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:
http://snowflakebentley.com/index.htm
http://www.its.caltech.edu/~at…/snowcrystals/class/class.htm

Highlight: How Artists See . . .

photo of a new art series for children
This delightful and visibly engaging art series opens the world of art history to young minds and eyes in a unique, yet simple, manner.  Grouping notable and well-loved works into categories such as People, Families, Weather, The Elements, Animals, etc. increases memory retention through the “science of relations” so to speak.
Each book covers a broad –  yet not overwhelming – amount of artworks, artists, and time periods.  The short biographies and recommended further readings at the end of each book complete this valuable new resource that we are very grateful to now offer.

Highlight: Plays

Photo of many plays (in book form) that the library offers
“Is there no play, To ease the anguish of a torturing hour?”

from A Midsummer Night’s Dream

In the non-fiction section at Schmaling, in the 812’s and 822’s, you will discover a wide array of plays for your reading enjoyment. Shakespeare is the classic choice, of course, and we have guides and essays enough to escort you through; however, I feel just plunging in and not caring if you get every word is the best path for enjoyment.

Requesting a “No Fear Shakespeare” edition of one of his plays over inter-library loan (ILL) is also a beneficial route since it shows the modern English side by side with the original wordage.

We also offer several movie versions of some of the plays: recordings of actual performances, feature films, and adaptations.  Downstairs in the Children’s Room we have (again in the 822’s)  several resources including biographies, and edited and illustrated versions of the plays.  There are some outstanding anthologies of the plays for children that include some of the original language that can be requested over inter-library loan (ILL); look for such authors as Charles and Mary Lamb (probably age 10+), E. Nesbit (under 10), Jeanie Lang, Leon GarfieldRoger Lancelyn Green and Bruce Coville.  Upstairs in the YA section, there are graphic novels, biographies, adaptations, and an acclaimed historical fiction novel by Gary Schmidt called The Wednesday Wars. Continue reading Highlight: Plays