Help us wish a very Happy Birthday to the creator of the Magic Treehouse book series!
There are many mysteries in life and finding our reason for being is one of them. The new movie, A Dogâ€™s Purpose, explores this quest from a dogâ€™s point of view. The comedy-drama stars Dennis Quaid as Ethan, (with eight-year-old Ethan played by Bryce Gheisar), who saves a puppy from a hot car and names him Bailey. The two go through serious life challenges together and form a deep bond that ends when young adult Ethan (KJ Apa) has to say goodbye to the aged Bailey. But thatâ€™s not the end â€“ Baily reincarnates and has a wide range of life experiences with new owners, all the while holding on to his memories of Ethan and wondering what life is all about. Some perilous and touching moments take place as the movie heads toward its emotional conclusion. I thought the movie was definitely worth watching; the canine performers did an excellent job! I have to say this filmÂ did make me look at my cats a little differently. Overall Rating: A
Frog on a Log? by Kes Gray from Miss Caroline at Main Library
Help us celebrate black and white!
The Icelandic indie/rock band Kaleo is back with their second album titled A/B. This quartet has been slowly garnering attention in the music scene since their debut in 2013 at South by Southwest, and the tracks on this record blend the very different genres of indie, rock, and country together into a soulful, passionate album. â€śNo Goodâ€ť is the perfect song for a little confidence pick-me-up â€“ just add black leather boots and some attitude. Slow down with the mournful rock hymn â€śWay Down We Go,â€ť which laments the singersâ€™ journey through the fiery underworld for all their misdeeds. After the lament, rebound with the clear, sweet voice of lead vocalist JJ Julius Son in â€śAll the Pretty Girls,â€ť where he sings about greed and all things love. Finally, listen to the lyrical lilt of the bandâ€™s native Icelandic in their cover of â€śVor Ă VaglaskĂłgi," a song about the gorgeous, green, springtime forests of VaglaskĂłgur, one of the largest forested areas in Iceland. This band has a song for just about every listener, and there is something on this CD for everyone to enjoy. Overall Rating: B+
One Good Thing About America by Ruth Freeman From Miss Caroline at Main Library
Collateral Beauty is about a well-liked New York advertising executive named Howard (played by Will Smith) who turns into a clinically-depressed loner after the tragic loss of his six-year-old daughter. Â While his friends and co-workers begin to worry about his well-being and try to re-connect with him, he further retreats from his life. As Howard continues to mourn his daughter, he writes letters to Love, Time, and Death seeking answers to what has happened in his life. To Howardâ€™s surprise, these abstract concepts that he writes to for answers somehow find him and respond in-person. Even though Howard is displeased to meet Love, Time, and Death, he begins to understand how these constants interlock in a life fully-lived and how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty. The storyline was a bit melancholy and not very uplifting, but it did teach good life lessons and made you appreciate the good things life can bring you along with the not-so-good things. I liked the movie and recommend it, but make sure you are ready to shed a few tears here and there. In addition, it has an all-star cast of well-known actors that keeps you intrigued. Overall Rating: B
It's Star Wars Day; may the "fourth" be with you!
Fish Girl by Donna Jo Napoli and David Weisner From Miss Jennie at Ontario Branch
The romantic comedy musical La La Land takes place in late 90s Los Angeles and stars Ryan Gosling as Sebastian, a struggling Los Angeles jazz pianist, and Emma Stone as Mia, an aspiring actress. The two California dreamers find each other, fall in love, and experience many ups and downs while pursuing their respective careers. The period music and dance scenes have a wonderful old-school Hollywood vibe, but this award-winning production also has wide audience appeal due to the charisma of the two lead actors. The story, the classic wardrobe, the beautiful California sets, and the skilled acting were superb. The timeless themes in La La Land will make this film a classic. I recommend this film for all ages. Overall Rating: B
We want to share our favorite chicken things with you!
Buster Moon has one last chance to save his beloved theater. His idea is to hold a singing contest with a $1,000 prize. Buster's assistant, however, mistypes the prize amount and offers $100,000 instead, so everyone wants to participate in the show. It sounds like an ordinary plot thatâ€™s been done before, except in Sing the characters are all animals voiced by some of Hollywoodâ€™s most talented performers. Matthew McConaughey is Buster; Reese Witherspoon is Rosita, a proud mother of 25 piglets; Seth MacFarlane is Mike, a Rat Pack era mouse; Scarlett Johansson is Ash, a punk rock porcupine; Taron Egerton is Johnny, a teenage gorilla; Tori Kelly is Meena, a shy elephant. The movie has multiple story lines that follow the characters as they all prepare for the competition, with many twists and turns and laughs throughout. The soundtrack has well-chosen songs from a variety of genres. I enjoyed this movie. Overall Rating: A
April 21st is when we celebrate the birthday of Barbara Park!
April is Math Awareness Month!
Educators can now borrow big books from the library. There are over 100 different books that can be checked out.
Hidden Figures focuses on the true story of three African-American womenâ€“ Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson â€“ who struggle to become leaders in their scientific fields while America attempts to beat the Soviet Union into space. Katherine, a mathematical genius, works as a â€ścomputerâ€ť for the Space Task Group at Langley Research Center, but her male coworkersâ€™ views of her gender and skin color force her to repeatedly fight to receive acknowledgement of her work. Dorothy becomes fearful of keeping her job due to the recent acquisition of an IBM electronic computer, so she teaches herself the programming language FORTRAN so that she might be one of the individuals who can run the new machine. Mary is forced to plead her case in front of a judge in the hopes of attending night classes at an all-white school to help her become NASAâ€™s first black female engineer. At a little over two hours in length, Hidden Figures was a phenomenal film. The costuming and set design helped to paint a vivid picture of the Space Race era, and the all-star cast â€“ including Taraji P. Henson, Janelle MonĂˇe, Octavia Spencer, Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, and Kirsten Dunst â€“played their parts exceptionally well. In addition, humor was woven throughout the storyline, which helped offset some of the filmâ€™s heavier themes. Appropriate for the whole family, Hidden Figures in a film to be enjoyed time and time again. Overall Rating: A+
Learn how to make a cute card for Spring!
Plants Can't Sit Still by Rebecca Hirsch From Miss Jennie at Ontario Branch
Lone Wolf and Cub is a series of six samurai films following IttĹŤ Ogami, a wandering assassin-for-hire who pushes his young son, DaigorĹŤ, along the road in a baby cart. Ogami relies on his considerable fighting skill and resourcefulness to overcome opponents, and though all the films feature simple plots, theyâ€™re notable for their stylized, increasingly cartoonish fights. Characters leap to impossible heights. They signify their deaths with absurd red fountains. Ogami constantly reveals that heâ€™s booby-trapped the baby cart with bladed wheels and machine guns and other weapons. Tomisaburo Wakayama portrays the character with a constant scowl and a piercing glare alongside a credible fighting ability, and in fitting with the character, the actor looks more like a villain's most powerful henchman than a traditional hero. The series does, however, fall pretty constantly into scenes of troubling sexism; you start to expect something horrible any time a woman appears onscreen, and it feels exploitive even when you consider the time period portrayed. And though the movies are filmed with style (all sweaty close-ups and striking colors and harsh shadows), they do peak early â€“ the first looks the best, and the second is the most engaging with near-constant action. While the others (except maybe the fourth) remain quite entertaining, inventive, and admirably consistent, they donâ€™t recapture the quality of the series when it was fresh. All the films are available in subtitled Japanese, though this release also includes Shogun Assassin, an English language version that edits together parts of the first and second films. Overall Rating: B+
April is National Autism Awareness Month and we've got some great books to share with you!
I've always had a liking for the underdog, the artist who produces something noteworthy but doesn't get much exposure or recognition. I was looking through new music items and came across this CD by Tortoise. Many years ago, there was a relatively unknown group, Rhinoceros, that I liked, so I decided to give another animal a listen. I liked it. It was primarily instrumental, smooth, and easy, but definitely not run-of-the-mill. Take a stroll off the main path and give The Catastrophist by Tortoise a try. Don't let the album cover scare you off. Overall Rating: B+
Maybe Something Beautiful by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell From Miss Heather at Butler Branch and Lucas Branch
The fourteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Doctor Strange, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as world-renowned neurosurgeon Stephen Strange. Early in the movie, Dr. Strange loses the use of his hands in a car accident and becomes desperate to be restored. He abandons his life and his love, Dr. Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams), and he sets out on a journey in search of healing. This journey takes him to Nepal and a mysterious compound called Kamar-Taj. There he becomes the student of The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and quickly learns the mystic arts. As a powerful sorcerer, he must decide whether to return to his life or use his powers to protect the Earth from Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), a former student of the Ancient One who has stolen powerful ancient texts. What follows are some riveting action scenes and a wild adventure into the astral realm. As a fan of the original comic book, I was impressed with Cumberbatchâ€™s striking likeness to the character. The film also had stunning visual effects and subtle humor throughout. This wasnâ€™t your typical superhero movie, and I look forward to the future of the franchise! Overall rating: A+
We love to rhyme at the library and would like to share our favorite rhyming things with you!
Happy First Day of Spring everybody!
In my opinion, Divide is Ed Sheeranâ€™s best release yet. In the latest album from the singer/songwriter, he experiments with different song and sound styles in a way that is fun and musically entertaining. Sheeran incorporates a lot of personal storytelling motifs with songs like â€śNancy Mulliganâ€ť (written about Sheeranâ€™s grandparents) and â€śSupermarket Flowersâ€ť (an emotional lament for his grandmotherâ€™s death narrated from his motherâ€™s point of view). The CD packs a serious emotional punch while also delivering an engaging and enjoyable listening experience. Tracks like â€śBarcelonaâ€ť and â€śBibia Be Ye Yeâ€ť use international cultural motifs and rhythms that result in extremely catchy, danceable songs. Included in this CD are also the radio smash hits â€śShape of Youâ€ť and â€śCastle on the Hill,â€ť which have become instant favorites. This newest album shows that his sound has really matured since his first, Plus, released in 2011. The deeper, more complicated narration exemplifies how Sheeran has grown as both a person and an artist in the past 6 years. Overall Rating: A+
Happy March, everyone! It's Youth Art Month this month.
I have to admit that I am a die-hard Kevin Hart fan, and I was not disappointed in his 2016 â€śWhat Now?â€ť stand-up comedy concert film. The film features two main parts, a spy story and a stand-up performance. In the beginning of the film for a brief moment, Kevin Hart portrays a James Bond-type Agent 0054 attending a poker game with his lady side kick, Money Berry (played by Halle Berry), which goes terribly wrong. As a result, the clock is ticking for him to get to his live stand-up comedy performance. As the film leads up to him hitting his stage performance, the viewers get to be a part of all the excitement and hear the support of 50,000+ fans cheering Kevin on as they enter the sold-out, record-breaking show at Lincoln Financial Field Football Stadium in Philadelphia. Kevin Hart is the first comedian to sell out an entire football stadium in history! I do not want to spoil all the fun, but Kevin provides a very humorous insight into parenting, family issues, people on the edge, current events, and his hardships in everyday life. If you have had a long hard week and want to sit back and have a bunch of laughs, I recommend this film. You will not be disappointed! Overall Rating: A-
The Bear Who Wasnâ€™t There by LeUyen Pham
Help us wish Robert Sabuda a very Happy Birthday!!!