Category Archives: Reference Links

March Monkness

In preparation of this month’s veneration of Patricius, why not imbibe some historical truth about this duly revered saint along with your Irish coffee, Guinness, or God-and-St.Patrick-forsaken green beer:

First, you can actually read his “Confession“, his OWN, albeit brief, account (it was actually written as a defense of his missionary work and personal character) here –

He also wrote a letter to some Romans in England that he believed were responsible for kidnapping and murdering some of his newly Irish converts called “Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus“. You may read that here –

For more of his biography and the historical landscape, visit –

For something more tangible, Schmaling has an excellent, easy-to-read — yet highly insightful — biography called ST. PATRICK OF IRELAND, by Philip Freeman that contains both of Patrick‘s writings in the appendices.  The children’s department also offers a few books about St.Patrick at various reading levels.

“Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
Be still.
― St. Patrick

Black History Month: A List of Non-Fiction Titles For Children

a collage of book covers that celebrate black history month - for children
In honor of Black History Month here is a list of many outstanding children’s non-fiction books that tell the amazing stories of so many amazing people; it is certainly not exhaustive, and it is not limited to the Civil Rights Movement or slavery.   These titles are definitely worth seeking out regardless of the month. 


Picture Books (For ALL Ages):

  • A Splash of Red: the Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet.
  • All Together Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson and illustrated by E. B. Lewis
  • Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill and illustrated by Bryan Collier.
  • Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
  • Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine and illustrated by Kadir Nelson.
  • Rosa by Nikki Giovanni and illustrated by Bryan Collier. (about Rosa Parks)
  • Schomburg: the Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Eric Velasquez
  • Steamboat School by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Ron Husband
  • Step Right Up by Donna Janell Bowman and illustrated by Daniel Mintner
  • Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm by Karen Deans and illustrated by Joe Cepeda
  • Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton and illustrated by Don Tate

Continue reading Black History Month: A List of Non-Fiction Titles For Children

Flaky Thoughts

picture of snowflakes under a microscope

"The simplicity of winter has a deep moral. The return of Nature, after such a career of splendor and prodigality, to habits so simple and austere, is not lost either upon the head or the heart. It is the philosopher coming back from the banquet and the wine to a cup of water and a crust of bread." ~John Burroughs, "The Snow-Walkers," 1866

While we eagerly await the returning warmth, let us attempt to appreciate the unique beauty of our current season, particularly of the wondrous snowflake. Maybe take some time this winter to read about Mr. Wilson Bentley in SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY, who was the first to photograph snowcrystals(flakes) using photomicrography. You can also learn more about him, his work, and snowflakes in general at the following links:…/snowcrystals/class/class.htm

“Partakers of Plentie”

thanksgiving letterThe simplicity and stress-less-ness of Thanksgiving — as compared to Christmas, at least — must account for its great appeal, outside of the obvious food factor.  Its association with and historical memorial to the Pilgrims of 1621 cannot be wholly denied, and can serve to remind us of the great stresses that were once endured in order to further simple truths, convictions, ideals, and most importantly: freedoms.   There is a wealth of sources available that speak directly from these folks themselves.  It seems the first Thanksgiving was, in a way, just a traditional harvest feast, complete with beer and plenty of meat (venison and game foul primarily — including wild turkeys).  The causes for lasting relevance could be accounted to the presence of more native Americans than pilgrims in attendance, and the hope that the abundance of the harvest, and other naturally occurring food resources, instilled in them for their future success (and therefore, ours) in this new land of liberty. Continue reading “Partakers of Plentie”