Fun at Foster's blog
This is primarily a serious novel, presented in the guise of comedy. Not that Dickens makes the reader swallow a bitter pill with sugar coating. All of the elements of comedy are presented against the backdrop of an unsettled early 19th century. Pickwick Papers exhalts the joys of travel, the pleasures of eating and drinking well, the fellowship of men, innocence, benevolence, youthfulness and romance. However, Dickens achieves these values against rather unpleasant realities. Comforable travel is contrasted with the stagnent squalor of prison life. Good food and drink are played off against the grubby victuals and cheap wine of prison. Male friendships are set off against predatory wives, widows and spinsters as well as mean and unscrupulous men.
Behind the episodic work lies the influence of Cervantes, Voltaire and Dante with the sarcastic criticism of the legal and political corruptions of their day. And in the case of the Pickwick Papers, it is the idea of debtor’s prison that has Dickens all afire.
In May, 1827, the Pickwick Club of London, headed by Samual Pickwick, decides to establish a traveling society in which four members travel about England and make reports on their travels. The four members are Mr. Pickwick, a kindly businessman and philosopher whose thoughts never rise above the commonplace, Tracy Tupman, a ladies man who never makes a conquest, Augustus Snodgrass ,a poet who never writes a poem and Nathaniel Winkle, a sportsman of incredible ineptitude.
The four are met with all kinds of civil unrest , unwanted marriage proposals and hilarious treachery as they travel about. They cause a lot of damage, through no adventure of their own, and when Pickwick refuses to pay damages for things not his fault, he is thrown into Fleet Prison, an incarceration facility for debtors. Eventually, he pays his debts in order to be freed to pay off the debts of his associates (the result of several political corruption scandels). His associates are forever grateful, though the Pickwick Society is later dissolved because of the class hatred from “lesser” society. In the end, he becomes Godfather to many of his associates children garnished through the ruthlessness of their predatory wives, widows and spinstered mistresses. It is a grand portal through which English Society is seen in the squaler that greed has created through industry and politics.
The Resident Scholar - Doug Taylor
We are happy to work with City Impact to provide free parenting sessions to our community! We have a variety of options, based on your needs and your schedule. All events will take place in the Topping Room at Foster library.
One-stop session: 3/13 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.The Power of Positive Parenting
8 week session in English: 3/19-5/7 every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Positive Parenting Group meets weekly to learn parenting techniques. From giving praise to creating rules and following up with effective discipline, this group will cover it all!
8 week session in Spanish: 3/16 - 5/13 every Tuesday from 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Para apuntarse a esta clase o recibir mas informacion sobre el programa de Triple P, favor de llamar a City Impact: (805) 983-3636 ex. 103
Registration is required for these events, call (805) 983-3636 ext #103 for more info. Hope to see you there!
Approximately 300 varieties of fish and shellfish are native to California. In Ventura, rock crab, spider crab, mackerel, herring, halibut, sanddabs, bass, perch and a variety of sharks and rays can be caught off the Ventura Pier.
Ventura has been a prime spot for seafood since the Chumash first established their villages in the area,. If you would like to pursue this ancient art, there are many books available at E. P. Foster Library to guide you.
Six Baby Read Aloud Stages:
1. The Lisener (0-2 months) Read anything for the purpose of the the baby hearing your voice and books you read to them before they were born.
2. The Observer (2-4 months) read books with rhymes and songs and books with black & white pictures or bold colors.
3. The Cooer (4-8 months) Read touch & feel books to stimulate the senses and use teething books.
4. The Babbler (8-12 months) Read books with noise and buttons or books that label objects or body parts.
5. The Word Maker (12-18 months) Use books that ask questions and ones that have rhymes/song and handmovements.
6. Phrase Maker (18-24 months)Read books that contain colors, numbers and basic concepts as well as books about the child current interest, fairies, trucks, animals, etc.
Baby Read Aloud Basics by Caroline Blakemore (372.4)-Star
What if we could be immortal, never die? Would we have a soul? Would we have purpose, a reason for being? These are questions you might consider asking after reading not one, but two, recently released graphic novels inspired by the works of Anne Rice.
The first book is Interview with the Vampire: Claudia’s Story and tells the familiar tale from the viewpoint of Claudia, the little-girl-turned-vampire and the companion to Louis and Lestat. Her immortality is given not by choice, but a ploy used by Lestat to keep Louis near him. That immortality comes at a price, not just by her need for blood, but by the very fact that she will never age. Although she will always remain the figure of a five year old child, her mind will continue to mature and change, a fact not welcomed by Lestat. She will increasingly question and challenge him at every opportunity, just as she will grow in her love and affection for Louis, a love that will never be fulfilled. It is the truth of her existence that leads her to betray her maker and search out others of her kind in order to find the purpose and meaning in her life. It is a search that will play out to its unfortunate end.
While the story is well-known to Anne Rice fans, it is worth reading for Claudia’s perspective on things and is a good companion piece to the original novel. Beautifully drawn in sepia tones, the only contrasting color is the color of blood.
The second graphic novel to follow this trend of the soul and immortality is The Servant of the Bones. It is the story of Azriel, a Jewish man living in Babylon, who agrees to become the servant of the title in order to serve the ruling king and protect his people. But he is tricked, and his body is melted in a vat of gold, leaving nothing but his gold-encased bones behind. He becomes a genie (somewhere between an angel and a demon), his bones trapped in a box, his spirit to be released by its possessor when the need arises.
His immortality is one of darkness, and the centuries quickly pass. He comes when he is called, but he soon learns that not all his masters are righteous or good. In time, he becomes less willing to obey and even attacks those who would command him. He gains something of himself and soon no longer requires the box (or its owner) to appear. In time, he finds himself compelled to solve the murder of a young woman in modern times. This brings him into conflict with a cult determined to bring about an apocalypse, with themselves as the only survivors.
The Servant of the Bones is colorfully drawn, and Azriel is not too hard on the eyes, if I do say so myself. Despite not having read the book on which it is based, I found the graphic novel easy to follow and an interesting read.
While both novels are very different in story and scope, I did find they had some common ground. Both dealt with the choices of immortality (given or not) and the consequences that followed. Both dealt with individuals trying to find themselves in their new lives, and despite the very different outcomes, both sought to retain something of their souls.
Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess
Fe fi fo fum
It's time for us to have some fun!
I must say, I simply can NOT believe all the new faces that we have had the last few weeks! I do hope that you will all become regulars. For those of you that are new to our group, generally we read from 1-4 books - depending on the 'mood' of the kidlets. As we have SO many new littles, our group has been extremly lively - which is why we only read 1 book this last Tuesday. Don't worry about it, they will get used to the group and your little one will settle down and listen.
Our letter this last week was P. The kidlets certainly knew a lot of P words - did you work with your little one? I am pretty sure that Pizza is my favorite p word. ;-)
Our theme last week was 'Chinese New Year'. I must confess, I forgot to write the name of the book that we did read (oops!), so I can not list it. But here is a small list of other Chinese New Year books that E.P. has;
The runaway wok : a Chinese New Year tale
by Ying Chang Compestine
Happy Chinese New Year, Kai-lan!
Celebrate Chinese New Year
My first Chinese New Year
This next New Year
They have quite a few more for you to chose from.
Author Website of the Week
I hope that you will check out some of Grace Lin's books - there are a LOT of them. Her website is packed with crafts and fun things to do, most of them relating to one of her books. You click on the book and it takes you to a page with coloring sheets and activites. She has activites for all ages, from a simple coloring sheet for your little to activites for your older child and things for you to do as well.
Next Week (February 12)
Our letter of the week will be Q. So think up some q words (Queen Celeste, anyone? tehehe!) Do we have anyone whose name starts with Q?
Our theme will be 'Be my Valentine', I am seeing a heart craft in our future!
I am going to take a wild guess and believe that most, if not all, of my storytime parents are readers themselves. Are you finding ways to feed your own reading addiction? I remember how hard it was when MY kids were littles. I am pretty sure that I hid books in the bathroom.
Until next week,
Foster library is happy to team up with local yoga instructors to offer a fun, new service. Beginning Wednesday during the story time hour (3:30-4ish), parents are welcome to practice the ancient traditions of yoga while the kids hear a fantastic story. As long as your child is 4 and up, and you have your own mat or towel, you are welcome to join the group on the second floor of the library. This is a pilot program, so if you are interested, let us know! We will offer yoga every Wednesday for February and April. Keep checking for updates!
If you can’t make it to yoga, check out some great titles we have in the library.
From the Ventura City Hall Brochure:
"Between the first and second floor windows of City Hall are 24 faces. Made of terra cotta, they depict mendicant priests called brothers or friars. These happy friars, a popular detail of the era, add a bit of whimsy to the serious neoclassical facade and are also an historical reminder that the City of San Buenaventura was one of the nine original Mission towns founded by Father Junipero Serra and Franciscan friars in 1782."
Find more information on the fascinating history of Ventura here.
Resident Photographer Aleta Rodriguez
Attention: Ventura County Residents
E.P. Foster library is starting a series of food events the title of the series is Book Appétit. Cookbook authors, chefs, restaurateurs, all involved in any aspect of the food industry are welcome to participate. Book Appétit’s main purpose is to celebrate food and bring our diverse community and tastes together. We would love to hear from the community with any suggestions you have as far as scheduling events or inviting speakers!
Please contact David Harrison at email@example.com with ideas or questions.
P.S.The pictured bread and San Marzano tomatoes will be discussed in an upcoming blog...