Learn To Be Healthy In The New Year!

Being healthy is always one of the top New Year’s Resolutions every year. Abbot Public Library has items in digital and physical formats that can help you become mentally and physically healthier in the New Year!

Overdrive’s Health & Fitness Collection has ebooks, e-audiobooks, and downloadable magazines for children, teens, and adults about eating healthier, exercising, and living a healthier life. 

Kids can learn about the current pandemic in Coronavirus: A Book for Children written by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson, and Nia Roberts; and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. The book explains in a way for children to understand how you can catch coronavirus, if there is a cure, and more about the disease that has spread across the world during this past year. In Megan Borgert-Spaniol’s and Lauren Kukla’s ebook Crafting Calm, exercises, quizzes, crafts, and activities help children improve their emotional intelligence, boost their self-esteem, reduce anxiety, and help them connect with the world around them. My First Cookbook is a fun way for children ages 5-8 to begin learning how to cook with fun food projects they can do with their families! 

Meik Wiking’s New York Times Bestseller, The Little Book of Hygge, is a guide that explores the Danish concept of living a happier life with a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. Get inspired to find your reason for living in the international bestseller Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Héctor García and Francesc Miralles, for which the authors interviewed the residents of the Japanese village with the highest percentage of 100-year-olds. Change Your Brain, Change Your Body by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. is one of the Health and Fitness books on Overdrive that can help you lose weight, sharpen your memory, and do more to make your mind and body healthier.

If you want more than what Overdrive’s collection can offer, try some of the 8,000+ titles in hoopla’s Health & Fitness ebooks collection. You’ll find some of the same titles on Overdrive plus some different titles, with many sub categories to choose from, including Diet & Nutrition, Exercise, Yoga, and Tai Chi. Learn how to make medicine with herbs and plants in Marysia Miernowska’s The Witch’s Herbal Apothecary. Figure out What to Eat When in the ebook by Michael Crupain, Michael F. Roizen, M. D., and Ted Spiker. Discover different yoga poses and how to accept your body in Jessamyn Stanley’s Every Body Yoga.

And if all these ebook titles aren’t enough, check out the Health & Fitness movies on hoopla, including the Yoga for Health with Jenny Cornero series, Kung Fu for Kids, A Healthy Diet For A Healthy Brain, In Defense of Food, and more! You can also stream video lectures with The Great Courses. Learn about everything from cooking with vegetables and making healthy food taste great to yoga, how to boost your physical and mental energy, and essentials of strength training,  as well as other interesting subjects related to being healthy. 

For those who prefer physical titles, reserve exercise books, and DVDs; health magazines, books, and DVDs, and more on you NOBLE account for Curbside Pickup! If you need help finding materials on a specific subject, feel free to contact a Reference Librarian at mar@noblenet.org or by calling 781-631-1481. 

Have a Household Party This Halloween!

If you’re planning on playing it safe and staying in this Halloween, it’s not too late to plan a household party. 

The most important part of a Halloween party is making it look good. Learn how to craft costumes, create decorations, or just make some fun crafts to celebrate on Halloween. You can even draw and color Halloween pictures with your kids!

Music makes the perfect backdrop for Halloween crafting or cooking and baking up some Halloween treats. The music on hoopla is available with no wait! Choose from any of the titles here and enjoy the sounds of the spooky season. To make sure the music is child-appropriate, simply click “Children’s titles only” to the left. 

There are plenty of cookbooks with delicious spooky Halloween treats you can check out on Overdrive/Libby and hoopla. Betty Crocker Halloween Cookbook is in ebook format on Overdrive and hoopla, complete with almost 100 recipes, each with a full-color photo, of frightening delights such as Boneyard Dirt Pops, Spiderweb Black Bean Burgers, Chilling Jack-o’-Lantern Smoothies, and more, and it even has tips for setting up a Halloween buffet. Include the Pillsbury Dough Boy in your celebration with Pillsbury Halloween Fun! Below are some more cookbooks with recipes for main dishes, deserts, beverages, and more to make your Halloween full of delicious fun! 

Check out this collection of children’s Holidays & Celebrations Halloween ebooks with more ways to celebrate on Saturday with the family!

Shoot for the Stars: Resources for Stargazing and Learning About Outer Space

A Boston Globe article from May 6 highlighted a family-friendly quarantine activity that is out of this world: stargazing! The current lockdown has led to a reduction in light and air pollution, resulting in better conditions for observing the night sky. Caity Sullivan, education associate at the Charles Hayden Planetarium of the Museum of Science, outlines some tips and tricks in the article for at-home stargazing with your family, including free star-viewing apps and what to look for in the night sky.

Though you can’t visit the Hayden Planetarium in person, Sullivan and the folks at the Museum of Science have made it possible for the Planetarium to come to you! Check out their Facebook page for Virtual Planetarium events — you can view past presentations and stay informed about upcoming events, including livestreams of what to view in the night sky. If you miss the presentations, take a look at the Museum’s handy May Sky Chart & Viewing Guide — May is a great month to start backyard stargazing as there will be a rare Mercury sighting the week of May 19th!

For even more space-related fun, listen to Pulsar: A Podcast from the Museum of Science. Their episode on Living in Space, featuring Sullivan, is a must listen, as well as their namesake inaugural episode, All About Pulsars. And for young astronomers, learn about our universe through hands-on activities, such as the Museum’s Our Place in Space family STEM activity and Boston Children’s Museum’s treasure trove of Beyond the Chalkboard NASA-inspired activities, including inventing your own constellations, building paper rockets, and keeping a sky observation journal.

Want more galactic goodness? Check out these fiction and nonfiction titles for all ages — some of many available on Overdrive/Libby with your library card number — to keep your whole family shooting for the stars:

8 Little Planets by Chris Ferrie
Moon! Earth’s Best Friend by Stacy McAnulty (audio) 
Stars! Stars! Stars! by Bob Barner
Fly Guy Presents: Space by Tedd Arnold
Ada Twist’s Big Project Book for Stellar Scientists by Andrea Beaty
Midnight on the Moon (Magic Tree House #8) and its companion Magic Tree House Fact Tracker: Space by Mary Pope Osborne

Junior Genius Guides: Outer Space by Ken Jennings
How to Be A Space Explorer by Lonely Planet Kids
Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Hidden Figures (Young Readers’ Edition) by Margot Lee Shetterly (audio)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach
How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown

And for some further space exploration, check out encyclopedic text about the solar system in Salem Press, or take a peek at our selection of Great Courses videos about astronomy and the mysteries of the universe:

Our Night Sky
Experiencing Hubble: Understanding the Greatest Images of the Universe
The Search for Exoplanets: What Astronomers Know
The Inexplicable Universe: Unsolved Mysteries
The Remarkable Science of Ancient Astronomy

Happy stargazing!

Pen Pals in Lockdown!

Are you missing your friends? It’s tough not to see your favorite people at school every day! Maybe you’re tired of texting or Zooming with them–it’s just not very fun anymore.

Maybe you feel like the very bored giraffe in this funny chapter book: Sincerely Yours, Giraffe

Or maybe you’re here but want to be there – with your friends – like the characters in this wonderful picture book: From Here to There.

Here’s an idea: write your friends letters instead! REAL letters. On paper. With a pen or pencil. Sound like a plan?

Okay, so maybe this is a new thing for you. It really can be fun! You don’t just have to write words. Think about the pictures in books you like. Could you draw what you want to say to your friend? Maybe a picture of the place where you spend most of your day. Or your favorite lockdown food. Or your pet. Who knows where your crayons will take you?

Oh, and don’t forget the stickers! And maybe just a teeny bit of glitter…

On to the next step: what will you put your letter in to keep it safe? Maybe you don’t have any envelopes at home right now. What to do? Don’t worry–here’s a video that shows you just how to make one yourself! All you need is paper and glue:

What next? Ask a grown-up for a stamp and some help with addressing your letter. That way you can send it through the mail. If you can’t find a stamp, try taking great photos of the envelope and letter and sending those to your friend by text. Maybe they’ll write you back, and you’ll become real pen pals!

What’s a pen pal? Sometimes it’s someone you don’t even know. You can become friends by writing letters. But you can definitely be pen pals with someone who’s your friend already. You might even learn things about them that you didn’t know before! Here’s an audiobook on hoopla –featuring a favorite character–to give you some inspiration: Arthur’s Pen Pal.

Be careful to wash your hands before creating your letter and envelope, as well as before you send it, after touching the mailbox, and after you touch a letter you’ve received. Talk to your parents about whether you should put letters you receive in a safe place for a while before reading them. And be sure not to touch your face when you’re handling letters.

Threads of Connection – Make a Quilt Square for the ICA’s Virtual Quilt

At a time when community is more important than ever, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, has found a unique way to foster this connection through their Threads of Connection Virtual Quilt. Originally an installation by Merrill Comeau in ICA’s Art Lab, this community quilt project has now gone virtual!

The ICA is inviting participants to create a quilt square, using materials from home, that represents what makes you, you. They ask: “What makes you special? What do you love about your community? What are you proud of? What do you believe in?” Think about what makes you unique, have fun making your quilt square, and submit your quilt square to the ICA for a chance to be a part of their virtual quilt community. Be sure to also check out their website as well as their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for inspiration and further instructions. 

After creating your quilt square, take a moment to enjoy these family-friendly titles — available from Overdrive/Libby and hoopla with your library card number — and their stories of community, memory, quilts, and the threads that connect us all: 

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson
The Nesting Quilt by Catherine Falwell
Cloth Lullaby by Amy Novesky
The Quilt by Gary Paulsen
The Quilt Walk by Sandra Dallas

Explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

If you’ve visited Overdrive in April, you may have noticed that you could read or listen to the first Harry Potter book with no wait. The ebook and audiobook have also been available as Bonus Borrows on hoopla. Exciting, right? Whether you’re new to the wizarding world or a longtime follower of the series, you’ll be pleased to know that J.K. Rowling is now bringing Hogwarts right to you at home.

By visiting the Wizarding World: The Official Home of Harry Potter, you’ll get your very own Wizarding passport, be sorted into your house, matched with your wand, and paired with your Patronus. And it doesn’t end there! J.K. Rowling has gotten together with a few friends to help children, parents, carers, and teachers add a touch of magic to our daily lives. Find fun articles, craft videos, quizzes, and puzzles for your enjoyment. Play Wizard’s hangman and Harry Potter Bingo, draw a Niffler and make a paper craft Howler, test your knowledge with a First Year Muggle Quiz, and so much more! This is Harry Potter like we’ve never seen it before!

For more Harry Poter enjoyment, you can also play a Hogwarts Digital Escape Room created by librarians at Peters Township Public Library in Pennsylvania.

Music, Museums, and More!

If the coronavirus has cancelled that dream concert you’ve been waiting FOREVER to get tickets to, then it’s time to start that family band and get the show on the road (or at least your living room). Check out these great resources to get inspired and groovy at home with music!

Boston Children’s Museum Drum Circle

Make glass xylophones to learn about sound and vibrations, make a guitar using your body and string, or participate in a virtual drum circle with the Boston Children’s Museum.

Listen to professional musicians play from the Museum of Fine Arts’ collection of over 1,300 instruments, including a harpsichord from 1736, a 19th century fiddle from China, and a slide trumpet from 1835.

Learn from the masters with the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Home School, which includes instrument demonstrations, Youth Concert lesson plans for mini Mozarts and tiny Tchaikovskys, virtual lessons with BSO members, and episodes from WBUR’s Circle Round podcast in partnership with the BSO as part of their Concerts for Very Young People series.

And speaking of Circle Round, check out this excellent, award-winning podcast created for children ages 4 to 10. Each episode adapts a folktale from around the world and turns it into a sound- and music-rich radio play. Listen to Episode 21, ‘What Am I Hearing?’ with composer Eric Shimelonis as he goes through all of the instruments he uses to create music for the podcast.

For further exploration into music and the people that create it, take a look at these great titles for children, available through Libby and hoopla:

On hoopla

Bats in the Band by Brian Lies
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss (audiobook)

Plus check out the hundreds of albums, from Raffi to Disney, available on hoopla Kids

On Libby:

Pete the Cat’s World Tour by James Dean
Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle
Who Was: Popular Musicians by Various (audiobook)
When the Beat was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop by Laban Carrick Hill

On hoopla & Libby:

Trombone Shorty by Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews 
Check out the ebook or audiobook on Overdrive/Libby and the ebook, movie, or Read Along on hoopla. 

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle
Check out the ebook on Overdrive/Libby or the audiobook, movie, or Read Along on hoopla.