January 31, 2008

Groundhogs and Woodchucks!

February 2nd is almost here!

Visit Groundhog.org to learn more about the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, who predicts the seasons. Read more about the "Shadowy Tradition of Groundhog Day." Look for the links on the lower right for live webstreaming of the groundhog's home.

Read the
Wonders of Woodchucks by Sigmund Lavine. This book "describes the evolution, physical characteristics, and behavior of woodchucks and discusses their place in folklore, literature, and medical research. [It] looks at the legends and facts about the life of this hibernating animal, who is often a friend of hunters and conservationists, but an enemy to farmers." Protect your dear cows from walking a woodchuck-ridden field. They could easily step into a hole, puncture through to a tunnel below, and break a leg! See old cartoons, drawings, and photographs of this unique creature in the American limelight.

In case you have seen a woodchuck standing by the roadside, watch out! Here is an old study done on road kill from 1997. Find out more about the graph below and other projects from the Roadkill (Eeew!) education website.

January 30, 2008


Take a fast quiz on the Fruits and Veggies Matter! web site sponsored by the government. The website is available in Spanish here, too. How old you are and how much you move around during the day determines the amount of delicious fruits and vegetables you will want to ingest.

I'm a Vegetarian: Amazing Facts and Ideas for Healthy Vegetarians
by Ellen Schwartz

112 pages
So, you've decided to be a vegetarian...now what? In 2002, when this book was first published, 13 million North Americans were vegetarians. Back then, the writers projected 1 million more would join the veggie lovers each year! You can calculate how many vegetarians there are today in 2008. Read about food consumption and the effects on our environment, which diseases you can stave off, and even learn about religious injunctions to avoid meat. See a list of vegetarian entertainers, scientists, philosophers, political leaders, writers, artists, and athletes.

Other sections of the book include "Convincing parents...and other sticky situations," "Food, glorious food" (a brief historical timeline of vegetarianism), "Be smart, stay healthy" (guidelines to healthy eating), "Being a vegetarian - it's easier than you think" (nutrition), and recipes to plan extensive menus. Don't forget to check the websites at the back for more information.

The Teen's Vegetarian Cookbook
by Judy Krizmanic
186 pages
"Recipes for all types of vegetarian dishes are accompanied by information and advice on vegetarian diet and quotes from teenage vegetarians." The green ink on natural colored paper supports the natural focus in this book. This is so easy to read it's nearly a crime to non-vegetable consumption. Who will let the meat run free after using these clear tips for transforming your eating habits? It is not written to pressure you to change, but you will be able to examine this alternative lifestyle with open eyes. The charts structured with "You gotta have", "If you don't like", "Try", and "Then try" explain vitamins and mineral necessities. Desserts and tips on how to eat in college conclude the book.

The Vegetarian Teen
by Charles A. Salter

112 pages
"Describes the benefits of vegetarianism, discusses proper nutrition, and includes a variety of recipes for main and side dishes, and snacks." This is a fast read with large print and a good introduction to the ideas that are expanded upon in the books noted above. There is a humorous spin to the writing. The question that opens the book, "What do you think of when you hear the word vegetarian?" is answered with, "Some hermit in India sitting on the floor in his loin cloth, with his scrawny legs curled up like a pretzel? A group of hippies living in a backwoods community?" The author tries to present a well-rounded view of vegetarianism without sticking to stereotypes or overwhelming the reader.

Truth or Dairy
by Catherine Clark
"When her boyfriend suddenly dumps her because he is going away to college, high school senior Courtney Von Dragen Smith is determined to stay single for her final year in order to concentrate on school, friends, and her cool job at the local vegetarian cafe, Truth or Dairy."

Wurst Case Scenario
by Catherine Clark
"Courtney, a vegetarian animal-rights activist, records in her diary the events of the beginning of her freshman year at a Wisconsin college, far away from Colorado and her boyfriend Grant, surrounded by cheese- and meat-lovers."

For a clever presentation of why eating dairy products is not a good idea, read Milk Sucks. If this isn't to your taste, try researching on the library databases! Read about The Health and Wellness Resource Center (and Alternative Health Module) for a great place to start investigating.

January 29, 2008

Bealeton henna designs

See some traditional and new designs from the Bealeton mehndi program last night:

January 24, 2008

Mehndi program reminder

Re-read about the Mehndi program at Warrenton library this Saturday, January 26 at @ 1 p.m. and at Bealeton library this coming Monday, January 28 @ 7 p.m.. Bring your own designs or try something new!


January 17, 2008

Snow Day!

Kenneth Libbrecht
Not much bigger than a butterfly, this book contains photographs of snowflakes with beauty equal to that winged bug. On these pages, the ice crystals are magnified to observe every pattern and glisten of light. Enjoy the accompanying "detailed captions containing the science behind [a snowflake's] beauty, and literary quotes relating to snow and nature."

Snowflakes in Photographs
W.A. Bentley

See some of the first photographs of snowflakes taken by Wilson Alwyn Bentley (1865-1931). Read about this obsessed cameraman and self-taught scientist who marveled at thousands of individual snowflakes in order to study their unique formations. If you'd like to share this information with a younger brother and sister, check out the picture book Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin.

Snowflakes for All Seasons
Cindy Higham

Do you like snow but rarely see it since you live in Virginia? Here is the perfect book to keep snowflakes falling throughout the calendar year. With a few scissor slices, you can create repetitive patterns graced by unusual characters around the circumference: pumpkins, cacti and coyotes, shamrocks, and more. Once you understand the design process, anything goes!

January 16, 2008

What are you reading?

(photo origin)

Click here to enter books you have read lately and help advance the Cedar Lee Middle School Literacy Challenge goal of 100,000 books. As of today, the count has reached 14,650!

January 12, 2008

New Year's resolution - exercise

Stand up straight. Bend. To the left. To the right. What shoes are you wearing? Hey, can exercise be done in a dress? Of course!

Now imagine you are the universal man. Arms out. Now up. Now out and down.
Hands on hips. Lean to the side. Right knee up, left knee follow. Swing that leg. Trace each foot in an arc around. Squat and stand. Squat and stand. Kick, kick, kick, kick, and kick!
OK, the weights go round and round and set them down.
Now try this to the music of your choice.
Seek books at the library branch of your choice to support your new exercise (or dance) plan for the new year.

January 9, 2008


Insatiable: The Compelling Story of Four Teens, Food and its Power
by Eve Eliot
This may be fiction, but there is truth here. This "novel written in episodic format follows four teenage girls whose shame, fear, and confusion compel them to binge, purge, and refuse to eat in misguided attempts to feel safe and in control of their lives." This isn't a comic, though there is humor to help get you through this rough topic. Maybe this is about you. Maybe you are not alone, either. Read this for yourself, your friends, or for anyone you know who struggles with a difficult relationship with food.

Inside Out: Portrait of an Eating Disorder
by Nadia Shivack
"The author tells the story of her eating disorder using cartoons to illustrate her internal feelings and battle with bulimia." Shocking cover, shocking words, shocking portrait. This brave author reveals her inner most pain in order to help others. Nadia was 14 when she met Ed, her eating disorder. She writes, "maintaining dignity is not easy. Dear heart…only you know how little lies under the fa├žade." She has a daily struggle uphill while continually battling the noise in her head. She writes words and she draws on the same notebook paper you see in every student's binder. The quirky drawings express pain, confusion, joy, sorrow, hope, and more. Artists will admire her honest expression throughout this remembrance. Thank goodness this book has been published.

List compiled at the end of the book:

Afterword: "I've been hospitalized several more times since this book was first conceived and illustrated. Day by day I continue to recover, working on replacing the critical voice in my head with one that is more positive and loving. I hope that by reading this book, we will increase our understanding and awareness of eating disorders and lessen the shame, guilt, and isolation that so often occurs in women suffering from them, which keeps so many women and girls in silence and makes this illness so hard to treat. This book has been my inspiration to continue to recover, to know that I might, in time, be able to reach out to others still suffering."

Be Healthy! It's a Girl Thing: Food Fitness and Feeling Great
by Mavis Jukes, Lilian Cheung
"A guide for adolescent girls on how to stay healthy and fit, with information on nutrition and exercise." Read this lighter, but no less helpful, approach to the subject of staying healthy. Here are tips to enjoy eating and exercising. Share a new plan with friends and stay on track together. New Year's Resolutions can be as bold or gentle as you choose. Good luck, you can do it!

January 2, 2008

Henna paste

Mehndi books

Do you like temporary tattoos? Do you ever wish you could decorate yourself, but don’t want it to be a permanent alteration? Bring yourself and your friends to the library for a special teen program. The exotic art of Mehndi lets you draw on your hands, arms, or maybe an ankle in designs that will last from 1 to 3 weeks. You can use traditional designs ready at the program, or bring your own artistic creations. But first, if you are not yet 18 years old, ask for a parental permission slip at one of the library desks. You will need to have it signed by your parents(or legal guardian) in time for the program. Don’t worry if you forget for a while, as long as you bring in your parent or the signed slip on the official date of the program.

Warrenton will start the fun on Saturday, January 26, 2008 at 1 p.m. in the program room downstairs. If you arrive early, you can revisit your favorite childhood stories! Bealeton library will be drawing with henna paste on Monday, January 28, 2008 as a special topic during our weekly Teen Coffee House from 7 to 9 p.m.

Remember that you can bring your own artwork, line drawings, and sketches to the program. The henna paste makes a thick line like drawing with cake frosting from a tube, so consider the practicality of translating a pencil sketch to a mehndi stain. Simple, bold designs are the easiest to begin your new career as mehndi tattooists! Hope to see you there!

Mehndi: the Art of Henna Body Painting by Carine Fabius
"The magical art of mehndi, or henna painting, has been practiced for centuries in India, Africa, and the Middle East, and now it has finally arrived in the West. Packed with inspirational photographs of traditional and contemporary mehndi, this complete resource offers everything you need to create your own beautiful henna designs, including: dozens of practice exercises and sample illustrations a foolproof recipe for mixing the henna paste step-by-step instructions on how to apply your mehndi design insider’s tips from professional mehndi artists and more!" At a birth, weddings, when a soldier goes off to war, and deaths, the use of the henna plant touches all stages of life. Copy designs in this book with tracing paper and onto your skin.

Mehndi: the Timeless Art of Henna Painting
by Loretta Roome Dip your fingertips in henna. Spiral fine lines on your palm. Draw swirls on your feet to accent rhythms of dance. Dye your soles. "To dye her feet the woman being dyed lies on her back on a rug which is covered with a jute cloth to receive the dropping or drying crust, legs straight and lifted at ankle level with a low stool." Browse the vibrant fine art color photos and more of actual people. Now are you ready to write your mehndi shopping list, make an application cone, and test for allergies? Try mixing each unique recipe. You will have learned practical information and more esoteric meanings of the mehndi patterns in this new book.