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Children’s Story Time at the Hoboken Public Library Turns 90: Celebrate with Classic Children’s Books!

26 Oct

Children’s Story Time was started back in in 1926, when the Hoboken Public Library’s second library director, Nina Hatfield, started sharing stories with Hoboken’s children.  Her story times were incredibly popular–at times more than 75 children between the ages of 3 and 10 would gather around Mrs. Hatfield.  Ninety years later, story times continue to be one of our most popular events for our library patrons.  In celebration of our story times’ birthday, I wanted to look back at four of my favorite children’s stories that kids may have listened to or read back in 1926, that your child can still enjoy today.  Some have been modified in later editions to make them more appropriate for modern audiences, but they still remain classics.

Winnie-the-Pooh, by A. A. Milne

The adorably sweet bear Winnie the Pooh also turns 90 this October.  There have been many new books, movies, and even a ride based on the A.A. Milne classic, but you can still check out the original Milne stories here at the Hoboken Public Library.  Pooh and several of the other characters from the book were based on toys owned by Milne’s son Christopher Robin.  Your children will be charmed by Winnie-the-Pooh who may be a bit naive, but is always kind and loyal.  Ernest H. Shepard provided illustrations.

The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame

Another classic illustrated by Shepard, is The Wind in the Willows.  I remember as a child checking it out from the library at my elementary school.  Sculptor Seward Johnson, was such such a fan of the work that when he created a restaurant for his Grounds for Sculpture, Sculpture Park, in Princeton, he named it Rat’s after the character who was an excellent host and threw great parties.  It was where my mom threw my children’s book themed baby shower so it will be especially sweet to borrow The Wind in the Willows and read it with my son and share all of the wild adventures of Mr. Toad, Ratty, Mole, and Badger.

The Story of Doctor Dolittle, by Hugh Lofting

As a kid who both adored animals and loved to travel, the Doctor Dolittle stories by Hugh Lofting were a favorite of mine.  Dolittle is a Victorian Era veterinarian who has a menagerie of animals who he learns to communicate with thanks to being taught by his pet parrot.  The first book The Story of Doctor Dolittle was published in 1920.  Nine books followed and the character has been adapted for films, TV, and plays, many of which are available from BCCLS libraries.  Lofting first created the character when he was writing letters to his children when he was in the military during World War I.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter first self-published The Tale of Peter Rabbit in 1901, before it received a trade publication in 1902.  Peter Rabbit was soon followed by other anthropomorphic animal tales such as The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin and The Tale of Little Pig RobinsonThe Tale of Peter Rabbit features the story of a family of rabbits and the grumpy farmer whose garden a rebellious Peter can’t resist sneaking into.  Peter was inspired by a rabbit who was Potter’s pet.  I remember learning to read with help from my mom using the Golden Book version.  The book has seen many adaptations including a ballet (you can borrow a film version from BCCLS libraries).

I have also discussed a few other classic tales in previous posts including: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

What are some of your favorite Children’s Classics?  Share them with us in the comments!

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

What’s New at the Hoboken Public Library: The Not So Secret Ways to Discover the Newest Titles Available at HPL

29 Jun

Want something new to read?  There are a variety of easy ways that you can find out what the newest titles at HPL are.  If you are looking to browse, the first two rows of books in the first floor circulation area are where the newest adult nonfiction and fiction are kept so it is a great way to sample our more recently added titles.  Of course you can always ask one of the library staff for their new (and older) item picks.

If you want to plan ahead you can also find out online what the just added titles are.  Simply click on the What’s New link on the BCCLS home page and you will be taken to the new item page for HPL.  You can find out what has been recently added for Books, Videos (DVDS and BluRay), and Sound Recordings (Books on CD and Music).  You can also find out what is new at other BCCLS libraries as well.  This is a Beta version, so they are continuing to work on making the service even better!  If you look at the records for the items you can typically get not only a summary of the work, but also reviews from trusted sources like Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal.  Also if you are doing a search in the library’s catalog on a particular topic, you can choose to have the results listed in order of publication date, to get the newest published work first.

If items seem interesting, but you don’t have the time to check them out at the time another great resources is the My List feature that you can access when you have logged into your account while browsing the catalog (you will need your library card and password/pin to login to your account).  You can setup different lists to save titles you are interested in; some of my lists include fantasy/scifi, mysteries, kids’ books, and travel.  Then when I’m in the mood to read something in a particular genre I can just login to my account and look at that list.  Need help with setting up a list or searching the catalog-just email us at reference AT hoboken DOT bccls DOT org and we will help you out!

Here are a few of the new titles that I plan to checkout from our New Item List from the beginning of June:

Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe

In Dear Fang, With Love a mostly absentee father and his recently diagnosed bipolar daughter take a history tour of Lithuania.  The novel is composed partially from Lucas’s narration along with emails and journal entries from Vera.  Library Journal, says “Thorpe’s second novel (after The Girls from Corona del Mar) is recommended for all fiction readers.”  Kirkus Reviews says “Fang, the novel weaves a strange and strangely intoxicating web of histories, both personal and geopolitical.”  Publishers Weekly says “…Thorpe’s prose is light, often hilarious, and unshakably grounded in the concrete details of daily life.”  Definitely sounds like one worth reading.

Following Fish: One Man’s Journey into the Food and Culture of the Indian Coast by Samanth Subramanian

Although I have only recently started eating fish more, I have always had an interest in the fascinating culture and delicious cuisine of India.  This intriguing sounding travelogue follows a journalist’s exploration along the Indian Coast learning about the fishing industry from the fisherman, cooks, and even tries himself a healing treatment that involves swallowing a live fish.  Publishers Weekly says, “This memorable travelogue should entice anyone remotely interested in the culture and food ways of coastal India. This is a superb guide to a rapidly changing region of South Asia.”  Booklist Review says, “Unique and entertaining, Subramanian’s impassioned, well-written, thoughtful quest will draw in even readers who might not have the same tireless love of fish. A cultural and culinary journey well worth taking.”

Warlock Holmes: A Study in Brimstone by G.S. Denning

Warlock Holmes is the new novel by first time author G.S. Denning.  You may remember from a previous post that I am a fan of Sherlock Holmes, who is more popular now than ever in TV, movies, and books.  Here Denning has added a supernatural twist with Holmes having magical powers, Inspector Lestrade is a vampire, and Gregson is an ogre.  As with the originals, the book is setup as a series of short stories.  Publishers Weekly describes it as, “Douglas Adams meets Arthur Conan Doyle in this delightfully absurd collection…” and Booklist says, “Mashup fans will be eagerly awaiting more.”  I checked this one out right away since it seemed like an enjoyable read for a rainy weekend.

Hensel and Gretel, Ninja Chicks by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez  and illustrated by Dan Santat

I’m also always on the lookout for fun pictures books to share with my son.  Hensel and Gretel, Ninja Chicks seems like it will amuse my little one who has recently become fascinated by various forms of martial arts.  The chicks in the title must rescue their parents from a fox who is holding them hostage in his cornbread house.  Publishers Weekly says, “Santat serves up an unstoppable barrage of exaggerated angles, action lines, and pop-eyed facial expressions to accompany Schwartz and Gomez’s sturdy limerick-metered verse.”  Booklist says, “Schwartz and Gomez’s lively limericks tell the story in a swift, kicky rhythm, while Santat’s dynamic, warm-toned, and action-filled illustrations throw a nice nod to kung-fu movies.”

You can click over to What’s New (Beta) and then let us know what newly available items you are interested in, in our comment section.

-Written by Aimee Harris, Head of Reference

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