Never fear, faithful readers, libraries abound everywhere. Even little free ones. Even in tucked away places like this one in Madison, Wisconsin, where we stopped to try our hands…er, feet…at log rolling on our way to Chicago.
How lucky that we live in a country where words and ideas are uncensored and free for all.
Libraries truly are the great equalizers. Let’s keep them that way.
Get Connected at a library near you…or seek one out in strange and exciting new places.
In case you missed the Water Tower Festival parade last week, The Very Hungry Caterpillar float created by Hocking won first place. Almost immediately after the parade, I received a text from Jack Beery wondering if we wanted to adopt the caterpillar and the beautiful butterfly he turns into.
Uhm, yes! He’s gorgeous. Someone put a ton of work into him, and it would be a tragedy to tear such an iconic character apart. Also, is anything more awesome than community looking out for community? I love partnering with area businesses, organizations, and individuals for any reason. Bringing a hungry critter to the library to delight patrons of all ages seems like one of the best reasons.
Even before he was unloaded, wide-eyed little ones were giddy with excitement.
Of course, we are too.
This blog post, and the joy you will find visiting our new friend, was made possible by Eric Carle and the wonderfully talented staff at Hocking. No caterpillars were harmed in the making of this post.
This past Saturday, we had the honor of being the Grand Marshals for the Water Tower Festival Parade. As such, we knew we had to go all out. So we recruited friends and family to walk with us and bring beloved literary characters to life. Here are the books and characters that marched with Meinders Community Library for Storybooks on Parade.
Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh from books by A. A. Milne
Nancy Drew from the series by Caroline Keene
Cruella de Vil from The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith
Charlie Brown and Snoopy from Peanuts comic strips by Charles Schulz
Cat in the Hat and the Lorax from books by Dr. Seuss
Paul Bunyan, American folklore character
Fancy Nancy from the picturebooks written by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
Anna and Elsa from Frozen, based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen
Laura Ingalls Wilder, author and character in the Little House series
Harry Potter from the series by J. K. Rowling
Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Explorer Academy series by Trudi Trueit
Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang: The Magical Car by Ian Fleming
Naturally, I can’t let the Water Tower Festival parade occur without comment. As with all things, parades have a fascinating history, wrought with purpose. Military parades touted victories and established rule. Religious parades utilized the gathering of many as a giant platform to spread beliefs.
Throughout the ages, parades have boosted morale, spread news of a changing world, ignited passions for social reform, provided much-needed lightness in a dark world, and created a purpose to gather in fellowship with others. For more history on parades, click here.
Humans are social creatures. We like to celebrate together. Or commiserate together. We like to speak about the things we are passionate about and share our sorrows with others. Parades are the perfect way to express this need.
This year’s parade theme, Storybooks on Parade, has a lot more depth than what one might think at a quick glance.
Stories enlighten, educate, entertain, and engage people of all ages. Most stories have a message or two tucked between the pages. In a way, our bookshelves and To Be Read piles are a parade of who we are and what we believe. They are filled with hope and faith, love and joy, trial and tribulation. They excite the senses and engage us in what could or should be. Or conversely, what shouldn’t.
Books have as much power over shaping who we are as the military, world leaders, religion, or social justice.
Celebrate the books you have read and the ones yet to come. And don’t forget to join us at the library for all your literary needs. Because the great thing about libraries and parades: they are free and open to the public.
Please join us at the Water Tower Festival parade on Saturday morning. Afterward, the library will open at 11:30am for you to stop by and register for a chance to win a free Kindle. For those new to the library, pick up a library card and a few books to enjoy after the Water Tower Festival is over.
As I prepare for a final push through driver’s training with my youngest, I find myself reflecting on what it means to successfully raise a child. This introspection has taken me down many a memory lane–some good, some not great, most incredibly amazing. It has also taken me to parenting blogs and a whole host of poems and quotations.
Probably, the most well-known parenting quote goes something like this: children need both wings and roots. One to stay grounded, the other to explore their independence. That said, this baby bird didn’t look too happy when momma and poppa shoved him out of the nest. While his much bigger brother seemingly got the hang of his new wings quite quickly, I’m not sure if this little one ever did. He wasn’t around the next day.
Over the past 26 years as a parent, I have learned only two things:
I make mistakes every single day. Each decision I make and each interaction I have with my children impacts how they will act and react with the world around them.
There is not, and should never be, a parenting book meant for all parents and all children. Raising kids requires flexibility for the time and space you are in, which is as fluid as the water in my mug. Because of this, the world is full of conflicting advice. In fact, I couldn’t even find a cohesive quote on parenting that wasn’t almost immediately contradicted by another.
Oh yeah, and a third thing–letting go never gets easier despite the fact that releasing our children into the world as healthy, happy adults is the end goal.
My hope for you and the youth in your life is that you understand and embrace the uniqueness of yourself and your children. No two parents and no two children are the same. While using a good parenting book can help get your own feet rooted in the right place, just know that you may have to find the one that works for the time and space you are in right now. The more children you have, the more books you may need.
If you have used a great parenting book, please let us know so we can consider it for our shelves. If you are in need of a parenting book, we can help you find one.
I have one more day before my youngest will be driving me around. I can only hope I’ve given him a solid road map to get us safely to our destinations.
Wonder where the books are on time travel? I might need to get that figured out before my nest is completely empty!
As Pipestone gears up for the Water Tower Festival later this week, we’ve got a list of books featuring town celebrations and festivities. If you enjoy cozy mysteries, you are in luck, because we discovered no one loves a festival setting like cozies.
Middle Grade Fiction
Summerlost by Ally Condie
Eva’s Treetop Festival by Rebecca Elliott
The Maple Festival by Poppy Green
All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
Young Adult Fiction
Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills
The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls by Jessica Spotswood