Picture Books By Kevin Sherry

When I started working for Chesapeake Public Libraries, I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean was one of best picture books introduced to me. Reading a bunch of Sherry’s other books was a no-brainer.

I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry
This tale includes the bragging of a squid who thinks he is the biggest creature in the ocean. He swims around the ocean, looking at the various creatures that cannot compare to his size. Each creature is cute in its own way, but even more interesting in that is that all these cute, animated characters also have a bit of realism to them. The book makes good use of fold out pages and spacing. It is the main character/squid, however, that brings readers in. If you know anything about the ocean, you know that squids are not the biggest creatures that live in it. Even so, that is not enough to damper the squid’s spirit… Continue reading “Picture Books By Kevin Sherry”

Educational Picture Books

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
This book intends to make more children interested in science. It focuses on Ada, a curious but silent child. Upon her third birthday, after not speaking one word ever in her life, Ada suddenly begins asking many advanced, science-focused questions. Her silence these past three years was simply the mark of a curious child soaking in her surroundings. The rest of the story, which includes a lot of rhyming, talks about her first big experiment. She notices a horrible smell that inspires a scientific search for the source. (I had a solid guess about the smell’s source, but it was sadly never confirmed.) What ensues is a crazy search, but it definitely serves a purpose. After reading Ada Twist, Scientist any child will have a new or renewed interest in the scientific process. Continue reading “Educational Picture Books”

Library Provided Research Options

People always look to libraries for research assistance. They, after all, have lots of books! Beyond the books, however, we have many other resources for you to use, found on our Premium Websites page. Are you looking for a little more than a Google search result, and can’t find a library book to meet your needs? If so, this is the list for you! Bet you thought I would only talk about books, right?

Basic Research

  • Gale: Most of the databases listed on our Premium Websites page are linked to Gale. You can find research on anything from world history to home improvement. For students in need of scholarly journal articles for school projects, this website is a necessity.
  • EBSCOhost: This one is similar to Gale because it provides a lot of great resources for papers. The difference is that our subscription to Ebsco only gives you access to digital books, rather than articles or essays.
  • Kid Infobits: I share this one a lot with younger library customers. If you are looking for basic information on plants, animals, historical events and other basics, this one is helpful. This site is also from Gale, but it’s worth mentioning in a separate bullet because the reading level targets a younger audience.
  • Literati: This resource is available under “Services” instead of the Premium Websites page. In addition to provide online research options, Literati has an “Find a Teacher” feature that allows you to ask a person questions online and receive personal help for finding the answers and research you need.

Learn to Research

  • Universal Class: Use this site if you need help learning research best practices. It’s not a research resource itself, but you can use it to learn about a variety of topics. It even has a class called “Basic Research Skills” that will help you figure out research beyond the help provided in this blog post.

Historical Research

  • Ancestry.com: If you want to learn more about your family history, someone else’s, or just want to explore the genealogical information out there, this is a great site to use. The limitation is you can only use it inside the library, not from home.
  • HeritageQuest: This one provides many of the same resources as Ancestry, with the added plus of being accessible from home!
  • America’s Newspapers, America’s Obituaries & Death Notices, Virginian Pilot: All powered by Newsbank Inc., these sites allow you to search newspapers online. Find obituaries and death notices as far back as 1860, and general newspaper results from 1985 to now.

Local Research

Now that you know what to use, all that remains is deciding what research!

Picture Books with Bears

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach
In this story, an unknown narrator talks about the thievery of someone’s sandwich. A bear, after eating many basketfuls of berries, foolishly falls asleep in a truck. As a result, he is whisked away from the buzzing forest to a rumbling city. The bear’s new location is unfamiliar, but he repurposes it for temporary forest needs, that is, until the most delicious sandwich in the world catches his eye. The technique behind the art in this story is amazing…colorful, light, almost like watercolors, but not quite. From beginning to end this book was a joy to read…especially for that surprise ending. Continue reading “Picture Books with Bears”

Movie Review: Dunkirk

I’ll admit I didn’t know much about the battle before I decided to see the movie. My friend, a history buff, gave me a crash course before the movie, making me wish I learned more about it in school or elsewhere. The Battle of Dunkirk may have been a military failure for the European Allied Powers, but it still boosted morale for them, and for the British in particular. It’s the turning point in the war before the US joined it. The story had my interest before viewing the movie, and coming out of the movie the interest was exponentially higher; Dunkirk is easily one of the best movies I’ve ever viewed, and much of the public—and critics online—agree.

To be clear, Dunkirk is not something to watch if you need an escape. Expect an intense, stressful movie experience if you do view it. I already love movies, but found myself more engaged during this one than most. My eyes were wide the entire two hours; I rarely looked away from the screen. I didn’t even check my watch, which is a habit for me even during the most entertaining movies. Every few minutes I had to pause, ensure I could still breath, and unclench my jaw or my fists.

Continue reading “Movie Review: Dunkirk”