Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sing With Me!

A couple of pictures from this week's Sing With Me! program in Youth Services-- our new sing-a-long program for families with children ages 4-8.

Sing With Me
Singing along

Sing With Me
Doin' the Hokey-Pokey!

Join us for Sing With Me! again at 4 P.M. on February 14th, March 6th, March 20th, April 3rd, and April 24th. This program is drop-in, but please call the morning of to reserve a space.

Did You Know?: Materials for the Vision-Impaired

A full range of materials for the vision-impaired of all ages, with free mail loan of recorded and Braille books and magazines, and necessary playback equipment is available to Connecticut state residents unable to read conventional print because of a visual or physical disability. These materials are available to Perrot patrons through the Connecticut State Library System. Web info is available at, or you may contact our Reference Department for assistance.

Hey, Mom! Do YOU Know the Code?

BF -------> Boyfriend or Best Friend
GF -------> Girlfriend
P911 -----> Parent Alert
POS ------> Parent Over Shoulder
A/S/L ----> What’s your Age/Sex/Location?
MORF ---> Male or Female?
POP -----> Parent on the prowl – can’t talk freely
5 --------> Parent nearby – don’t text anything suspicious
55 -------> Coast is clear – say anything you want
CTN -----> Can’t talk now

We all know that it’s important to supervise our kids’ online activities. This month’s issue of Parents magazine offers a few helpful rules for you to establish with your child.
Want to know more? Take a look at Parents magazine and the books below at Perrot!

Our Picks!: Books About Love and Friendship

Love Check out our brand-new Youth Services' Our Picks! list for February 2008-- in honor of Valentine's Day, it features Youth Services Staff's favorite books about love and friendship. You can view the full list here.

Also, don't forget to take a look at our Valentine's Day section next time you're in the Library!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Build Vocab and Feed the World's Hungry!

Check out (or revisit) The site asks visitors to match vocabulary words with their closest synonyms. For every word you match correctly, 20 grains of rice will be donated to the World Food Programme, whose mission is to feed the hungry in developing nations. The site has donated more than four billion grains so far. Be sure to stop by and help feed the hungry-- and your mind!

February 5th in Youth Services

Youth Services programs WILL be held on Tuesday, February 5th, 2008.

[Greenwich Public Schools are closed for the primaries that day.]

Friday, January 25, 2008

Databases You May Have Missed: Art Databases

The Greenwich Libraries subscribe to many interesting and useful databases-- all too many of which are overlooked! This post is the first in a series highlighting databases that you may not have heard about. All are free to access with your Greenwich/Perrot Library Card number.

Our community relishes looking at art, buying art, and appraising antiques. Within this framework, we have several databases that are essential to keep current with art trends and prices.
  • Artnet: Artnet gathers together thousands of artists and their works, with more than 1,000 galleries being represented. One can search for particular paintings or representative works to judge auction prices. Buy, sell and research online. Only accessible within the Libraries.
  • Ask ART: A great place to search for American artists, see their paintings, get artist biographies, and even check auction records. Only accessible within the Libraries.
  • Grove Art Online: This resource encompasses the entire sets of The Dictionary of Art and The Oxford Companion to Art. Any additions are date-stamped. Explore art and art forms, styles and cultures, artists and their biographies, and much more. Accessible both inside the Libraries and from home.
  • P4A Antiques Reference Database: This database can be used to estimate the value of antiques. Great fun for antique researchers. Accessible both inside the Libraries and from home.

Read the Book, Then See the Movie

Too often, movies are a shallow example of the book that inspired them, but sometimes movie adaptations make excellent partners with their books.

For instance, Gone with the Wind makes for an incredible visual epic as a movie-- its seems just like the author would have intended. Also, film version of The Kite Runner is very true to the novel, and deepens our understanding of the current events in Afghanistan.

What are some movies you've seen lately that are just as great as the book on which they were based? Comment on this post!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New Youth Services Drop-In Program Added

Youth Services has added a drop-in program to its Winter/Spring 2008 Program Session:

For Ages: 12-36 months
Description: Tunes and tales for one- and two-year-olds. Children attend with an adult caregiver.
Duration: 30 minutes
Offerings: Drop-in. Fridays at 10 A.M., February 1st through April 11th. No program on February 22nd or March 21st.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Young Critics Who Carry Clout

The Young Critics' Club has been featured on Shelf Awareness, an e-newsletter for the book trade, in an article entitled "Young Critics Who Carry Clout."

Long before Oprah's Book Club, there was the Young Critics' Club in Old Greenwich, Conn. For 25 years, what began as a group of 20 fifth-, sixth- and seventh-graders has been meeting after school on alternate Fridays at Perrot Library. Why? Because they want to get publishers' brand new galleys before anyone else, said Kate McClelland, founder of the club and former assistant director of the public library (she's recently semi-retired, but said she will not give up the club). "They're just as eager to read the new stuff as adults are," McClelland said. "The galleys make them feel like insiders." Only three galleys of any one title circulate so that students are reading and commenting on a variety of books.

Read the rest of the article here:

Listen to Perrot's Own Kate McClelland on NPR!

Our beloved former Assistant Director/Head of Youth Services, Kate McClelland, was featured in a piece on NPR's All Things Considered on Monday. The segment, entitled "Stories of Magic, Medieval Times Win Book Awards," discussed the 2008 Caldecott and Newbery Award Winners. Listen to Kate jubilantly discuss the surprise Caldecott win of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, shortly after the award winners were announced at ALA's Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia. Just go to this page and click on "Listen Now."

Some Great Books You May Have Missed

Recently three New York Times book reviewers (Michiko Kakutani, Janet Maslin, and William Grimes) put together lists of their 10 favorite books, chosen from among those they reviewed during the past year. Among those highlighted in the article “A Year of Books Worth Curling Up With” were. . .

  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz: Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd, a New Jersey romantic who dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love.
  • House of Meetings, by Martin Amis: In 1946, two brothers and a Jewish girl fall into alignment in pogrom-poised Moscow. The fraternal conflict then marinates in Norlag, a slave-labor camp above the Arctic Circle, where a tryst in the coveted House of Meetings will haunt all three lovers long after the brothers are released.
  • Away, by Amy Bloom: When Lillian's family is destroyed in a Russian pogrom, she comes to America alone, determined to make her way in a new land. When word comes that her daughter, Sophie, might still be alive, Lillian embarks on an odyssey that takes her from the world of the Yiddish theater on New York's Lower East Side, to Seattle's Jazz District, and up to Alaska.
  • Find Me, by Carol O’Connell: Tough-as-nails detective Mallory follows a serial murder from her own apartment building to the desert heart of Route 66, where she finds a procession of mourners searching for their missing children.


  • When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa, by Peter Godwin: A brilliant memoir about a son's return to Africa to uncover the secrets of his family and his home. Bearing witness to Zimbabwe's dramatic spiral downwards, Godwin discovers why Africa was his father's sanctuary from another identity and why his family chose to stay amidst the chaos.
  • Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal, by Ben Macintyre: Eddie Chapman was a charming criminal, a con man, and a philanderer. He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. Inside the traitor was a man of loyalty; inside the villain was a hero. The problem for Chapman, his spymasters, and his lovers was to know where one persona ended and the other began.
  • Final Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality, by Pauline W. Chen: Final Exam follows Chen over the course of her education, training, and practice, as she grapples with the problem of mortality, and struggles to reconcile the lessons of her training with her innate knowledge of shared humanity.
  • Einstein: His Life and Universe, by Walter Isaacson: Based on newly released personal letters of Einstein, this book explores how an imaginative, impertinent patent clerk-- a struggling father in a difficult marriage who couldn't get a teaching job or a doctorate-- became the mind reader of the creator of the cosmos, the locksmith of the mysteries of the atom and the universe.

[Click on each title to view that item in the catalog and to place a hold.]

Third Title in Inheritance Trilogy Announced

Brisingr: Book 3 in the Inheritance Trilogy

The title and cover of the third book in Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Trilogy has been announced! The book is called Brisingr, after the Old Norse word for "fire." The book will be released on September 20th, 2008.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Passport Day, March 1st

The Old Greenwich Post Office is sponsoring another U.S. Passport Day at Perrot on Saturday, March 1st, 2008, from 9:30 A.M. to 4 P.M.

File the paperwork to get your U.S. Passport. Photo services will also be available at the event, for $15. Bring your checkbook (Passport Fees are $82 for children under 16, and $97 for Adults), and your identification (you will need a previous passport or your birth certificate, as well as a photo ID).

If you'd like more information about Passport Day at Perrot, please call the Old Greenwich Post Office at 203-637-1405.

Remember, according to new passport regulations, you must now show your passport upon your return from Canada, Mexico, or the Carribean. You can read more about these new requirements here.

For other general information about obtaining a U.S. Passport, visit the U.S. Department of State's Passport Page.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Do you love to travel?

Perrot has recently purchased some new books from Insight Guides called “Smart Guides.” These new guides tell you “Where to go, what to see, and how to get there” and are arranged from A-Z within themes. They’re a handy size and well-illustrated.

Our latest Smart Guides are Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, Sydney, and Venice – all 2008 editions.

First Annual Adult Genre Fiction Awards

ALA's Reading List Council (of which Perrot's own Mirja Johanson was a 2007-08 committee member!) has debuted a new list of award winners-- outstanding genre fiction titles from last year. The winners of this new award in each of eight categories are:

The Second Objective, by Mark Frost
Bestselling author Mark Frost makes a triumphant return to fiction with this riveting World War II thriller, based on a shocking real-life German operation run by "the most dangerous man in Europe."

The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss
This powerful debut novel follows the story of Kvothe, the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.

Historical Fiction:
The Religion, by Tim Willocks
"A thrilling plot, polished dialog, and a satisfying denouement herald this remarkable work as one of the best historical novels of the year." -Library Journal

Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill
Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre. An aging death-metal rock god, his taste for the unnatural is as widely known to his legions of fans as the notorious excesses of his youth. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, an item for sale on the Internet, a thing so terribly strange, Jude can't help but reach for his wallet. . .

Mistress of the Art of Death, by Ariana Franklin
In medieval Cambridge, England, Adelia, a female forensics expert, is summoned by King Henry II to investigate a series of gruesome murders that has wrongly implicated the Jewish population, yielding even more tragic results. As Adelia's investigation takes her behind the closed doors of the country's churches, the killer prepares to strike again.

Natural Born Charmer, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Quarterback Dean Robillard takes to the road during the off-season, and finds Blue walking along in a beaver costume. Blue is cautious when it comes to love, but her defenses are no match for a determined competitor like Dean.

Science Fiction:
In War Times, by Kathleen Ann Goonan
Sam is a young enlisted soldier in 1941 when his older brother is killed at Pearl Harbor. Afterwards, Sam promises that he will do anything he can to stop the war. While in training, Sam is seduced by a mysterious female physicist that is teaching one of his courses, and given her plans for a device that will end the war, perhaps even end the human predilection for war forever. But the device does something less, and more, than that.

Women’s Fiction:
Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen
In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and of the extraordinary people who tend it.

[Click on each book title to view the item in the catalog and place a hold.]

More ALA Children's Literary Award Winners

The complete list of the American Library Association Literary Award Winners is available at the ALA website. Watch for these award-winning books in Perrot's Youth Services New Book Bin!

More award highlights (click on each book cover to request that item):

Coretta Scott King Award Winners
(recognizes an African-American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children):

Author Award Winner:
Elijah of Buxton, by Christopher Paul Curtis

In 1859, eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman, the first free-born child in Buxton, Canada, which is a haven for slaves fleeing the American south, uses his wits and skills to try to bring to justice the lying preacher who has stolen money that was to be used to buy a family's freedom.

Illustrator Award Winner:
Let It Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals, illustrated by Ashley Bryan

With a kaleidoscope of color and cut paper, a Bryan celebrates three favorite spirituals: "This Little Light of Mine," "Oh, When the Saints Go Marching In," and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands."

Pura Belpré Medal Winners
(honors a Latino author and illustrator whose work best affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience):

Author Award Winner:
The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano, by Margarita Engle

Juan Francisco Manzano was born in 1797 into the household of wealthy slaveowners in Cuba. He spent his early years at the side of his owner's wife, entertaining her friends. His poetry was his outlet, reflecting the beauty and cruelty of his world.

Illustrator Award Winner:
Los Gatos Black on Halloween, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Follow los monstruos and los esqueletos to the Halloween party under October's luna, full and bright-- the monsters are throwing a ball in the Haunted Hall. Las brujas come on their broomsticks. Los muertos rise from their coffins to join in the fun. Los esqueletos rattle their bones as they dance through the door. And the scariest creatures of all aren' t even there yet!

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Winner
(for the most distinguished beginning reader book):

There Is a Bird on Your Head!, by Mo Willems

Gerald the elephant discovers that there is something worse than a bird on your head-- two birds on your head!

2008 Children's Literary Award Winners

The winners of the 2008 major literary awards for children were recently announced at the American Library Association's Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia. Click on each book cover to request that item, and stay tuned for more awards updates!

Newbery Medal Winner
Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village, by Laura Amy Schlitz

A collection of short one-person plays featuring characters, between ten and fifteen years old, who live in or near a thirteenth-century English manor.

Caldecott Medal Winner
The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel in Words and Pictures, by Brian Selznick

When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toyseller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.

Printz Award Winner
(for excellence in Young Adult literature):
The White Darkness, by Geraldine McCaughrean

Taken to Antarctica by the man she thinks of as her uncle for what she believes to be a vacation, Symone discovers that he is dangerously obsessed with seeking Symme's Hole, an opening that supposedly leads into the center of a hollow Earth.

Sibert Medal Winner
(for best informational book):
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, by Peter Sís

In his most personal work to date, award-winning author Peter Sís offers a brilliant graphic memoir, taking readers on an extraordinary journey as he recalls his youth growing up in Czechoslovakia in the 1960s, when his country was on the Communist side of the Iron Curtain.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's Fixed!

Perrot's feather pen weather vane was reattached on Saturday by Jack Heerman, a Volunteer with the Sound Beach Fire Department. Here's a photo of the installation:

Our weather vane is repaired

The pen now turns with the wind for the first time in decades.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Our Picks!: Cozy Family Movies

Click here to see our latest Our Picks! listCheck out our brand-new Youth Services' Our Picks! list for January 2008-- it features movies you can cozy up and watch with the whole family!

View the full list here.

Friday, January 04, 2008

DVD Diva: Katharine Hepburn

As many people know, Katharine Houghton Hepburn was born in Hartford, Connecticut. Some of her nicknames were "First Lady of Cinema," "Kate," and "The Great Kate." Although she was schooled at home for part of her education, she did attend Bryn Mawr College, where she got her first taste of acting by appearing in many of the school's productions. After appearing in several Broadway shows, film offers followed, and she was cast opposite John Barrymore in her first film role, A Bill of Divorcement (1939). Read more about The Great Kate, her films and her relationship with Spencer Tracey at Internet Movie Database.

Adam's Rib *Click here to request this DVD*Adam's Rib
A husband and wife lawyer team clash when the wife defends a woman on trial for shooting her spouse. The lawyer-husband is the prosecutor. With Spencer Tracey. More at IMDb.

The Lion in Winter *Click here to request this DVD*The Lion in Winter

Historical drama of the conflict between King Henry II of England and his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, over which of their sons will be Henry's successor. With Peter O’Toole. More at IMDb.

Katharine Hepburn 100th Anniversary Collection *Click here to request this DVD*Katharine Hepburn 100th Anniversary Collection
Watch Katharine Hepburn in six of her classic films in this box set: Morning Glory, Without Love, Dragon Seed, Undercurrent, Sylvia Scarlett, and The Corn Is Green.