A combination of stories, songs, fingerplays, and crafts for preschoolers aged 3 to 5 years.
I’ve always believed that books are a great way to bring people together. It’s great to share ideas, see the world through other people’s eyes and get a different perspective on life. This all is possible when you talk to someone about a meaningful book you’ve both read. One such book I’ve read is Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I love Thoreau’s total immersion in Nature, his wonder and deep philosophical musings on life. I recently brought up this title to a volunteer who had also read it and enjoyed it. Just talking about it magically brought both of us back to the world Thoreau created within the pages of that book. When you think about it, every book is its own tiny world in itself.
When I first learned about the Missing Book Club’s tradition of leaving books in public places, I felt this was a perfect example of how books can bring people together, at least in spirit. The Missing Book Club, based in Argentina, makes a practice of leaving books in public places four times a year at the start of every season. The next time this event occurs is on June 21st, and I’m excited to say that you might encounter some books left behind right here in Austin, thanks to the Austin Public Library and its used bookstore, Recycled Reads. These books are not from the library’s collection, but were donated to Recycled Reads and then purchased for this event with funds from generous donors. If you should find a book, it’s yours to read and then hopefully to pass on to another person. This act is not only to share the love of a good book with fellow Austinites, but to share the excitement of reading, especially as a part of our Summer Reading Program. To me this event feels special, as though we too are members of the Missing Book Club, together sharing in something bigger than ourselves.
Tuesday, June 11
North Village Branch Library
2505 Steck Ave.
Who: Adults who love Young Adult Books.
Book: The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
This story is set in world where magic is a powerful presence. There is clan magic, tied to the earth and used for healing. There is wizard magic that must be controlled and channeled with talismans. There is also a complicated and dark history that binds these magics together. And, of course, a bunch of secret baddies that are working to break this whole peace agreement wide open.
Enter our two heroes. We’ve got Han, a reformed thief trying to make an honest living to support his family. He’s street smart, tough, and has a way of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We’ve also got Raisa, the princess heir who is trying to be more than just another empty headed princess. She’s tougher than her small stature would indicate, independent, and willing to do what it takes to make her kingdom a better place for all its citizens.
There are secret identities, court intrigue, and several exciting adventures. And this is just the first in the series! We really enjoyed this title and think you will too. We hope you can join us for an evening of discussion.
Monday, June 10
Ruiz Branch Library
1600 Grove Blvd.
Adults interested in crafting
We are trying something completely new here at adult craft night. An entire class devoted to embroidery! It is safe to say we are extremely excited and have printed up a plethora of patterns that you can copy onto your fabric (Or be original and draw your own! Have you seen those pictures on Pinterest where people embroider their kids artwork? They are awesome!)
Never embroidered before? Never fear! Everyone can do a simple backstitch. Have some experience embroidering? Try something a little more advanced! We are in love with the book Stitched Gifts and will have it as well as several other embroidery books owned by the Austin Public Library on hand for you to check out.
We will provide all supplies needed including a nice white muslin, heavy duty embroidery backing, fun patterned fabric to embellish, and lots and lots of colors of thread. We will also have hoops for you to borrow for the duration of the class.
Can't wait to get started? Check out these fabulous books in the Austin Public Library's collection:
Summer time in Austin, Texas cannot be defined by the temperature outside. If it were, then we wouldn't have a Fall or Spring. Instead, universities, teachers, parents, and especially students define it by the months-long reprieve from the daily obligations of school. Retailers and restauranteurs mark Summer as when the tourists come to town. For festival goers it is the time between SXSW and ACL. For myself, I like to honor its arrival by joining the Summer Reading Program at my neighborhood branch of the library. Because I continue to work full time during that period of the calendar I can't necessarily devote more time to reading. Therefore, I have adopted my own personal challenge. Each year I have a goal to use the summer months to try a genre I don't normally read. Last year it was graphic novels and the year prior was nonfiction. In doing so, I discovered that I rather enjoy graphic novels and that they include so much more than superheroes. I also learned that I mentally focus much better on nonfiction material when I listen to it rather than read it, especially when it's read by an enthusiastic and passionate author or actor. So far my favorite of these is Michael Pollan, most notably known for Omnivore’s Dilemma, and who has a new one out soon I look forward to trying. I haven't decided yet on this year's genre, but it will undoubtedly be a mind opening experience. The pretty great thing about APL is that no matter which subject matter or material type I choose, I will have tons of titles from which to pick. The other awesome thing about summer reading in Austin is being part of the Summer Reading Program. It is a great way to inspire kids to join the youth summer reading program and encourage people all over town to read by showing off your progress. I have seen whole families come in to pick out items they planned to read together. Now that makes me excited about summer!
This is such a hard question for me to answer because I have mixed feelings about books that are turned into movies. Sometimes I love the book so much I am almost offended they’d try to tackle condensing it into cinema form. Then there are times that the images the author evokes peak my curiosity about how it would look on film. The best example of the latter is Water for Elephants which after reading it had me saying to people, “I think this might be a good film” and after it went celluloid exclaiming, “that was a very nice interpretation, I’m glad I read it and saw it.” I will admit that on occasion I am so unimpressed by a book I can’t see why anyone would bother making it into a movie. I feel fairly certain there is a large part of the well-read population who understands these conflicting opinions. Perhaps you are one of them. Also, you may be one who favors the argument that art, from fashion to storytelling, is recycled or reinvented in some way anyway. Like me, you may find that there are a few reasons one might not mind the prolific trend to turn the written art into a more readily available visual medium. The first being that it gets people to read. The second is that it inspires dialogue on various subjects. I doubt one could find an educator alive that would say there is not value in people participating in those two activities. There is a plethora of evidence that engaging the brain like this is beneficial. I’d argue that it has social benefits, as well. When An Inconvenient Truth went from a book to a movie it made global warming issues more accessible to mainstream America and changed the way we, as a society, viewed our impact on the environment. That being said, I encourage filmmakers to continue this tradition so that we are continually inspired to pick up a book and have a conversation because of the movie.
So this brings us back to the initial question posed in the title of my blog, Film V. Books: Which do you like better? I welcome conversation and opinions because I am sure there are some points I have not addressed. Also check out the screening of the film based on a book, Life of Pi on May 16, 2013.