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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ring In December with Lots of Fun Things to Do!

In addition to the programs below, Story Times (ages 2-6) are Tuesday at 10 & 1:30, Toddler Times (ages 18mo-3) Wednesday at 10 & 11 and Thursday at 10:30,
Baby LapSit Thursday at 9:30.  See our calendar for more details.

@ the Library: Programs

See a Magic Show!  
Holiday Magic with Brian Richards  (For families with children 3 and up)   No registration required  Saturday, December 4 at 10:30 am  
Be amazed and delighted at the magic  and comedy of Brian Richards.

Build a Model!
Lego Club  (for models from previous clubs, check out our website)
(For grades K - 5) Registration Required.  Monday, December 6  from 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Here’s a club just for you! Get together with other Lego-maniacs, share ideas and tips on building,and have a great time! Library Legos will be available for building.

Come to a Party!
A Fancy Nancy Party!  OO LA LA!  (Girls and boys ages 3 - 6)
Saturday, December 11 at 10:30 am  Registration Required
Bonjour! (That’s French for hello.) You are cordially invited
to a “Fancy Nancy” Party at the Bridgewater Library.  
Come in your fanciest outfit (that’s fancy for clothes)!
Enjoy fancy stories and create fancy “accessories.”

Play With Shapes!
Monday, December 13  Registration Required
SHAPE UP!  (For ages 2 - 6 at 10:00 am)
SHAPE UP!  (For ages 4 - 9 at 4:30PM)
Join us as we share the new book 'Shapes that Roll'
then use pre-cut shapes to form original artistic creations!  

@ the Library: Displays & Materials

The Vogage of the Dawn Treader, the third book in the “Chronicles of Narnia” series that began with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, will be coming out in theaters on December 10th.  Get a head start on the movie by sharing the books with your kids -- they are located in the Juvenile Fiction Section under the author’s name “Lewis, C.S.”  And, if you like this kind of fantasy, check out our “If You Like The Chronicles of Narnia” booklist for great reading suggestions!

Like to make things?  Check out our display  “THANKS & GIVING: MAKE SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR SOMEONE YOU LOVE” above the children’s magazine shelves.  It has lots of ideas for homemade gifts your family can make and give!

Around the Community

Holidays Around The World
The Children’s Museum kicks off its 2010-2011 program schedule Sunday December 5th from 1-5 p.m. at the Somerset Valley YMCA (2 Green St. in Somerville) Holidays Around The World, a multi-cultural celebration designed to introduce children ages 3 to 9 to world holidays.

Crafts, food, music, dance and games from many countries and faiths will be featured including Mexican Poinsettias, African Masks, Chinese Dragon Kites, Jewish Dreidels, Kwanzaa Candles, Nepali Mandelas and Diwali Rakhi bracelets.  In addition, there will be a live harp performance from 1-2 and ethnic music and dance performances from 2 to 4 p.m.
No registration required but a donation of $3 per child is requested (or canned food donations for local food banks.)  The Children’s Museum is a nonprofit corporation.  More information is available at www.childrensmuseum.org.

Liberty Hall Museum at Kean University celebrates the Yuletide season with a series of special events throughout the month of December. Designed for young children and their families, visitors to the museum will enjoy holiday activities in the historic Victorian mansion of New Jersey’s first elected governor, William Livingston. Here’s a sample, click here for more.

Gingerbread Workshop
WHEN: December 4 and 11, two sessions each day from 10:00 to 11:30 AM and from Noon to 1:30 PM.
WHERE: 1003 Morris Avenue in Union, New Jersey
TICKETS: $17 per child
Recommended for children ages 7 to 12. Children are provided with the materials and instruction to design and build their own edible houses of gingerbread, candy canes, gum drops and more.
A Christmas Tree Ornament Workshop
WHEN: December 5 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
WHERE: 1003 Morris Avenue in Union, New Jersey
TICKETS: $10 per person.
Participants will create old fashioned ornaments to adorn the Christmas tree in the museum’s Great Hall. Guests will bring two decorations with them and leave two for display on the Liberty Hall tree.
Whoville Feast
WHEN: December 19th from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM and from 2:00 to 4:00 PM
WHERE: 1003 Morris Avenue in Union, New Jersey
TICKETS: Admission is $20 for children and $25 for their adults.
Inspired by the beloved Dr. Seuss classic, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” Liberty Hall prepares a on Guests will dine on Grinchy grub that includes “roastbeast on a bun, Suess spuds and Cindy Lou Who cider.”

WHEN: Saturday, December 11, at 11 AM
WHERE: bergenPAC, 30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood
TICKETS: $35, $25
For ticket information call the box office: 201.227.1030
Children’s music superstars and  Nick Jr. channel favorites Laurie Berkner, Susie Lampert (keyboards), Adam Bernstein (bass) and Bob Golden (drums/ percussion) will perform old and new hits, including songs from 2008’s critically acclaimed CD, Rocketship Run.
The theme to this year’s concert is “A Live Birthday Party Concert!” Kids are encouraged to bring their favorite party hat, picture of a birthday cake from Laurie’s website and a stuffed animal for your head because animals have birthdays too!        
Widely recognized as one of the most popular indie children’s recording artists in the United States, Laurie Berkner was at the forefront of the current progressive children’s music movement. Her intelligent songwriting, captivating vocals and infectious melodies have won not only legions of little fans, but also parents, who enjoy the music as much as their kids.
The Laurie Berkner Band has received tremendous critical acclaim. Time Magazine lauded Laurie as “a kind of sippy-cup Sheryl Crow…Berkner inhabits a kid’s curious perspective in her lyrics and pens folk-pop melodies that bear repeated—very repeated—listenings.” The Wall Street Journal called Laurie “one of the most popular children’s performer’s in America … Her music is distinctive because it speaks to kids without talking down to them, charming youngsters without boring grown-ups.”  (By the way, the library has lots of their recordings!)

Thanks to Ruth Ross at njartsmaven.com for these listings.  There are many more holiday happenings than can be listed here. Check out her website as well as the Macaroni Kid Hillsborough, Macaroni Kid Warren, and the RVCC Arts Calendar for more possibilities.

Let Your Fingers Do (More) Walking

Want to encourage your kids’ (or your own) curiosity?  Check out the “Wonder of the Day” at the new Wonderopolis website.  This site engages and inspires families in the pursuit of education and learning together. 
Wonders of the Day will help you find learning moments in everyday life, ones that fit in with dinner preparations or carpool responsibilities or a stolen moment between breakfast and the bus. Each day www.wonderopolis.org  presents Wonder of the Day™ - a simple activity to share and explore the wonders of everyday life - talk about what makes popcorn pop while preparing a snack for a movie, or go stargazing and explain shooting stars.  Wonderopolis is presented by the National Center for Family Literacy, a not for profit supporting literacy and reading for children and families.

And, if you’d like to help your kids learn a bit more about the state where we live, check out New Jersey History for Kids

And to make the holidays a bit brighter for kids in NJ, please remember to bring in new-looking children’s and teen books to our Books for Kids Donation box in the lobby outside the Youth Services Room by December 8th.   Thanks for your generosity!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

HOLIDAY HOURS:  The Bridgewater Library will be open until 5 p.m. Wednesday 11/24, closed Thanksgiving,  then open 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Friday & Saturday and   1 p.m.- 5 p.m. Sunday.  
Regular programs resume on November 30th: Story Times (ages 2-6) Tuesday at 10 & 1:30, Toddler Times (ages 18mo-3) Wednesday at 10 & 11 and Thursday at 10:30, Baby LapSit Thursday at 9:30.  See calendar for details.

@ the Library: Programs

Make a Mural!
Picture This:  Keith Haring: Characters at Play  (For grades K - 5) Registration Required  Monday, November 29 from 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Join us as we explore the quirky characters and enthusiastic energy of this graffiti-inspired artist, then help us make a mural and create some stand-up sculptures in his signature style.

Read a Book!   Rocket Readers  (Limited to grades 1 - 3)  Registration required
Best in Show for Rotten Ralph  by Jack Gantos  Tuesday, November 30  from 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Rotten Ralph worries that his cousin Perfect Percy will steal the spotlight at the upcoming cat show. Ralph is out of shape and desperate enough to go along with Sarah's fitness and beauty routines. But on show day Ralph remembers his rotten roots just in time.  Join us for a book discussion and activity!

See a Magic Show!   Holiday Magic with Brian Richards  (For families with children 3 and up)   No registration required  Saturday, December 4 at 10:30 am
Be amazed and delighted at the magic  and comedy of Brian Richards.

@ the Library: Displays

Want to read the book behind this and other Disney movies?  Check out our new display on FAIRY TALES around the Youth Services Reference Desk.

Also, take a look at  “THANKS & GIVING: MAKE SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR SOMEONE YOU LOVE” above the children’s magazine shelves.  It has lots of ideas for homemade gifts your family can make and give!

And make your vote count -- check out the books nominated for the “GARDEN STATE BOOK AWARDS” and vote for you favorites!
Instead of haunting those Black Friday “sales,” The Newark Museum, has some dynamite activities planned for the entire family to celebrate Thanksgiving—with the arts:
WHEN: Friday, November 26, 12:30–4:30 PM
WHERE: Newark Museum, 49 Washington Street, Newark
FREE with Suggested Museum Admission
Through hands-on activities explore the building blocks of design, find out how things are made and invent something new!  Enjoy Family Fun Tours of all the Museum's collections.
Explore four fields of design using four different design methods:
Furniture Design
Design Challenge: Design a new piece of furniture, such as a table, chair, or bed.
Design Method: Use-centered design—what will your piece of furniture be used for?

Architecture Design
Design Challenge: Draw an architectural plan for a new building of your choice: a house, a school, or even an airport.
Design Method: User-centered design—what will the people who live or work in your building need?
Industrial Design
Design Challenge: Invent a new object for people to use, such as a light, a fork, or a teacup.
Design Method: There is more than one way to use it design—how can your object be used in more than one way?
Graphic Design
Design Challenge: Design a new logo for the Newark Museum.
Design Method: Keep it simple—how can you make your logo simple and effective
Gallery Game: Exhibition Design
Using magnetic pictures of objects in the Gustav Stickley exhibition, design the gallery the way you wish to see it

And finally -- to add some holiday giggles, share this with the whole family!
The turkey shot out of the oven
from  It's Thanksgiving  by Jack Prelutsky, Marylin Hafner (Illustrator) sung to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean,"  Chorus by Bridgewater School Librarian Cathy Darby.  Also on Youtube.
The turkey shot out of the oven
and rocketed into the air,
it knocked every plate off the table
and partly demolished a chair.
chorus:  Oh my, oh me, Why didn’t I follow the recipe?
          Oh my, oh me, Why didn’t I follow the recipe?

It ricocheted into a corner
and burst with a deafening boom,
then splattered all over the kitchen,
completely obscuring the room.  
It stuck to the walls and the windows,
it totally coated the floor,
there was turkey attached to the ceiling,
where there'd never been turkey before.
It blanketed every appliance,
It smeared every saucer and bowl,
there wasn't a way I could stop it,
that turkey was out of control.
I scraped and I scrubbed with displeasure,
and thought with chagrin as I mopped,
that I'd never again stuff a turkey
with popcorn that hadn't been popped.!

And, we’re collecting books for another two weeks!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Turkey Collection -- CORRECT TIME


DONATE FOOD:  If you have a frozen turkey you'd like to donate, SHIP (Somerset Homeless Interim Program) will be collecting them from 7:30 a.m. -1 p.m. Monday 11/22 at the Curves near the library (in the Prince Rodgers Shopping Center).  

The Bridgewater Library also has an ongoing collection in the lobby for non-perishable food for our Somerset County Food Banks.  Please consider helping neighbors in need.

GIVE BOOKS TO CHILDREN WHO DON’T HAVE (M)ANY: Along with food for their stomachs, many children lack food for their minds -- specifically,they lack access to books of their own at home.  With state cutbacks, many urban libraries are having to shorten hours and close branches, limiting children’s access to books even further.  You can help by donating new (or very new-looking) books to our Books for Kids Drive.  There is a collection box outside the doors of the Youth Services Room.

Letters & Packages Program anysolder.com
Want to send your support to a soldier in harm's way, but have no idea what to send, who to send it to, or how to send it?  This website shows how.  (Links to the other services are here as well.)


Check out our new display “THANKS & GIVING: MAKE SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR SOMEONE YOU LOVE” above the children’s magazine shelves.  It has lots of ideas for homemade gifts your family can make and give!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanks & Giving: Make a Difference this Holiday Season

@ the Library: Programs

(Limited to ages 5 - 8)  Saturday, November 20 at 10:30 am
Hear stories about the harvest then construct a beautiful, bountiful harvest basket
to take “home for the holidays”.  Bring your own basket to decorate, approximately 5” in diameter.
Turkey Tunes    No registration required
(For families with children of all ages)  Monday, November 22 at 10:00 am
We'll have an early Thanksgiving with these songs for family togetherness on Turkey-day!

Thanksgiving Storytime    No registration required
Family Story Time Join us for stories and songs for the whole family.
Tuesdays 10:00 am & 1:30 p.m
Note: We have no Toddler Times on Wednesday Nov. 24th and the library will close at 5 p.m.
Looking ahead,  Picture This -- Keith Haring: Characters at Play (grades K-5)  Registration required
Monday, November 29 from 4:30-5:30
Join us as we explore the quirky characters and enthusiastic energy of this graffiti-inspired artist, then help us make a mural and create some stand-up sculptures in his signature style. 

For more information on upcoming programs, check out our complete program calendar.
@ the Library: Displays & Materials

Check out our display "Thanks & Giving: Make Something Special for Someone You Love This Holiday Season" atop the magazine area in the children's room for books on crafts and foods your children can make and share.

Other ways your family can make a difference:

Donate to a food bank -- the library has an ongoing collection in the front lobby -- food banks are struggling to feed the many families affected by this recession.   If you have a frozen turkey you'd like to donate, Curves in the Prince Rodgers shopping center near the library will be collecting these Monday afternoon Nov. 22nd.

Open Up a World of Possibilities --Give a book (or books) to children this holiday season.

You Can Make a Difference in a Child’s Life.
Donate a New Book to
The library is accepting donations of new books for
infants through teens from
November 1 - December 8
These will be distributed to children and teens throughout New Jersey
who have limited access to books.

Around the Community:


A Midsummer Night's DreamAquila Theatre

Sunday, November 21, at 7 PM WHERE:
The Theatre at Raritan Valley Community College, 118 Lamington Road, Branchburg
Box Office: M-F, 11-4, 908.725.3420
TICKETS: $22 & $27

This timeless comedy has delighted audiences for centuries, and Aquila’s imaginative interpretation will renew the magic of Shakespeare’s plot. Set against a classical Athenian backdrop, A Midsummer Night’s Dream deals with the universal theme of love, and its attendant complications: passion, lust, frustration, depression, confusion, and, of course, marriage. Aquila weaves a web of theatrical magic that will take an audience to the heart of an enchanted forest, the injustice of the Athenian court, and the political strife of the fairy kingdom.
The plot focuses on the trials and experiences of two sets of lovers, the Fairy King and Queen and their servants, and a group of rude mechanicals attempting to stage a production of Pyramus and Thisbe for the wedding of the Duke of Athens. At the heart of the story is the Fairy King’s servant, the impish Puck, whose magic creates an endless supply of mirth, mistaken identity, and inappropriate, if not absolutely ludicrous passions. Aquila’s comedic mastery, physical ensemble techniques, and proven successes with their critically acclaimed productions of Shakespeare promise that this will be a Dream you won’t soon forget.
Timely and pleasing...this Dream soothes the eye and tickles the funny bone. NEW YORK TIMES


10_24_Mama_Doni_Band_orangeWHEN: Sunday, November 28, 1 PM & 4 PMWHERE: bergenPAC, 30 N. Van Brunt Street, Englewood
“Her stage name may sound as if it belonged on a jar of pasta sauce, but Mama Doni is an indisputably Jewish performer. Doni Zasloff Thomas in real life, she specializes in putting a Jewish spin on all kinds of musical styles, including reggae, rock, disco and Latin.” —The New York Times

"A zany musical chicken soup of reggae, rock, disco, Latin, klezmer and other styles." —The Boston Globe

“Wacky Jewish indie-rock for kids.” —The Star-Ledger

In a spirit of outrageous fun, The Mama Doni Band brings its special brand of “funky music with a Jewish twist” to two all-ages Chanukah shows. Doni Zasloff Thomas, a.k.a. Mama Doni, is the lead singer/ songwriter of The Mama Doni Band, winner of the Simcha Award for “Inspiring Joy Through Music” in competition with more than 100 bands from 15 different countries at the 2008 International Jewish Music Festival in Amsterdam.  

The band celebrates Jewish culture with irrepressible zest in its high-energy, interactive family rock concerts filled with catchy pop songs that break the mold of traditional Jewish music. Quirky, offbeat, and unpredictable, The Mama Doni Band offers up a contagious and unexpected blend of reggae, rock, disco, Latin, klezmer and “Jewgrass”—all woven together with a hip Jewish sensibility and a zany sense of humor.

According to Carrie Stetler in The Star-Ledger, Doni Zasloff Thomas “is proud to have a schtick. And that schtick, she says, is to ‘Jewify’ all forms of music—from country to reggae to holiday songs.” Kids’ media authority Amy Kraft, of Media Macaroni, enthused, “We were all laughing out loud … Listen as Mama Doni spreads around some challah-day spirit in her inimitable cross between Sheryl Crow and Tone Loc.”
Here’s a chance to get your hands dirty and create some art!

Hunterdon Art Museum center for art, craft & design
Clay Holiday
WHEN: Sunday, November 28, 2:00 – 4:00 PM

WHERE: Hunterdon Art Museum, 7 Lower Center Street, Clinton
Celebrate a Clay Holiday!
Using air-dry clay, make a gift for someone special, work on holiday sculptures, or create your own unique masterpiece. Kids make pumpkins, snowmen, dragons, lighthouses, boxes and more! The possibilities are endless. Dress for a mess and bring a box to take home your creations!
Instructor:  Nan Krochta
TUITION: $35; member $25
For more information or to register, please visit their Web site or call the Museum's Education Department at 908.735.8415 x116 or 119.
Gallery hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM


The Barn Theatre is one of the oldest (if not the oldest) community theater in NJ. It was started in 1928! This musical is perfect for the girls in your family, from 6 to 60+!

Program CoverLittle Women
Book by Allan Knee
Music by Jason Howland
Lyrics by Mindi Dickstein

WHEN: Friday, November 19–Saturday, December 4; Friday–Saturday evenings at 8 PM; Sundays at 2 PM; Saturday, December 4 at 2 PM
WHERE: The Barn Theatre, 32 Skyline Drive in Montville
TICKETS: $20 per ticket. Seniors (over 65) and students (under 18 or with college ID)$14/$19 at Sunday matinees only
Call the box office 973.334.9320 or send an e-mail to
boxoffice@barntheatre.org. Please put the name of the show in the subject line. Due to the theater’s volunteer nature, reservations can only be accepted via e-mail up to 24 hours before show time.

Based on Louisa May Alcott's classic novel, Little Women follows the adventures of Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March as they grow up in Civil War America. This timeless story deals with issues as relevant today as when they were written, wonderfully brought to life as an exhilarating musical filled with glorious music, dancing and heart. Little Women soars with songs of personal discovery, heartache and hope—the sounds of a young America finding its voice.

(Thanks to Ruth Ross of www.njartsmaven.org for these listings.)
Let Your Fingers Do the Walking:

Want to send your support to a soldier in harm's way, but have no idea what to send, who to send it to, or how to send it?  The website  http://www.anysoldier.com/  shows how.  (Links to the other services are there as well.)

And, finally, here's a way to liven up your Thanksgiving -- sing  "The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven" -- a poem by Jack Prelutsky, set to music ("My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean") and given a chorus by Cathy Darby, former librarian in the Bridgewater School System.  Check it out on Youtube, subtitled in Chinese!  Or download these lyrics for a singalong, adding the chorus "Oh my, oh me, why didn't I follow the recipe.  Oh my, oh me, why didn't I follow the recipe!"

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Not so Happy Meals" (Fast Food Math) & a Harvest Festival from a slower-paced time

Let Your Fingers Do the Walking:

Not So "Happy" Meals?

Last week, San Francisco voted to ban toys in children's fast food meals that failed certain nutritional guidelines -- setting off a debate around the country which you can read here.

Here's how you can do your own "Fast Food Math":

While families wish every night could be a sit-down meal,  children & parents lead busy lives -- and often need to eat on the run.  The National Public Radio program Morning Edition ran a story on "Fast Food Math" --  Here are some excerpts:

If your kids have eaten at a fast food restaurant in the past seven days, you're in good company. According to a new survey by researchers at Yale University, 84 percent of parents say their kids have, too.

Part of the demand you hear from the back seat may be due to the fact that kids today are seeing more McDonald's and Burger King ads than ever before.  The average preschooler sees about three ads a day, according to the findings. Teenagers see about five per day.

And though some healthy options are available (e.g. apple dippers and milk),  researchers found that "about 80 percent of the time they were given the french fries — automatically --they were not even offered the healthier choices."

To help families make better choices, the Rudd Center has released a Web-based meal calculator for parents that includes popular offerings from various fast food chains. Parents can input their child's age, sex, activity level and favorite fast food meal and find out how it measures up nutrition-wise with guidelines for health.

Researchers have also built a table with the best and worst combinations for kids from several fast food restaurants. The healthiest meal they studied is a Subway Veggie Delight sandwich on wheat bread with no cheese, a bag of apple slices, and a box of 100 percent juice. This combination contains 285 calories, 295 mg of sodium and no fat. Less healthy but perhaps favored by kids is the Burger King cheeseburger with fries and Dr. Pepper. That meal contains 635 calories, 1,106 mg of sodium and 9 grams of fat.
The table also shows that some chains feature more healthy side dishes than others. While Dairy Queen gives kids free ice cream with their meal, some chains — including Wendy's and Sonic — have added fruits and vegetables like sliced apples and Mandarin orange cups to their menus. But, as the Rudd Center notes, overall, french fries still rule and remain the default side dish almost everywhere.

Around the Community -- A time when food was definitely not "fast"!


Fosterfields Living Historical Farm Presents
Thanksgiving Harvest Home
WHEN: Sunday, November 14, Noon to 4 PMWHERE: Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, 73 Kahdena Road, Morristown
ADMISSION: $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for children ages 4–16, and $2 for children ages 2 and 3.
Free for children under age 2 and Friends members with a valid membership I.D.
FREE admission for veterans and current U.S. military personnel.
Call 973.326.7645 for more information, or visit www.morrisparks.net
Revisit 1919 during Thanksgiving Harvest Home at Fosterfields!
Discover how the Foster and Woods families may have once celebrated the holiday. Come to The Willows porch at 1:30 PM to honor Armistice Day (now known as Veterans Day).  Tour The Willows to learn how the Fosters spent the holiday. At the Farmhouse, enjoy seasonal music and on the farm, help with husking corn, raking leaves, sawing wood, and see the operation of a gasoline engine. Meet the farm animals, and get to know the Narragansett turkeys during a “Turkey Talk’ presentation by the farmers. In the upper barn, take a turn at square dancing. See a side saddle riding demonstration and learn about equestrian activities once held in the area. At the Visitors Center, make a family-friendly craft to take home.

Thanks to Ruth Ross from njartsmaven.com for this listing.