When Thumper Ate Jaws

Recently I made an impulse checkout of Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel Jaws and devoured it quicker than a great white gulping down an inflatable dingy. In the brief introduction Benchley wrote for the 2005 edition, he notes that he was certain the book would flop because he “couldn’t think of any novels about fish that…
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Twinkle, Twinkle

I was about to really dig in and write this blog post when I stumbled across a 1-star book review on Amazon and had so much fun reading it that I’ve decided to give up my original topic. Sorry, but you’ll have to wait till another day for my annotated list of the best children’s…
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Tater Texts

Maybe it’s the result of a life lived mostly in Kansas, but I’m a sucker for vegetables arrayed on a tabletop and tagged to indicate who grew them, especially if I am lucky enough to know a few of those people. Around here the best place for this is the Douglas County Fair in late…
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Regarding Tardigrades

For the past few years I’ve been obsessed with a mysterious display case at the Baker Wetlands Discovery Center. It contains a number of carved wooden models of tiny creatures called tardigrades, derived from the Latin "slow walker." Also known as “water bears” for their bear-like shape, these microfauna have inched their way into the…
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DouglasCountyErth

If you haven’t seen it yet, our current exhibit of WPA-style posters depicting green spaces in Douglas County is a great reason to visit the library in person. Of course, you can always view them online, along with last year’s set, and purchase copies for your own walls. They were made by local artists, and…
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More Interesting Trees

During the pandemic I’ve taken comfort in the timeless continuance of nature: Birds still migrate, stars keep their usual paths across the night sky, and kids sing the same old songs about diarrhea (okay, “comfort” might not be quite the right word for that last one). I've been out and about with my kids a…
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A Cry for Elpy

Yes, it’s been a weird year, but a lot of great books for young people were still published, and the American Library Association just gave out its annual awards to the best of them. We have compiled full lists of all the winners and honorees in print, as well as ebook and digital audio formats…
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Librarian Reveals Truth About Classic Picture Book Authors and It’s Not What You Think

It’s been a long year of reading news on my phone, and among the many ways this has warped my personality is an increased tendency to fall for clickbait. You know the stories that draw you in with an irresistible headline, then string you along for thirty-seven more clicks, with several new ads on each…
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