April is Math Awareness Month!
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!!!
Join us on Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 11 AM until 2 PM to find out how to grow readers!
Linguistic professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is a mysterious figure who is called by the government to solve a puzzle involving a mysterious aircraft. Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) and scientist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) accompany Banks on her mission. The story's timelines move rapidly between the future and the present, accompanied by Banksâ€™s increasingly eerie, erratic visions. Circumstances surrounding the unnatural aircraft and principal characters are not what they seem. Soon, dangerous events pressure the central characters to crack the mystery of the aircraft before disaster occurs. Overall Rating: A+
Ghost by Jason Reynolds From Miss Caroline at Main Library
I was looking for a new author and discovered Wally Lamb. His latest book, Iâ€™ll Take You There, piqued my interest as to where he was going to take me. The journey that followed was one of history, family, and the female role in life - the influence of women in the main characterâ€™s life becomes the focus of this book. The main character, Felix, has a movie club that meets in an old theater that was once used for vaudeville acts. While getting things ready for his club, he has an encounter with a ghost from the early years of the film industry named Lois Weber. Weber welcomes Felix to the movie of Felixâ€™s life. Shown on the big screen, the movie gives Felix insight to his younger years with his sisters. As the movie plays, the connections to the past and the present reveal how things have changed for women and the challenges women face today. The end of the movie leaves Felix with a better understanding of his life and how the struggles of the females in his family shaped them into the strong women of today. The reader gets a history lesson about the female role in history without the boring parts. I enjoyed the journey this book took me on. I have found a new author and will look forward to reading more of Wally Lambâ€™s books. Digital Resource users can find this title in Overdrive. The audiobook is narrated by George Guidall. Overall Rating: A
This month's story time starter is all about hands!
It's Love Your Pet Day!
The Light Between Oceans, which is based on a novel of the same name by M. L. Stedman, follows the story of Tom Sherbourne, who has recently returned from World War I. Because of his traumatic experiences in the War, Sherbourne seeks the desolate work of being a lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, located 100 miles off the coast of Australia where the Indian Ocean meets the Great Southern Ocean. Eventually, Sherbourne marries a local girl named Isabel Graysmark, and their world is turned upside down when a baby washes up in a boat on Janus Rock. The tale of the little family is an emotional one â€“ I cried during both the book and film â€“ and the storyline delves into the importance of telling the truth and how a single impulsive decision can vastly impact the lives of not only yourself, but others as well. Although I wasnâ€™t very fond of the story itself, Michael Fassbender (Sherbourne) and Alicia Vikander (Graysmark) played their parts well. In addition, thanks to the scenery and the costuming, the film was visually stunning. Overall, I enjoyed The Light Between Oceans, but I donâ€™t feel as though it is a film that I would need â€“ or want â€“ to view a second time. Overall Rating: A-
Charles Darwin's Around-the-World Adventure by Jennifer Thermes From Miss Caroline at Main Library
A very happy birthday to an author who always makes us laugh!
At just over 72 minutes in length, the fourth album from ScHoolboy Q features the Top Dawg Entertainment rapper at his most ambitious. Across 17 tracks, production influences range from trap to jazz rap to West Coast gangster rap, all of it forming this thick, aggressive, foreboding atmosphere. But even on the heaviest tracks, Q, with guest spots from Kanye West, Vince Staples, Anderson Paak, and others, never sacrifices a good pop hook. His raspy, often choppy delivery sets him apart from his peers, even as he tackles familiar subjects like newfound fame and gang life, some of it celebratory but much of it steeped in regret and anxiety. Although some songs highlight Qâ€™s clever metaphors and wordplay, Blank Face LP often finds him coasting on attitude rather than lyricism; he squanders his most vivid, personal lines in vague bars that paint him as an enigma, faceless in the way the albumâ€™s title implies without the same sense of purpose. And despite a few great songs (â€śGroovy Tony,â€ť â€śJoHn Muirâ€ť), Q just doesnâ€™t have the content or the insight to fill out an excessive 72 minutes. There are few truly weak tracks, but the album is sprawling and formless and overall a bit of a chore to get through in its entirety without a truly gripping artist at its forefront. Overall Rating: C+
Create your very own Snowy Day scene inspired by the classic book by Ezra Jack Keats!
Today is Take Your Child to the Library Day!
Kansas was one of a number of rock bands I enjoyed some years ago. "The Prelude Implicit" is their first album release in 16 years. Time can certainly change things over a period that long, and there have been personnel changes for Kansas. I've read reviews which were very critical of some of these changes and others that were favorable. My listen of this album is favorable. The 'essence' of Kansas in its heyday is still there. The music is strong but not overpowering as with many bands these days. The lead singer has a good voice and the harmonies are good as well. It may not be the same Kansas, but in grading the album on its listen-ability, I give it an A. Overall Rating: A
We librarians wanted to share with our favorite silly stories, songs, and crafts with you!