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June 2012

Summer is Here! What to do with the kids now that they're home...

June 30, 2012 | Kate S. | Comments (1)

Keeping kids busy over the summer can sometimes be a challenge, especially on rainy days.  There are lots of programs available at libraries and community centres, but what can you do to keep them entertained on those days at home? 

Toronto Public Library has lots of great books full of ideas - check out a few of them below:



Bubbles are always a great activity that is suitable for a range of ages. For really young kids, the act of blowing bubbles is entertainment enough. For older kids experimenting with making homemade bubble solution and different devices for creating bubbles can be tons of fun.


Bubbles, rainbows, and worms.aspxFun with Water and BubblesThe Ultimate Bubble Book


There are so many different craft projects to do with kids, even with toddlers.  You can keep it simple by providing materials like paper, glue, and crayons, and let them use their imagination, or you can get some inspiration from one of the many craft books available.

  Crafts with Kids.aspx  Beautiful Beads.aspx The Really Big Book of Amazing Things



One of my favourite things to do when I was little was help my mom bake, and now my toddler loves to help me too.  You can keep recipes simple like homemade popsicles, fruit salad (yummy yummy), or  decorating pre-made cookies.  For older children help them try some of the more elaborate recipes in one of the many kids cookbooks.


  Baking with Tiny Tots The Children's Baking Book Twist it up


Story Writing/ Picture Stories

Most children love to make up stories, why not help them create their own books?  For younger kids have them do the illustratations and write the words for them. If you're feeling ambitious try creating pop-up or lift the flap books - they are not as hard to make as you think! 


Making Books that Fly  Show me a Story Be a Writing Superstar

Children's Summer Programs at Barbara Frum Library

June 21, 2012 | Daniel | Comments (0)



With the school year winding down, it’s a great time to think about coming to the library for some of our wonderful programs. Here is a list of the programs we will be offering for children and tweens in July and August.




Pyjama Time: Stories, songs, rhymes and activities for children age five and under with their parents or caregivers. No registration required; drop-in. Mondays, 7:00 – 7:30 pm (July 9, 16, 30; August 13, 27)




Family Time: Stories, songs and rhymes for children age five and under with parents and caregivers. No registration required; drop-in. Fridays, 11:00-11:30 am (July 6 – August 10)



ChessChess Club: Interested in playing chess? Then join Barbara Frum’s Chess Club! Open to beginners and experienced players alike. Register on the 2nd floor or by calling 416-395-5440 after June 25. For ages 7-18. Fridays, 2:00 – 4:00 pm (July 6 – August 10)


Skateboard2-lgTerrific Tuesdays: Join us every Tuesday for fun games, entertainment, and other Summer Reading Club fun appropriate for ages 5 to 12. Tuesdays, 2:00 – 3:00 pm (July 3 – August 28)



Video cameraWacky Wednesdays: Bring your own popcorn and enjoy newly released movies on our large screen! Suitable for all ages. Day camps are welcome. No registration required. Wednesdays, 2:00 pm start time (July 4 – August 29). Special start time of 12:00 pm on August 29.


TweenTween Thursdays: Join us for a special program every second Thursday for tweens ages 9 to 18. Register on the 2nd floor or by calling 416-395-5440 after June 25. Thursdays, 2:00 pm start time. Comic Art: July 12; Fantastic Fun Felt Crafts: July 26; Sock Monkeys: August 9; Afternoon Gaming: August 23.



Yoga-lgTD Summer Reading Club: Sign up in the children’s department starting June 25 and get your free poster, bookmark and activity booklet. For every book you read starting July 3, you will get a sticker to put in your booklet. The stickers also contain a secret code that you can use to unlock surprises online!


If you have any questions about these programs, you can call the children's department at 416-395-5442.

And remember... you can check out our upcoming programs with detailed descriptions by visiting our website and following the links. Too much work? Click here instead!  

Not-for-Children Picture Books

June 15, 2012 | Daniel | Comments (2)

As a children’s librarian, I live in a world of picture books. The glossy pages, great illustrations, and simple text found in picture books are great for young readers, and even better for parents to read to children at bedtime.

But how about after your child has gone to bed? Don’t have the energy for a novel? Not a problem… Here are a few of my favourite spinoff picture books that are meant for an adult audience:


Book1Goodnight Ipad: A parody of the famous Goodnight Moon (Margaret Wise Brown), this is a modern bedtime story about bidding our gadgets goodnight. Don’t worry, though. They’ll be waiting for us, fully charged, in the morning. If you like this one, check out the Toronto Reference Library's copy of Goodnight Bush, a spoof that celebrates George W. Bush’s exit from the Oval Office.


Book2Go the **** to sleep: The early-reader parody by Adam Mansbach is one of the most popular adult picture books, well suited for parents frustrated with putting their little one to sleep. Profane and radically honest, this one is definitely not for the kids!



Book3B is for Beer: Follow kindergartner Gracie as she decides to find out just what beer is and why her father likes it so much. Robbins combines his simple narrative with interesting beer facts (36 billion gallons sold each year worldwide!) and a lot of humor.



Book4I am a Pole (and so can you!): The late Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, said about this book: “the sad thing is, I like it”. The story follows a wide-eyed pole as it seeks out a purpose in life, along the way experimenting with a variety of different career choices.



You can place a hold on any of these books through our website. And remember: these ones aren’t for the kids!  

The Wise People Say...

June 9, 2012 | Jorge | Comments (0)

Is the ancient saying that wisdom comes with age true?   In the spirit of Seniors Month, I explored this age-old proverb with a group of seniors that I meet monthly at Barbara Frum Branch – the Nifty Frum Friends is what we call ourselves, a name developed to accentuate our high energy and edgy outlook on life.

At our recent meeting in May, as a mental-emotional health exercise, I read out popular life quotes that many of us consume for inspiration.  Below is an example of a saying that some of you have likely heard before.  I’ve followed up with some analysis (paraphrased) extracted directly from our group.

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind"

This sounds true, but when you really think about it, this can be viewed as a two-sided issue: self-expression vs. respecting the ‘other.’  Is it mannerly and respectful to say what really is on your mind (however negative it may be) to anybody anytime and every time you feel like it?  Probably not but at the same time you have to be true to yourself.   What’s a reasonable approach then?   “It’s not about what you say but HOW you say it.”  There is an art of being truthful and expressing it in a gentle way.

If you have a different take on this, discuss online or join us for our next meeting.  The beauty of it all is that there is no right or wrong answer.   On the topic of Seniors Month, Barbara Frum Branch is offering a nice range of programs.  Earlier this month, we heard a lively discussion about Memory and Aging, followed by a live concert demonstrating the History of the Classic Guitar and a Restorative Meditation session.   The programs continue with part two of Restorative Meditation on Wednesday June 13th at 6:30 PM, and Posture Improvement on Tuesday June 19th at 2 PM.  For the knitters out there, join Centennial Knitter's Club every Tuesday evening at 6:30 PM.  Note: the Decluttering workshop is cancelled and to be rescheduled.

        Picture 003           IMG_0084
 Pictures are from senior programs this year ... come out and see what people are buzzing about.

Bon search ... Bon find ... Bon voyage!

June 1, 2012 | Diana S. | Comments (2)

Around this time people are asking for information on their choice travel destinations. They are particularly interested in the most current and popular travel guides. They may hesitate over what guide suits them, so the following is a convenient guide to some of the more popular travel guides:

These guides cover ‘unusual’ and lesser-known destinations of the world from
Africa to the Northwest Passages. It is both a travelogue as well as a travel
guide. These guides are updated irregularly.

Compass American
These guides are by Fodor's and provide in-depth coverage on US states - often
states no other guidebooks cover. They provide historical and cultural detail
about North American destinations as well as hotel and restaurant
recommendations and detailed descriptions of sights.
Explorer's Guides
In existence for more than 25 years, these guides cover the US. The guides are
updated bi-annually.
Eyewitness (DK)
These guides are updated every year and feature wonderful photos of travel
destinations. These guides may include pull-out maps.
These guides are your standard and reliable guides. They provide sections of
information on shopping, dining, hotel, and culture recommendations. There are
features and articles by local writers that convey the essence of each
Fodor's See it
These guides are by Fodor's and mostly feature wonderful pictures of must-see
sights and areas. they are updated bi-annually.
These guides are updated annually and are written by those with first-hand
knowledge of the area. If you are an adventurous and independent traveller or
backpacker, these guidebooks are worth a second look.
Like Fodor's, Frommer's are your standard and reliable guides. You will explore your travel destinations the way locals do. These guides are updated annually.
Updated bi-annually, Insight guides are more visual, featuring pretty pictures of featured destinations.
Let's Go
If you are a student on a limited budget or even on a limited budget, these guides are worth a look. They are budget travel guides written entirely by students. They are updated every year.
Lonely Planet
These guides are known for providing the best up-to-date information to travellers. They are standard and reliable guides that assume the traveller will get around their travel destination using local transit.
Lonely Planet Discover
These guides feature full-colour pictures throughout. It includes key attractions and possibly off the beaten-track highlights.
Lonely Planet on a shoestring
These guides assume that the traveller is going to be roughing it. It's a real backpacker and adventurer guide.
In existence since 1973, these guides are more for the independent traveller.
The writers have first-hand experience of activities and destinations and are able to deliver up-to-date and reliable information. The guides are updated bi-annually.

National Geographic
These guides feature beautiful pictures of travel destinations. They are irregularly updated.
Rick Steves'
These guidebooks are updated annually. They are for those who choose not to take an organized tour.
Rough Guide
These guides have been in existence for over 30 years. They are more for the buget-conscious. the guides are irregularly updated.
Time Out
These guides are updated bi-annually. They are good for information on nightlife and entertainment and restaurants.

The most recent guides at Barbara Frum Branch include:

Fodor's 2012 Florida    Rick Steves' Scandinavia   Walking London, The Best of the City

Frommer's Bali & Lombok   Family Guide Washington, DC   Singapore
Visit the Barbara Frum District Blog again and we'll navigate the Toronto Public Library's OverDrive to find a travel guide in eBook format.


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