Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Today's storytime was the last day for the Perry School HIPPY group. We read two stories about underwater life - "Mister Seahorse" by Eric Carle and "Fish is Fish" by Leo Lionni.

"Fish is Fish" is a story about a young fish whose friend, formerly a tadpole and now a frog, has gone off on wild adventures away from the water. When he hears about all the amazing things that Frog has seen, Fish can't resist trying to get out to see it for himself. In the end, he learns to accept himself for what he is - a fish!

"Mister Seahorse" follows an expectant Seahorse Father around the sea, where he meets a wide assortment of other creatures waiting for their own children to be born (and carrying them around in the most interesting ways.

After all that, we finished the day with a National Geographic special all about (you guessed it), the ocean!

Finally, we cooled off to the breezy sound of Raeggae before the kids headed back out to the Perry School Community Center. We can't wait to see them again next year.

Best of luck in school!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Friday Double Feature!

Friday was a day for bizarre comedic movies. For the last few weeks, we've shown a lot of horror, action and suspense, so we felt it would be nice to take a turn into comedy for a change. The first film, "Over Her Dead Body", starred Eva Longoria as a recently deceased wife who's forced to watch her man wood by an attractive fake psychic. The movie is light-hearted, and served as an interesting reprisal of Longoria's role in the series "Desperate Housewives".

Later in the afternoon, we decided to go classic with "Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb". "Strangelove" is a quirky, satirical movie directed by Stanley Kubric, who also directed "2001: a Space Oddity". Here Kubric presents a wry look at Cold War politics and paranoia. Peter Sellers stars in a fascinating trifecta role as Captain Mandrake, Dr. Strangelove and the President of the United States. Also of note is the debut appearance of James Earl Jones.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Today we read two stories about ducks and foxes, and how to keep from being eaten! The first story was "Don't Fidget a Feather!", by Erica Silverman. Duck and Gander are very competitive, but when a staring contest almost gets them cooked, Duck discovers that sometimes losing is the only way to win.

Next was "Wow! It's Great Being a Duck", by Joan Rankin. Little Lillee is the last duckling to crack out of her shell, and she's the tiniest and skinniest of all her brothers and sisters. She's terrified of flying and swimming, and decides to go walking instead - until an encounter with a scary stranger teaches her the value of her native abilities.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Movie Mondays and Film Fridays

Starting today, Sursum Corda will be showing various movies from our shelves every Monday and Friday at 11:30 am for the duration of the Summer. There is no single theme or style. We'll be showing everything from action/adventure to romantic comedy as our collection continues to improve and expand.

Today's movie will be "Premonition", starring Sandra Bullock and Julian McMahon. In this film, Bullock plays Linda Hanson, a woman whose life is very much out of order and whose husband Jim (McMahon) seems to be alternately dead and alive. This film is part of a recent trend in suspense movies, playing on the regular fears and instincts of everyday life and turning it into something much more immediate and sinister. It's a must-see for fans of M. Night Shyamalan's "Sixth Sense".

"Premonition" is rated PG-13.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Wow, it's been a crazy week!

First, another reminder about tomorrow. The Washington National Opera will be here to perform a very short rendition of Madama Butterfly! The program will begin at 1:30 pm and run for about a half hour. It's aimed at children six and up, and we've heard from other branches that it's a blast.

Then there's July 14th, the Monday after next at 10:30 am, when we'll have Mr. Derby's Jam Session! He's well known in the District for his crazy remixes of classic nursery rhymes and modern cartoon theme songs, and his program is meant for kids of all ages. Definitely a must for the musically inclined.

Finally, we will have Dr. David Adamski an entomologist from the Smithsonian Institution. Mr. Adamski will be here on Wednesday, August 13th at 2:00 pm with live insects and facts about entomology.

As usual, we will be continuing our Wednesday morning storytime with children ages two through five. We start at 10 am, and anyone with a child of that age is always welcome to bring them for this.

Last week we showed off several books, all about optical illusions, including "Gallop", by Rufus Butler Seder, and "Hello, Red Fox", by Eric Carle. Both contained great examples of the amazing things the human eye can do.

"Gallop" is a "scanimation picture book", which means the pictures on each page move as you turn them. Each page shows a different animal in motion, which is a great way to teach children the difference between "galloping" and "pouncing".

"Hello, Red Fox" is a book about comlimentary afterimaging. The idea is simple - each color has an opposite, and when you stare at a picture in one color long enough, then look at a plain white background, you will see an afterimage in the opposite color from the one you saw. In this book, we saw the green fox turn red, and a red turtle turn green. It was very strange indeed. And since we were on the subject of colors, we followed it all up by breaking out the crayons and coloring pages!

Tomorrow we'll still have our morning program, and that will be followed by the Opera. Be sure to check it out.
~Nick H.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What a Week!

Well, it's been quite a week since last time we were able to post here. Friday, we couldn't open because of power outages across the District, and Monday and Teusday were very busy indeed! Even our plans for today went somewhat awry, since we couldn't find out coloring books or the stories we wanted to tell. We made up for it with two fun replacements. After getting our wiggles out by singing the Hokey Pokey, we read "Leaf Man", by Lois Ehlert, and "Silly Sally", by Audrey Wood.

"Leaf Man" is an excellent story to read to small children. Each page contains pictures of animals, plants and places, all made out of a variety of fallen leaves. The kids were really great at pointing out all the things that were hidden on the pages, even pointing out things I missed the first time reading it.

As it turns out, the preschool already owns a copy of "Silly Sally", and they were very excited to hear it here at the library. In fact, they knew the story so well that some of them were able to read it right along with me, and tell me what was going to happen next! To cap it off, we watched the first half of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", which we will be continuing in two weeks.

Next week we will definitely be having a Dinosaur Day. Miss Robinson has been working all week long on a pair of collages for the children, with a wide variety of pictures and names of dinosaurs for them to learn about. We will have coloring, stories and activities all related to those ancient animals.

Then, exactly two weeks from today on July 2nd, we will have the National Opera here in Sursum to perform "Madame Butterfly".

Looking forward to an exciting couple of weeks,

~Nick H.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wednesday Storytime

Yesterday morning, we had a lot of fun! Our preschool kids came in for storytime once again. This time, we read two stories. The first was a short story called "Who Hops?" by Katie Davis. The book had us hopping, slithering, crawling and flying all over the place.

Next, we read one of my personal favorites, "A Giraffe and a Half", by Shel Silverstein. This poem shows exactly how complicated the life of a giraffe can be!
Next week, we're going to be having a Dinosaur Day. We'll have stories, of course, and also songs, a movie and a coloring contest. Events will start at 10:00 am, and last until about 11:30 or noon.