's hot hot hot... Next thing you know the ho starts to ill She says, ‘I love you, Harold’ and your name is Will. 1992 Esquire July 14/2 What is surprising is Esquire's stereotypical portrayal of black women as oversexed ‘hos’{em}a depiction that was used to justify the raping of black women throughout slavery. 1995 Wire Jan. 24/2 In the next verse or the one after, there was a lot of stuff about beating the shit out of your 'ho if she hasn't got a meal waiting for you when you get home. 2000 Elle Sept. 283, I tend to design for ghetto fabulous ‘ho's’, pop divas and Portobello babes.

2. A prostitute.

1965 W. KING in Liberator Aug. 22/2 Let me cop a Benny Franklin until my whoe brings me some dough. 1967 B. DYLAN Tiny Montgomery (song) in Basement Tapes (1975) (sheet music), Three-legged man And a hot-lipped hoe Tell 'em all Montgomery says hello. 1974 Black World Aug. 55 ‘Damn!’ he thought, ‘times are so tight even the ho's are working double shifts.’ 1988 L. PARKER Jimmy (song) in L. A. Stanley Rap: the Lyrics (1992) 44 Here is a message to the super hos Just keep in mind When Jimmy grows It grows and grows and grows. 1994 Straight No Chaser Summer 17/1 It's fat like a $20 ho sittin' on yo face. 2000 N.Y. Times Mag. 6 Aug. 40/3 He be pimpin' hos and everything.

Harriet and the Roller Coaster

Harriet and the Roller Coaster
Nancy Carlson
Children's fiction, book plus cassette
ages 3-8

George teases Harriet that she is too chicken to ride the roller coaster. Can Harriet work up the courage to try the coaster? I am dreaming of summer and amusement park rides on this cold January day in Ohio thanks to Nancy Carlson! Cedar Point! King's Island! County Fair! State Fair! Here I come!

Her story is straightforward and rather realistic except for the main characters being a cartoon dog and a rabbit riding amusement park rides. I especially liked that the dog is wearing a Hawaiian shirt with dog bones on it - doggy summer fashion.

Boy Who Drew Cats

Boy Who Drew Cats
by David Johnson
narrated by William Hurt
music by Mark Isham
Rabbit Ears Radio Children's Classics from around the World
Cassette plus poster with all the words from the story on the back so patrons can read along.
Children's folk tale.

There is a frail boy who loves to draw cats. His family is poor and he is sent out to be an apprentice. He does try to pay attention to one master after another, but keeps failing due to his obsession with cats. What will become of the little boy? The poster and illustrations are lovely in the Japanese tradition and the story is based on a legend about a famous artist. When the cassette breaks and the library has to discard it, I wouldn't mind inheriting this poster of a boy drawing cats. Since my library has owned it since 1991 there is probably not much more life left in this audiobook.

I listened to this with a 5 and a 6 year old. It was too long for them to stay interested through the whole story (29:20 minutes long), but I enjoyed it. The music and the narration were well timed and side two of the tape had pleasant music without the narration. Some of the story was rather gruesome for a 5 year old. I am guessing that this would be a good story for ages 8 or 9 and up. One reason is that it 4 nice pictures on the poster, but it isn't really a book + cassette like some of the other kits that our library owns. If I had it to do over again I would check out the book with the cassette and the poster, since, presumably, the book would have more pictures.

15 January 2010

Double Trouble All About Colors

Double Trouble All About Colors (A Beastieville Book)
Kirsten Hall and Bev Luedecke
children's fiction ages 4-6

I know I am going to like any book in this series. I have read quite a few so far.
In this book, Toggles paints a picture of all her friends. It is so realistic that her friends are confused. When they see the picture through a window, they think there is a party going on!

A word list and comprehension discussion guide are in the back. There is a cast of characters in the front and a map on the back. All of these earn extra bonus points for this book in my opinion.

14 January 2010

First Day of School: All about Shapes and Sizes

First Day of School: All about Shapes and Sizes
by Kirsten Hall and Bev Luedecke
A Beastieville book.
Ages 3-6.

Mr. Rigby wants to make sure the school is ready for his students. This cheerful teacher carefully plans for the first day. Everything seems to go wrong on the first day, though. Thankfully, through Mr. Rigby's thoughtfulness, day two is much better.
I felt bad for this teacher. He was so conscientious! It has a happy ending, though.

I really like this series of books. The Beasties are Hallmark cute! I think I have read about 4 of these books so far. There is a reading comprehension quiz in the back, as well as a vocabulary list.

What a Mess!

What a Mess!
Stephen Krensky and Joe Mathieu
Children's fiction, ages 3-5
"Step into Reading: A Step 1 Book Preschool - Grade 1"

This book has a very simple plot - who left the mud all over the house? It is a funny romp figuring out which of the family of six kids, Dad, Mom, the cat, the dog, etc. made the mess. The author and writer make a good team.

I checked this book out because I was looking for "What a Mess the Good", but apparently my library doesn't own the book about the misbehaving afghan hound that I remember from 1984. Maybe I will try Amazon or interlibrary loan. I know that the copy I used to own got wet and I had to throw it away. I hope your local library still has the book.

Running Out of Time

Running Out of Time
Margaret Peterson Haddix
Children's Fiction, ages 8-14.
ALA Best Book for Young Adults

Jessie lives in Clifton, Indiana in 1840. Diphtheria strikes and people are dying. Her mother asks her to go on a secret mission that may save all their lives. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but it was published in 1995 and it seems like the author must have known in what direction our society was moving. This book was relevant in 1995 but is even more relevant in 2010.
This is a real page turner and hard to put down. There is great suspense.
I am proud to say that this is an Ohio author and I will certainly read more of her books. She is often on the lecture circuit in a number of Ohio locations, so you may be able to meet her.

Arthur's Birthday

Arthur's Birthday
Marc Brown
Children's Fiction, ages 3-7.

Arthur wants to have a great party, but one of his friends is having a party the same day. Who will win by having their friends attend the right party? The ending is a bit contrived, but otherwise this is a pretty good book.
Arthur has fans from his PBS television show and Scholastic books.
PBS Kids is a great website for educational games. The games require a pretty fast computer and internet connection, however.

Miss Spider's Tea Party

Miss Spider's Tea Party
David Kirk
book plus audio CD
Children's Fiction, ages 3-5

Everyone is afraid of spiders, but Miss Spider is a gentle, kind animal. When she invites other animals over they always refuse. Finally, Miss Spider is presented with an opportunity to help some others and there is a lovely ending to this book.
When I was listening to this in the car I kept thinking that something wasn't quite right about this book. Finally, I realized that it was because for years I have been reading the "Miss Spider: The Counting Book" board book. It is the same story, but condensed and arranged so the numbers 1 - 12 are prominent in order. I didn't even realize there WAS an original version that I had not read! Now it made sense.
Miss Spider's world is a sweet and polite place. There are other sweet and polite worlds such as Strawberry Shortcake and My Little Pony, but this world should appeal to preschool boys as well as girls, since Miss Spider is a bug after all. There is a Nickelodeon series featuring her world (Sunny Patch) and books are available from Scholastic. Books and videos are available at many public libraries.

Cats Are Not Peas

Cats Are Not Peas: A Calico History of Genetics
Laura Gould
Adult Nonfiction.

I have not read this yet, but I could not resist checking it out based on the bizarre title. What on earth is she talking about? I have an idea that it is about a more complex understanding than classical Mendelian genetics. Not Since "The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup" have I seen such an unusual title for a book.

12 January 2010

Arthur's New Puppy

Arthur's New Puppy
Marc Brown
Children's Fiction, ages 3-7.

This is one in the Arthur the Aardvark series. Arthur gets a puppy, Pal. Pal does not behave. He makes a mess on the floor and carpet. He eats the couch. He doesn't want to go for a walk. Can Arthur rein him in or will they have to get rid of Pal?
This would be good to read if a family is considering getting a dog and it will appeal to fans of the PBS children's series and the Arthur series of books.

06 January 2010

Nubs: The True Story of a Marine, a Mutt and a Miracle

Nubs: The True Story of a Marine, a Mutt and a Miracle
Maj. Brian Dennis, Mary Nethery and Kirby Larson
Children's nonfiction, ages 5-10.

After reading about Bobbie and Bob Cat in Kirby Larson's "Two Bobbies" I saw that she published another heart rendering tale of a canine overcoming adversity.
Nubs is one of many stray, starving dogs in Iraq. He lives on the fringes of an army camp begging for food. Nubs, unlike many of the other dogs, likes people. In particular he likes Major Dennis. Marines aren't allowed to own dogs while on combat duty, so Dennis leaves Nubs behind each time he moves out. Nubs waits for him over and over. The last time, however, Nubs can not stand to be parted from Dennis again so he follows him across the desert for 70 miles. What loyalty! Dennis knows he can't abandon Nubs again, so he sees what he can do to get Nubs a better home.
This is a good enough book, but "Two Bobbies" was better because Bobbie was a life saver. Nubs is cute and all, but he doesn't put out any fires or save Timmy from a well or anything.
This book relies on graphics and photographs. "Two Bobbies" had illustrations. Again, I think "Two Bobbies" was better visually.

You can read a lot more about this story by using any search engine. Here is one report.

I also read on the internet that they are planning a movie based on this story. Surely there are some stories about drug or bomb sniffing dogs that would be better? I would rather see a movie about the dogs that helped find people in the post 9-11 wreckage.

Come Morning

Come Morning
Pat Warren
Romantic Fiction

I read this book because I remember how much I enjoyed the "Welcome to Tyler" series of Harlequin Romances from the 1990's. Pat Warren wrote a number of those books.

Welcome to Tyler
#1 Nancy Martin - Whirlwind (Mar-1992)
#2 Pat Warren - Bright Hopes (Apr-1992)
#3 Carla Neggers - Wisconsin Wedding (May-1992)
#4 Nancy Martin - Monkey Wrench (Jun-1992)
#5 Suzanne Ellison - Blazing Star (Jul-1992)
#6 Pat Warren - Sunshine (Aug-1992)
#7 Suzanne Ellison - Arrowpoint (Sep-1992)
#8 Ginger Chambers - Bachelor's Puzzle (Oct-1992)
#9 Muriel Jensen - Milky Way (Nov-1992)
#10 Marisa Carroll - Crossroads (Dec-1992)
#11 Ginger Chambers - Courthouse Steps (Jan-1993)
#12 Marisa Carroll - Loveknot (Feb-1993)


In this book, the two main characters are both getting over devastating losses in their lives. Jeremy is a firefighter who can not forgive himself for allowing a little girl to die. Briana can't get past the shooting death of her 6 year old son. It is set in Nantucket and you can tell that the author loves the slow island pace of this New England town. The plot comes to a dramatic finish as a hurricane threatens to destroy this idyllic place in the sun.
This paperback came out in 1998 and it is amazing to think of how quickly technology has changed things. No one had cell phones or internet service. Briana didn't even have caller ID. An important plot point was that film had not yet been developed. Go to a store to have film developed? How 1998!

05 January 2010

Two Bobbies

Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival
Kirby Larson, Mary Nethery, and Jean Cassels
Nonfiction, ages 6 - adult.
My library put this in the children's section, but it is one of those books that many adults would enjoy unaccompanied by a child. I would not be surprised if Reader's Digest didn't feature this story in the Drama in Real Life section.
A cat and a dog keep each other alive during the hurricane that decimated New Orleans. Have plenty of Kleenex ready. This is a tearjerker. There are some amazing details that can only be true because they are so bizarre and unexpected.
I am delighted to see that one of the authors was Kirby Larson, whose book "Hattie Big Sky" I greatly enjoyed.
This is a must have book for elementary, junior high, public libraries, and any library in the greater New Orleans metropolitan service area. It should take its place among the great cat and dog books. Put this on the shelf next to "All Creatures Great and Small", "Black Beauty", "Lassie", "Lad", "Listen to Your Kitten Purr" and other great animal books.
Then again, I have mixed up the fiction and nonfiction section of the library, so I should say that at home you could put them on the shelf together. At the library this book will be under Dewey 636 with true animal books.
You can safely recommend this book to even the most conservative home school parent as the animals act like animals (not people) and compassion is emphasized. You also can recommend it to your most liberal animal rights patrons, so this is a win-win book!

Dragon's Lair

Dragon's Lair
Elizabeth Haydon and Jason Chan.
Fantasy Fiction, ages 8 to adult.
Elizabeth Haydon is the finest author that I am currently reading that no one else seems to know about! Why isn't she as popular as Harry Potter? She is an excellent writer! Where are the Ven Polypheme movies? Where is my Ven Polypheme scarf? My Ven Polypheme trading cards?
The Dragon's Lair has my favorite type of plot: a cast of dissimilar characters set out on a valiant quest (in the spirit of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman, and the Cowardly Lion). In this case, there is an elf, a dwarf, a priestess, and some more characters lead by the brave young dwarf, Ven Polypheme, whom the author calls a Nain, but others would call a dwarf.
Her books are about as good as it gets in books.
Here are aspects I liked about this book (not the plot, but things I like to see in a book).
* Simple line drawings when they would help the story.
* Interesting and readable font choice.
* Readers' AND teachers' guides in the back.
* Prologue and epilogue providing setting.
* Entertaining fake author biography.
* Preview of book 4 in the series.

The series so far:
Lost Journals of Ven Polypheme
1. Floating Island
2. Thief Queen's Daughter
3. Dragon's Lair
4. Tree of Water

I think "Dragon's Lair" is kind of a boring title and it reminds me of Dirk the Daring's video game circa 1983. I'll blame the publisher, not the writer. She probably had a better title that was vetoed by someone in marketing.