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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

 

Evocative, Funny and Heartbreaking: Chen Chen – “When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities”

22 May

ChenChenFurtherPossibilities
With April having been National Poetry Month, May being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and June being LGBT History Month, I thought I’d share a book that intersects all of these themes. Presenting: Chen Chen’s “When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities.”

Whenever I express my love for poetry, I tend to get the same reaction every single time – a look of horror. It’s understandable why. In school, we are usually taught old, hard-to-read poems. The vocabulary is hard to grasp, it’s hard to relate to and there is a constant pressure to analyze, analyze, analyze. That’s enough to swear anyone off poetry.

But shunning all of poetry is a loss. Like music, there’s always something for everyone. Contemporary poetry is rising in popularity and thankfully there is a diverse group of poets that are leading the way, telling stories that would have been silenced or relegated to obscurity in the past, and opening doors for future voices to be heard.

In “When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities,” Chen Chen’s poems are evocative, funny and heartbreaking. Here’s an excerpt from the title poem:

To be a good
ex/current friend for R. To be one last

inspired way to get back at R. To be relationship
advice for L. To be advice

for my mother. To be a more comfortable
hospital bed for my mother. To be

no more hospital beds. To be, in my spare time,
America for my uncle, who wants to be China

for me. To be a country of trafficless roads
& a sports car for my aunt, who likes to go

fast. To be a cyclone
of laughter when my parents say

their new coworker is like that, they can tell
because he wears pink socks, see, you don’t, so you can’t,

can’t be one of them. To be the one
my parents raised me to be—

a season from the planet
of planet-sized storms.

Chen Chen writes beautifully about love, family, rejection, as well as queer and Asian American experiences. “When I Grow Up” is an accessible and well-written collection that not only acts as a good introduction to contemporary poetry, but has the ability to reach out to those who may feel invisible due to their race, sexuality, or other characteristic they feel defines them.

Besides being available in print from the Hoboken Library, Hoboken resident library card holders can borrow an ebook copy from Hoopla!

Do you have a favorite poet or book of poems?  Let us know in the comments!

Written by:
Samantha Evaristo

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