Library Services Online

In our 24/7 society, life moves pretty fast. You meant to stop by the library on your way into work, or perhaps on your way home, but…

Yeah, we’ve all been there. Too much to do and not enough time to do it. But, never fear! The Cheshire Public Library is here to help. Many library services are now available online 24/7.

That means you can renew your books while staying at home in your pajamas. You can download and watch a movie from hoopla rather than having to go out on a dark and stormy night (with a nod to Edward Bulwer-Lytton) to borrow one. You can place holds, listen to music, or download an audiobook. Research your family tree on HeritageQuest. Scope out the ratings of your next new car from the comfort of your bed by browsing Consumer Reports Online. Refresh your resume with tips from JobNow. Put up your feet and browse through your favorite magazine with RBdigital‘s online magazines.

The great thing about online resources is that they are never late! They auto-return so you never accrue fines, and in the case of digital magazines, they remain on your device for you to enjoy.

Finding these resources is easy.

All downloadable content (ebooks, audiobooks, movies, magazines, music, and comics) are available from links right on the library homepage at cheshirelibrary.com.

All databases (Consumer Reports, JobNow, HeritageQuest and many, many more) are accessed simply by clicking the eResources link on our website.

Renew your books, place holds and even pay your account balance by clicking the Your Account button at the top of our website.

So, relax! You have all day and all night, too, to get to the library.

(Image source: Anchor Point Animation)

Winnie the Pooh and the Big Screen

Icons come and icons go. Coca Cola survives, but Woolworth’s, the standard of the early 20th century, is now history. What’s popular today may not make the cut to the next generation – few kids today play with Cabbage Patch Dolls, despite the frenzied battles people had over them in the 1980’s, and all those people who sank thousands of dollars into Beanie Babies as investments now have … boxes of worthless stuffed toys.

Winnie the Pooh Endures

Winnie the Pooh is one of those who made the grade. A.A. Milne (Alan Alexander) wrote first a book of children’s poems (When We Were Very Young), then a Christmas story, and finally, in 1926, a book of stories, Winnie the Pooh, based on his son Christopher Robin and his stuffed bear Edward. A sequel, The House at Pooh Corner, followed in 1928, as well as two books of poems. Filled with charming innocence after the bloodbath of World War I, bumbling, slow-witted but kind-hearted Pooh and his friends (Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, and Kanga and Roo) hit a needy spot in a dejected population. By 1931, Winnie the Pooh was a $50-million business, the dream-deal of every author (and that was in the middle of a depression!).

Although Milne died of a stroke in 1956, Pooh continued to expand when the film rights, among others, were sold to Disney in 1961, and the first animated cartoon released in 1966, with Sterling Holloway’s voice becoming the standard for Pooh. Today, the marketing of Winnie the Pooh is worth as much as $6 billion dollars a year, the third most valuable franchise in the world, after Star Wars and Disney Princesses (both, not surprisingly, also Disney franchises, a company with more than 92 billion dollars in assets).

Two New Films

Within the last year, another expansion on the franchise has brought out two marvelous films not necessarily aimed at children but adults who once were children: Goodbye Christopher Robin, and Christopher Robin.

Goodbye Christopher Robin is a lovely, sweet story of Milne and his relationship to his son, and how the success of Winnie the Pooh destroyed the childhood of Christopher Robin himself. Pushed into the judgmental spotlight too young, Christopher Robin was beaten up in school because of his fame, and grew to resent his father, whom he described as very bad with children. Although eventually he reconciled with Winnie the Pooh, he never really reconciled with his parents; even on her death bed, his mother refused to see him. Goodbye Christopher Robin is a British production filled with beautiful settings and a superb performance by eight-year-old Will Tilston; it was released on DVD in January.

On August 3, Disney launched their Christopher Robin film (does someone leak news between studios? This type of inter-studio film wars has happened numerous times, most recently with Mirror, Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman both released in 2012, and Disney’s 2016 Jungle Book with this October’s Warner Bros. coming release of Mowgli). In a plot fairly reminiscent of Hook (which was not a Disney creation), Christopher Robin is a grown-up who has lost his imagination, so enter CGI Pooh and friends to help him remember it. While the voices are so close to the cartoons you loved in the 60’s, somehow the CGI just doesn’t work as well. Kids will probably love it, grown-ups not so much, and not for lack of imagination.

Winnie the Pooh was voted an icon of England, but you can see the original Winnie and friends at their permanent home at the New York Public Library here in the United States (Roo was lost in an apple orchard in 1930).

As the real Pooh turns 100 in 2021, he’s showing no signs of losing his status as a bear loved around the world. Pooh has been translated into more than 46 languages, including Latin, Mongolian, and Esperanto. If you have no child to share Winnie the Pooh with, try these “adult” Pooh books:

What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in August

Our “Discover a New You” series of summer programs continues this month with art, music, and health programs for adults, and fun with science for kids. Check out our Events Calendar for the full lineup of programs!

[PLEASE NOTE: Cheshire Library will be CLOSED for renovations on Thursday, August 23 and Friday, August 24]

Intro to Piano for Adults

Monday, August 6, 2018, 6:00 – 8:00PM

Join music instructor Dan Fontana as he reviews what you will need to know about learning to play the piano as an adult.  Students are not required to bring a keyboard, but may do so. Paper keyboards will be provided for this workshop for everyone else. Registration required starting July 16 for Cheshire residents and July 30 for all others.

Family Movie Matinees

Tuesdays, 3:30PM, no registration required.

 

Tai Chi for Your Health

Tuesday, August 7, 2018, 6:30 – 8:00PM

Join Tai Chi instructor Kathy Brenner as she explains the nature and benefits of Tai Chi and Qigong (pronounced Chee – Gung). Qigong is adaptive for people with differing physical abilities. She will have attendees join her in an easy to follow series of Qigong exercises and demonstrate Tai Chi forms. Please wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing. Class size is limited and registration is required.

Library After Hours: Back in Time Family Singalong Concert

Friday, August 10, 2018, 5:00 – 7:00PM

Join us for a family concert and mini-art lessons with ArtsPlace artists and more!  The “Back In Time”’ concert at 6:00 pm will feature Liz McNicholl and Lindsey Ceitinn in a family-style singalong of old favorite songs and fiddle tunes. Pizza, snacks and drinks will be available for sale from the Friends of the Library. [Please register] in advance so we know how many goodies to have on hand!  There is no admission fee, but there is a suggested donation of $5 per family to help offset costs.  Please note that the Lower Level of the Library will not be open to the public.  

Science Tellers: Wild West

Monday, August 13, 2018, 4:00 – 5:00PM

Science Tellers presents “Wild West”. Grab your spurs and journey with us to the Wild West, where a legendary bank-robbing outlaw is back in town, about to strike again! Throughout this absolutely wild adventure story, volunteers from the audience will help us explore the fascinating science behind chemical reactions, combustion, air pressure, inertia and more. Don’t miss this classic action-packed western with ‘notes’ of science! Best suited for children going into grades K-5,  no registration required.

Night Skies Planetarium

Thursday, August 16, 2018, 10:00am – 7:00pm

Night Skies is a program featuring Mike Francis using Starlab, the inflatable planetarium dome and projector system.  A remarkably realistic night sky awaits groups of up to 30.  There is no need to worry about the weather, time of day or travel. The experience of entering the giant bubble fascinates.  The excitement of being able to identify that bright red star from last night’s sky or locating an elusive constellation sparks the imagination. [Check back for ticketing information]

Create Zentangle

Wednesday, August 22, 2018, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.  Each patron will learn the Zentangle method and leave with one landscape artwork.  Space is limited for this adult program, please register beginning Wednesday, August 8, at 9:00AM.

Benefits of Massage

Monday, August 27, 2018, 6:30 – 8:00PM

Wondering if massage is beneficial to your health? Come to the Cheshire Public Library and learn about the benefits of massage, as well as the different types of massage modalities. Registration is required.

Isle of Dogs

I’m aware Studio Ghibli is a big deal, with assets worth more than 15 billion dollars, five Oscar nominations and a win to their name (2003, Spirited Away), and my kids love them, but I don’t much care for Japanese Anime, or Japanese animation in general. Steeped in the beauty of classic Disney and Warner Bros., I hate the minimalist design style of Pokemon, Power Rangers,  Howl’s Moving Castle, and others of that genre. So, when I started seeing previews for Isle of Dogs, a stop-motion animation set in Japan, I was really confused as to why I wanted to see it.

A Multi-cultural Film

In truth, it’s hard to call Isle of Dogs a Japanese film, no matter what it seems like it should be, based on content and style. It’s written and directed by American Wes Anderson (Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr. Fox), co-produced by Germany, takes place in Japan, and contains a fair amount of Japanese conversation and several Japanese actors (including Yoko Ono, who mercifully does not sing). If anything, it’s an homage to Japanese films. The story takes place in the fictional city of Megasaki, where a dog flu has taken hold and there is worry it could transfer to humans. The corrupt Mayor banishes all dogs to Trash Island – starting with the dog of his ward, 12 year old Atari Kobayashi, despite the assurance of a scientist that he has a cure. Atari sets out immediately to get his dog back, and the story begins.

Incredible Animation

The draw for me was that the film is dependent on stop-motion animation, not any style of art. This is dolls come to life – the dogs were filmed with animatronic heads, giving a life-like range of facial movements. Characters have a living translucence that is often achieved with wax over porcelain, but here was done with special resins and computer programs to coordinate freckle movement. Having grown up on Art Clokey’s Gumby, and Davey and Goliath, the dominating force in claymation from the 1950’s through 1989, and all those Rankin-Bass Christmas specials such as Rudolph, claymation and stop-motion animation have a very fond place in my heart. The animation in Isle of Dogs is superb, right down to blowing fur, and watch for it come Oscar season. If you doubt it, just watch the sushi-making scene.

That’s fine, but what about the story? Giving Dogs a PG-13 rating seems harsh (especially when the highly controversial Show Dogs was given a PG) – there’s no sex, no major swearing, some mildly upsetting scenes of experimented dogs and threatening robots, implied violence but not graphic, but I would consider it appropriate for ages 9 and up – some of the themes could be upsetting to younger children (such as euthanasia, and a dog that starved to death). Overall, Isle of Dogs is a sweet, caring story about a boy who loves his dog and will go to any lengths to get him back. It’s endearing, heartwarming, cheer-worthy, with several good laughs – well-worth a movie admission price.

Controversy

Of course, nothing, nothing today is without controversy and because this is not an actual Japanese film, there was an outcry of cultural appropriation and insensitivity, that the culture is seen through American eyes and is more caricature than accurate. However, when shown to native Japanese, the reactions were positive.

Isle of Dogs was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 17, 2018. Although it’s a wonderful animated film about a boy and his dog, it is not a sensitive-child’s movie. If you love animation, if you love rebellion, if you love dogs, be sure to give it a try.

Notable Children’s Books of 2018

Summer Reading. Those two words can strike panic into parents and kids alike. Finding quality books for children to read can be quite a challenge – you can always ask a Children’s Librarian for suggestions, or how about a whole group of them? The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children, and they know a thing or two about Children’s Literature.

Each year a committee of the ALSC identifies the best of the best in children’s books. According to the Notables Criteria, “notable” is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding. As applied to children’s books, notable should be thought to include books of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry and pictures for all age levels (birth through age 14) that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways.

Pinterest LogoThe annual Notable List  is long, but we have simplified it somewhat by creating Pinterest Boards for the three grade-level lists: Younger Readers (preschool – grade 2), Middle Readers (grades 3 – 5), and Older Readers (grades 6 – 8). With book covers, descriptions, and links to each book in our catalog, you can browse the Boards, see which books are on the shelf or place requests for books that are out, all from the CPL Pinterest account. You may even see something else that strikes your fancy while you’re there!

 

 

 

The full 2018 Notable Book List can be found on the ALSC section of the ALA website. Past lists for each year going back to 1995 are also archived.

What other things would you like to see us feature on our Pinterest account? Let us know in the comments!