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Summer Break is Coming: How to Keep Your Bored Hordes Entertained this Summer

26 Jun

If you are a parent with young children you probably will at some point in the next two months hear the dreaded phrase, “I’m bored.” But the Hoboken Public Library has you covered with great programming all summer long.  The whole family can join in the fun with summer reading for kids, teens, and adults where the pages you read can win you great prizes.  And although we love you to stop by for great books, music, and videos you can also borrow ebooks and stream movies and music so you have an instant answer when boredom hits, especially helpful on those rainy days we have been having in NJ lately when you don’t want to leave the house.  Here are a few recommendations from my son of things he has been enjoying.

Mr. Putter & Tabby Series
mr putter and tabby
My son has been loving the Mr. Putter and Tabby series. Cynthia Rylant’s series for beginning readers about an elderly man and his adventures has charmed my son.  Being a cat fan he loves Mr. Putter’s cat tabby who joins Mr. Putter on his many adventures.  I like that being divided up into short sections, it is easing my son in to chapter books.  Also it is refreshing to see a series for kids about older adults that appeals to a younger audience.  Mr. Putter often reminisces about things he did when he was younger and his neighbor and adventurous friend Mrs. Teaberry often encourages Mr. Putter to try new activities.  I’ve seen my son progress so much over the past year of just beginning to pick up sight words to being a proud reader and it is great to see how excited he is to check out a new book.  Many of the series are available not only in print from BCCLS libraries but also as ebooks from eLibraryNJ, eBCCLS, and Hoopla.

Frog Goes to Dinner
frog goes to dinner
Frog Goes to Dinner is a short (13 minute) adaptation of the classic wordless picture book by Mercer Mayer that is available to view on Kanopy.  A frog escapes from a boy’s pocket in a fancy French restaurant and gets in some hilarious trouble.  My son laughed so much at this one.  Though the book is probably more geared for kindergartners and preschoolers who are just beginning to read and will love a book where they can add their own words and story to the images, he still wanted to check out the original.  That to me is one of the great parts of the video story books that they may make reluctant readers interested in checking out the books the videos are based on.  Also available are adaptations of Mayer’s A Boy, A Dog, and a Frog, and Frog on his OwnKanopy has a whole section just for kids that you can select so they only see children friendly content.  Plus your child watching content in Kanopy Kids doesn’t count towards your ten adult selections each month so they can stream all they want and you still have access to great documentaries, indie films, and classics to check out.

Music on Freegal
wham
My son, like a lot of kids, loves dancing to music.  I wish we could all have the lack of self-consciousness young children have when they hear a song they love and can spin and jump about.  Freegal is great since you can create playlists of your favorite songs.  Hoboken Resident Cardholders can download 5 songs per week and/or stream three hours per day.  Two of my son’s favorite songs are Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham! and Happy by Pharrell Williams.  Besides making your own playlist you can also find plenty of ready-made playlists such as Book It: A Summer Reading Playlist to stream.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

 

Celebrate International Tabletop Gaming Day: Books, Movies, and More that will get you Gaming!

29 May

June 1st is International Tabletop Gaming Day. With our modern world where technology feels like it can isolate as well as connect us, now seems the perfect time to gather round and spend time bonding with family and friends while gaming.

Role Playing Games: Dungeons and Dragons
Dungeons and Dragons Art
One of my favorite bonding activities as a kid was playing Dungeons and Dragons with my dad and my sister on the weekends. It was like getting to take part in some of my favorite fantasy novels. I’ve been brushing up on the basics and look forward to playing the game with my son and husband. In the Elfish Gene: Dungeons and Dragons and Growing Up Strange, Mark Barrowcliff looks back at his own youth and his role playing experiences; you can borrow it from Hoopla.

If you are interested in playing D&D yourself, BCCLS libraries have you covered with  Guides and Monster Manuals. Plus you can borrow items looking back on D&D’s history such as Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History which looks at the evolving artwork associated with the game. You can also borrow the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon series (sweet Saturday Morning Nostalgia) on DVD. A few BCCLS Libraries also have the live action film adaptation, but like many critics and fans, I found the movie disappointing and not an accurate representation of the game.

Dungeons and Dragons and Philosophy: Raiding the Temple of Wisdom edited by Jon Cogburn and Mark Silcox contains essays on different philosophical concepts that can be understood through and about the game including topics like ethics, morality, and metaphysical questions on topics like the boundary between magic and science. The final section focuses on game theory. If you enjoy this pop culture take on philosophy you can checkout others in the series which uses everything Monty Python to Zelda to deepen our understanding of the things we love and the world around us.

If you’ve never played an RPG before you can get insight (and entertainment) from the many web series that are now online such as the extremely popular Critical Role featuring the high fantasy of Dungeon and Dragons.  Sirens of the Realm is a lot of fun; imagine if the Go-Go’s  or the Bangles were fantasy bards. My current personal favorite is the urban fantasy of Vampire The Masquerade: LA Nights; its third season starts streaming on Twitch on June 1, but you can watch previous episodes from season one and two on YouTube; watch the first episode now.

If you like D&D than you should love the book we are reading for our next Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Group here at the library, Nicholas Eames’s Kings of the Wyld!  Eames even drew some inspiration from the game.  Stop by the Reference Desk to pick up a copy or Hoboken Residents checkout an ebook version from eLibraryNJ; join us for the discussion on June 17 at 6 PM.  Before hand we will be watching episodes of a fun classic fantasy series starting at 4 PM.

Board Games: Clue and Monopoly
clue Monopoly
Lacking the competitive gene, unlike my younger sister a Monopoly fanatic, I wasn’t as much of a board game fan as a kid. There were a few exceptions though and my hands down favorite game was always Clue. I’ve always loved mysteries even at a young age and Clue for me was less about winning than getting to play detective and figure out which of the characters was guilty.  Now I enjoy playing board games with my son, many of which I’m pleased to see now are more about team work than winning.

My sister and I both loved the Clue movie adaptation which we watched probably about 50 times at least; you can borrow it on DVD from BCCLS Libraries. When it was shown in the theaters it had one of three different endings; you can view them all. You can also borrow a Clue comic book adaptation from Hoopla.

If you are more a Monopoly fan you can check out the Emmy Award winning documentary, Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story on DVD or streaming from Kanopy.

During the Teen Department’s Games in the Garden event, our beautiful garden space is open to teens every Thursday from 4 PM-5 PM where they can play a variety of our board games.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

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