Mother Goose Hits the Road

Our very own Mother Goose (a.k.a. Ms. Judy) has been travelling around Clayton County visiting child care centers and sharing her rhymes and stories with children.  Although Mother Goose Day is on May 1st each year, she believes that these wonderful nursery rhymes should be shared year round.  Unfortunately, she could not find her goose, who likes to hide all the time, so she enlisted the help of her good friend Duck to go along on her travels to the different schools.  As you can imagine, Duck did not mind one bit.  Here is a picture of the two of them before a storytime:
Mother Goose 2

These are some of our favorite Mother Goose books that you can share:

Here Comes Mother Goose by Iona Archibald Opie

My First Real Mother Goose Bedtime Book

Nursery Rhyme Book by Beatrix Potter

Teddy Bears' Mother Goose by Michael Hague

Dona Blanca and other Hispanic Nursery Rhymes and Games by Isabel Schon

Riddledy Piggledy by Tony Mitton

We have many Mother Goose and other nursery rhyme books in our collection.  Visit one of your local libraries to find these and more!  Remember, if you need help finding them there is always someone at each of our branches who will be more than happy to help you find just what you're looking for.

Published in: on October 29, 2007 at 7:57 pm  Comments (1)  

Guys Read

I read an interview with Jon Scieszka in the Horn Book Magazine September/October 2007 special edition on boys and girls, and in it was the link to his website Guys Read. (Go ahead, click it! You know you want to!) Basically- Jon Scieszka is an advocate for getting guys to read. There aresome suggested books for young guys, middle guys, and older guys.  

So I got to thinking- why is it so hard to get a guy to read? Do girls like to read more? Is it easier to write books for girls?

According to Scieszka, its not that guys don’t like to read-they just read for different reasons and enjoy reading things like comics, graphic novels, non-fiction, etc.  

In my quest to get more info, I turned to one of my guy friends (taken straight from our AIM chat so excuse the lack of sentence structure, proper grammar, etc)… 

Him: what sort of “guys reading” stuff are you looking for?
Me: mmm idk… why some guys may not like reading…what they preferred reading instead…things like that
Him: boys have been encouraged to be active, into sports, etc-reading carries the “nerd stigma” [note from me: it really doesn’t but meh you know how it is when you’re in school L]the trick is to give them books about what they’re interested in-dragons, or space combat, or dinosaurs, or adventure, or whateverlisten to what kind of games they make up, and find books like that
Me: mmmm interestingand yes, that is exactly what I am looking for
Him: I read a ton as a kid, though…and played soccer. kids who play Halo? there are books [Halo: First Strike  & Halo: the Flood are two that CCLS own]to set the backstory for the game-and then segue into Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” to teach them about literary influences
there are warcraft books, of course. [Hey, it’s me again-these ‘warcraft’ books? from the online game World of Warcraft of which I have unfortunately sold my soul L. Halo is an XBox game. Halo is rated M for Mature, WoW is rated T for Teen]
kids like animals? Watership Down!
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, too
There’s also all sorts of non-fiction-sports biographies, etc.  

And thinking about it, it all makes sense in the end! They like video games? Find a book, or in some cases a comic or graphic novel, based on that! They like the Star Wars movies? We have a whole series of Jedi Apprentice books, not to mention some adult fiction Star Wars books.  

So yeah, in the end, find the guy’s interest, and find a book that relates. Don’t push them, but encourage them to reading-if they want to, they will.  But, if you still want a bit of help, take a peek these books! 

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz
Stargirl & Loser by Jerry Spinelli [Granted Stargirl is about a girl, but written from a guy’s point of view.]
The Contender by Robert Lipstye
Moves Make the Man by Bruce Brooks
Every Man for Himself: 10 Short Stories about Being a Guy
Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan
Pendragon series by D.J. Machale

David Almond  
Rodman Philbrick
Christopher Paolini
Walter Dean Myers
Chris Crutcher
Gary Paulsen
Brian Jacques
Garth Nix
Markus Zusak

Other items of interest:
Graphic Novels!
Comic Books!
Non-fiction books!             
Maybe he might like sports (796s) or war info (350s) or automobiles (629s) or want to know how things work (600s and 604-609s), or maybe drawing (741.5 & 743.6), or any number of things.

Till next time-keep flipping those pages!

Published in: on October 25, 2007 at 7:51 pm  Comments (2)  

Halloween: The Devil’s Holiday?



Some time ago, a friend of mine referred to Halloween as “the devil’s holiday.”  It wasn’t the first time I’ve heard the phrase.  Many devoutly religious folks I’ve known have uttered the words, usually with a spin of contempt, whenever the festivities surrounding October 31 come about.  The phrase and people’s use of it has always amused me, because Halloween is meant to be a sacred observance.  But my friend and others’ perspective on Halloween is not without reason. 

The Celts, who occupied parts of Europe some 2,000 years ago, celebrated a festival called Samhain (pronounced sow-in).  This was their year end and harvest celebration, and a time, as they believed, when spirits of the dead returned to the land of the living.  Some spirits were good, and some not so good.  To prevent the mischief that the bad spirits caused, a number of rituals were performed to scare them off.  They built bonfires, sacrificed animals to Celtic deities, disguised themselves in costumes to fool the spirits, and carved scary faces in turnips, the precursor to the Jack O’Lantern.

Around the 9th century, the Christian church blended Samhain with All Saints’ Day, the celebration of saints and martyrs.  This was done as way for Celtic converts to celebrate their traditional festivals in a sacred context.  Samhain became known was called All-hallows Eve, later shortened to Hallowe’en.  Thus, Hallowe’en became a Christian observance.

Not all of the Celtic converts bought into the holy version of Samhain, however, and continued to celebrate it as before.  The invocation of gods, commemoration of the dead, and divinations were some of the customs that continued to be practiced by them and others.  When immigrants came to the New World in the late 19th century, they brought a number of these customs with them, although they were observed in a traditional rather than religious sense.  Protestants already in the New World weren’t keen on Halloween’s pagan origins and occult-like practices to begin with, and were less enthused when witches began observing their Sabbath on the same day.  Such observances were diametrically opposed to Protestant doctrines; thus the objection of some Christians to Halloween, sacred status notwithstanding.

So, in the Christian community, there are two viewpoints on the observance of Halloween.  One side celebrates it as the early church intended:  Part of a celebration of saints, dead and living.  They turn the negative association of death and evil into a positive of eternal life and good.  Then there’s the side that sees Halloween for its pagan roots, with its preoccupation with death, evil, occult symbols and witchcraft – things the faithful should have no part of.

As a holiday, Halloween has blended and meshed with many beliefs and customs of different European and Native American ethnic groups until the spiritual – good and otherwise – significance is lost.  Commercialization of the holiday has further reduced it to a night to dress up in costumes and solicit candy from neighbors.  But many of the faithful recall the origins and/or reason for Halloween, celebrate or denounce it accordingly.  Whether one sees it as a celebration of saints, dead and living, or an abomination depends largely on point of view and personal convictions.

In the future, when my friend speaks of “the devil’s holiday,” I’ll be less inclined to laugh up my sleeve.

 This essay was written for the information and entertainment of our patrons.  It is not intended to offend, promote the belief systems of any religious group, or to express my personal opinion on the issue contained. 

Published in: on October 25, 2007 at 4:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Celebrate Children’s Book Week, Nov. 12-18

Read to, and with, your child! Since 1919, educators, librarians, booksellers, & families have celebrated Children’s Book Week during the week before Thanksgiving.  This special week is sponsored by the Children’s Book Council, a nonprofit trade association  that promotes the use and enjoyment of children’s trade books and related literacy materials for young people.  Visit the 6 Clayton County public libraries for several CBW events or come in to select some great reads!  ; 770 473 3850

 Next year Children’s Book Week will move to May!! 2008 CBW dates are: May 12-18.

Published in: on October 18, 2007 at 4:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Al Waller’s Animation and Puppet Show

Don’t miss the “the Varmints present . . . The Be a Know-It-All Road Show!” for families with kids ages 6-12.  A great FREE program to celebrate Children’s Book Week, Thursday, November 13, 7-7:45 p.m.  Headquarters Library, 865 Battle Creek Rd., Jonesboro. Please register in advance by calling 770 473 3850 or emailing Bea Mengel:  Meet these wonderful puppet & animated varmints at ; more programs at

Published in: on October 18, 2007 at 4:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Safe Toys for Kids by Keenan’s Kids Foundation of Atlanta

Worried about how to select SAFE toys for your kids?  Want to know which toys are on the dangeous toys list?  Plan ahead for selecting holiday toys. Attend this informational session for parents and concerned adults at the Headquarters Library, 865 Battle Creek Rd, Jonesboro, Thursday, November 8, 7-8 p.m. Children may attend a story time and craft program during the parent session.  Register by calling 770 473 3850 or by emailing Bea Mengel, For more information: ;

Published in: on October 18, 2007 at 4:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Learn to Play CHEXAGON, a New, Educational Game!

Come to the Riverdale Branch Library, 420 Valley Hill Rd., Riverdale, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 7-8 to learn how to play many variations of a challenging new game, Chexagon.  The local game inventor, Rev. George Lanier will be present to demonstrate the various games from simple checkers, to advanced checker variations, plus new games, “Connection” and “Gammon.”  These games are strategy and math games.  Please register in advance so we can plan on how many game sets will be needed.  Adults and teens, this game is challenging for you too. To register call 770 472 8100 or email Ramona Clark, ;

Published in: on October 18, 2007 at 4:19 pm  Comments (1)  

Saturday Story times @ Riverdale Branch Library

Free story times for the whole family are being presented 3-4 p.m. on the following Saturdays. Please register in advance so we can have enough craft supplies for the craft that usually follows the story time.  Dates: Oct. 20, Nov. 3 & 17; Dec. 1 & 15.  Wonderful way to share “fun” time with family and well as increase children’s vocabulary and comprehension skills.  Call 770 472 8100 or email Ramona Clark, to register.

Published in: on October 18, 2007 at 4:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

So…You’ve been Wondering what LOL Means?

You’ve seen them in many places-text messages, instant messages, quick little notes, and if you’re like me-online games (MMORPGs are a big source and where I became versed in them). Maybe you know what they mean, maybe you don’t. Now you are about to discover how to lol, rotf, afk, and sooo much more! 

Okay, so with out further ado… 

LOL= Laugh Out Loud
ROTF or ROTFLOL= Rolling on the floor / laughing out loud
BRB= Be Right Back
AFK= Away From Keyboard
IMO= In My Opinion
BBIAB= Be Back in a Bit (a more prolonged AFK)
ATM= At the Moment
IDK= I Don’t Know
IIRC= If I Recall Correctly
TTYL= Talk To You Later
GTG= Got to Go
OMG= Oh My God
ZOMG= Well, no one REALLY knows what the Z stands for, but it’s a…comical OMG or something like that lol (i tend to use it as a more dramatic omg) 

Then there are the simple U, B, 2, UR etc
Those are just some of the few you’ll run across more frequently in your online travels.  

Another form of online speak is to for one reason or another, misspell some words. Who knows why-but sometimes it can be fun!  

Now becomes NAO
More becomes MOAR
The becomes TEH
My becomes MAH
What becomes WUT
There becomes THAR
Hello becomes HALLO or HULLO

Ok, and another HUGE favorite of mine….Cat Macros or Macro Cats, what ever you want to call them. Basically, its funny pics of cats with captions. Ok, so words can’t really describe very well, so here is an example for you!


wutinternetinternet internet

 And now you’re probably wondering what this all has to do with libraries.
Well, this is Teen Read Week (October 14-20) 

and the theme is…
LOL@Your library.  

While you’re on the TRW website, vote for next year’s Teen Read Week theme!

In the library, be sure to check out the “Books to Make You LOL @ Your Library” display in the Teen section.  And while you’re in the Teen section-vote for the 2007/2008 Georgia Peach Book Award.

Ginny’s Favorite Teen Books: A Brief Sampling
(in no particular order…okay, except the first three)

Blood & Chocolate  –  Annette Curtis Klause
The Truth about Forever  –  Sarah Dessen
Twilight  –  Stephanie Meyer
Abhorsen Series  –  Garth Nix
Angus, Thongs, & Full Frontal Snogging  –  Louise Rennison
They Wear WHAT Under Their Kilts  –  Katie Maxwell
Stargirl  –  Jerry Spinelli
If You Come Softly  –  Jacqueline Woodson
Last Vampire series  –  Christopher Pike
Cheerleader (Fear Street Series)  –  R.L. Stine

So now you can go AFK and rotflol. But for now, I gtg!


Published in: on October 18, 2007 at 12:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Horror Movies: A Short List of Favorites

As Halloween draws near, more and more horror movies are appearing on TV and at theatres.  People like stories that frighten, and scary movies are a big draw – and very profitable for the movie industry.  I’m not a horror movie fan, personally, and the few that I’ve seen didn’t really scare or frighten me.  Maybe I’m made immune by all the B-horror movies I watched on “Creature Feature” growing up, or the hype and talk I heard before seeing the movie.

Despite that, a few movies have engaged me enough to make me squirm in my seat; even hesitant to turn out the lights and go to bed!  Here’s a list – in no particular order – of my favorite horror and suspense movies:

 The Blair Witch Project – Three student filmmakers get lost in the woods while out filming a documentary about a witch legend and are stalked by an unseen force.  The movie doesn’t follow any typical horror story paradigm, which irked many viewers.  But if you appreciate psychological horror, that’s half the battle. 

28 Days Later –  A virus hits the British Isles and turns folks into literal raging lunatics.  A group of survivors fight through the mass of flesh hungry creatures to a haven set up by a military unit.  When they arrive, they learn that the military has other plans for them.   This film broke out of the usual zombie movie trappings with flesh eaters who can run faster than a juiced up track star. 


Alien – An acid drooling creature makes its way onboard an intergalactic cargo ship, and begins eating the crew one-by-one.  On a ship in deep space, there are only so many places to hide, and the creature is finding them all.  This is the first film in the Alien franchise, and by far the scariest. 


Night of the Living Dead – I’m not talking about the remake, but the original watershed black and white.  The dead have risen, and are looking for the living to snack on.  A group of people take refuge in a farm house, and try desperately to secure it from the advancing flesh-eaters.  But clashing egos inside the house become a greater threat than the zombies outside.  Despite its age and low budget look, this film still has the ability keep you on edge. 


The Shining – Stephen King didn’t care for Stanley Kubrick’s film version of his book, but The Shining stands as a horror movie masterpiece, and the first horror movie I can recall that evoked an emotional response from me.  After seeing the tale of a writer’s blocked author going murderously mad in an isolated hotel, I turned on every light in my apartment and kept them on for a good hour afterwards.   


Psycho – Everyone is familiar with the famous shower scene, but the rest of the movie to me is far and above more suspenseful and shocking than that 2 minute sequence.  Alfred Hitchcock shows why he was the Master of Suspense in this tale of the search for an embezzling secretary, whose stay at a motel ends in murder. 


Worth Mentioning 


Bram Stoker’s Dracula – Visually slick and stylish, and more gory than scary, this film is the most faithful to the novel, bringing the story of undying love to the forefront.  Don’t look for the Count in a cape and thick Hungarian accent, because you won’t find him!   


Jaws – It’s really an action/adventure film, but a small coastal town sheriff’s quest to take down a big daddy man-eating shark keeps me on the edge of my seat, even after seeing it umpteen times.


The Silence of the Lambs – Also not a horror flick, this crime thriller can easily pass for one.  It’s an intense film, especially when Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter appears.  Some former friends were so disturbed by him that they held an impromptu prayer vigil to shake the effect. 


Seven (Se7en) – Also a crime thriller, Seven is a dark, disturbing tale of two detectives’ quest to stop a serial killer, whose gruesome murder spree is patterned after the seven deadly sins.  You don’t want Hannibal Lecter inside your head… or John Doe. 


The Other Side – A supernatural thriller about a murder victim who escapes from Hell, and must find his killer before three relentless bounty hunters called Reapers bring him back.  Plenty of action and impressive production value make this Atlanta made “no-budget” film a must-see.  Check the website for more information.

Published in: on October 17, 2007 at 5:17 pm  Comments (1)