Bedtime Stories for Young Brains

Bedtime Stories for Young Brains

“So reading picture books with young children may mean that they hear more words, while at the same time, their brains practice creating the images associated with those words — and with the more complex sentences and rhymes that make up even simple stories.”

July Doorpost Column

Hello library lovers!

We have had an incredible month at the library, with the addition of a special collection, a successful Deli Man event, and wrapping up the school year smoothly.

Please stop in to check out our grand new display, showing off some precious rare items as well as books that are special to our community. Thanks to library donations from you, we were able to give these items a beautiful home as feature pieces in our collection.

The library’s movie night was a resounding success thanks to the team who helped me put it together. The movie Deli Man provided the perfect backdrop for our deli night– it told a great story of the Jewish deli’s evolution throughout the last couple centuries in America, with star interviews and amazing real-life characters.

Don't Bite Your Tongue

Don’t Bite Your Tongue by Dr. Ruth Nemzoff

Following this yummy night of fun we are planning our next author’s visit– please join us for afternoon tea with Dr. Ruth Nemzoff on Wednesday, July 29th at 4:00. She will be discussing the topic of her book Don’t Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships With Your Adult Children. To reserve a spot, please RSVP to librarian@templeisraelnh.org or (603)436-5301 ext. 25.

We are pleased to introduce our budding new large print collection implemented with donations in memory of Maury Friedman. Titles include:

All the light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

All the light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

Second Hand Heart, by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Second Hand Heart, by Catherine Ryan Hyde

The Plum Tree, by Ellen Marie Wiseman

The Plum Tree, by Ellen Marie Wiseman

The Paris Architect, by Charles Belfoure

The Paris Architect, by Charles Belfoure

And even more new stuff to read and watch!

The Boston Girl, Anita Diamant

The Lady in Gold, Anne-Marie O’Connor

The History of Love, Nicole Krauss

How the Bible Became Holy, Michael L. Satlow

Snow in August DVD

Noah DVD

Carrots, Parrots, and the Merits of Garden Reading

What happens when you mix reading, plants and animals? Magic. Really. These three ingredients, when stirred in a cauldron with care, prove to be the key to a fun and intriguing learning environment.

Acting as children’s activity librarian at Churchill’s Garden Center has let me play with this idea, integrating the beautiful grounds into toddler story time and kids club activities. Living treasures among the greenery include a parrot, dove, donkey, goat, chicks, and ducklings, all favorites among the children.

Oliver the parrot joined us for our very first story time, piping in with commentary of course.

We read two books with Oliver, Terrific and If You Were a Parrot. Not only did this second book contain the beak-making craft that I wanted to do, but it also got kids into role-playing mode. Despite the somewhat creepy anthropomorphic nature of the illustrations, If You Were a Parrot does a wonderful job using role-play to help the children recognize their own empathy toward the birds as living creatures.

In Terrific, a grumpy old man finds friendship and happiness when he relates to the feelings of his new feathered friend. Very well-written piece of fiction, and captured the children’s attention.

Terrific, Jon Agee

Terrific, Jon Agee

If You Were A Parrot, Katherine Rawson

If You Were A Parrot, Katherine Rawson & Sherry Rogers

An additional story time focused on carrots following our seed starting program the previous week. A wonderful opportunity to integrate additional animals into the mix! The theme was inspired by the book The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, in which a boy plants a seed, cares for it tenderly, and never gives up hope that it will sprout into a beautiful carrot. A great introduction to the patience and reward of gardening, in addition to an early, gentle lesson of perseverance when facing doubt from others.

Carrot Soup was a favorite! Rabbit orders, plants, and cares for the carrot seeds in his garden, preparing for the harvest when he can finally eat his favorite meal– you guessed it! Carrot soup. But alas, the carrots are gone! As it turns out, (spoiler alert) Rabbit’s friends gathered the carrots from the garden to make Rabbit’s soup for him at a surprise party! Such a fun story of friendship and carrots.

Carrot Seed, Ruth Krauss

Carrot Seed, Ruth Krauss

Carrot Soup, John Segal

Carrot Soup, John Segal

Without any rabbits at the garden center this year, who else on the list might enjoy a carrot snack? Scooter the donkey of course! Plus some of the kids– after all that carrot talk they each wanted a crunchy healthy snack. We took an in-house field trip across the grounds to visit Scooter, who relished in the children’s attention! And food!

I have been so happy reading at Churchill’s, where the world is alive around us and we may use the living treasures as tools for lessons in caring and the pleasure of reading. Please join us soon if you are in the Exeter area- upcoming events are below if you are interested.

May 7th Toddler Story Time: Click Photo to Register

May 9th Kids Club, Make Paper Flowers for Mom: Click Photo to Register.

Happy Earth Week!

Reading aloud to children

Reading to kids at Churchill’s Garden Center, April 18, 2015.

I had a wonderful time kicking off Earth Week at Churchill’s Garden Center on Saturday. We read some of my favorite stories and sang some of my favorite Earth Day songs!

Wait, Earth Day songs? 

That’s right… it’s a good thing. Check out Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights for some pretty awesome children’s songs that I sometimes forget to turn off after my kids have gotten out of the car. So catchy.

It was a perfect day thanks to Sam’s face painting, Trey’s craft station, and Sherry’s planting table! Thanks everyone!

Literary Cookie Cutters

Have you ever wanted to make sweet treats in the shape of Mr. Darcy’s profile? Wouldn’t it be great if you could choose what onomatopoeic phrase you could put on your Amazing Spider-man comic book cookies?  Well, here’s a great list of book-inspired cookie cutters!

Literary cookie cutters

Literary cookie cutters: Harry Potter glasses and &

7000th item added to the collection!

Debbie Friedman landed a spot as the 7000th item in the Nancy Mae Shaines Memorial Library catalog today. Good way to end a great year here at the library! Come check out our newly acquired books, music, and movies, including JGuys Guide: GPS for the Jewish Teen, and the graphic novels Rabbi Harvey Rides Again and Hereville: How Mirka Met a Meteorite. 

Happy New Year!

Screenshot of catalog entry number 7000

Debbie Friedman landed a spot as the 7000th item in the Nancy Mae Shaines Memorial Library catalog.

Limmud Boston 2014

Everyone this year seemed up for meeting new people, one seeking more info on the gorgeous necklace a stranger is wearing and another offering his place in the coffee line to someone who looked like they needed a more immediate fix.

Attendees really stopped to help each other and chat– I suppose this should not be news, but after last year’s experience it was refreshing. It’s a relief to see the Jewish community in Greater Boston showing their solidarity in learning and journey to understanding.

Some of the goodies I picked up for the library are 3 cds that showcase the performers in the Boston Jewish Music Festival the past few years. Performers will also be showing up in New Hampshire! Keep an eye out for events in Nashua, Manchester, and the Klezmatics at the Portsmouth Music Hall in March.

Click here for the Boston Jewish Music Festival Website and schedule

Hear-O-Israel CD cover, Boston Jewish Music Festival

Hear-O-Israel, Boston Jewish Music Festival

Don’t read to Children.

Rabbi David, today, helped me sort through a mountain of books donated to the library… Lots of treasures, including a set of torah texts from 1891, an American soldier’s prayerbook, and a gilded set of works by Elie Wiesel.

The Children's Passover Haggadah

The Children’s Passover Haggadah

What made my day though was the note on the first page of this children’s haggadah!

The Children's Passover Haggadah note in text: "Don't read to children"

The Children’s Passover Haggadah

Lesson learned.

May Doorpost Column

 Nancy Mae Shaines Memorial Library

Sara Lesley Arnold, librarian


The library has seen a lot of action the past few months, with the religious school’s HaSefer Basakit (book-in-a-bag) program thriving and lots of new books and DVDs coming in. Sara and the library committee have been continually finding ways to better your library experience and have seen great results. The congregation’s regular support for the library has helped increase circulation by 75% this last year! Please continue to give us feedback to help us serve you better.

The book Bagels From Benny by Aubrey Davis sparked some complex thinking by our first grade class recently. In the story, a boy named Benny leaves bagels in the ark as a thank you to Gd, ultimately finding out that he is inadvertently feeding an impoverished man stricken with hunger. With guidance from his grandfather, he learns that helping others is the best way to thank Gd.

Bagels From Benny Cover art

Bagels From Benny by Aubrey Davis

The wonderful, thoughtful children listening intently to the story began to ask questions… How did Gd make us? How did Gd make the planets? What does Gd look like? We discussed how important it is to continue to ask such questions, and that we will find some answers and ask more questions with each book we read.

New Books Display

New Books Display

Incoming titles for us older folks include the following: My Promised Land, This is Where I Leave You, The Book Thief on DVD, The Story of the Jews vol. 1, Countrymen, and Monuments Men. In case you missed some of the movies shown at the New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival, you will soon be able to borrow some of the titles at the temple library. Keep an eye on Sara’s librarian blog for other interesting resources and stories– https://saranit.wordpress.com and contact her with questions and requests at librarian@templeisraelnh.org.