Posts Tagged ‘winter’


Baby It’s COLD Outside!

by Kara Logsden on November 13th, 2017

We don’t need Dean Martin crooning the classic holiday song to remind us it is cold outside. My daughter is living in an old home that is always cold. Recently we went shopping for weatherizing materials to keep the heat in and cold out. This reminded me of the old Amana Society house we restored during graduate school. We had an annual ritual of putting plastic up on all the windows and stuffing rubber weather-stripping caulk into drafty spaces. Now that we live in a newer home, I still find myself weatherizing. It has made a difference in home energy costs. If you are looking for ideas to winterize your home, check out the many resources available at the Library.

The book Spend-A-Little Save–A-Lot Home Improvements: Money-Saving Projects Anyone Can Do by Brad Staggs is a great place to start. Chapter 3 is dedicated to saving energy and includes information about insulating and weather-sealing. The chapter begins with a practical discussion about where and why air leeks occur.

Although not dedicated to winterizing ideas, Do-It-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley shares many good ideas divided between free, low-cost, and large renovation projects. Suggestions are practical and well-explained. Findley advocates for sealing all openings to and from your home, including cracks, seals, door frames, cable installations, and other opening into your home.

Family Handyman magazine has articles about energy efficiency and winterizing projects. The magazine is available for checkout from the Library’s Magazine area on the first floor and as an eMagazine digital checkout via RB Digital. The October 2016 edition has a list of 10 projects to complete before winter. The November/December 2016 edition of This Old House magazine has a an article called “Stop Winter Drafts.” It is also available as a digital magazine via RB Digital.

The Library also has locally produced online videos about energy conservation that you may watch at home. These include two Eco Iowa City programs with helpful suggestions for preparing your home for winter. In Energy Efficiency in your Home, John O’Roake, Energy Efficiency Manager at MidAmerican, offers energy savings tips and ways to heat and cool your home efficiently. Bob Yapp shares information about winterizing windows in Preserving Old Windows.

Make your house cozy and warm this winter with help from the collections at Iowa City Public Library.

Pugs of the Frozen North

by Shawna Riggins on March 9th, 2016

pugs of the frozen northThe temperature may be warming up outside but Pugs of the Frozen North written by Philip Reeve and illustrated by Sarah McIntyre will transport you to the magical cold of True Winter and the Great Northern Race. After an unusual weather phenomenon leaves young ship-hand, Shen, alone in freezing temperatures with 66 cold and hungry pugs, he finds friendship, support, and a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in a nearby city.  Throughout Shen & his new friend Sika’s journey as participants in the Great Northern Race, they work with each other, their goofy yet gallant pugs, and even (most of) their competitors. If after reading this book your thoughts are not lingering on the excitement of the race and the antics of the adorably odd pugs, you might be mulling over the message that people (and dogs) can overcome expectations and reach their dreams.

pugs page 1

Though certainly enjoyable for readers of all ages (especially for pug-lovers like myself), the exciting illustrations paired with text makes this a great book for children transitioning to chapter books. If you or your child liked the illustrations in Pugs of the Frozen North, try out McIntyre’s tutorial to draw your own puggy pups!

If this wacky adventure sounds right for you or a reader you know, check out other books from Reeve and McIntyre’s series of Not-So-Impossible Tales.

My pug Fifi wasn't so keen on the idea of pulling a sleigh.

My pug Fifi wasn’t so keen on the idea of pulling a sleigh.

Wolves in Winter

by Casey Maynard on December 31st, 2015

Wish

This winter I thought it would be fitting to share two newly published and seasonally appropriate picture books featuring one of my favorite animals, wolves. The first of these comes from Emma Dodd’s “Love You” series highlighting the unconditional love between parents and their children.  In Wish, Dodd works magic with simple illustrations and beautiful foil additions, weaving together all the things parents wish for their children.  Simple and touching, Dodd’s newest addition to this series is a fantastic read for adults and children alike.  This series includes other fabulous titles including, I am Small, More and More, Forever, No Matter What, Happy, When You Were Born, Everything, and Just Like You among others. The only thing I can wish for after falling in love with this series is that they would be produced in board book format.

The Wolf-Birds, by Willow Dawson, offers a completely different and highly accurate take on these beautiful animals. A nonfiction picture book portraying the relationships bwolf-birds etween scavengers, predators and their prey, Wolf-Birds outlines the necessity of cooperation in survival. Beautiful, stylized  illustrations not only accompany but serve to soften the harsh realities animals face throughout the long winter. Dawson’s work reminds us all that sometimes sacrifices need to be made to reach success.  wolf-birds

Storytime Recap: Get Ready for Winter

by Morgan Reeves on December 16th, 2015

Today we started storytime off with a new song, “Oh Hey, Oh Hi Hello” by Jim Gill. This is a fun way to say hello in a bunch of silly voices, plus it’s a great way to practice for when Jim Gill comes to town on January 23rd. I talked first about how winter would officially be here next week, but that animals have already been getting ready for winter for awhile now. I then introduced a vocabulary word for the day, “hibernation.” We had a smart group today, as a few already knew that hibernating meant sleeping in the winter for a long time. Our first story followed a squirrel getting ready for winter, The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri.

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