What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in December

December means heading  warp speed into the holiday season. Take a break from the craziness with some of the free programs at Cheshire Library. Here’s a few of the things our calendar for December:

jewelry_makingJewelry Jam

Wednesday Dec 2, 2015,  6:00  –  8:00 PM

Join us for an evening of fun, free jewelry making! The holidays are just around the corner…make a necklace for yourself and earrings as a gift..or keep them all! Seating is very limited and registration is required. Register online  or call 203-272-2245 ext. 4.

Color Yourself Calm

Thursday Dec 3, 2015, 6:00  –  8:00 PM

Our last program was such a success, we decided to do it every month! De-stress your busy life with a relaxing night of coloring. We’ll provide coloring pages and supplies, but feel free to bring your own pages, art supplies. Meets the first Thursday of every month, no registration required.

Yu-Gi-Oh: It’s Time to Duel!

Friday Dec 4, 2015, 2:30  –  4:30 PM

A Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game tournament here at CPL!   Just bring your cards, and join in the fun!  No registration required, Grades 7-12.

Read, Play & Learn Storytime

talksingreadwriteplaySunday Dec 6, 2015, 2:00  –  4:00 PM

Join us for stories, songs, activities and play that promote the five best practices of Every Child Ready to Read  — talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing — for developing language and pre-reading skills. This program will start with a storytime with books, songs, and rhymes followed by activities such as a writing or art station.  The last hour of the program will be play based, with children given puppets, dress-up clothes, blocks and other toys to foster imaginative play! Best for ages 3-6, no registration required.

Jacket.aspxCheshire Cats Classics Club

Monday Dec 7, 2015, 6:30  –  7:30 PM

The Cheshire Cats Classics Club meets once per month on a Monday evening, to discuss those classics you’ve always been meaning to read. This month we are discussing The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. Copies are available at the Checkout Desk.
There is limited seating for this event.  For more information regarding this program, contact Jennifer Bartlett at jbartlett@cheshirelibrary.org.

imageMovie Matinees

Tuesdays at 1:00, no registration required.

Dec 8: Hitched for the Holidays

Dec 15: White Christmas

Dec 22: Miracle on 34th Street

Holiday Read-Aloud with the FEA

https_img.evbuc.com_https%3A%2F%2Fcdn.evbuc.com%2Fimages%2F15910274%2F144875589570%2F1%2Foriginal.jpg?rect=159%2C0%2C1280%2C640&s=cb02efb5f5e38591b6ce11e51efe8d01Thursday Dec 10, 2015, 3:30 PM

Come read with the Future Educators of America from Dodd Middle School for a special Holiday Storytime.  We will be reading books, creating crafts, and snacks will be provided. Ages 3-6. Register online  or call 203-272-2245 ext. 3.

Entywned Early Music presents a Renaissance Christmas

Sunday Dec 13, 2015, 2:00 PM

The Entwyned Early Music trio performs Renaissance settings of some of our most beloved Christmas carols, and a few charming surprises too. This historically informed performance with lutes, voice, Renaissance flutes, and viola da gamba, celebrates the season with sounds you won’t hear anywhere else. This concert is free and open to the public.

Jacket.aspx‘Who Was’ Book Club: (TBD)

Wednesday Dec 30, 2015,  2:00   –  3:00 PM

If you love reading books from the ‘Who Was’ series, then this is the book club for you! This month we’ll be talking about the book Who Was Walt Disney? . Extra copies of the book are available in the Children’s Room.  At the meeting, we’ll chat about what we discovered in the book and do some fun activities inspired by Walt Disney’s life. No registration required – all fans of the series are welcome!

Children’s DVDs that Entertain and Educate

smartdvdKids seem to love anything they can watch on a screen. We often feel guilty if we let them watch too much, but there are more and more fantastic selections of movies, television shows, and documentaries aimed at children that are also highly entertaining. Public Broadcast Television has led the way, but National Geographic and many other publishers have continued the effort to make entertainment that also teaches. Here are some of the great television series  that have been a hit with my two children, while also catching my attention (in a good way).

Wild Kratts 
Creature teachers Chris and Martin Kratt will take families along on extraordinary animal-smartdvd2powered adventures. The show transforms the Kratt Brothers into animated versions of themselves, allowing the real-life zoologists to visit wild animals in their little-seen habitats and showcase key science concepts.

Classic episodes of The Electric Company.
Hilarious, educational and groovy, the 1970s educational television show and cultural phenomenon The Electric Company ran zany comedy and music acts designed to teach kids reading and arithmetic. A re-imagining of this show, with an all new cast and crew, airs regularly on PBS and can be steamed from various outlets, but is not currently on DVD.

A weekly television series and educational outreach program for smartdvd2elementary and middle-school children based on proven best practices for science, technology, engineering and math education for girls.

Peg + Cat
Follows the adventures of a young girl named Peg and her sidekick Cat as they use math skills to solve a variety of problems.

smartdvds5Disney’s Animal World
Stunning live-action wildlife clips of animals in their natural habitats are combined with footage from Disney’s animated classics to introduce youngsters to the world of animals.

More great, educational dvd’s for children include: Dinosaur Train, Super Why, WordWorld, Sid the Science Kid, Reading Rainbow, Martha Speaks, Cyberchase, Magic School Bus, Bill Nye the Science Guy, LeapFrog DVD’s, The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot about That, OctonautsSchoolhouse Rock!, and the Eyewitness DVD series.

Fiction for Thanksgiving – A Delicious List of Novels

Thanksgiving may not be as popular as Christmas for book settings, but there are  stories out there that take place during this lets-get-the-family-together holiday. All the joy, drama, tension, and hilarity that can ensue is captured for your reading pleasure. (Though I’ll have to admit, I was somewhat taken aback at the amount of murder mysteries that are set during Thanksgiving. It makes me wonder what authors think about as they are sitting around the family dinner table eating turkey!)

thanksThanksgiving by Janet Evanovich
When Megan Murphy discovered a floppy-eared rabbit gnawing on the hem of her skirt, she meant to give its careless owner a piece of her mind, but Dr. Patrick Hunter was too attractive to stay mad at for long. Soon the two are making Thanksgiving dinner for their families.

Bittersweet by Susan Wittig Albert
It’s Thanksgiving in Pecan Springs, and China Bayles is planning to visit her mother, Leatha, and her mother’s husband, Sam, who are enthusiastically embarking on a new enterprise—turning their former game ranch into a vacation retreat for birders. She’s also looking forward to catching up with her friend, game warden Mackenzie “Mack” Chambers, who was recently transferred to the area. Of course, murder interferes.

The Cat Who Said Cheese by Lilian Jackson Braun
It’s Fall in Moose County and the Great Food Explo is underway! As veteran journalist Jim Qwilleran, aka Qwill, takes a class on how to make a turkey, hosts a cheese tasting, and participates in a bachelor auction, he also must trace a killer who has stuck twice and doesn’t plan to stop! Funny, cozy, and endearing, this is the 18th book in the popular Cat Who series.

The Diva Runs Out of Thyme by Krista Davis
Few can compete with Natasha Smith when it comes to entertaining, but her childhood rival, Sophie Winston, certainly tries. Natasha may have stolen the spotlight and Sophie’s husband but Sophie is determined to rob her of the prize for the Stupendous Stuffing Shakedown. She just needs the right ingredient. But Sophie’s search for the perfect turkey takes a basting when she stumbles across a corpse.

A Fatal Feast by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain (A Murder, She Wrote novel)
Jessica Fletcher would like to relax as Thanksgiving comes to Cabot Cove, but she’s hosting a bountiful dinner for an ever-growing guest list. She couldn’t be happier with the results-until she stumbles upon a body with a carving knife stuck in its chest…

The Ghost at the Table by Suzanne Berne
When Frances arranges to host Thanksgiving at her idyllic New England farmhouse, she envisions a happy family reunion, one that will include her long-estranged father. Cynthia, her sister, however, doesn’t understand how Frances can ignore the past their father’s presence revives, a past that includes suspicions about their mother’s death twenty-five years earlier.

A Quilter’s Holiday by Jennifer Chiaverini
For the Elm Creek Quilters, the day after Thanksgiving marks the start of the quilting season. This year, in keeping with the season’s spirit of gratitude, Master Quilter Sylvia Cooper is eager to revive a cherished family tradition. A recent remodeling unearthed a cornucopia that once served as the centerpiece of the family’s holiday table. Into it, each person would place an object that symbolized something he or she was especially thankful for that year. On this quilter’s holiday, Sylvia has invited her friends to continue the tradition by sewing quilt blocks that represent their thankfulness and gratitude.

Strangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes
On Thanksgiving Day 2007, three generations of the Olson family gather. Eleanor and Gavin worry about their daughter, a single academic, and her newly adopted Indian child, and about their son, who has been caught in the imploding real-estate bubble.

ConnThanksgiving in Connecticut by May McGoldrick (eBook)
After a four year absence, Paige Coleman decides  the time has come to face up to her past when her quirky grandmother throws the mother of all Thanksgivings to celebrate her recent marriage to ‘younger man’ Ed Fenwick. But with former flame Stanley Fenwick, grandson of the groom, sure to be a part of every event, Paige must now protect her heart as well as retain her sanity, even as her matchmaker grandmother uses every resource at her disposal to rekindle old fires of passion.

Weeding Through the Holiday Wish Lists at the Library

wishlistWith the holidays quickly approaching advertisements for toys, gadgets, and all sorts of hot items are increasing and seem to keep getting brighter, louder, and more insistent. My kids are certainly taking notice and chiming in with regular rounds of “I want that!”

Thankfully, with the marketing and tie-ins that most companies are doing these days there are plenty of books about the latest obsessions that can help explore the most popular product lines. From Minecraft to Disney movies, there are novels, picturebooks, and guides that could inspire a love of reading and some serious research. Here are some books you might want to take a peek at or christmasminecrafttest interest levels with the intended recipient, before purchasing as a gift.

Minecraft Blockopedia by Alex Wiltshire, Minecraft Essential Handbook  by Stephanie Milton,  Minecraft Redstone Handbook by Nick Farwell, and The Ultimate Player’s Guide to Minecraft by Stephen O’Brien.

christmaslegoThe LEGO Ideas Book: Unlock Your Imagination or LEGO Play Book: Ideas to Bring Your Bricks to Life by Daniel Lipkowitz, The Unofficial LEGO Builder’s Guide by Allan Bedford, The Lego Adventure Book : Spaceships, Pirates, Dragons & More!, The Lego Movie: the Essential Guide by Hannah Dolan, The LEGO Build-it Book. Amazing Vehicles Amazing Vehicles by Nathanaël Kuipers and Mattia Zamboni, and Building Robots with Lego Mindstorms: the Ultimate Tool for Mindstorms Maniacs! by Mario Ferrari, Giulio Ferrari and Ralph Hempel.

Star Wars
christmasstarwarsStar Wars: the Visual Dictionary by David West Reynolds, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith: the Visual Dictionary by James Luceno, Star Wars: Absolutely Everything you Need to Know by Adam Bray, Kerrie Dougherty, Cole Horton, and Michael Kogge, Star Wars: the Original Trilogy Stories based on the story and screenplay by George Lucas, The Star Wars Craft Book by Bonnie Burton, and LEGO Star Wars in 100 Scenes by Daniel Lipkowitz.

Disney (Frozen, Avengers, and so on)
christmasdisneyFrozen: the Essential Guide by Barbara Bazaldua, Frozen: the Junior Novelization adapted by Sarah Nathan and Sela Roman, The Avengers Storybook Collection, Avengers, Age of Ultron: the Junior Novel by Chris Wyatt, Inside Out adapted by Suzanne Francis, Disney Pixar Inside Out: the Essential Guide by Steve Bynghall,  Disney Princess: Little Golden Book Favorites, Disney Storybook CollectionThor adapted by Elizabeth Rudnick, Captain America. Winter Soldier Ultimate Collection and Knowhere to Run: Starring Star-Lord by Chris “Doc” Wyatt.

As always, these are just suggestions and a starting point. There are so many great books out there, and that is especially true of hot topics. There are graphic novels, novels, picture books, easy readers, and non fiction guides related to just about everything on the wish lists your family might be working on. Why not take a look at a library copy before adding a new book to your home library, or do some research on the newest game or topic that monopolizes discussions in your home?

Give Your Kitchen a Makeover

What do you do when it’s time to replace an old kitchen? Where do you even begin?

I recently faced this challenge. Realizing that my kitchen needed to be replaced was the easy part. Figuring out what I wanted to do proved to be daunting. My current kitchen is a vintage 1970’s no-particular-style kitchen. Not your dream kitchen by any standards.

The cost to gut and completely redo the kitchen was staggering. Literally. I actually staggered around the kitchen when presented with the final estimate. Clearly, putting in a new kitchen was not going to be an option.

Prowling through the library stacks, I struck gold. Our shelves are chock-full of great idea books and among them I discovered the solution to my dilemma.

The before and after photos were inspiring. I marveled at the creativity and ingenuity of do-it-yourselfers who tackled their old kitchens. The books are worth a look just for the pictures of the incredible renovations. The clever uses of space and color were amazing and the costs were reasonable. I began to look at my kitchen in a whole new way.

And what were the solutions? Paint the cabinets. Install new hardware. Put in a new backsplash. New tiles on the floor. A few nights and weekends, a lot of sweat equity and—voila! What looks and feels like a new kitchen.

Need some kitchen inspiration? Try these titles:

kitchen ideaCountry Living: 500 Kitchen Ideas: Style, Function & Charm from the editors of Country Living Magazine; text by Dominique DeVito

Do it Yourself Kitchens: Stunning Spaces on a Shoestring Budget from Better Homes and Gardens

Kitchen Ideas You Can Use: Inspiring Designs & Clever Solutions for Remodeling Your Kitchen by Chris Peterson

Kitchen Idea Book by Joanne Kellar Bouknight

Affordable Kitchen Upgrades: Transform Your Kitchen on a Small Budget by Steve Cory and Diane Slavik

New Kitchen Ideas that Work by Jamie Gold