Tuesday, March 27, 2012

And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano

And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano
Illustrated by Erin E. Stead
32 pages - Roaring Book Press
Pub. Date - February 14, 2012

     Sometimes waiting on spring can feel like forever, especially when the colors of winter are all around. Brown, brown, brown everywhere you see. In And Then It’s Spring, a young boy and his loyal dog wait patiently and sometimes not so patiently for their garden to grow. The boy doesn’t understand why the seeds that he has planted won’t grow. Maybe some bears stomped on the seeds? Or some hungry birds found the seeds and decided they would be a perfect snack? No matter what the reason may be, the garden just is not growing. But maybe with a little time, plus some rain and sunshine, things will start to grow?
     And Then It’s Spring is a great resource to explain to children how the beautiful things that spring brings need time to grow. Through sparse text, children will be able to understand that gardening and growing take time, but with the help of rain and the sun, flowers and plants will sprout soon. First time author Julie Fogliano teams up with 2011 Caldecott Medal winner Erin E. Stead to create a striking and sweet story about the changing seasons. This is Stead’s first work since winning in 2011 for A Sick Day for Amos McGee. She uses woodblock printing techniques and pencils to create her stunning illustrations. As the story progresses the scenery and color scheme that Stead uses slowly become lighter, bringing in the slight changes of an oncoming spring.

     Julie Fogliano has created an endearing story that children will sure to love. Pairing her story with Erin Stead's illustration style was simply genius. The simplicity and overall beauty of Stead's art, which is clearly represented in And Then It's Spring, is a key reason she won the 2011 Caldecott Medal. Maybe a another win could possibly be in the works for Ms. Stead? Only time will tell!

Check out the book trailer!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Rare Titanic Family by Julie Hedgepeth Williams

When Albert and Sylvia Caldwell decided to leave their mission work in Siam and return to the United States, they never dreamed that they were in for the journey of their lives. How could they ever imagine that the ship they would be traveling on, the Titanic would forever be known as one of the greatest disasters ever? Traveling with their 10-month-old son Alden, the Caldwells set out on the voyage that would not only change their lives, but history.

In A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwells’ Story of Survival, Birmingham author Julie Hedgepeth Williams recounts the perilous journey of the Titanic, but also the events that led up to the Caldwells being on this infamous voyage. The author describes the stories her great-uncle Albert told her and does her own extensive research to piece together a harrowing account of survival, strength, and courage. In one gripping moment, Albert must decide whether or not to place his family on a lifeboat. This might seem like the easiest decision in the world, knowing what we know now about infamous night, but the passengers aboard the Titanic were told that this was a ship that even God himself couldn’t sink. Also, the circumstances of exactly how Albert ended up on a lifeboat, which was strictly reserved for women and children, are quite suspenseful. A Rare Titanic Family is not your ordinary Titanic book. Williams’ research reflects a new light on how the passengers on the Titanic must have felt during this traumatic experience, but also the mania that followed them after.

The Oxmoor Page Turners, the Homewood Public Library’s very own book group, will be discussing A Rare Titanic Family for our April read, since April marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking. Author Julie Hedgepeth Williams, a professor at Samford University, will be joining the Oxmoor Page Turners on April 10th to discuss her great-uncle Albert and his family’s miraculous journey on the Titanic. The meeting will take place in the Round Auditorium at 6:30 PM  on April 10th. For more information about the Oxmoor Page Turners, please call 205-332-6601 or see a staff member at the Homewood Public Library.

Ms. Williams will make a second appearance at the Homewood Library on Thursday, April 19th at 6:30 PM in the Large Auditorium. She will discuss in further detail her book, her family, and other interesting information regarding the Titanic. A Rare Titanic Family will be available for purchase and Ms. Williams will also be signing copies. As a special treat, she will be dressed in period clothing!  For more information about this special appearance, please call 205-332-6600.

Don't forget to place your hold on A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwells’ Story of Survival. For more information about other appearances and other related events for A Rare Titanic Family, check out the book's Facebook Page.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Jefferson County, AL, Bankruptcy Cuts Library Funding

JCLC's ancestor: In the 1920s, Jefferson County funded a wagon bookmobile 
The bankruptcy of Jefferson County, AL, is leaving a trail of collateral damage to services in its wake, libraries included. Until the current crisis, the Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC) had received the majority of its funding from the county for 33 years.

Unfortunately, the county has had to cut the cooperative’s funding over and over. In 2010 the funding was halved to $500,000, according to The Birmingham News. In 2111 it was halved again, according to the News. And in 2012 the county eliminated funding for the co-op altogether. ~Read more at the Library Journal website.