Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Juniper: The Happiest Fox, by Jessika Coker


I love a Happy Story with a Happy Ending! Don't you?

And Juniper the Happiest Fox is just what I needed today. The photos alone make this book pure awesomeness, but the accompanying story is not one to be missed.

Author Jessika Coker works with rescued exotic animals that, for whatever reason, cannot live in the wild. And Juniper, an American Red Fox, is perhaps her greatest triumph. Or at least the most famous. Born with a birth defect of the jaw that gives her a permanent snaggletooth grin, Juniper has become an Instagram sensation (go ahead, look her up). Not only for her adorable happy face, but also for the pictures she paints with her paws. Juniper the Happiest Fox is the story of how Jessica came to "adopt" Juniper. Not only is it filled with adorable anecdotes and photos, but there's lots of information about the American Red Fox and Jessika's rescue work. 

Juniper The Happiest Fox is currently on display in the Teen Department, but is available for checkout (as are ALL our display books). If you seek a cute animal story that's totally feel-good, this is the book for you!


Monday, November 16, 2020

Willow (dvd)


Not only is winter fast approaching, but it's still pretty weird out there. it IS 2020, after all... For me, the best way to escape impending cold weather, pandemic worries, and ongoing election drama is to completely detach from reality (in a healthy way). Grab some snacks, cozy up in a blanket, and get lost in a fantasy movie.

Willow, one of the lesser-known films of the genre, is a great choice for an evening of escapism: The land is being ruled by an evil sorceress and no one has been able to overthrow her terrible reign. Until now. It is rumored that a child has been born and this baby will grow to be the one who finally defeats the witch and brings about an era of peace. Hoping to prevent this, the witch orders all babies be destroyed. But one survives. This baby is discovered by Willow, a Hobbit-like creature, who brings the child to his village. But when the village is invaded by the queen's soldiers, Willow knows he must take the child somewhere safe. He teams up with rouge swordsman Madmardigan and two mischievous pixies. It's the ultimate battle of good vs evil as this motley bunch protects the child and fights to destroy the queen and save the land.

Willow has lots of action and a great ending where the good guys win (of course they do!). The special effects might be dated and even a little cheesy by today's standards, but the story is solid and makes for an enjoyable watch. If you liked films like Princess Bride and Lord of the Rings, you'll like Willow


Friday, November 13, 2020

Fun Friday: Winter Programming


Happy Friday everyone! Do you need something fun to do? 

Well look no further than our latest newsletter!

We've got all kinds of things planned, from crafts to contests to sweet treats. And we'll be even bringing back one of our pre-pandemic programs!

Tell you more, you say? Absolutely!

This month, we're celebrating National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) by hosting a Six Word Story Contest. All you have to do is stop by and write a story using only six words. It's harder - or easier - than you think, depending on your perspective. Don't worry. If you're stumped, we'll have some examples out to show you how it's done. And the prize is pretty amazing. Just sayin'

And if you want more contests, December is Photo Scavenger Hunt, January is Winter Reading, and February is Book Crush. For more info, ask a Friendly Teen Librarian.

The Third Wednesdays in January& February is Perler Beads. However, we'll be running this a little differently than before to account for Social Distancing. We're looking forward to bringing back this program, but we want to do it safely. And space will be limited, so we will require you to pre-register.  

We'll continue our Take & Make Crafts the Last Saturday of each month. December will be Ornaments, January Snowglobes, February Color-Change Hearts. As before, supplies will be limited, so one craft pack per person. 

And MORE! Pick up a Winter 2021 Newsletter for more detailed programming information.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Throwback Thursday: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure


Yesterday I happily blogged about the latest Bill & Ted adventure, Face the Music

Today, for Throwback Thursday, I'm taking it back to where this most NON-heinous saga all began with Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Imagine, if you will, the late 1980s. The Internet, Siri/Alexa, and Smart Phones were still stuff of cheesy Sci-Fi. Nowdays, if you have a research project to do for school, you probably start by Googling the topic (amiright?), but back then... Well, you headed over to your local library and hoped they had the book or books you needed in-house. And you wanted to get there early, lest your more ambitious classmates check out That One Book ahead of you.

Of course there are still the procrastinators who goof off all semester and wait until the night before to do their project.

This is the situation in which we find our unlikely heroes, Bill and Ted. They're faced with the dilemma with cranking out an Ace presentation for their world history class. And they have to score top marks on this project. Otherwise they both flunk out of school and Ted's hardcore cop father ships him off to a military academy in Alaska. If that happens, the guys' band, Wyld Stallyns, is over before it starts. And trust me when I say that is a A Very Bad Thing. Because the fate of  this seeming mediocre garage band is tied to Life, The Multi-verse, and Everything as we know it. We're talking Worse Case Apocalypse here. That's a lot to ask of two lovable, but clueless doofuses. 

Maybe too much.

Enter Rufus, a time-traveling savior who is sent from the future to stage an intervention. He has one goal: Ensure B & T pass their class so they can remain together and carry on with their band.

And thus the adventure most excellent (and occasionally bogus) begins! With a time machine at their disposal, there's no way our heroes can fail...right? 

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is probably one of my favorite classic movies. Right up there with The Goonies and The Princess Bride. Sure, it's goofy, but you can't help but love it. Bottom line: It's just a lot of fun! Watch it again or see it for the first time (it's available for checkout in the Teen Area).


Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Bill & Ted Face the Music (dvd)


Sometimes life surprises you.

Like with Bill & Ted Face the Music, the third and final installment of the Bill & Ted saga. Released more than 30 years after the first film, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Face the Music ties up the loose ends from the previous films and brings things full circle.

The film opens with the famous duo facing a crisis: They have yet to write the song that will unite humanity through space and time and, thus, save the world. Their once famous band, Wyld Stallyns, split after several albums failed to produce hits. And now the two are resigned to playing wedding gigs. For family. (the only ones who will have them)

But a visitor from the future arrives and tells them they have but hours to write that song. Otherwise, all of time will collapse and the universe will implode. Pretty much worst case scenario on all counts. So they do what anyone with access to a time machine would do: Travel into the future and steal the song from themselves. Meanwhile, their daughters, Billie and Thea, are on an (excellent), time-traveling adventure of their own to help their dads. Oh... and a murderous robot is stalking them. 

In the end, Bill and Ted DO get the magical song and Wyld Stallyns music DOES save life, the universe, and everything...but not how you'd expect. And everything is... Well, everything is excellent!

When I first heard this movie was really happening (and no longer just rumor), I definitely had my reservations about it. I'd witnessed too many long after the fact sequels ruin a good thing, and I really didn't want that to happen with Bill & Ted, a film I've loved since I first saw it in the theater. Plus, the plot synopsis (two washed-up, middle-aged rockers going on a quest to write the greatest song in the world) sounded a little tooo much like Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny. Been there, seen it. But when the chance to watch the movie at the Drive In arose, I couldn't say no. So I put aside any expectations, good or bad, and just went with it.  

I love it when I'm wrong about stuff like this!

Face The Music was probably one of the best new-release films I've seen in a while. It brought back all the fun and feel-good and familiarity of Excellent Adventure, wasn't overly lengthy, didn't expect too much from the audience, and was loaded with Easter Eggs from the first two films. Bottom line: It made me happy. Definitely one of the positive things to come out of the Year of Weirdness that is 2020.

Face the Music was released on DVD yesterday (Nov 10) and is available for checkout through OPL. And if you haven't seen the first two films, you can check those out too. In fact, I recommend you at least see Excellent Adventure. Otherwise this one won't be as meaningful.

Definitely recommended for a Most Excellent viewing experience!


Snapdragon, by Kat Leyh


Looking for a cute story with great characters, a family mystery (curse?), magic, surprising plot twists, and a happy ending? Look no further than Kat Leyh's graphic novel, Snapdragon.

Snap lives with her mother and dog, Good Boy. And she's just fine with that. She doesn't need anyone else. But when Good Boy disappears, she's pretty sure she knows who took her beloved dog: The town witch, who reportedly kidnaps pets (and other creatures) and eats them. But Snap isn't the type to cower in the face of potentially scary things that go bump in the night. Rather, she rides her bike through the woods to the witch's cabin to confront the old woman and get her best friend back.

That's the plan, at least.

Turns out Jacks IS, indeed, a witch...or at least has a magical gift they use in good, if somewhat macabre, ways. But Jacks is nothing like the rumors say. And when Snap discovers a nest of abandoned opossum babies, she can't think of anyone better than Jacks to care for them until they can survive on their own. Jacks agrees to help...if Snap will help them with their "work". 

Neither Snaps or Jacks expected to make a new friend out of the deal.

Neither expected to learn they share a connection that's beyond the work they do together. A connection that goes back decades.

And Snap discovers the biggest surprise of all within herself.

While Snapdragon is sort of a Halloween-ish book (the whole Witch and Magic bit), but it's not so overly so it can't be enjoyed any time of year. Personally, I loved this story. I loved the characters, loved the feels, loved the artwork. Loved how everything came together in the end. Just like a good story should.

Stop by the Teen Area and ask for Snapdragon, which is currently featured on our Magical Realism Stories display.


Saturday, November 7, 2020

I'll Be The One, by Lyla Lee


At this point, we're ALL likely tired of the drama and toxic vibes surrounding the recent election. On top of that, we're dealing with Daylight Savings and all the repercussions that go with it. Yikes! November isn't off to a very good start, is it?

That said, I've decided to focus on upbeat and fun books (and movies) this month. Because we ALL need an escape. Starting with I'll Be The One, by Lyla Lee

So, K-Pop is the trending thing right now. And let's be honest, with it's colorful cast, upbeat tunes, and sweet dance moves, it's hard NOT to like this genre. Even if you don't willingly admit it, it's probably one of those Guilty Pleasure things you enjoy when you think no one's looking. Let's be honest. You know it's true.

I'll Be The One is adorable and radiates so much positivity! Just look at that cover! You can totally judge this book by it! The story focuses on Sky Shin, a singer and dancer who dreams of being the next K-Pop sensation. Sky has a lot working against her. After all, she's a Bi, plus-sized lady trying to gain entry into a world populated by size 0's. But she's got talent. Lots of it! And she nails her audition. Sky is soon swept into the world of long rehearsals, harsh critics, and band drama. Being a K-Pop star is harder than Sky imagined, but there's also new friendships and maybe even a new romance! I'll Be The One radiates positivity! The story is fun, if a little predictable, and the characters are ones you can root for. You'll totally be happy you read this!

I'll Be The One is currently on our Happy Books display. Stop by OPL and check it out today!