Shel Silverstein was a very interesting and creative man. He is best known for his popular children’s books, such as The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. His works are often compared toDr. Seuss and A.A. Milne (creater of Winnie the Pooh). Even though his poems are at times very silly and dare I say crude, but that’s why they were loved by children around the world (his books have been translated more than 30 languages).
But Uncle Shelby (which he often called himself in his children’s books) created some great works for adults, in particular his songwriting. I recently stumbled across the 1972 song Sylvia’s Mother by the band Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show. The song is about a man calling up his ex-girlfriend desperate to speak with her one more time before she moves away, but her mother refuses to put Sylvia on the phone. It’s terribly sad song and I was impressed to find out it was written by Silverstein.
I later found out Silverstein penned many country-western hits:
If you want to explore the musical side of Shel Silverstein you can download his album The Best of Shel Silverstein for FREE from Freegal. All you need is your library card number and pin, but keep in mind, you are limited to 3 (DRM-Free) downloads a week.
Be part of a select group! The Free Library invites you to help us test a new, national survey designed to learn more about reading habits and the many ways people use their public library. Starting Monday, September 17, the Free Library is participating in a beta test of Library Journal’s “Patron Profiles” new survey form. We are limited to only 500 completed surveys, after which we will remove the links. Several other libraries across the country are also trying this survey out, and results will be compiled and shared.
What is Patron Profiles? It analyzes information collected through a national sample of 2,000+ public library consumers, and is produced in partnership with Library Journal, a major periodical about library related issues,and Bowker Pubtrack Consumer, a book publishing research company. We will have access to data results from Free Library users, as well as a chance to compare our results with the other libraries participating in this survey.
We want to learn about how you use the Free Library! Please click on the link below to get started. You will be asked about 50 questions, and your responses will be confidential. The survey takes about 10 - 15 minutes to complete. (If you find you can't complete it, you will need to start it again. Sorry!)
Please keep in mind these are questions that are being asked in several cities. This means some of the questions may not apply to services we currently offer. If you do take the survey, we would also like to hear from you about what you think of these questions.
Lots of kids I know love tablet computers: the bright displays, the multi-touch interfaces and the endless supply of media, games and books available make them big hits with the preschool set. Although pediatricians recommend limiting screen time (including TVs, computers and so on) for very young children, most parents do not find such limits very practical.
So instead of just AngryBirds or another episode of Caillou streaming over your Netflix app, here are some apps for iOS devices (iPads, iPhones and iPod touches) to try out with your toddlers and preschoolers that might also provide support for their preliteracy skills.
Letter Tracer ($.99) is a simple app based on a Montessori technique for children to practice writing letters. There are options that allow children to trace an outlined letter, and also the copy the letter without the tracing guide. It takes just a few taps to use, and allows parents to choose the letters in alphabetical order or to shuffle them to increase the challenge level. Parents can also enable a sound option that speaks the name of the letter
Singing Fingers (free) is a finger painting app that also records whatever you say (or sing!) while you “paint” in multicolored dots on the screen. When you are done painting, you can press and hold anywhere on the drawing and hear whatever you or your child was singing and saying. Try singing a favorite lullaby or rhyme while finger painting; connecting the sounds and rhythms of the song with busy fingers is great for kinetic learners.
Felt Board ($2.99) is a virtual space for creating multicolored flannel and felt stories. Choose from preset backgrounds and characters to recreate a favorite scene from any picture book in virtual felt. This app has many figures users can modify, including people, animals, plants and flowers, as well as letters and numbers. It is great to pair this app with an actual, physical felt craft so children also have a tactile experience with the material in addition to just the glassy interface made up of pixels.
Monopoly, Theresienstadt by Oswald Pöck, born October 2, 1893-perished at Auschwitz
The Free Library of Philadelphia is honored to host a special exhibition from the Philadelphia Holocaust Remembrance Foundation that highlights the power of the human spirit even in the face of egregious atrocities.
In 1941, Hitler and the Nazis opened an internment camp in Terezin (also known as Theresienstadt), Czechoslovakia. According to the Jewish Virtual Library, 97,297 of the Jews imprisoned in Terezin died. Of those that died, almost 15,000 were children.
The exhibition “Transcending Their Boundaries: The Children of Terezin” is more than an acknowledgement of the viciousness of the Nazis. It is a celebration of the lives of the Jewish men, women and children who were confined at Terezin. Through the pictures, games, and toys that the children and their teachers made during their time there, the spirit of the people shines through.
Please join the Free Library community at the opening event featuring the film “Liga Terezin” on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in the Montgomery Auditorium at the Parkway Central Library. The exhibition is installed on the ground floor in front of the auditorium and runs through November 20, 2012.
As the exhibition features the artwork of the children of Terezin, our librarians have prepared a special booklist to help you should you wish to share information with your children regarding Terezin and the Holocaust. These books, and many others, are all available in the Parkway Central Children’s Department.
Tonight's opening of Paint The American Eagle marks the Free Library's first foray into hosting and co-producing a production for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. The partnership with local playwright and producer Reuben Wade is particularly fitting for the 2012 festival as the staged reading of this play is a new type of event in our popular Year of Dickens celebration. While the show is based on Charles Dickens's American Notes, a travelogue of his journey to North America in 1842, it isn't simply a recap of what Dickens wrote; instead, it looks at the trip and his observations from the viewpoint of his wife Catherine. And we aren't the only ones excited about the production. Stage Magazine named it one of its top 15 picks of the festival. Uwishunu's Fringe Festival Roundup picked it as one of the top free performances, and an article about the playwright and producer appeared on the Fringe Festival blog.
This is a chance to celebrate Dickens, the Free Library, and the Philadelphia Fringe all at once and for free. Tickets are still available for all three performances, and groups (schools, book clubs, seniors, etc.) are strongly encouraged to attend on Wednesday afternoon. While walk-ins are more than welcome, but making a reservation in advance will guarantee your spot in the audience. For more information on the show and to reserve tickets, visit Paint The American Eagle on the Fringe Festival website.
Performances are Monday, September 10th and Tuesday, September 11th from 7.00-8.00 p.m. in Room 108 of the Parkway Central Library and Wednesday, September 12th from 2.00-3.00 p.m. in the Montgomery Auditorium of the Parkway Central Library.