Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Let's Get a Movie: Holiday Movies for All Ages

Last month, I mentioned some family movies of the not so scary kind of Halloween . With Thanksgiving this Thursday ( which all the branches of the Lake County Public Library will be closed that day), I decided to do a list of family friendly movies(and some TV specials) for the holiday season ( some of which may be airing between now and Christmas. I even added one Thanksgiving and one for New Year's). While  all are family friendly ( and I even put in the ratings), please view them ahead of time if you feel it might be a problem for the children.

1. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving ( 1973)- Since I haven't seen Free Birds, I'm not recommending it, and most of the Thanksgiving movies that exist are not child-friendly ( I love 1995's Home for the Holidays with Holly Hunter and Robert Downey Jr, but not really good for the under 7 crowd.) You can't go wrong with Charlie's last minute attempt at Thanksgiving with toast, pretzels, and jelly beans. ( ABC will be airing it Thanksgiving night, along with a Lady Gaga/Muppet special.) Rated G

2. A Christmas Story ( 1983)- A Hoosier holiday classic, this year marks the 30th anniversary of one's boy's hope for a Red Ryder BB gun ( if only the adults would stop telling him " You'll shoot your eye out!") I look forward TBS's annual Christmas Day marathon (and those who really love the movie, the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond presents a big exhibit each year, featuring contests and more. They even added a statue this year of Flick and the flag post. For more info, see http://www.southshorecva.com/achristmasstory/) Rated PG.

3.Elf (2003)- Christmas ten years ago gave us two great Christmas films, this one and Love Actually  (also a favorite of mine, but  unfortunately is rated R, unless you catch it on basic cable, where they edit out the foul language and adult themes. ) I'm not really a Will Ferrell fan, but this is one of his good ones. He stars as Buddy, a orphan who was raised by elves but comes to New York to seek out his real family. A few years ago, this was turned into a Broadway musical.Rated PG

4. Polar Express ( 2004)- The elves are little creepy, but I really love this computer-animated adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's classic book about a young boy's magical train ride to the North Pole. Rated PG

5. Hallmark Holiday Movies- Nothing says Christmas like the sappy, happy TV movies of the Hallmark Channel ( or Hallmark Movie Channel, ABC Family, and Lifetime. Yes, Lifetime steps away from the ripped from the headlines movies during November-December). Most of the older movies are available on DVD. ( My favorites are 2008's Most Wonderful Time of Year with Henry Winkler and 2011 's A Princess for Christmas with Roger Moore of James Bond fame.) Not rated.

6.White Christmas (1954)- Inspired by the 1941 song by Irving Berlin ( which was introduced in the film Holiday Inn and won the Oscar for Best Song the following year), this holiday classic stars Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye as former WWII soliders/entertainers who, along with pair of singing sisters, plan a Christmas show at a Vermont inn owned by their former general.

7. Mickey's Christmas Carol ( 1983)- Over the years, there have been many takes on Charles Dicken's Christmas classic ( and many interesting takes, from the computer-animated Disney movie with Jim Carrey to Michael Caine and the Muppets.) But this version featuring the appropriately-named Scrooge McDuck in the lead role and many Disney character, is my favorite.

8.Santa Claus The Movie (1985)-This underrated gem of the 80s was a favorite as a kid (in fact, it might show up once and awhile on AMC or WGN).  The film follows how a woodcutter named Claus becomes the legendary man in the red suit with flying reindeer and how he saves Christmas from a greedy toymaker (and fuchsia pops that make people fly.) Rated PG

9. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)- I still try to catch this and Frosty every year.  Charlie Brown is depressed about the over-commercialization of Christmas till asked by Lucy to direct to the school's play. Will it put him in the Christmas spirit,or does he need the help of Linus and a little tree? I really love when Lucy asks Snoopy to be the animals ( even a penguin!)

10. New Year's Eve ( 2011)- There are a few kid specials ( like Happy New Year Charlie Brown and Rudolph's Shiny New Year) but for a full film about the last day of year, check out Garry Marshall semi-sequel to Valentine's Day. A plethora of stars from Bon Jovi to Sarah Jessica Parker celebrate love, hope and new beginnings 2012 will bring  in New York on New Year's Eve. Rated PG-13

For my runner up, I going to recommended any popular classic family movie ( like Wizard of Oz), any Disney movie, or any popular movie series ( How about instead of watching the annoying New Year Eve countdown shows with one hit acts, do a Star Wars marathon or Harry Potter marathon?) I'm also adding the Doctor Who Christmas specials ( thank you British television for giving us something new instead of repeats, movies, and last-minute holiday shows).

Happy Holidays and good viewing!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!( Plus a small gift to my readers).

Hi boys and girls. I know it's  one week early but just felt like wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and keep reading!


And now a small gift to my readers....

By Halloween, everyone is getting ready for the holidays that we tend to ignore fall and Thanksgiving ( which is maybe why there are very few Thanksgiving movies. TV has seemed to do a better job of Turkey Day, such as A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, The Bob Newhart Show, and Friends.)For me, the ultimate Turkey Day episode (and the  one everyone talks about) is the 1978 WKRP episode, "Turkeys Away". On this episode, radio manager Mr. Carlson decides to a big Thanksgiving promotion... by dropping live turkeys from a helicopter. The result is not pretty. Here is a clip from this classic episode, enjoy!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rest in Peace, Barbara Park.

I was browsing our  library Facebook page to see if there was anything about Sunday's storm ( I just had some tree branches down) and saw that Barbara Park, author of the Junie B Jones series, passed away over the weekend at age 66. ( Please see this link for her obit).

I actually got into the series about 6 yrs ago when I started work here at the library ( this and Magic Tree House were constantly being asked about.) For those not familiar with who or what Junie B Jones is, it is a chapter book series for ages 8 and up, focusing on a 5-year old (  later 6-years-old in books 18-28) girl named Junie B Jones and her many adventures at home and school. Her first  book, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly School Bus, was published in 1992 and focused on the first  day of kindergarten. Over 28 books, Jones has dealt with a new baby sibling, cut her own hair, graduated kindergarten and entered first grade ( with glasses.)  Her last book, Turkeys We have Loved and Eaten ( and Other Thankful Stuff) came out last year, and takes places doing a Thanksgiving classroom decorating contest. ( And it is the one Jones book I have not read, may have to wait till December.) Kids loved and laughed at the antics of  the spunky, Ramona-like girl with catch phases  like "Wowie wow wow!" and " The "B" stands for Beatrice. Except, I don't like Beatrice.". Parents....not so much (in fact, she's number 71 on American Library Association's Top 100 Banned Books 2000-2009 due to her bratty attitude and poor grammar. I didn't have a problem. In fact, I really enjoyed Junie B Jones is Party Animal, Junie B Jones is A Beauty Shop Guy, and Jingle Bells, Batman Smells (PS So Does May).)

We have most of the Jones books on display, in the same area as Magic Tree House ( which, coincidentally, also came out in 1992 and is by the same publisher, Stepping Stones/Random House). Park also picture books and other chapter books including(check library catalog to see if and where the book(s) is)-
  • Kid in the Red Jacket
  • Mick Hart was Here
  •  Skinnybones
Junie also has a website at http://juniebjones.com/

 Rest in Peace, Barbara Park.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Storytime for 2 and 3 yr olds: Thanksgiving with a Twist

Today we  celebrated Thanksgiving one week early ( also, we did a little bit of  Hanukkah because this year the first full day falls on Thanksgiving and this is one and only time this is happening in this lifetime.Don't ask, all has to do with the Jewish calender slowly becoming slower than ours.) Our small group of 4 kids and 4 parents got to hear three stories ( Thanksgiving is Here by Diane Goode, My Very First Look at Sizes by Christiane Gunzi, and Happy Sparkling Hanukkah by Elizabeth Spurr.) We also did a little bell  ringing and made a turkey handprint.

Here are some of the songs we did for today-

Over the River
Over the river and thru the woods,
to Grandmother's house we go.
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh,
thru the white and drifting snow, oh.

Over the river and thru the woods,
o how the wind does blow.
It stings the nose and bites the toes
as over the ground we go.

Five Little Turkeys added 11-3-98 Original Author Unknown
Five little turkeys by the barn door,
One waddled off, then there were four.
Four little turkeys out under the tree,
One waddled off, then there were three.
Three little turkeys with nothing to do.
One waddled off, then there were two.
Two little turkeys in the noonday sun,
One waddled off, then there was one.
One little turkey - better run away!
Soon will come Thanksgiving Day.

If You're Thankful added 11-7-98 Original Author Unknown
Sung to: "If You're Happy & You Know It"

If you're thankful and you know it clap your hands
If you're thankful and you know it clap your hands
If you're thankful and you know it
Then your face will surely show it
If you're thankful and you know it clap your hands!

( add what actions you want, like stomping, hugging, gobbling, etc) 

Our next two story times for 2 and 3 yr olds are Monday, December 2 and 16 at 10 am. We're going to be getting into the holiday spirit.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays. See you soon!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Happy Holiday 2013 Programs

Here are our last programs of 2013 that will happening next month in the Children's Dept at the Central Library. Please visit Library Events for information and register.

Story Time for 2 and 3 yr olds- Monday, Dec. 2 and 16 at 10 am- Audience: 2 and 3 year olds and caregivers.

Mother Goose on the Loose-Tuesday, Dec. 3  and 17 at 10 am-Audience: Infants Birth to
23 months and caregiver (s).

Board Game Fun-Wednesday, December 4 at 6:30 pm-Audience: Grades 2-6

 Lego Club- Monday, Dec 17 at 4 pm- Audience: Grades 2-6

Story Time for 4 and 5 yr olds- Tuesday,  Dec 10  at 10 am - Audience: 4 and 5 year olds.

Gaming Night- Wednesday, Dec 18 at 6 pm- Audience: 12 to 17 years old.

Kids Art Club- Thursday, December 19 at 4pm-Audience: Grades 2-6


The Happy Holidays Story Hour- Thursday, December 5 at 4 pm- Audience: K-5

Tis the Season Family Movie Time- Saturday at Noon- Audience: All age in Meeting Room A ( No dark or red colered drinks. Children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by an adult 18 yrs or older.)

Stuffed Animal Story Time and Sleeoover!- Wednesday, December 11 at 4 pm-

Children, K-5, and a special stuffed animal are invited to enjoy stories and activities together at LCPL! After story time, the children can leave their stuffed animal at the library for a sleepover. Participants will receive a special photograph of their animal's overnight adventure when they pick them up the next day.

Stay tuned for our January-February programs of 2014!

Happy Holidays! See You soon!  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bookworm List:Pass the Sweet Potato Latkes, Thanksgivukkah coming!

This month, as you shop for your turkey and all the trimmings of Thanksgiving, you might all see pumpkin driedels and menurkeys. Say hello to Thanksgivukkah!

This year (and this year only) the first night of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, falls on... Thanksgiving (okay, it's starts sundown on Thanksgiving Eve, but the first full day is on Thanksgiving. Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrated for eight days and nights. It starts on the 25th of the Jewish month of Kislev, which coincides with late November-late December on the secular calendar. This holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E.)  Yes, this year, we'll be seeing turkey-shaped menorahs ( created by a nine-yr old in New York), recipes for pumpkin challah bread and other Jewish/Thankgiving food and a giant driedel in the Macy's Thanksgiving parade ( which I'm find very interesting, I might be working into my 2 and 3 yr old story time just this once. I'm not even Jewish!)

 According to a lot of articles on the web ( including Wikepedia), this is only the second time to ever happen ( the first time was 1888, but it may have happen way before Thanksgiving was declared a federal holiday by President Lincoln in 1863.) The next time this will happen ... might be a long, long time ( possibly the year 79811). Why? Well, the Hebrew calender and the Gregorian calender do not always calculate the same way ( and I'm not going to try to explain here, so have fun looking up yourself.)

Here are some websites to help you get in the  Thanksgivukkah spirit ( even if you're Jewish or not):

Thanksgivukkah- The Offical site of all things turkey and Yiddish, including how the two holidays were combined to create Thanksgivukkah.

Thanksgivukkah: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Holiday-A Pinterest board of recipes, images, and all Thanksgivukkah.  

Menurky-Learn the story of a how a nine-yr old New York boy , with the help of Kickstarter, created this blue turkey-menorah ( which you can also buy from this site)

Thankgivukkah-David Paskin- Cute song created by a Boston Rabbi ( also a page of lyrics).

And here are some Hanukkah books to check out-

The Hanukkah Hop  by Erica Silverman

Happy Sparkling Hanukkah by Elizabeth Spurr

All the Lights in the Night by Arthur Levine

On Hanukkah  by Cathy Goldberg

 Happy Thankgivukkah!!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Storytime for 2 and 3 yr olds: Artful Reading

For  today's storytime , I got some inspiration from a posting from the Kids at Cedar Lake Children's Blog and decided to have a day of art, shapes, music and motion. The kids heard Windblown by Edouard Manceau and Artful Reading  by Bob Raczka  and learned about shapes through My First Look at Shapes. We also had some fun with scarves and made some Windblown-inspired artwork (visit  http://www.owlkidsbooks.com/Portals/0/docs/windblown-activity.pdf to get the shapes to make your own artwork.)

Here are some of the songs we did today

Pretty Leaves are Falling Down added 9-9-98 Original Author Unknown
Sung to: "London Bridge"

Pretty leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down.
Pretty leaves are falling down, all around the town.
(wiggle fingers)
Let's rake them up in a pile, in a pile, in a pile.
Let's rake them up in a pile, all around the town.
(make raking motions)
Let's all jump in and have some fun,
have some fun, have some fun.
Let's all jump in and have some fun, all around the town.
(jump into circle)

Ten Little Fingers added 9-1-01 Original Author Unknown
(Hold up ten fingers. Suit actions to words.)
I have ten little fingers,
And they all belong to me.
I can make them do things,
Would you like to see?

I can shut them up tight,
Or open them wide.
I can put them together,
Or make them all hide.

I can make them jump high,
I can make them jump low.
I can fold them up quietly,
And hold them just so.

Our next couple of story times are:
Monday, November 18
Monday, December 2
Monday December 16.

All are at 10 am in the Children's Programing Room.

See You Soon