Monday, October 29, 2012


In honor of Halloween this week...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Indian Tribes

Haunted Libraries

A very cool article by Elyssa Kroske from the Online Education Database about 10 Haunted Libraries in the US.

Two are in AZ very near where I used to live!

  1. The Willard Library

    Providing library services since 1885, Willard Library is the oldest public library in Indiana. This historic library, housed in a Victorian Gothic building is reportedly haunted by the ghost of The Grey Lady. The library has been investigated by several paranormal organizations and they have ghost cams set up throughout the library so that at-home ghost hunters can see if they can spot The Grey Lady. More coverage here.
  2. The Saline County Library

    The home of this Arkansas library from 1967 to 2003 was a converted theater building – The Old Palace Theater. Librarians began to suspect that the building was haunted after hearing phantom footsteps, seeing paperback carousels rotating by themselves, as well as books falling from the shelves. More coverage here.
  3. Peoria Public Library

    This public library is said to have been cursed in 1847 by Mary Stevenson Gray (or Grey), who previously owned the land where the library now stands. The curse is rumored to have caused the untimely deaths of three library directors in the early 20th century who now haunt the library. More coverage here.
  4. Scottsdale Public Library

    The Arabian and Civic Center branches of the Scottsdale (AZ) Public Library have been investigated by professional ghost hunters Sonoran Paranormal Investigations and have been found to be haunted. The investigation was done at the Library’s request after many reports of books and other objects moving by themselves, cold spots in the library and more. More coverage here.
  5. Ramona Convent Secondary School

    This school library in Alhambra, CA was founded in 1889 and is one of the oldest operating schools in the state. A nun in a white habit has been seen by students roaming around the library. More coverage here.
  6. Houston Public Library

    Ghostly music can be heard in the Julia Ideson Building of the Houston Public Library. It it said to be the ghost of Julius Frank Cramer, a night janitor who practiced playing a violin in through the library after it was closed. He lived in a basement apartment in the building until he died in 1936. More coverage here.
  7. Edgehill House Library

    This private library in Fauquier County, Virginia is said to be haunted by the ghost of Civil War Col. William Chapman. His presence has been reported to make loud noises during the night and lock doors within the 1790 house. More coverage here.
  8. Murry and Leonie Guggenheim Memorial Library

    This college library at Monmouth University was originally built in 1905 as the summer home of mining and smelting entrepreneur Murry Guggenheim. It is said that a lady in white walks down the staircase at midnight when the library closes. More coverage here.
  9. Parmly Billings Library

    A dark-haired woman in the basement and a whistling ghost, and a ghostly man wearing jeans and work boots on the second floor are just some of the haunts of the Parmly Billings Library. Acquisitions Librarian Karen Stevens wrote a book about these and other hauntings titled Haunted Montana.More coverage here.
  10. The Phoenixville Public Library

    The Phoenixville Public Library in Pennsylvania is haunted by three different ghosts that inhabit the recently renovated 1902 building. One is described by the library’s Executive Director John Kelleyas a lady wearing a bustle dress who haunts the attic. The library was investigated in 2006 by the Chester County Paranormal Research Society. More coverage here.

I live in Utah now and it said:

  • Provo, Brigham Young University, Harold B. Lee Library. Moaning voices can be heard in the Music Library on level 4.
  • Salt Lake City Public Library, Chapman Branch. KSL-TV reported October 28, 2004, that Circulation Specialist Andrea Graham saw a ghostly form as she opened the 1918 Carnegie library one morning, and she also watched a puppet launch itself from a window ledge.
Go HERE for full article.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Universal Themes

Adapted from: Against Borders: Promoting Books for a Multicultural World by Hazel Rochman

These themes echo back to the earliest Greek dramas and epics. The themes can combine in one story, or dominate one whole story. They work across genre such as mystery, romance, adventure, etc. Students can use them to make connections between texts.

1. The Perilous Journey. In an adventure, vision quest. quest, exodus, the main character will first feel "stuck" somehow -- literally, emotionally, develop-mentally, etc. She/he will have an escape, which could be a fantasy or real journey. In Where the Wild Things Are, Max explores his personality.

2. The Hero and the Monster. The "monster" can be internal and/or external, an individual, or a monstrous force or group. In Baseball Saved Us, the monster is the American government and some of its citizenry.

3. Outsiders. The main character is the outsider coming into a new situation; or a new person could be introduced into an established group. In Crow Call, Dad comes home from war to his children who barely know him.

4. Friends & Enemies. The main characters form or breaking alliances, handle social situations. Smokey Night shows how enemies can become friends. In The Mitten, animals that might otherwise prey on each other try to share an improper habitat.

5. Lovers vs Strangers. Fairy tales and folk tales often pair characters who may appeal or repel each other. Strangers can be "exotic," new or different in some important way. Love may come from unlikely sources, e.g., "Beauty and the Beast."

6. Family Matters. The narrative explores family dynamics, search for family, escape from family, e.g. "Hansel & Gretel," New Moon, The Happy Hockey Family.

 7. Finding Home. The story may or may not involve a "perilous journey." In The Whispering Cloth, in the refugee camp, Mai literally fabricates a home and family.

Shea, Pegi D. (2010).  Eliciting picture book responses up and down the grade level ladder, and back and forth across the curriculum.  New England Reading Association Journal.  December Issue. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cool Video

Step aside Buzz Lightyear.  THIS is falling with style!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Picture Book Pictures


Adapted from: Picture This: Perception is Composition by Molly Bang

1    1.  "Smooth, flat, horizontal shapes give us a sense of stability and calm... Humans are most stable when we are horizontal, because we can't fall down." Other examples: horizon line, triangle base.

 2. "Vertical shapes are more exciting and more active...." Objects like trees, churches and skyscrapers "require a great deal of energy to build... release a great energy when they fall." Example: a person going from sitting to standing. Note: a horizontal plane atop verticals, e.g., table, house, temple, convey both stability and pride.

3. "Diagonal shapes are dynamic because they imply motion and tension." Examples: branches, mountain slopes. They also can supply perspective, e.g., a road leading us into or away from picture; and add support and connection, e.g., buttress or strut. Note: "A triangle placed on a flat base gives a feeling of stability." A tipped triangle can convey motion, instability, direction.

4. "The upper half of a picture is a place of freedom, happiness, and triumph.... The bottom half of a picture feels more threatened, heavier, sadder, or more constrained; objects placed in the bottom half also feel more grounded. '... An object placed higher up on the page has greater pictorial weight.'"

  5. "The center of the page is the most effective 'center of attention.' It is the point of greatest attraction." Note: Much delight can be found outside the center in images that are ironic, undermining, humorous, threatening, etc.

  6. "White or light backgrounds feel safer to us than dark backgrounds because we can see well during the day and only poorly at night." Exceptions might include finding safety in the dark; feeling exposed and vulnerable in the spotlight or alone on an ice mass.

7. "We feel more scared looking at pointed shapes; we feel more secure or comforted looking at round shapes or curves."

8. "The larger an object is in a picture, the stronger it feels.... We associate size with strength -- strength of any sort." E.g., mental, spiritual, etc.

 9. "We associate the same or similar colors much more strongly than we associate the same or similar shapes."

10. We notice contrasts, ... contrast enables us to see.

Shea, Pegi D. (2010).  Eliciting picture book responses up and down the grade level ladder, and back and forth across the curriculum.  New England Reading Association Journal.  December Issue. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Frankenmom's and MomShells

Ever heard these terms?  It's new and it's on my mind.

Here's a book I want and an article that supports it.  Having just had a baby three months ago.  I completely agree!

How to Look Hot in a Minivan

"Call them "momshells" (mother-as-bombshell) for bouncing back after having a baby and jumping right back into their busy Hollywood careers looking svelte and stylish with no signs of baby weight.
Janice Min spearheaded many of those kinds of covers during her six-year stint as editor of US Weekly, but now, after giving birth to her third child, she's pushing back against what she calls unhealthy pressure on everyday new moms.
In a new article for the The New York Times, the 42-year-old Min says, "…the notion that instantly stick-thin figures after birth are normal is untrue. Sometimes, in my sleep-deprived nights, I ponder our ideal of this near-emaciated, sexy and well-dressed Frankenmom we've created and wonder how to undo her."
Read the NYTimes article HERE

Monday, October 1, 2012

Roald Dahls Worst Villains

I came across a great top ten list of terribly terrible villains in the Roald Dahl books.  There not quite as scary as that kidnapper in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, but still memorable enough that you love to hate them.  

Here they are...

Miss Agatha Trunchbull from Matilda

The Grand High Witch from The Witches

Mr. and Mrs. Twit from The Twits

Aunt Spiker and Aunt Sponge from James and the Giant Peach

Fleshlumpeater from The BFG

Mr. Wormwood from Matilda

Boggis, Bunce, and Bean from Fantastic Mr. Fox

Mr. Victor Hazell from Danny, the Champion of the World

Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The Enormous Crocodile inThe Enormous Crocodile

Art Tips