Monday, March 19, 2012
MPL Composer Daniel E. Buckley has just released a new music CD featuring five original compositions for flute quartet. The Mysterious Forest (2012) is a relatively short collection that our library patrons may enjoy free in this blog by special arrangement of the composer.
These selections have been used as soundtracks to the library's various videos on its YouTube channel. Want to check out the CD from the Library? If you have an Evergreen Indiana library card, you may place an online hold by clicking here, or you may visit the MPL Indiana Room to find the CD on the shelves. The CD call number is I 786.76 BUC.
File M For Murder, by Miranda James
(a Cat in the Stacks Mystery)
(MPL Book Trailer #151)
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Grown-ups and children have been enjoying The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, for 41 years now (since it was first published in 1971). If you haven't read it yet, now's your chance. You could see the new movie if you want, but, for my money, the story is best told in a book.
The book is available in our Evergreen Indiana online catalog.
As the Lorax warned, we should heed the unless stone. If you'd like to learn how your grown-ups could help you make your own unless stone for your garden, visit this web site. The stone looks like this.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
The Mitten is a Ukrainian folk tale adapted and illustrated by Jan Brett (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1989). It was one of our Library's composer's childhood favorites. How fitting that we may now incorporate his original musical composition as the soundtrack to our book trailer.
Jan Brett's illustrations are wonderfully descriptive, and the text is simultaneously expressive and compressed. The result is a tightly-told tale that moves the reader along smoothly. The ever-increasing size of the mitten's occupants makes us anxious to see what happens next, while the story's climax provides a genuine belly-laugh and the satisfaction of knowing that all's well that ends well.
Early literacy readers (i.e., preschoolers) will enjoy listening and looking at this book during read-aloud, and children in the early elementary grades will have fun reading it on their own. The drawings evoke an old-fashioned, folklore-style format that presages characters and developments. The art is fabulous.
In the world of the paranormal, you should not automatically discount others' extrasensory experiences simply because you cannot discern what is, to you, invisible but nonetheless may be existent.
Conversely, one shouldn't uncritically accept allegations that someone's awareness detects what others cannot see, hear, smell, or feel. Hallucinations occur with a variety of medical or psychological ailments. If somebody suggests that s/he, for instance, can sense elemental beings and nature spirits, we should maintain an open mind, but we must also use our critical thinking to analyze and scrutinize whatever evidence is presented before drawing any conclusions.
Cheri Barstow claims to perceive entities from the natural world. These are the nature spirits, devas, elementals, and other beings that populate folklore from around the world. In her book, Elementally Speaking: The Nature Spirits' Guide to Their World (Trafford Publ., 2006), the author listens to what these alleged living energies have to say. Our book trailer sums up.
Is Barstow crazy? Is she actually aware of beings that are invisible to most humans? If so, is she transcribing accurately what they are communicating? You'll need to decide for yourselves about all that.
Here's a trick I use when reading "far out" nonfiction. If, after delving about a third of the way into such books, I decide that I cannot accept the reality of what's being presented, I mentally transfer the writing from nonfiction to fiction. That way, I can continue reading and enjoying the book as an exercise in creative imagination. Some nonfiction reads better as a novel.
Not that I'm suggesting that Barstow's book in unbelievable. Read it and decide for yourselves.
The world of nature spirits and elementals is no stranger to our book trailers, as you can see below. Our feline roving reporter has covered this topic before in her blog.
MPL Book Trailer #94
Nature Spirits & Elemental Beings: Working with the Intelligence in Nature, by Marko Pogačnik (Findhorn Press, 2nd rev. ed., 2010) (ISBN 9781844091751).
Whether or not you believe what these authors are saying, their works are interesting. They're seeing the world differently, and that, if nothing else, can be entertaining. At best, it may also be enlightening.