Library Moments: Books that Make Great Gifts

keep calmBessie Sullivan, County Librarian: Hello, I’m Bessie Sullivan from the Haliburton County Public Library and this is Library Moments. Once a week some of us from the library will come and talk about books, upcoming events, or the services we offer at the library.

It’s the time of year where many of us are scrambling to find the perfect holiday gift for that hard to buy for person.  Perhaps you know someone who has picked up a new hobby and needs instruction, or someone is leaving home and can’t possibly survive without your favourite cookbook.  Maybe you read a novel this year that you just have to share with others, whatever your motivation, books make great gifts.

This week on Library Moments Sherrill Sherwood, Erin Kernohan-Berning and I will each talk about books we think would make a great gift and why.

waldoSherrill Sherwood, Collections Development: I spent many of my favorite, most meaningful, moments reading and looking at books with our two sons. When pondering a good holiday gift, Where’s Waldo? books brought back such great memories that I knew they would be my picks.

The intricate puzzle picture books challenge readers to find a character named Waldo hidden in a variety of scenes. Waldo’s distinctive red and white striped shirt, bobble hat, and glasses make him slightly easier to recognise.

The iconic, elusive man was first hidden away in 1987 by British illustrator Martin Handford and published under the name Where’s Wally?. Handford started working as a freelance illustrator for a variety of magazines and advertising companies. He got the idea for a whole book made up of crowd scenes and approached a publishing company about it. The art director suggested that he make a character to act as a focal point in his pictures of crowds, to encourage people to look at the artwork more closely. Handford soon started designing the two-page spreads that would make up the first book. It took him as many as eight weeks to finish each picture, which were filled with various other characters doing an assortment of entertaining things. Some of the spreads contain upwards of 3,000 to 4,000 tiny figures.

Handford is pleased that Waldo has taken on a life of his own, stating; “I’d like to inspire children to open their minds to explore subjects more, to be aware of what’s going on around them. I’d like them to see wonder in places that may not have occurred to them.”

A great gift indeed!

divergentErin Kernohan-Berning, Branch Services Librarian: Buying fiction can be a difficult task sometimes – reading tastes can be so personal that it can be tough gauging what a person might actually like. However, a little bookshelf recognizance can give you some clues as to what to buy for your loved-ones next great read. Is the bookshelf filled with David Baldacci? Maybe they would like a book by Jeffery Archer or Stephen W. Frey who both pen edge-of-your-seat thrillers. Is the bookshelf sagging under the weight of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series? Maybe introduce them to Sara Donati’s Into the Wilderness series. Is their copy of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert worn and dog-eared? Perhaps they’ll like Travelling with Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd. Are you buying for more of a film buff – many great movies are based on books. What about a book/DVD combo such as Philomena the motion picture paired with The lost child of Philomena Lee by Martin Sixsmith or the very popular Divergent series of novels before all the movies come out? Haliburton County Public Library is a great place to preview those books – you can browse our shelves and use our catalogue to find read-a-likes and popular picks. You might even find the book you’ve been looking for to purchase in gently-used form on our Friend’s used books and book basket shelves. Also, don’t forget if you are a Friends of the Haliburton County Public Library member (an annual membership costs you only $5), your membership gets you 10% off at Master’s Bookstore – so you can shop local and read local.

love you foreverBessie: It has been proven that children who are read to before they start school are much more prepared.  I always give books to the little kids on my gift list.  A title that I think every newborn should have is I’ll Love you Forever by Robert Munsch.This book represents the notion of unconditional love between a parent and a child like no other, it makes me cry everytime I read it. Another book by the same author and illustrated by Minden cottager Michael Martchenko is The Paper Bag Princess.  This book is a must for anyone trying to raise a girl in our culture where emphasis for girls is more geared towards how they look than the quality of their character.  The story is about Princess Elizabeth who takes on a fire breathing dragon and prevails.  Elizabeth is supposed to marry Prince Ronald, but after her trials with the dragon she finds Ronald. He looked at her and said, “Elizabeth, you are a mess!  You smell like ashes, your hair is all tangled and you are wearing a dirty old paper bag.  Come back when you are dressed like a real princess.”  “Ronald,” said Elizabeth, “your clothes are really pretty and your hair is very neat.  You look like a real prince, but you are a bum.”  They didn’t get married after all.

With all the variety of books out there there must be something that somebody on your gift list would like.  However, if you just can’t make the decision,  besides offering 10% off for Friends of the Library, Master’s Bookstore also has gift cards.

That’s it for this week’s library moments here at 100.9 CanoeFM.  Happy reading and happy shopping!

*Originally aired on 100.9 CANOE FM November 31 – December 6, 2014.


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