Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Scaredy Squirrel has a birthday party by Melanie Watts

Apr. 30 – May 7 is Canadian Children Book Week. Check out the bestseller lists at any time during the year, and you will find a number of Canadian children’s books. Therefore, each year we take a week to celebrate the abundance of children’s books by Canadian authors and illustrators.
A recent arrival at the library is the fifth book in the Scaredy Squirrel series by Melanie Watts, Scaredy Squirrel has a birthday Party. In true Scaredy fashion he very carefully plans his birthday party for one. The lovable worrywart plans his day in infinite detail, but when the time comes things go awry, as usual. When the party animals show up, Scaredy must decide how to handle it.
This book follows the familiar format of the other Scaredy Squirrel titles: Scaredy Squirrel; At the Beach; Makes a Friend; and At Night. When I visit schools, Scaredy Squirrel often joins me. Children can identify with his apprehension anytime he faces a new situation and are rewarded when he overcomes his fear.
The children’s shelves in the library have many wonderful Canadian titles and we hope you’ll take a few off the shelf this week.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April is Daffodil Month

April is Daffodil Month, and all month long bookmarks have been available in library branches and daffodils have been for sale all over our communities. The bookmarks state, “The daffodil is the Canadian Cancer Society’s symbol of hope and represents the fight against all cancers. … This year we are encouraging all Manitobans to wear our new daffodil pin throughout the month of April, most importantly on Daffodil Day – April 27. When you wear the new daffodil pin, you’re showing people who are living with cancer that they are not alone, and honouring loved ones lost to cancer.” We encourage all those who received the Daffodil bookmarks to continue using them throughout the year.
The library has many new titles to help those whose lives have been altered by cancer. Among the newest books is Winning the Battle Against Prostate Cancer: Get the Treatment That Is Right for You by Gerald Chodak M.D. This book covers screening, prevention and treatment. It offers a thorough explanation of all therapies available, in clear and easy to understand language.
This is only one of the many new cancer related books found on library shelves. If you, or someone you love has been affected by cancer, the library is a good place to go for information.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Panic virus by Seth Mnookin

Most of us have little or no memory of some of history’s most lethal killers. I’m not talking about people, but rather diseases like smallpox, polio, or diphtheria. These are killers, from which, thanks to vaccines, those under about 50 years of age have been largely spared. However, the science of vaccinations is still poorly understood by most of the general public.

Seth Mnookin has taken on this topic in his new book The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear. In this book he examines events surrounding the assertion made by Andrew Wakefield in 1998, that vaccines might cause autism. The panic regarding vaccinations and Austism is the focus of the book, but Mnookin begins by offering the history of vaccines, especially relating to smallpox and polio. He goes on to examine every aspect of the autism and vaccination controversy and the damage caused by misinformation and fear.

This is a thorough examination of a scientific fraud, but it serves as a warning as well. Jonathan Mahler writes “Seth Mnookin has given us a nonfiction story worthy of Michael Crichton – an absorbing, disturbing, and scrupulously researched account of a contagion of human unreason run wild. This time the hysteria was over autism; the next panic virus could be even more dangerous”.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Patience Stone by Atiq Rahimi

The Patience Stone by Atiqu Rahimi unfolds in the bedroom of a war torn house in a bombed out neighbourhood of Afghanistan. In this novel, an unnamed Afghani woman tends to her comatose husband, a jihadist who was shot but did not die of his wound. When the novel begins he has been in this state, for 16 days. While the man appears to be in no condition to perceive what is going on around him, almost the entire book is written from what would be his perspective, that is, what he what he would see and hear if he were conscious.
Initially, the woman is following the mullah’s instructions as to how to care for her husband. Days go by, the woman talks to her husband, growing bolder in how she unburdens herself as the novel progresses. He becomes her sang-e saboor, her ‘patience stone’, a magical stone her father-in-law had told her about. The woman reveals a great deal to her husband which she would not ordinarily do.

Deb in our Winkler Branch enjoyed this book very much and says it gives the reader lots to think about. She says that the reader experiences the war as a helpless civilian, much as the women of Afghanistan.