"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thing 45: Cloud Computing

Photo by Paul Glover at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ni2sml/

Apparently, Cloud Computing is something I'm already a part of. I use Photobucket, Flickr, Facebook, Library Thing, Yahoo, Delicious etc.

Data Backups:

This is way beyond the scope of my personal need, but here is PC Magazine Editor's Choice for best back up.

Web OS:

I briefly looked at g.ho.st, Desk Top Two and Glide Digital. These sites let you set up a personal digital desktop. That seems like a good idea to me, if you could be sure that the site was secure. I don't think that I need one at present, but it sounds helpful for patrons without computers who come in to use our library's.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Something's Fishy About This Storytime

Photo from Vivikas Felt Creatures

Get hooked on this book list:

  • Hooray for Fish! by Lucy Cousins
  • Click, Clack , Splish Splash: a Counting Adventure by Doreen Cronin & Betsy Lewin
  • Swimming With Dolphins by Lambert Davis
  • The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen, illus. by Dan Hanna
  • The Three Little Fish & the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist, illus. by Julia Gorton
  • Trout, Trout, Trout! (a Fish Chant) by April Pulley Sayre, illus. by Trip Park
  • I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry
  • Ten Little Fish by Audrey Wood, illus. by Bruce Wood

We will sing :

Three Little Fishies (Itty Bitty Pool)
Words and music by Saxie Dowell

Down in the meadow in a little bitty pool

Swam three little fishies and a mama fishie too

"Swim" said the mama fishie, "Swim if you can"

And they swam and they swam all over the dam

Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

And they swam and they swam all over the dam

"Stop" said the mama fishie, "or you will get lost"

The three little fishies didn't wanna be bossed

The three little fishies went off on a spree

And they swam and they swam right out to the sea

Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

And they swam and they swam right out to the sea

"Whee!" yelled the little fishies, "Here's a lot of fun

We'll swim in the sea till the day is done

"They swam and they swam, and it was a lark

Till all of a sudden they saw a shark!

Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

Till all of a sudden they saw a shark!

"Help!" cried the little fishies, "Gee! look at all the whales!"

And quick as they could, they turned on their tails

And back to the pool in the meadow they swam

And they swam and they swam back over the dam

Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!

And they swam and they swam back over the dam.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thing 44: The Economy

Cool piggy bank from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/endlessstudio/

I have to admit it, this topic is the most unappealing one yet. Reality...ugh.

Educational Tools:

My Money is a government site that has all types of financial information, on topics from retirement to starting a small business to home ownership and lots more. It has a credit card repayment calculator, among other types, a mortgage help line, and a "My Money" orderable tool kit. Dry, but useful.

Banking 2.0:

I've got this covered and don't care to join anything or blog about it. For the sake of this Thing, I looked at What Bills and it looks promising as an organizational tool.

Ways to Save:

Feed the Pig : To begin with, I think Benjamin the Talking Pig is terrifying. I don't like pig/people mutations. It's something about the eyes.

That aside, I looked at the "Me, save?" section and it was kind of fun. I chose the personality "Not So Frugal Foodie," listed my bad spending habits (lunch out, dining out in general, bottled beverages, and makeup) and it showed me how much I'm spending and what I could have if I saved it over 5 years. I also got 9 out of 12 on the "Beat Your Brain Quiz." It was interesting to learn that there is also a "Feed the Pig for Tweens."


Gas Buddy looks good because you can compare gas prices in your area. Now I can see whether it's cheaper to buy gas by my home or work.

E ride Share is a great idea; it finds you local carpools. Sadly, it turned up nothing for me for a ride share to work.

Fuel Economy is a government site that lets you find out your car's energy impact score, among other things. It tells you the car's air pollution score and carbon footprint. This could be a good tool if you're car shopping and want to compare vehicles.

Cell Phones:

My Rate Plan lets you compare cell phone plans. You can type in a phone type, or filter by phone features and compare the results side by side. I'm not looking for a phone or plan, so I don't have much of an opinion on this.

General Penny Pinching:

Seems like I'm seeing more and more articles like this in my magazines at home.

Frugal Dad has 75 money saving tips. He is so right about meeting friends after dinner. We spend money like crazy eating out with friends. We already do thirteen of his tips. There's lots of room for improvement, but some of them didn't apply, since I'm a non-smoking, non-meat eating, child free person.

Yay for tip # 56:
"Rediscover a local library. To replace the time previously spent watching television develop a reading habit, and support your local library while you are at it. Can’t find the book you are looking for? Don’t rush out and buy it. Many times libraries are networked and can request a copy of a book from another library. "

Also helpful is Top 50 Frugality Bloggers . This is divided into subcategories such as "Family Life," "Home and Garden," "Fashion and Shopping," etc. Some that I find interesting are: Ask the Frugal Decorating Diva (though it apparently hasn't been updated since 2007), Frugal Cuisine, and A Frugal Living Blog By a Frugal Guy .

Sell Your Stuff:

I have a membership pending in the local Freecycle group. It's awaiting monitor approval. It seems like great idea though; if you have something that you don't want anymore, you post it and then someone else takes it. Free.


Ooh, I love a good estate sale and I bet I'll use Weekend Treasure sometime. I just entered my zip code and it listed some upcoming sales. Also, The Thrift Shopper brings up local thrift stores, including library book sales!


Okay, I know that not everybody has a mom like mine who sends me grocery coupons through the mail. So, I looked at Retail Me Not . You can search by store and also by item category. In the areas I saw, it looked like the coupons are mostly for online shopping, although I did see some printable grocery coupons. I pretty much struck out on the things I looked for: Red Lobster, Oil of Olay, Dress Barn, and Ikea.


Raising Chickens:
I'd love to do this, but my daschund, Zoe, would be a danger to them. I don't eat meat (only fish), but I do like eggs. Plus, I'd like to have pet chickens, if it was a small number of hens. Maybe Ruby Lavender has rubbed off on me (see Love, Ruby Lavender).

ChickiWicki is a how-to guide for raising the feathery friends. It helps you choose a breed, build a coop, eat up the eggs in yummy recipes and provides a photo gallery of chicken beauties.

Here's an article on Raising Chickens in Minneapolis .

I love gardening, as you can see in Thing 39. I prefer flowers, but we are also trying a number of vegetables this year.

Revive the Victory Garden speaks of planting a backyard or container garden to reduce global warming. Food is right at home and doesn't need to travel to you, nor do you need to go out of your way to get it. :)
Minnesota Gardening is a forum covering many gardening issues.

University of Minnesota Extension Center Gardening Information offers yard and garden news, information on Master gardening, information on plants, trees and wildlife and diagnostics: What's wrong with my plant?, What insect is this? and Is this plant a weed? It's a great site!

Thing 43: Online TV and Video

Still from the video "take On Me" from http://www.flickr.com/photos/teahaile/

I have to begin this Thing by saying that I am not a general TV viewer. I don't have cable, and there is only one show that I watch: Lost. I pretty much have a TV so that I can watch video and DVDs. That being said, though, I do watch complete TV series on DVD: Gilmore Girls, CSI, Six Feet Under, Heroes, etc. I just like to feel like I'm making a choice and not being assaulted by commercials.

I don't think that I will use Internet viewing much, if at all. I have a subscription to Netflix, and when I watch things it's usually in a semi-social way, like relaxing with my husband or friends. If I'm alone and on my usual schedule, I'd many times over rather read a book.

So, the one thing that I would like to see, if I can find them, would be music videos from the 1980s. Early MTV. Ah, nostalgia.

I signed up for an account on Joost , and I joined the group "Gilmore Girls." There's not too much activity there though, and only three members. I had only a little success looking for my 1980s videos, but I did get to watch A-Ha's "Take on Me," Cindy Lauper's "She Bop," 'Til Tuesday's "Voices Carry," and the Eurythmic's "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This"). I was able to find more when I clicked the tag "80s." So, that was fun. But, I was hoping to find more and of greater variety.

I don't think that my view habits will change, and, because the experience is different, I don't think that Internet viewing will hurt broadcast TV.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Things 41 and 42: Mash up your Life and Music

Thing 41: Mash Up Your Life

Frankly, I was exhausted just reading about this. For me, a single site like Facebook, Twitter or especially Myspace can be overwhelming enough. I don't want to combine everything together and mix my social networks. Thanks, anyway.

Thing 42: Music

I started an account on Pandora, and it was pleasant. I made my own radio station, excitingly called Donell's Radio. It was very easy to do. I chose music I like, such as The Tannahill Weavers, Areosmith, Abba, Kate Bush, the soundtrack from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, etc. and it added similar music to the playlist. Then I could give the songs it picked a thumbs up or down. So, very nice. It didn't seem to mix the music types up very well, but maybe that comes after you listen more and review the music.

This is completely new to me. I still listen to music on CDs, rather than an MP3 player or Ipod. But, I'm planning to get an Ipod so I can listen to music while I work out at the YWCA. The problem for me with Internet music is that I'm not really that type of multitasker. I don't like to listen to music when I read or surf. I play it when I do housework, in the car, and when I specifically sit and listen to it (or stand and dance to it).

I made a music "quilt" on Last FM of 1940s tunes. I could not get it to show in this post, but if you page down to the bottom, you will see it. Billie Holiday, Tommy Dorsey, Louis Armstrong, and Squirrel Nut Zippers, for a start!

Yes, I'm a Masher

Great Books for Teens
Great Books for Teens by cleery on Polyvore.com

Edwardian Beauty
Edwardian Beauty by cleery featuring 1928 jewelry

I created these collages on Polyvore and I had a great time doing it. I just wish the second one was larger.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Thing 40

From http://www.flickr.com/photos/spixworth/, 1903 photo found on Life In Grayscale

Another Flickr mashup I enjoy is Life In Grayscale. It searches old photos in Flickr, based on the years that interest you. You can browse pictures on a sliding timeline from 1900-1970. This is heaven for a history loving browser such as me. Once you find a picture that you like, you can save it under your Flickr favorites. A couple of things keep it from being perfect, however. Many of the photos that come up aren't really in any way connected to that particular year. Luckily, you can flag those pictures to be reassigned. More frustrating, though, is that once you enlarge a photo to view it, there seems to be no way to close only that window. When you close it, you close everything, and you have to entirely reenter the site. Still, it's interesting enough that I'll have lots of viewing hours ahead of me.

The Flilliustrator illustrates stories that you create. I collaborated with Carol Has Her Nose in a Book on this one and our "story" is "the gorgeous librarian fell in love with an ass." We like the results, which won't post here. It went The (photo = attractive green fly), gorgeous (dramatically lit arched train station), librarian (woman with her head on a stack of books), fell (mountain & lake scene), in (guy sticking his head out of a subway car), love (black & white street scene, kissing), with (bearded soldier with white cat), an (striped green caterpillar), ass (this one caused problems, but we clicked through a donkey with a couple kissing in the background). It had a save option and it may have worked, but the directions were very vague.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thing 40: Mashup the Web

The first Flickr Mashup toy that I played with was depictr which is "A toy that analyses song lyrics and poetry to create a mosaic of appropriate photos." I plugged in some lines from "The Lady of Shalot" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson:

There she weaves by night and day A magic web with colours gay. She has heard a whisper say, A curse is on her if she stay To look down to Camelot. She knows not what the curse may be, And so she weaveth steadily, And little other care hath she, The Lady of Shalott.

"The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes:

The wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees, The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas, The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor, And the highwayman came riding-- Riding--riding-- The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.


Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard, He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred, He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there But the landlord's black-eyed daughter-- Bess, the landlord's daughter-- Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

and okay, even some lyrics from Duran Duran's "The Chauffer":

And the sun drips down bedding heavy behind
The front of your dress - all shadowy lined
And the droning engine throbs in time
With your beating heart
Way down the lane away, living for another day
The aphids swarm up in the drifting haze
Swim seagull in the sky towards that hollow western isle
My envied lady holds you fast in her gaze

The results were mixed. It was fun to see what would up, but they were pretty much a far cry from the moods of the words. The only one I liked was for "The Highwayman", the second verse I tried, but again, I couldn't figure out how to post it here. Still, it was useful to get you thinking about how you would illustrate the verses. It would be a good creative exercise for teens.

Similarly, Flickrscape allows you to enter a favorite word and then gives you a slide show to go with it. I had good results with "chandelier", "buttercup" and "toadstool", but less so with "acquiesce." If I could figure out how to post the show to this blog, I would really like it.

Flickr's Dog Friendly Hotels was a bust. It took me to a hotel search that had nothing to do with dogs. :(
More to come!

Thing 39: Digital Storytelling--My Garden Choices

Photo credits and/or places to purchase:

Sarah Bernhart Peony from http://www.touchofnature.com/
Peaches n' Dreams Hollyhock from http://www.bluestoneperennials.com/

Silverado Iris from http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/index.html

Lady's Mantle from https://www.anniesannuals.com/

Heavenly Blue Morning Glories from http://www.parkseed.com/

Sweet Dreams Catmint from http://www.naturehills.com/

Indian Springs Hollyhock from http://www.swallowtailgardenseeds.com/

Spring Beauty Cottage Pinks from http://www.burpee.com/

Biedermeier Mix Columbines from http://www.perennialfavoritesnursery.com/

Angel Tiger Violas from http://www.parkseed.com/

Bowle's Black Pansies from http://www.seedman.com/

Breakers Iris from http://www.vanbloem.com/

Stairway to Heaven Iris from http://www.whiteflowerfarm.com/

Ultima Baron Mahogany Pansies from http://floriculture.osu.edu/
I created the above scrapbook using Scrapblog. It was very easy to do and there are many fonts, backgrounds and other fancy stuff to choose from. Some of it costs money, but for my simple job, I did it all for free and I'm happy with the results.
I can definitely see using digital scrap booking with the library teens, or at least on the library web page, if the county allowed it.

Thing 38: Screencasting

I put this thing off because I was completely intimidated by it. When I was reading about screencasting, I somehow couldn't get my mind around it. Then, I made a silly little screencast on Screencast-O-Matic . I attempted to show how to add books that you want to read to your Visual Bookshelf on Facebook and mark them as read when you're through. Here is the link:
It was much easier to actually do than read about. Some things that I will remember and try to improve for next time:
  1. I chose not to do audio because I hate the sound of my voice, but I think that it would be much easier to follow with a narrative.
  2. The waiting time between clicking and opening a new page took a long time. Next time, I will pause while the page loads.
  3. Probably a little outline of my intended steps prepared ahead of time would make my clicking less awkward.
In fact, I think I'll do another screencast later this week with the above changes.
I think that screencasting will be super helpful to libraries in doing tutorials on catalog searching, databases, library web pages on Facebook or Flickr, etc.
Update 6/3: I made a new screencast, to try and do a better job. Here it is at http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cQ1el8eRH
It is to find themed books for storytime on NoveList. I tried and failed to use the microphone. I even checked my computer setting as instructed, and all seemed well, but it failed to record. So, we have no sound. This time around though, I added pop-up notes to make things clearer. I wrote down my steps ahead of time, so I hope the mousing is less jerky. I think with practice you could make pretty nice tutorials.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Love, Ruby Lavender

Years ago, I heard that this was a special book. When we recently received the audio book, narrated by Judith Ivey, I thought that it was time to give it my attention and I loved it! Ruby is a funny, plucky, imperfect nine year old with a loving and supportive grandma, a newly "liberated" small flock of hens, and a curly-haired, tappity-shoed enemy, Melba Jane. When Miss Eula (her grandma) decides to leave their town of Halleluia, Mississippi and take an open-ended vacation to Hawaii, Ruby thinks that her summer will be miserably boring. But, that is before she meets Dove, an aspiring anthropologist, prepares for new arrivals in the Pink Palace greenhouse, squares off with Melba and reports it all in her frequent letters to Miss Eula. I loved the memorable characters, the gently-handled theme of forgiveness and Ms. Ivey's amusing delivery of Ruby and company.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Thing 37: Photo Tales

I finally started working on this Thing on 6/10/09. Check out the posts!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thing 36: Comic Relief

From http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/publishing/graphics/READ_Mini_Posters.cfm



From http://www.imagegenerator.net/browse/bad_comment/date/1462/ Pink is my favorite color.

From http://www.addletters.com/disneyland-sign-generator.htm

Me, courtesy of http://obamiconme.pastemagazine.com/

Fairy Name Generator

Your fairy is called Oak Rainbowglitter

She is a fortune bringer.

She lives in forests of oak and lime trees.

She is only seen in the light of a shooting star.

She decorates herself with leaves and berries. She has multicoloured wings like a butterfly.

Get your free fairy name here!

My Hobbit name: Iris Boggy-Hillocks, from http://www.chriswetherell.com/hobbit/

My Elvish name: Alateriel Amandil, from http://www.chriswetherell.com/elf/

Comic Strip Generators

My two favorite were:Make Beliefs Comix and Historic Tale Construction Kit . I made scenes (comic and tale) on both, but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to display them here, and crashed my computer trying. In Make Beliefs, I did a book blurb for Sharon Lovejoy's Sunflower Houses: Gardening Discoveries for Children of All Ages. I got to use animal characters such as a dapper alligator (crocodile?), a rat, a kitty girl and a cute little bee woman with gardening tools. I also learned that I'm no cartoonist. I really liked Historic Tales probably because it was more like doing a book illustration than a cartoon. The scene has a textile appearance and your text looks embroidered on. Even though there is only one female character, and a lot of the pictures are war related, a managed to make a little scene that pleased me. I titled it "Helping the Princess," and said princess is speaking to a small lion who is offering to help her with an impossible task, in fairy tale fashion.

Shelf Check aside, I didn't like most of the cartoons I saw on Toon Doo. They seemed pretty lowbrow and frequently scatological. I also didn't like the art options. The only cute thing was the searching ferret. Therefore, I won't be setting up an account there for this Thing.

See my other (brief) thoughts on generators Here .

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Thing 35; part 2

Russian Folk Tale illustration from the Vintage Children's Book pool on Flickr, courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/lenivec/

Audio Book

How cool is it that you can volunteer for Librivox ? They provide free audio books from the public domain. They currently have 1325 works of fiction both for adults and youth, and that is the only category that I searched. To volunteer, "All you need is your voice, some free software, your computer, and maybe an inexpensive microphone". How nice would it be to help others out by reading?

Book Swaps

Swap Tree has me jittery with excitement! You can trade books, music and DVDs. You just make a list of things you want and things that you have. I would like to try it eventually, and I will report back on this blog.


I don't have any books I want to send out at present, but I'll keep you posted.

Book Reviews

Book Browse : When I saw Laurie Halse Anderson's Wintergirls as one of the week's featured hardcovers, it immediately made me trust this site. You can browse and search through teen and children's books alone. You can search by setting, time period, and themes. That much alone made me want to join. but there is a fee (29.95 for a year) and I am cheap and fairly well informed due to all these other options. The only site I pay for is LibraryThing. Apparently, libraries can subscribe and then patrons can use it, but our system doesn't subscribe.

The One Minute Critic! looks like a fun blog to browse. In fact, I added it to my Blog list (see and visit it below). Quickie videos review books and audio books. Spoiler alerts are given. A variety of books are reviewed. It's free! What's not to like?

Children's Books

Clearly a favorite topic of mine.

Vintage Children's Books on Flickr is something I've played with before this Thing. Gorgeous old book illustrations (Folktales, classics) and nostalgia (Little Golden Books, Dick and Jane). Love it! Any Flickr member can join the group and add to the pool.

Lookybook, which was a recommended resource, has closed due to lack of funds. When I tried Storyline, I received a message that the page can't be found :(

Just One More Book has podcast reviews of books and author interviews. I like this one too, and I've added it to my bloglist below. A selling point for me was a new interview with Leslea' Newman, author of Heather Has Two Mommies and numerous other books for children and adults. I'm a fan of her adult story collections like A Letter to Harvey Milk, Out of the Closet and Nothing to Wear and The Femme Mystique, a number of true stories that were very personally important for me. Go Leslea'!

Tonight's Bedtime Story is of great interest to me, because they have 79 classic fairy tales on PDF. I was skeptical about the illustrations, but they are by such masters as Arthur Rackham, Walter Crane and Gustav Dore. Also, they offer computer wallpaper of some of their tales!

Book Rental

Book Swim rents paperbacks, hardcovers, and textbooks, apparently in a manner similar to Netflix. I doubt I'll need that service (as I work in a library, for crying out loud), but I can definitely see how patrons might be interested in textbook rental.


I added the book application Great Children's Books, which allows you to send covers of classic children's books to your friends. I sent Anne of Green Gables to my great friend Carol Has Her Nose in a Book.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Thing 35: Books 2.0

Alice in Wonderland Book Sculpture, photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/rominaespinosa/

What a wonderful topic! I think that this Thing will take a long, long time. So much to explore.

Organize Your Personal Library

I already have a lifetime membership to Library Thing as cleery, with 508 books from my personal library cataloged to date. I love it because you can tag the books as you wish, and you can view them by title or cover picture. I used to use Library Thing as a place to keep new titles I'm interested in, and tagged them under Unread, but now I've started to keep those in Facebook. Also, I'm married now, and I'll be adding my husband's book collection. So, my books are in transition.

I was excited to find iTrack Mine , because you can also keep track of your media. I'm leaving my books on Library Thing, but I'm starting to put my movies and music on iTrack Mine. The first site I tried was Lib.rario.us , which i find an annoying name because of the punctuation. I started this at the end of March, before I had my surgery, but if memory serves I didn't like Lib.rario.us because the tags you use are their predefined categories, and I want to be able to create my own. For one thing, I want to be able to enter my VHS tapes as well as my DVDs, and I want to know which is which. Lib.rario.us didn't seem to allow me that function. On iTrack Mine, you can make custom lists, so that's how I keep my tapes separate. There is also a social component to this, where you can make "friends" and see their collections and reviews, but I haven't even scratched the surface with this.

Readers' Advisory

I've signed up for ReadingTrails, because it looks intriguing. I will explore it shortly. I tried What Should I Read Next?" , but the first book and author that I put in, Coventry by Helen Humphreys, generated an error message. I then tried Affinity by Sarah Waters, and got ten results. So, I think that it will be hit or miss, but I may still join.

What's Next promises to find the next book in a series, but I had middling results. It brought up the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace, but gave me no results when I tried to put in Erin Hunter's Warriors series.

BookStumpers is a nifty site, part of Loganberry books, where you can post a description of a book and let others help you find the title. It seems like most of these are children's books. You can also help answer the stumpers. Some months ago I answered a stumper that was Magic Elizabeth by Norma Kassirer, and it seems many agree that this was the answer. It's fun to look through the stumper lists, especially since the inquires go back to books from the early 1900s!

I joined Booklamp because it promises to make book suggestions based on books you already enjoy, "to find books with a similar level of tone, tense, perspective, action, description, and dialog - while at the same time allowing you to specify details..." Sadly though, at this point it's just a technology demonstration and search access is yet to come. It looks promising though.

Online Book Communities

Looking over the suggested sites, I realize that I already use Living Social through Facebook, as I mentioned above. I track books I've read, want to read and am reading now. I usually don't review my books, giving only the shortest blurb when I do. No time! But, I do like to see what my friends are reading, and this does show me.

Bookgroup Resources

Book Sprouts immediately interested me because there are about 641 book clubs that you can join. This leads to fun browsing. I searched with the key word "teen" and found that many libraries have their teen book groups list, mostly by invitation only. So, bravo! to these libraries. I'm interested in this function. Predictably, I also searched under Young Adult ( 5 results), Fairy Tales (0), Folktales (0), Mythology (0) and Helen Humphreys (0). The only local bookclubs I found were invitation only. I know this site is beta, but it needs a way to search for clubs that are open. It's tiring to have to browse with all those invitation only clubs included.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

When God was a child...Oloyou

Returning to the library after a month off, I found a lovely new book waiting for me: Oloyou by Teresa Cardenas. With text in both Spanish and English, it is a retelling of a Yoruba myth, where God-child creates the first creature, Oloyou the cat, from a passing cloud. The two are beloved friends, but when Oloyou accidently falls from the sky and falls in love with the daughter of the sea, his fate is uncertain. Cardenas is a famous Cuban storyteller, dancer and priestess of Santeria, and she gives us a touching story of love, friendship and creation.
I became aware of the tale when I was skimming a book review and fell in love with a picture of a happy God-child hugging the dreamy-faced, smiling cat, much larger than his maker. I immediately ordered the book from my library system. That same appealing art that drew me in fills the book, illustrated by Mexican artist Margarita Sada. Her bright oil paintings carry and enhance the charm of the story.
I'm taking this one home to read to my husband. I'd also love to hear it read in Spanish.