Thanksgiving is approaching and it is time for some holiday fun! Thanksgiving reminds us how important families and friends are. It gives us time to share family stories and make memories along with enjoying a delicious meal.
Even though we enjoy our pumpkin pie, cranberries and turkey, it was probably not what the pilgrims ate. There was venison (deer) and wild turkey that the Indians brought. The pilgrims hunted rabbits, ducks, and geese. Eel, codfish, sea bass and clams were other foods that the pilgrims could have had.
The exact date of the first feast is not known, but is thought to be in mid-October. It lasted three days. The harvest feast was not held every year. If crops failed, they did not have reason to celebrate.
The first Thanksgiving Day for the entire country was on November 26th, 1789, ordered by George Washington. Still, not all states celebrated this custom. It did not catch on until Sarah Josepha Hale started filling the magazine she was editor for with Thanksgiving stories, songs and recipes. After many years it was set on the last Thursday of November by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863! After 75 years President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in 1939 changed the holiday to the third Thursday in November. He wanted to help American businesses. It gave more time before Christmas, allowing for more time to shop for Christmas items!
Here are a few Thanksgiving stories to share!
Sharing stories are fun whether the stories are sweet:
or full of adventure, they will be memorable.
Halloween is synonymous with costumes and candy, but the last day of October is also steeped in a lot of fascinating folklore.
Many of the traditions we’re familiar with come from an ancient European festival called Samhain. As the autumn nights grew longer some people believed that darkness was killing the sun. It was thought that the souls of the dead roamed among the living. Some people lit fires to scare away the evil spirits. Others wore disguises so they wouldn’t be recognized by the ghosts.
Do you know the story behind the carved, illuminated pumpkin that many folks place on their porch? The most famous tale about the jack-o’-lantern is an Irish folktale. Jack was a stingy, mean man. The Devil liked that Jack was evil and tried to trick Jack into giving him his soul. Jack was so despicable that he double-crossed the Devil. When Jack kicked the bucket, Heaven wouldn’t take him and neither would the Devil. So, Jack’s ghost wandered the earth carrying a lamp, which became known as “Jack-with-a-lantern.”
We’ve all heard that when a black cat crosses your path it’s a sign of bad luck. It was also thought that if you catch a snail on Halloween night and put it in a dish you’ll wake to see the first letter of your sweetheart’s name written in slime. That’s just plain silly as are most superstitions. Don’t let these misconceptions get in the way of treating a living creature with respect.
To learn more about Halloween folklore and superstition check out these books:
Have a fun and safe Halloween!
This year for Banned Books Week we are trying something a little different. This year we are celebrating your intellectual freedoms… By taking them away. For the last week of September the three children’s books that made the Most Challenged of 2016 list will sit in the display case at the front of the library, quite literally under lock and key.
Banned Books Week is about celebrating intellectual freedom. It’s about the right to choose our own materials and letting other people choose theirs. Banning books closes doors and for a week we are featuring those books, putting them front and center in the hopes of opening dialogue.
Many of the challenged books this year feature LGBT issues (all of the children’s books do). *SPOILERS* Drama features an innocent on stage kiss between two boys and both I Am Jazz and George are about transgendered children. All three tell stories that are needed by the kids whose experiences they mirror. Taking any of these books out of the hands of a child that needs it is unfair and is exactly what has happened at schools and public libraries across the country.
If you stop in to view our banned book display you will notice right away how worn our copy of Drama is. It has been checked out almost 100 times since its release in 2012. It’s a popular book by a popular author and that makes it a prime target for banning. It was taken off the shelves in both an elementary school and a middle school in Texas in two separate challenges. Below are some additional links to information about Drama, its challenges, and book banning in general.
Not every book is made for every kid. Not every family shares the same values and you absolutely have the right to restrict what materials your child engages with, but book banning is something else, isn’t it? Challenging a book says that not only do you know better for your family, but you know better for the family next door and when an institution agrees with that assertion that sets a dangerous precedent.
This week, flex your civil liberties. Read a banned book. Talk to your family about banned books. It doesn’t have to be one on this year’s list (in fact, it can’t be. You can’t have them.). The list of historically banned and challenged books is long and varied. Regardless of your values and beliefs there is sure to be something on there that shocks you. Something you can’t believe would ever be challenged because it’s so obviously “safe”. Start there. Read that book with your kids. Chat over dinner about perspective and individual beliefs. Open the discussion because really that is the point of the week.
School Library Journal: Drama Roundtable
ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom: Spotlight on Censorship
Drama Case Study
Common Sense Media*
*A note on Common Sense Media: Common Sense Media is a great resource if you are looking for all the spoilers for what’s in a book and what age range the book might be suitable for. I use it often when trying to decide if materials belong in the children’s department. It’s written by kids and parents for kids and parents. I don’t always agree 100% with the ratings, but each review gives a breakdown of what “content issues” exist making it easy to decide if the material is suitable for your family.
It’s time for Math, Reading, Science, Social Studies and more!
Don’t forget our online services that are useful for school projects and homework.
Patrons with Antioch District Library Cards have free access to the online services below.
AtoZ the USA
Offers detailed information on the 50 states, five territories and the District of Colombia. Learn about geography and more.
AtoZ World Culture
World Culture has information on the culture of 175 countries worldwide including festivals, sports, food, religion, and much more.
Get live homework and skill building help from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. This program serves K through College and adult learners.
NoveList K-8 Plus
Access over 50,000 titles aimed at K-8 readers. Full text reviews are available for many titles.
An online resource that focuses on engaging subject-area science content.
The stories you know and love come to life through TumbleBooks in an online collection of animated talking picture books.
There are many ways to have fun with a flannel board. Flannel boards can be used to tell a story. The stories can be made up stories, fairy tales, or about a favorite story they read. By using different objects made of felt, they can be used for counting, estimating and graphing for any age. Using different shapes and colors, they can be used for sorting and making patterns. Flannel boards can be used as games by matching pieces, connecting pieces to make a picture or being silly with where they put their pieces. Flannel boards can be big or small. When they are small they can be used by one person or two, usually called a lap board. When children want to be creative they can design different pictures using it as a creative board. Flannel boards can also be used to show off different collections such as different flowers, leaves or trucks.
We love to use flannel boards in our story-time programs at the library. Our flannel boards are different sizes and colors. We like to use the large ones to share as a group and little ones, lap boards, to use individually. The children in our story-time programs enjoy using them. We also have one in our Children’s area that is a large circle that many children can sit around and play with. They play with the felt pieces by sorting them, telling stories about them and designing creative pictures with them. Flannel boards are fun and interactive.