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Jul 30

Titles and Covers by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on July 30, 2021 at 1:21 PM by Genesis Gaule

How important is the title and cover of a book? The title is first seen as part of the cover. How much does that cover influence the reader? Who makes the decision about how that will look. Is it the author or publisher?

Remember, the old adage of not judging a book by its cover? In the explanation of that English idiom, the word ‘alone’ is often added. So go ahead and take a good look at the cover and let that help decide if a deeper look will follow. It won’t be the only factor, but it does influence our choices.

That sounds so easy, but there is a huge amount of time, talent and thought that goes into a cover design. The author has lived inside the book for months, maybe years and knows the story inside and out and upside down. Publishers take a different approach by wanting a cover that will attract potential readers. An illustrator will add a creative talent that takes the words and puts flesh on them or creates an abstract concept of the story line. Publishers often win out though the more bestsellers an author creates, the more influence she’ll apply to the design.

Sometimes covers will change if books are reproduced. Publishers will want them to be more timely or if a movie has been produced then a still picture might be placed on the cover. Books considered classics may see many covers as different publishers take turns at reviving them, such as The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Cookbooks with colorful covers of food catch my attention every time such as The Elder Scrolls by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. There are also books that I can’t take home because I find the covers too scary. 

Yes, I’m easily influenced by covers but what about titles?

Titles are influential also. Authors with their publishers will decide on a title. I have an author friend who agreed to change the title of her book when the publisher thought her choice wasn’t mysterious enough.

Too many titles are the same or so similar that readers get confused. I prefer titles that are more distinct like The Poppy War by R.F. Kuan (great cover) and Ancestor Approved edited by Cynthia Leitch Smith.

The individual words in a title can catch a reader’s attention. For me some favorites are tree, sand, herbs or seeds which is why I picked up The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson. The cover is a picture of beading which is beautiful. The book is about seeds and plants. After picking it up and looking at it, I found that it takes place close to home--a good find for me based on a cover and title!


Jul 23

Books for a Rainy Day by Andrea Lorenz

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on July 23, 2021 at 10:27 AM by Genesis Gaule

As you’re lacing up your shoes, ready to go outside and enjoy the sunny day, you see a bright flash and then – one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi – hear the low rumble of thunder. Rain? Today?! What a bummer! Lucky for you, your grown-up has just come back from the library and has a whole bunch of books they promise will keep you busy. Let’s see what they have, shall we?

bigfootBigfoot: Spotted At World-Famous Landmarks by D.L. Miller (Easy 001.944 MILLER) You take a peek inside this book. Oh!  Look at the detailed pictures! And you have to find a teeny tiny Bigfoot hidden in each picture! These are just like mom’s falling apart, old Where’s Waldo books, but cooler and new. You could spend hours looking for Bigfoot, footprints, tour guides, and more. As you turn the page, you see that there’s facts, history, and real pictures of each world-famous landmark that Bigfoot visits. Did you know that the Statue of Liberty’s index finger is 8 feet long?

choose-adventure-robotAfter you’ve found all of the Bigfoots, you turn to a goofy looking chapter book: Your Very Own Robot Goes Cuckoo-Bananas! by R.A. Montgomery (Junior MONTGOMERY) Hmm…The first page says “Read this first!!! Watch out! This book is different than every book you’ve ever read. YOU get to choose what happens next—and even how the story will end.” You like this idea. Nobody ever lets you choose anything. So you start reading about a whacky robot and his faithful kid until two things happen at the same time. Do you a. run toward the sound of a braking car? or b. go to Robot Cloning classes? For A. go to page 8, for B. page 10. You get to choose what happens through the whole book! You can even go back and re-read to see what COULD have happened. This is cool!

Okay, those were neat, but you’re getting a little antsy since you had to sit still for SO LONG. Your grown-up grabs Locomotion: March, Hop, Skip, Gallop, Run by Michael Dahl, illustrated by Beth Hughes (Easy 612.78 DAHL) and queues up some music from the book on their phone! You can read AND move along with the book!  

unicorn-yogaWhen you’ve made it through the whole book, your heart is racing. Your grown-up suggests that you try out Unicorn Yoga by Gina Cascone & Bryony Williams Sheppard, illustrated by Jennifer Sattler (Easy 613.7 CASCONE) to cool you off. Cat pose, cow pose, tiger and plank, there’s even one especially for you: child’s pose!

Whew! That was hard work. Good thing it’s time for lunch! You’re famished. You pull out Fish and Fowl: Easy and Awesome Sandwiches for Kids by Alison Deering and Bob Lentz (Easy 641.84 DEERING) and start paging through. Lox? EW! Tuna melt? Maybe. Chicken and waffles! YES! Your grown-up helps you gather ingredients and uses the oven to heat up the chicken. You toast the waffles, add some cheese, honey mustard and lettuce and then put it all together. YUM.

l-otto-funnNow that you’ve refueled, you want to do something hands-on. You pull the last book out of the library tote bag. The Secret Files of Professor L. Otto Funn: Or Stop Being a Slug, Open This Book, and Make Your Brain Happy (745.5 GORS). This looks like fun, or should you say FUNN? You look through the projects and choose three to do: The Crayon Rock Cycle, Create Your Own Masterpiece, and Minotaur Mask. Your grown-up asks if you deliberately chose the messiest projects. (You did). You creates new things from old things and learn about earth science, painting, and mythology along the way.

The next thing you know, it’s time to clean up for supper. Where did the time go? You ask your grown-up about the forecast for tomorrow. Will there be rain again? 

Extra Rainy Day Book Suggestions:

May 21

Exploring Our Backyard by Vanesa Gomez

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on May 21, 2021 at 1:38 PM by Genesis Gaule

After over a year of social distancing and quarantining, everyone's itching for a cure to our cabin fever. While some may rush out to book the soonest plane ticket and hotel, for many this may not be possible or desirable. Luckily, our region is home to a beautiful and diverse selection of flora, fauna, bodies of water, parks and trails to explore and admire. Becoming familiar with our environment not only can improve our physical and mental health, but remind us how important it is to take care of our earth! 

Hiking MinnesotaHiking our local parks and trails can be a nice change in routine that makes even the most familiar cities feel like a new adventure! Hiking Minnesota by John Pukite is a reference book that provides useful hiking tips for both beginner and expert hikers. Detailing information on ecology, geology, and state history, you’ll have a great start to planning your next adventure.

The Sioux Chef Indigenous KitchenAre you tired of choosing between burgers or pizza for dinner? The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman allows you to explore the flavors this region has to offer. Eating out of season produce is not only more expensive and less flavorful, but very damaging to the environment! Locally sourced, seasonal, "clean" ingredients and nose-to-tail cooking are nothing new to Sean Sherman, the Oglala Lakota chef and founder of The Sioux Chef. In his first cookbook, Sherman shares his approach to creating boldly-seasoned foods that are vibrant, healthful, at once elegant and easy. 

Midwest medicinal plants identify, harvest, and use 109 wild herbs for health and wellnessInterested in not only being able to identify wild plants, but utilizing them in your everyday life? Herbalist Lisa Rose’s guide to Midwest Medicinal Plants is fascinating and will inspire you to see the world in a different way.

If you prefer to keep the outdoors nearby, we offer a wide variety of gardening books depending on your limitations and needs! Gardens are both a fulfilling hobby, and an educational project for all ages. 

The East Grand Forks Campbell Library also provides plenty of opportunities for exploration! Whether it’s diving into a new book series or joining us in new virtual and in-person programs, the library is a great resource for any adventure you go on!