Fun at Foster's blog

Read Me a Story & More: Coming Soon to E.P. Foster Library

At 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, E.P. Foster Library will host the early literacy workshop Read Me a Story & More.

In this workshop, parents and caregivers will learn the five early literacy practices that children need to be reading ready. They will learn how to extend stories into activities, including using a flannel board that the whole family can enjoy.

Class size is limited, and advanced registration is required. This workshop is for adults ONLY. Sign up at the children’s desk or call 648-2716 and ask for the children’s department.

David's Dish: Secret Baked Portobello

Shroom: Mind-bendingly Good Recipes for Cultivated and Wild Mushrooms by Becky Selengut was a mind-opening book for me as far as mushrooms are concerned. The first thoughts I have when someone mentions mushrooms either involve a lousy tin of squishy mushrooms or a Beatrix Potter illustration of a fly agaric (Amanita muscaria), neither of which is very appealing—one is just yucky, and the other is toxic. But I delved into the book deeper and was fascinated by the different mushrooms available. Also, the photography in the book is quite exceptional.

Portobello was the cry from most of the foodies I work with, so I began looking for what I deemed the best portobello recipe in the book in order to prepare that dish. The sad thing is I didn’t find a baked portobello recipe—which is what interested me—in the cookbook, but this would not stop me for I was truly inspired by this book to create a delicious mushroom dish.

I was tempted to make the savory mushroom bread pudding, but was spared by a crumbled-up piece of paper left on my desk. Scrawled on the paper was a baked portobello recipe. Such luck! Things like this happen to me quite frequently, who knows why. The recipe looked great; on the back side of the paper it read “keep this recipe a secret.” I can’t divulge much, but the recipe is fantastic. Some of the ingredients are cheese, garlic, and onions, but there are two secret ingredients that can’t be revealed. Needless to say, this dish was one of my best ever! If you have an interest in using mushrooms in your dishes, this is the cookbook for you.


*****David’s Dish

Check out the book at Foster Library, or put it on hold—we will send it to you. If there are any cookbooks in Foster Library’s collection that you would like me to try out, please leave the title on our Facebook page and I’ll get cooking!

The Lazy Loser @ Foster

Join us on Friday, May 1, for a special talk at E.P. Foster Library. Marie Bean, author of Lazy Loser, will speak on topics relating to health and fitness.

Marie Bean busts all the myths surrounding diets and exercise and will talk about how you can eat the foods you like, move the way you like, and never have to diet again.

This free event begins at 11 a.m. in the Topping Room. Stop by to learn more about losing weight the "lazy" way. We hope to see you there!

NOAA and the National Weather Service @ Foster

On Wednesday, April 29, E.P. Foster Library will host another STEM educational presentation, this time by Eric Boldt of NOAA.

Eric Boldt is a meteorologist who will speak on the role of the National Weather Service and how his organization contributes to climate monitoring and coastal restoration.

This talk begins at 5 p.m. in the Topping Room. Stop by to learn more about this exciting topic!

CI Lecture Series @ Foster

On Wednesday, April 22, E.P. Foster Library will host the final talk in the current CI Lecture Series.

Dr. Michelle Dean, Assistant Professor of Special Education, will present research that examines the social experiences of school children with high functioning autism, focusing on how gender relates to their relationships and social behaviors.

The talk will start at 5 p.m. in the Topping Room. We hope to see you there!

"Have Space Suit—Will Travel," by Robert A. Heinlein

Having originally published this work in 1958 before the first manned mission to the moon, renowned and award winning science fiction author Heinlein dreamed of space flight and life in lunar colonies. The title of Have Space Suit—Will Travel comes from an old TV show of the time, Have Gun—Will Travel, about a brave and honorable mercenary character in the frontiers of California and an old saying then that went “have tux, will travel.”

Funny name aside, the book is about a young man’s high-adventures in space, eventually saving earth and a young girl in the process. This is one of Heinlein’s best novels written for young readers and will appeal to anyone of any age.

A clever and resourceful young man named Kip is obsessed with space flight and determined to go to the moon, but despairs at the difficulty. Only the best of the best are stationed there, and it requires a huge sum of money to visit as a tourist.

When his eccentric father shows him an ad in the paper for an advertising jingle contest, Kip goes all in and submits thousands of entries in hopes of winning. What follows is exciting, fast-paced, and humorous. Heinlein, in his characteristic style and voice, carries the reader through to the end and leaves you wanting more.

I enjoyed our audio version of Have Space Suit—Will Travel, available free through Hoopla Digital in our eLibrary.


Alan Martin, Your Friendly Reader


I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying “be careful what you wish for.” Whether it is fame, riches, or beauty, getting what you want is not always the answer to your problems. Sometimes, it actually makes things a lot worse. You may get what you want, but it’s what you do with it that matters most. Such is the case for a young girl named Coddie in Kerascoët & Hubert’s graphic novel, Beauty.

In Beauty, Coddie is a young girl living with her abusive godmother. Her life is spent slaving away in her godmother’s inn, scaling and salting fish. She is a bit of an ugly duckling and, thanks to the fish, she doesn’t smell particularly pleasant. She is often ridiculed by the people in her town, who make fun of her big ears, plain face, and fishy smell. Only her mother and Peter, her godmother’s son, show her any kindness.

One day, while gathering firewood in the forest, she unknowingly comes upon the fairy, Mab, disguised as a frog. When her tears free Mab of her spell, she grants Coddie the appearance of beauty. As Mab says, “If Mab cannot change your nature, she can change the perception of it.” While her fishy smell remains, Coddie is suddenly seen by everyone as the most beautiful of women. Only Coddie can see her true appearance.

It might at first seem a true gift, but Coddie’s beauty soon becomes troublesome—and even dangerous—for her. The men in her village become violently obsessed with her, to the point that she is forced to flee into the forest. The women in her village are more than happy to see her go, as her beauty has caused such a distraction that the men begin to fight over her. A young nobleman comes to her rescue, but her adventures are far from over. She will eventually find herself a queen, the focus of a war, and even a prisoner, all because of her beauty.

Readers familiar with Kerascoët & Hubert’s other work, Beautiful Darkness, are already well aware that fairytales don’t always have the happy ending we’re used to expecting. It is much the same with Beauty. Coddie, who changes her name to Beauty, becomes a bit taken with her own appearance as she manipulates the men around her. When she is later made queen, she uses the opportunity to enjoy the life that was previously denied to her because of her looks. She is, to put it plainly, a self-absorbed, spoiled brat. It is only after she loses her king and her kingdom that she truly sees what her beauty has cost her. She must learn to be beautiful on the inside as well as the outside if she is ever to be the beloved queen she wants to be.

As self-absorbed as she was, I must admit I couldn’t help but have a little sympathy for Coddie, for I’m a bit of an ugly duckling myself. I certainly know how it feels to be teased and tormented for not being pretty, so it wasn’t hard to understand how that beauty could go to her head. I don’t think Coddie behaved all that badly, and she does redeem herself in the end.

While it may not be the fairytale you’re expecting, Beauty is definitely worth reading. Also, be sure to read the epilogue for a bit of a twist. It will make you rethink everything you read before it.


Heather, the Graphic Novel Goddess

BRATS RAW @ Foster

On Wednesday, April 15, E.P. Foster Library will host a special screening of BRATS RAW.

This documentary features additional footage from the original BRATS documentary by Donna Musil. It includes a series of uncut interviews narrated by General Schwarzkopf and Kris Kristofferson.

The doors open at 6 p.m. for this free event, which will take place in the Topping Room. Stop by to learn more about the experience of growing up in a military family!

Sketching with John Iwerks @ Foster

Interested in developing your artistic side? Join us on Saturday, April 11, for a special sketching event at E.P. Foster Library!

Sketching with John Iwerks is a workshop that will feature tips and techniques for artists of all skill levels. Bring your sketchbook to this free event, or consider borrowing one from the library.

This event begins at 10 a.m. in the Topping Room. If you're curious about John Iwerks' amazing artwork, you won't want to miss this opportunity to see him in action!

Read Me a Story & More @ Foster

On Tuesday, April 28, Read Me a Story & More is returning to E.P. Foster Library.

Read Me a Story & More is an early literacy educational workshop for parents and/or caregivers of children ages 0-5. Modeling reading to parents/caregivers during a weekly storytime is just the beginning when it comes to helping children develop early literacy skills. For parents to become totally engaged, they need more.

This early literacy education workshop gives them more. It gives them the research, the developed methods, and the basic supplies needed to take this information home and actually be able to share it with their child. In the workshop, parents and caregivers learn the value of reading to their child, including the six early literacy skills and five practices. Not only do they learn why it is important to read to their child, but they learn how to select materials and how to read to their child, including dialogic reading. Various books are used to model different levels of reading and child development.

The workshop goes beyond books with activities involving art and creativity, discovering the world, language development, exploring concepts, playtime, and oral storytelling. In the workshop, it is demonstrated how to transform a child’s favorite book into a flannel board story. Each participant at the workshop receives a free bag filled with information, books, activities, flannel figures, and a flannel board.

Registration is required for this event; please contact the library at (805) 648-2716 for more information and to sign up for this great opportunity!

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