Covers of Composting by Koontz & Harrad and Garden Wigglers by Loewen & Peterson.

Worm Books

Everything has gone wormy here at the Dorchester Memorial Public Library this spring. To help this along, Janet Ward made an Adopt-a-Book donation so that we could buy some new worm books.

Covers of Composting by Koontz & Harrad and Garden Wigglers by Loewen & Peterson.
Two books for young children about worms and compost

Our new books are Composting: Nature’s Recyclers, by author Robin Koontz and illustrator Matthew Harrad, and Garden Wigglers: Earthworms in Your Backyard, by author Nancy Loewen and illustrator Rick Peterson, both published by Picture Window Books. These books are written for quite young children, but they’re full of information. Everything is written in relatively simple language, and unfamiliar scientific terms like setae, the very fine bristles that cover a worm’s body, and clitellum, the band around the worm that becomes the shell containing its offspring, are explained in language and concepts even a quite young child should understand. Although an American book, it adheres to international standards of science and gives metric as well as imperial measures — useful for us here in Canada. Each book is only twenty-four pages long, but contains a table of contents, a science project that children can do at home, a glossary, and an index. The attractive illustrations, though not realistic in fine detail, are designed to be very clear and unambiguous in their simplicity. We’re very pleased to have these in our library and we recommend them for K-2 classes or anyone doing composting with younger grades or their pre-schoolers.


Bird Books for Kids

Do you have a birdfeeder? Do you watch the birds at it with your pre-school children? Talk to them about the birds. Ask them questions: what colour is that bird? How many birds are there? Count them together. Are those two birds the same, or different? Why are they different? What are those birds doing? What do you think the birds are thinking about? Are they happy? Are they afraid? Are they hungry? What do these birds like to eat?

These kinds of conversations with your children happen every day. They’re part of how those little minds learn and grow.

At the library, we have children’s books about birds. Some, like Have You Seen Birds? by Joanne Oppenheim and illustrator Barbara Reid, are books you can read aloud to pre-schoolers or which a beginning reader can read to you. Oppenheim’s rhymes and Reid’s famous plasticine illustrations make it great for bedtime storytime. Other books, like Look Up: Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate, are books you can read with a school-age child or which your older child can explore alone. Look Up has loads of scientific facts presented in an engaging, conversational way, with cheerful, chatty illustrations that manage to be cartoony sketches while preserving the essential details necessary for scientific accuracy in the species portrayed. It also has a bibliography to guide you to more detailed reference books, and an index, making this book a great resource for finding specific information as well as something to read cover to cover to learn about birds and bird-watching.

The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir


reviewed by Kayla Nye

The Education of Augie Merasty is a brief memoir of attending the St. Therese residential school in Sturgeon Landing, Saskatchewan from 1935-1944, which is written by David Carpenter;  however the story was told by Joseph Augie Merasty. It reveals the many hardships Native and Métis children experienced during that time.

In this memoir, Augie exposed his traumas to the audience; he tells about the Hitler-worshipping Brother, the Sister who would strike children for farting, and the many sexual assaults he witnessed or experienced. He also explains how his life had turned out after being released.

In 75 pages this book has taught me very much about cultural genocide and just how important it is to know how these people were treated.

The Art of Liberty Training for Horses, by Jonathan Field

Guest Review by Hannah Grant

Jonathan Field teaches the basics of his horse training methods in this book. With gentle consistency and a positive attitude, he practices natural horsemanship with a lot of focus on groundwork. Among other things, he teaches methods of gaining mutual respect with a horse. By establishing leadership, making his horses feel comfortable and relaxed, listening to them, and allowing them time and space to learn what he is asking from them, he has achieved great success with many different kinds of horses. They enjoy their time with him as much as he enjoys playing with them. Using only body language, he teaches his readers how to communicate with a horse. He also gives some step-by-step instructions for teaching a horse to perform several exercises while playing at liberty. As he mentions, even a well-trained, well-behaved horse can benefit from some natural horsemanship and groundwork.

Liberty training and groundwork can greatly strengthen your relationship with your horse. If you have ever dreamed of playing with your horse at liberty, running with a herd of horses, or riding a horse bareback and bridleless, then this book is for you!

Talking Books and Audiobooks in the Library

Did you know that your library has many titles in alternative formats for those with a print disability? Patrons unable to read regular or large print materials may be registered as “Talking Books” patrons, which enables them to borrow from a collection of works in other formats provided by CELA, the Centre for Equitable Library Access, formerly the loan department of the CNIB. Every library in the province now has a collection of books on DAISY CD for the use of Talking Books patrons, thanks to CELA, as well as some magazines in both English and French. Here in Dorchester we have one hundred titles in DAISY format, which, just like nearly all the rest of our books, can be shared among libraries. These are the bright yellow discs you may have noticed on our shelf. Soon we will also have a DAISY player, so that those who wish to try out the machine before deciding whether to invest in one of their own may do so. The DAISY discs will play on a regular CD player or computer; however, the DAISY player contains many more features to make navigating the book much easier. The DAISY collection and CELA electronic resources are available only to those with a print disability who are registered Talking Books patrons, since neither authors nor publishers are paid for material produced in this way. However, we have many other audiobooks which anyone can take out, and the regular audiobook collection is growing all the time.

Of course, Talking Books patrons can also access the regular audiobook collection of books on CD and Playaways (MP3 players pre-loaded with a single title) available in your local library or through holds from other branches, or downloadable audiobooks available through our Electronic Library catalogue. We can also help those unable to read print materials to obtain books directly from CELA.

If you or someone you know might benefit from our Talking Books service, why not come in to the library and find out more?