Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Using the Kansas Library Card for Wildebeests!

This is the season for migrating (no, not to Florida or Mexico to getaway from the cold)! The Great Migration is now taking place on theAfrican Serengeti. That means that hundreds of thousands of Wildebeestalong with zebra, and other African wildlife are on the march lookingfor water. This migration is sometimes called the "circle of life"because the animals literally circle the plains of the Serengeti in their search.
During this long trek these African plains become the birthing groundfor almost half a million calves! But, even though these little guys stand up and walk in fewer minutes than your hand has fingers, only half of them survive the predators and diseases that are prevalent.

You and your students can find out more about wildebeests and their yearly migration through the Serengeti by using your State Library'sKansas Library Card ( http://www.kslc.org/ )and trying the Keyword WILDEBEESTS in the ProQuest databases or the SIRS Discoverer database orthe term WILDEBEEST MIGRATION in the Thomson-Gale (InfoTrac) databases. There are plenty of articles (many in full-text) that will provideinformation and, if you have little researchers around, there is atleast one article in the SIRS database (Across the African Savannah)that has a Serengeti Board Game at the end!

~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~Sherry Hawkins Backhus, MLSInformation Professionalbackhusz@emporia.edu ~**~**~**~**~**~**~**~ "Who dares to teach must never cease to learn." John Cotton Dana
Register for a temporary Kansas Library Card at: http://www.kslc.org/index.jsp

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Book review: Cross off "Cross"

James Patterson's Alexander Cross series has always been titled after nursery rhymes such as "Along Came A Spider", "Kills the Girls", etc. Because his newest title is named "Cross", you would expect a major change in the series. That is not case.

Other than the title, the only change is that Alexander Cross, a forensic psychologist, has left the FBI and police work behind to open a private practice. He gets sucked back into crime fighting by looking for his wife's killer. The death of his wife has been in the background throughout the series, and we finally learn something about her and her murder ten years ago. He finds the answers he needs and realizes that he has to get over her to stop his hazardous work and build a permanent relationship with another woman.

Because I have read the entire series, I was disappointed in the plot of the book. I found it followed the same pattern as the other books without adding anything new to the series. Patterson is known for his original and shocking villians. This one seems very boring by comparison, and I ended up not caring if Cross caught him or not. The pace of the book is still very fast paced so if you want a quick, easy read this is a great book. If you have read the series, you may be disappointed.

Judy Bastin

Friday, January 12, 2007

Poetry not for the squeamish...

Review from my daughter:

Although I'm not a huge poetry fan -- I tend to like my prose, and stick with my prose, and be happy with my prose -- I do want to recommend this delightfully disgusting book:Now We Are Sick: An Anthology of Nasty Verse, edited by Neil Gaiman and Stephen Jones.

It's set up much like a Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky book of verses, but the reading material is definitely oriented toward the child inside of the adult. From the ghoulish to the gorey, there are giggles aplenty throughout. At 108 pages (of verse), it's a quick and enjoyable read.

Why am I posting about it here? While it's certainly not a fairy tale, the writers have drawn on that substance from which the best stories are made -- fear of things that go bump in the night, and the dark side of humanity that feeds those very bumpers. With nods to other authors, like Lewis Carrol ("You're Deceased, Father William," etc), this book is definitely one you want to get your hands on.

Happy reading!