Cooking up Fun with Kitsap Regional Library’s Cookbook Collection

I will be the first to admit that February is not my favorite month.  Quite often February features challenging weather (rain and/or snow) which in turn makes me feel like spring will NEVER arrive.
Fortunately, all that bad weather inspires me to do two of my favorite things: One of these is reading (no surprise there, right?) and the other is cooking.

Although I have a sizeable collection of my own cookbooks (and access to wonderful online recipe collections like Epicurious) I know that I can always find inspiration, good advice, appealing photos and excellent recipes in my library’s HUGE cookbook collection.

KRL’s cookbooks contain recipes that will appeal to everyone from the raw food enthusiast to the carnivorous grill master(and everyone one in-between). Need a gluten-free cookie recipe that will wow your PTSA board? The library has it. What about a pancake recipe for your special family breakfast? The library has it. Need a special dessert recipe that will delight your partner? The library has it.

However, you may NOT know that our cookbook collection features cookbooks that are aimed at both children and teens. Two of my favorites for children are Emeril Lagasse’s There’s a Chef in my Soup and the Multicultural Cookbook for Students by Lois Webb.

Emeril lagasse Multicultural cookbook

Both books feature recipes which school-age children can easily re-create. Because let’s face it, you (and I) don’t want your children to grow up and eat cold cereal for dinner every night because they can’t cook.

Offerings for teens include the wonderful Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat by Megan Carle in addition to more specialized The Vegan Teen Cookbook: easy vegan meals from what’s already in your kitchen by Cathy Hutchison and Teens Cook Dessert also by Carle. So don’t let February get you down. Cook!

teens cook  vegan teen cookbook teens cook dessert

Books on Tap!

What do you get when you cross books, trivia, and great food and drinks? Books on Tap: a literary trivia night!  This March the popular event that’s been going strong at Bainbridge’s  Treehouse Cafe (next on March 4th) will be starting in two new locations: at Whiskey Gulch Coffee Co.  in Port Orchard on March 3rd and at Der Blokken Brewery in Bremerton on March 16th .

books on tapHere’s how it works:  We do four rounds, 10 questions per round, two literary rounds, one local history and one movie round. One point per correct answer, ½ point if you make us laugh.  We make it a little easier by focusing on a select number of books and movies every 6 months.  The current list of books that the trivia questions will be based on can be found here or at the Bainbridge, Sylvan Way or Port Orchard branch.  Come with a group or on your own, there’s a place for everyone, and prizes aplenty.  Hope to see you there….



Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for ALL the Letters by Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers is one of those artists that seems difficult to pin down to one essential category. As a children’s author/ illustrator, film maker, painter and installation artist, Jeffers has his hands in many creative projects while pushing his own unique style beyond the conformity of cultural expectations.

downloadHis most recent book ‘Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for ALL the Letters’ is a wild ride through a whirlwind of quirky, highly intelligent and genuinely hilarious narratives. With a 112 pages spanning the entire 26 letters, each page is richly illustrated that readers and art lovers of all ages will appreciate. This series of short stories (sometimes very short) interconnects a lucid narrative of peculiar proportions through the letters we either know by heart or are only just beginning to learn. From an Astronaut who’s afraid of heights, to a Bridge that ends up burned between friends, to a Cup stuck in a cupboard and longing for freedom, Once Upon an Alphabet is a must read for the entire family and full of surprises with every turn of the page.

Here’s a great short film describing a bit of the artists process and background and make sure to check out Jeffers interactive website at that walks you through the lives of his many storybook characters.

 Video Credit: Oliver Jeffers on Vimeo

Don’t forget to check out the many other Oliver Jeffers children’s books in our collection:

Jacket Jacket (11) Jacket (12) Jacket (9) Jacket (10) Jacket (6) Jacket (7) Jacket (8) Jacket (5) Jacket (4) Jacket (2) Jacket (3) Jacket (1)


Should Mother Goose still be on the loose?

With all of today’s modern technology, video images, and online educational tools, is there still room in early childhood for nursery rhymes, poems, fingerplays, and songs?  Is there still room for Mother Goose?  The answer is a resounding “Yes!”  In fact, modern research into early brain development is validating what parents have known for years.  To quote Dr. Betsy Diamant-Cohen, an expert in early childhood development, “children learn best through routine and repetition in a nurturing environment”, a perfect description of a parent (or caregiver!) and child cozily sharing a wonderful Mother Goose book together.

Numerous libraries are discovering that for young children “a love for learning through nursery rhyme activities and music…will insure their success throughout their school experiences.”   In fact, Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore has pioneered a program that incorporates these discoveries and is featured in an article entitled “Mother Goose on the Loose:  Applying Brain Research to Early Childhood Programs in the Public Library“.

So here are some of Kitsap Regional Library’s wonderful Mother Goose collections for you to share with your favorite young child!

The real mother gooseFor more than seventy-five years The Real Mother Goose has been delighting millions of children, and today the magic is as strong as ever. Heralded as the “standard” Mother Goose by parents, grandparents, teachers, and librarians, this wonderful book with Blanche Fisher Wright’s lively, colorful pictures makes an enchanting introduction for the very young.

will moses mother gooseFrom world-renowned folk artist Will Moses comes one of the most original and enchanting Mother Goose books ever. Featuring over sixty of childhood’s best-loved nursery rhymes, in Where’s Waldo-like fashion, children can search magical full-spreads of Will’s unmistakable paintings to find their favorite characters.

arnold lobel mother gooseKnopf is proud to reissue the complete and unabridged Arnold Lobel-illustrated treasury of Mother Goose rhymes, originally published in 1986 as The Random House Book of Mother Goose and unavailable for several years. Reviewers were unanimous in their acclaim of a collection “brimming over with energy…distinguished by abundant humor and a rich variety of moods and styles” (School Library Journal, starred review). The beloved creator of the Frog and Toad books included 306 nursery rhymes–several hundred more than any other quality edition of Mother Goose–and “all are illustrated in a cornucopia of drawings which demonstrates the range of [his] technique and imagination” (Kirkus Reviews).

very first mother gooseTo a small child, words are magical. And the most magical of all are the beloved, venerable words of Mother Goose. Now folklorist Iona Opie has gathered more than sixty treasured rhymes in their most perfect, honest form. From “Hey Diddle, Diddle” and “Pat-a-Cake” to “Little Jack Horner” and “Pussycat, Pussycat,” these are familiar verses that have been passed from parent to child for generations; these are the rhymes that are every child’s birthright.  With watercolors by Rosemary Wells that may prove equally enduring, My Very First Mother Goose captures the simple joy and the sly humor that are the essence of Mother Goose. Parents and children will find themselves exploring this volume together, savoring delightful details and funny surprises on every page. This is a book that promises hours of quiet smiles and merry grins for readers of all ages. (Random House, Inc.)

Downton Abbey Fans: How To Survive Until Season 6

Downton Abbey addicts: we have what you need!

With only 1 more episode left in Season 5, what will you do with that long wait until Season 6?

Here are 12 wonderful things you can do next:

Downton Abbey cookbookDownton Abbey cookbook : from Lady Mary’s crab canapes to Mrs. Patmore’s Christmas pudding : more than 150 recipes from upstairs and downstairs by Emily Ansara Baines



Behind the scenes Downton AbbeyBehind the scenes at Downton Abbey: the official backstage pass to the set, the actors and the drama. Foreword, Gareth Neame; text, Emma Rowley ; photography, Nick Briggs.



Real life Downton AbbeyReal life Downton Abbey: how life was really lived in stately homes a century ago by Jacky Hyams.




Chronicles of downton AbbeyThe chronicles of Downton Abbey: a new era for family, friends, lovers and staff by Jessica Fellowes, Matthew Sturgis ; foreword by Julian Fellowes.



The manners of Downton Abbey (DVD); Masterpiece.


Real World Downton AbbeyThe world of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes; photography, Nick Briggs; foreword, Julian Fellowes.




Year in the life Downton AbbeyA year in the life of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes.




Downton Abbey castleLady Almina and the real Downton Abbey the lost legacy of Highclere Castle by Fiona Carnarvon, Countess of.




Lady Catherine Downton AbbeyLady Catherine, the earl, and the real Downton Abbey by Fiona Carnarvon, Countess of.




Edwardian CookingEdwardian cooking: inspired by Downton Abbey’s elegant meals by Larry Edwards.




Below the stairsBelow stairs: the classic kitchen maid’s memoir that inspired Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey by Margaret Powell.




Downton TabbyAnd for your feline companions, Downton Tabby by Chris Kelly.




All of these lifesavers are available in printed word in our catalog, and many are available as ebook and/or eaudiobook as well. Enjoy!

All Lives Matter

Three Muslim American students, Deah Barakat, Deah’s 21-year-old wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha were murdered last week in Chapel Hill, N.C. The investigation, currently underway, is addressing whether suspect, Craig Hicks, charged with three counts of first degree murder committed a hate crime.

Listening to the memorial service on NPR last Thursday, the words 18-year-old, Yasmine Inaya, one of the victim’s best friends, stuck in my head, “Muslim’s lives matter; all lives matter; white lives matter; black lives matter; humans all matter. “ Listening to Yusor Abu-Salha’s (one of the victims) interview on NPR’s StoryCorps, and hearing this young woman talk so sweetly about her 3rd grade teacher, makes me think, why as a nation, are we stuck here?  As a person of color, (which I don’t totally feel comfortable saying – I’m a 3rd generation Mexican American), I don’t have the answers. As a librarian, I think maybe it’s because we don’t know each other’s stories.

A current topic discussed in the library and book publishing world is the lack of diversity in books. Most books for youth (almost 90%) are about white people (I feel uncomfortable saying “white people”). On the flip side, there is a movement to publish and encourage authors to write great stories about kids from different cultures, and for libraries to continue to promote and make space on the shelves for diverse voices.

But looking back on my own reading as a youth, I wasn’t looking for books about kids in other countries (although that’s important) or stuff centered around Mexican American culture like La Llorona (yikes), las Posadas, quinceañeras, or gang culture with people that look like the Latinos that they show on Breaking Bad. I wanted to read about funny, awkward, American kids like me dealing with life in school with the support of their loving families, teachers, or coaches. The books showcased in this post are my top 5 favorites.

These stories demonstrate shared values and experiences of many Americans. It is my hope that if we share our stories, we will have a better understanding of each other, and recognize the inherent worth of all.  Sadly, there aren’t any great ones that I know of about Muslim Americans.

This list includes one amazing teen book and the rest are awesome middle grade chapter books, perfect for when kids start asking hard questions about more complex topics like race and ethnicity. Click on the covers for more info.

Watsons Go to Birmingham El Deafo
One Crazy Summer Absolutely True Diary

Another Baby Orca!

It was reported yesterday that another baby orca whale was spotted in the Salish Sea.  This is the second baby orca spotted in the past two months, which has scientists excited- and lots of us excited too.  Check out footage taken of the new baby swimming with its family.

Breaking the Stillness

Breaking the Stillness- Ingrid Taylar Flickr

Does this new sighting have you wanting to learn more about these beautiful and powerful creatures? Look no further than KRL.

britannicaWe recently added the Encyclopedia Britannica, a database which goes well above and beyond a traditional encyclopedia. One great feature of the Britannica database is that you can choose which level to search at depending on age or reading level. Enter “killer whales” into the search box and start exploring.

Or check out these titles about orca whales:

Of Orcas and Men Pugest Sound Whales for Sale Field Guide
Killer Whales Orcas enf Draw whales

Of Orcas and Men: What Killer Whales Can Teach Us by David Neiwert

Puget Sound Whales for Sale: the Fight to End Orca Hunting by Sandra Pollard

Field Guide to Marine Mammals of the Pacific Coast by Sarah G. Allen

Killer Whales by Simon Charnan

Orcas by Anne Wendorff

Draw 50 Sharks, Whales and Other Sea Creatures by Lee J. Ames

Happy whale researching!  If you are lucky enough to be out on a boat in the Puget Sound, don’t forget to Be Whale Wise- and of course, take pictures!


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