What’s the Buzz?

I hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend.  The weather certainly co-operated. I spent the weekend visiting my mom and my sister, brother-in-law and nephews.  We had some fun outings, played some Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit (I think it’s time for me to re-read the books and watch the movies), watched the movie Christopher Robin (Wow, my weekend was more “booked” than I realized – HaHa! That’s a librarian joke), and did a family photoshoot in a field of dandelions.

zbeebeebeeIt was so nice to see all the yards and parks full of dandelions. Dandelions (which I recently read are in the same family as sunflowers – another of my favourite flowers – and not a weed) are the first food for bees waking from their winter slumber. They certainly had a feast this weekend.  Interestingly, yesterday (May 20) was World Bee Day.   Many people freak out when a bee buzzes by but this is really unnecessary (unless you’re allergic, of course).  Sure, being stung by a bee stings but we’d be much worse off if we didn’t have bees.  Bees are not only important for the food and healthcare products they produce but they are also responsible for the pollination of 1/3 of the world’s food production.  The role of bees as pollinators is critical to sustainable agriculture.  They are also crucial to balancing ecosystems and promoting biodiversity.

Check out storybooks featuring bees in the Fiction and Everybody sections of The Library.  Learn more about bees in the Nonfiction section under 595.79.

Want to see some bees in action?  Here’s a short video montage of bees at work or go inside a beehive with this live webcam.

zzzzbeeWant to spend the day as a bee flying around the mountains of Slovenia?  Try downloading the mobile game Beeday on your smartphone and tablet.


Here, in The Library, I’ve been been a busy bee … buzzing around from cataloging to check-ins to shelving to book return reminders … Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!  


What’s Ms. Hayward Reading?

READdigitalAfter finishing Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport, I decided to take some of his advice and begin removing the digital clutter from my life (baby steps).  The book is a fascinating look at how digital tech (particularly smartphones and social media) are designed to create and feed moderate behavioural addiction and leverage this for corporate gains at the cost of our time, relationships, and true connections.  (Of course, on a logical level most of us know this already, but Newport presents things in a thought-provoking way and offers tangible steps that can be taken).  The most immediate effect of turning by screens off … More time to read!

READlilyFor my “grown up” read, I just finished Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley.  It opens with a guy and his dog talking about cute boys when he notices “the octopus” growing on her head.  From there it explores their special relationship, the importance of living life to the fullest and opening your heart to love.  It is an absolutely lovely and quirky book.

Then I devoured three books from our own shelves.
READslackerThe students have been really enjoying the Gordon Korman books which is not surprising to me – I loved Korman’s books growing up (Fun Fact I Just Realized: Korman’s first book This Can’t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall was published the same year I was born).  A few of the students recommended Slacker.  Slacker is about a grade 8 boy who carefully cultivates his video-gaming lifestyle.  When his “lifestyle” nearly burns down the house his parents tell him he has to join a club and participate in something.  His solution – create a phony “good deed” club.  The only problem: people think it’s real and suddenly he finds himself actually having to participate leading to a chain reaction of events.

READbreadGNREADbreadThe Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis is an interesting story about a young girl growing up in Taliban ruled Afghanistan.  When her father is arrested for owning books (imagine, books being illegal!) and teaching his daughters to read, Parvana has to dress as a boy in order to earn money to support her family.  Seventeen years after its publication, the book was turned into a beautiful animated movie which, in turn, was adapted into a graphic novel.

READivanThe One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate was given to The Library as a Birthday Book Club book this year. It is such a beautiful story (and coincides nicely with this month’s IB Learner Profile: Principled). “Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living in a shopping mall, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting.  Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home – and his own art – through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.” [from the Book Synopsis]

READmapAnd now to tackle The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma.  This very long book was originally published in Spanish/in Spain.  It is a science fiction book involving Time Machines, Jack the Ripper, Classic Literature, and H.G. Wells himself.  I look forward to seeing where the story takes me.

What are you reading?



“I Think That I Shall Never See a Poem Lovely as a Tree”*

Did you know …? Today (May 16) is Love a Tree Day.

I remember many, many, MANY, family drives as a kid and, I remember, complaining about how boring they were (no smartphones and iPads for mindless distraction for us).  I remember my dad enthusiastically saying something along the lines about all the things to see around us. “Look at the rocks. Look at the trees …”  My response, at the time was “If you’ve seen one tree, you’ve seen them all.”

Fast forward to a drive (when I was a young adult) and me exclaiming, “Wow, look at all the different shades of green! That would make such pretty photo.” (And my dad laughing at me). Trees are pretty unique and remarkable (the search “tree” in my photo files pulls up almost a thousand photos shows I find them pretty inspirational).

I guess others find them quite inspirational, as well, because there are lots of books and stories and poems that feature trees in some way.  Here are just a few tree-centric books you can find on The Library shelves.

Our nonfiction books about trees can be found in the 580s section – Botany.  Trees aren’t just beautiful they are very interesting and very important.  Trees are the longest living organism on earth.  We need trees because they help clean our air (one tree can absorb a ton of carbon dioxide in its lifetime. In a year it can absorb as much as car produces driving 42,000 km!).  We need trees because they produce oxygen which we need to survive (Two trees can produce enough oxygen for a family of four to breathe for a year!)  Trees are also home to many animals that are all part of our delicately balanced ecosystem. Trees also provide us with paper and wood (on average one person uses one 100ft, 16 diameter tree EACH YEAR for their paper and wood needs … that’s a lot of tree!).

Of course, some of that paper is used to make books.  Thank you, trees!

-source unknown-

downloaddownloadIn ancient Celtic culture (and other cultures as well) trees were considered to be sacred.  You can even discover your “tree sign” (like your horoscope but with trees).   I am Hazel – the Knower.  Melvil’s is Hawthorn – the Illusionist.

What’s Your Tree Sign according to Celtic Astrology

Poem: “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer
Tree Facts from: https://www.savatree.com/tree-facts.html

Today’s library read-aloud was about a tree – Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid.

20190516_135629I stopped by the JK/gr1 Creature Quest today.  It looked like they were meeting lots of interesting animals (some of whom live in trees).  I was particularly intrigued by the agouti, a rodent for South and Central America.  Apparently, agouti, like squirrels, often hide nuts and seeds and forget where some of them are thus effectively planting trees.  They have been particularly important to the replanting of Brazil Nut Trees. … Hmm, I think we may need to add some agouti books to our 590s section.

And, during a visit with the grade 4s, we made some poems “lovely as a tree” on recycled book pages (Recycling is a great way to give these trees a third life).  Today we created some black-out poetry.  Black-out poetry is a form of found poetry where the poet chooses words and phrases already existing on the page and blacks out all the other words to create a poem.

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Shake a Tail Feather!

Today (May 14) is apparently Dance Like a Chicken Day.
So let’s break out the accordion for a little Chicken Dance music and shake a tail feather!
(If The Chicken Dance isn’t your kind of music why not check out this Techno Chicken …  it made me laugh).

07-14-09c Bergeron Zoo - Chickens Everywhere (2)
copyright (c)2009 HMHphotography – by Heidi Hayward

Once you’re done dancing, here’s some of the books about chickens you can find in The Library.

Do you know why the chicken crossed the road?

Okay – enough about chickens and off to the Merry Old Land of Oz.
Today is Show Day for the grades 3-8 Arts Night performance of The Wizard of Oz.
Did you know …? The Wizard of Oz started as a book series by Frank L. Baum
(we have two copies in The Library – come and check them out!)


Hop Like a Frog!

000frgger.JPGSo, apparently today (May 13) is Frog Jumping Day.
I’m not sure if that means we’re all supposed to jump around like frogs or play leap frog. Or maybe it’s a nice Spring day for the frogs to be out jumping (it’s certainly been nice weather for frogs the last few days!).  Maybe it’s a good day to play a good old game of Frogger (definitely one of my favourite childhood video games).  I just discovered that you can play it here … but I better get back to work …

There’s lots of books about frogs (and toads).  You can find them in the 590s section (Zoology) of The Library.  Learn about the frog life cycle from tadpole to frog.  Learn about the different kinds of frogs (Did you know …? there are over 5,000 species of frogs).  Learn interesting facts about frogs (Did you know …? the only places frogs don’t live are Antarctica and some Oceanic islands) .

There are lots of story book about frogs, too.  There are frogs that are friends with toads.  There are frogs that go on adventures and learn new things.  There are frogs that escape and hop all over town. And there are even frogs that are princes and princesses.

000 frogDid you know …? Some frogs can jump twenty times their body length!  That’s like the average human being able to jump 30m!  Take your height (in cm) multiply by 20 and divide by 100 to see how far you could jump if you were a frog … I could jump 34.2m!.

Of course, we’re not frogs but we can pretend to be frogs just like Piggie does in I’m a Frog!  by Mo Willems.
If you could be any animal, what would you choose to be?

09-20-10b Frogs along the Tweed Shoreline (2)
copyright (c) 2010 HMHphotography – by Heidi Hayward

HOP on into The Library Today!

Happy Mother’s Day

Wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms out there (and especially mine!)

I hope you all have a wonderful day and are spoiled appropriately … and maybe have some nice Story-Time together.

Here are some of our mommy-centric books you’ll find in The Library.

If you were to write your favourite story about your mom what would it be?

Did You Know …? If mom was filed under the Dewey Decimal system of The Library she’d be in the 300s section.