Mentions March 2017

In the Kitchen With Laura at Mason City
In the Kitchen With Laura at Mason City

This month’s mentions of me and Trundlebed Tales that appeared in the news during March 2017. The first article talks about doing my In the Kitchen With Laura program in Marshalltown, Iowa and the second is advertising my program in Clarksville, Iowa on April 1st, 2017. The final article is based on some suggestions I made to a follow up for a story about Field of Dreams with some additional book suggestions.

Jordan-Heintz, Sarah. “Cooking on the Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder Topic of Presentation.” Times-Republican [Marshalltown, Iowa], 24 Mar. 2017, http://www.timesrepublican.com/news/todays-news/2017/03/cooking-on-the-prairie Accessed 29 Mar. 2017.

“Laura Ingalls Wilder Celebration Planned.” The Courier [Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Iowa], 26 Mar. 2017, http://wcfcourier.com/news/local/laura-ingalls-wilder-celebration-planned/article_a0db2b0a-2959-52f5-b847-31b043296af7.html Accessed 29 Mar. 2017.

“Field of Dreams.” Monday Morning Eye-Opener [State Library of Iowa]. 27 March 2017, p. 3.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,  LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Cassandra Cooper Writes Another Book

I want to thank Pauly Tee who posted this The Friend Zone interview of Melissa Francis, anchor of MONEY with Melissa Francis and Markets Now on the Fox Business Network. Francis also played Cassandra Cooper on Little House on the Prairie (NBC TV show) for two seasons. She later attended Harvard before moving into business news.

Cassandra is a Character

Cassandra Cooper was one of two orphan siblings that the characters Charles and Caroline Ingalls adopt on the television show. Landon pushed the characters of Laura and Mary to become grown married women early and that took out storyline options for the Ingalls as a nuclear family. They had earlier successfully brought in Albert when they decided they needed a boy. For some reason, neither Carrie nor Grace were effectively used as older children so to keep feeding the Ingalls nucelar family storylines they needed more children. The writers invented a kind of horrible covered wagon crash and the Ingalls adopted the surviving children. Cassandra’s brother Jason Cooper was played by Jason Bateman who has gone on to have a stellar career as an actor. When Michael Landon decided he wanted to do more work on the production side of things as he was expanding shows, he moved the Charles and Caroline Ingalls family out of Walnut Grove and they took Carrie, Grace, Albert, James, and Cassandra with them and for the most part off the show. That allowed him to not be on camera as much himself. The Cooper siblings are mostly remembered for the episode where Charles goes a little nuts and builds a shrine to try to cure James which eventually works.

It’s in the Books

Back in 2012, Francis wrote a memoir of her time on the show called Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter. 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

During April 2017, her new book is coming out. Francis: “A lot of the great values I learned on ‘the prairie’ really applied to the rest of your life….like self-reliance, independence, and hard work.” According to Francis, Landon hired hard workers, but also taught them the same professional values you saw on the show. Her new book is a self-help book based on those ‘prairie’ principles where she laughs at herself, check out Lessons from the Prairie. 

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Travel Times Part 2 Disney Books

Before you check out my Disney Books podcast, check out what my friend Disney lover Richard Simms recommends for Travel Times podcast listeners and the first podcast of looking ahead (there is some strange audio at the beginning on this one, but I think it’s still OK) to my Disney trip.

Note that this was recorded well before I did the post so I put the current editions of these books in the descriptions below.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trundlebedtales/2015/10/10/travel-times-disney-world-part-2-books

Walt Disney World
WDW 2017

Disney in December, BABY!

Also my opinion, I read these through except things I knew for sure like cruises or Universal

Website Subscriptions

The main trust of today’s podcast is books, but there are lots of websites. While there are a lot of free websites out there others require subscriptions for access or full access. I would recommend subscribing to all of these.

Touring Plans – It gives you information about rides, menus, and optimized touring plans that you can readjust “optimize” at any time as life might interfer with your premade plans. Purchasing the Touring Plans book listed before gives you a discount on the website subscription.

Kenny the Pirate – Just the best information on character appearances that is always up to date.

UPDATE  WDW  Prep School still has its amazing podcast and a free website, but since I recorded this I also have a subscription section. I haven’t subscribed yet, but since everything else they do is top notch and my favorite, I’m sure this will be too.

Books

Birnhaum Guides. Birnbaum’s 2017 Walt Disney World: The Official Guide. Disney Editions, 2016. ISBN 1484737776

Birnbaum’s the Official guide **** MUST BUY ****

Coupons mostly if staying off grounds or have a lot of out of park time

It gives the party line, things Disney expect you to know about

Compact for easier carrying than others

Meal section most useful especially character meal chart

Also special tours section

You want most current, comes out towards end of September so frozen in August of previous year (so this year’s 2017 book was frozen in August 2016). For trips after September hold out for the next year’s or get both.

Marx, Jennifer, Dave Marx, and Alexander Marx. PassPorter’s Walt Disney World: The Unique Travel Guide, Planner, Organizer, Journal, and Keepsake. 19th ed. Ann Arbor, Michigan: PassPorter Travel Press, 2016. ISBN 158771163X ****MUST BUY****

One of two I would consider a must by, skip the section about accommodations if you’ve made yours already and dive into the stuff about the parks. Although it doesn’t start quite as basic as I’d like to see it for someone who knows nothing about the parks, it gives a lot more basic information than any of the other guide books I read. It has just beautiful maps by far the clearest and most useful I’ve seen in any book. The name labels are on the buildings so you don’t have to flip between a numbered list and the map to figure out what is what.I also liked the routes and walk times that were included to give you a good idea for routes. The descriptions were fairly straight forward and what opinion there was was given in one voice so you could decide if you agreed with it or not. Another nifty feature is that they highlight changes made from the previous edition so you can see what’s changed right away.

Downsides include its format (a plastic spiral that constantly was twisting out, an especially poor choice for a book they encouraged you to carry around and to rearrange and take pages out of it – a binder format would have been a far better choice), the fact that it really didn’t have many charts and what charts they did have were very detailed so there wasn’t much in the way of quick summaries, and that towards the end of the book they were kind of heavy on advising buying other titles from them both in paper and as e-books. Also be aware that the last quarter of the book is taken up by hard cardboard pockets (one for each day of your trip) that they encourage you to use while touring.

Be aware the new edition comes out in December so late in the year information may be out of date towards the end of the calendar year. I caught several things that I knew weren’t true anymore just from my other research.

Sehlinger, Bob and Len Testa. The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2017. Birmingham, AL: Keen Communications, 2015. ISBN 1628090669

My friend Kelly really loves this resource and it has a lot of information, but it’s not one of my favorites. Personally when I read a how to book from an expert I want their opinion and the constant second guessing and quotes of opposite opinions from various readers get on my nerves. But if you want a well rounded set of opinions on absolutely everything, this is the book for you.

One of the positive things is that it rates attractions with advice on different age levels. They give advice and tips how to do it. There are lots of useful single color maps of things like resorts and highway approaches in addition to main park maps and charts and still more that are black and blue. At 848 pages it’s by far the largest and most comprehensive of the books I got. However, there are large sections on Disney Cruises and Universal Parks which explains some of the extra length.

***** I’d say this is a maybe buy. If you want lots of details and a lot of extra opinions, plus detail maps, lists and suggestions for various ages, you’ll want to buy the book. If you want a single voice that you can figure out if you agree with or not, this probably isn’t the book for you. In addition this same group of people put out a subscription website called Touring Plans. The website was a lot more useful to me than the book. If you can only do the book OR the website, do the website in my opinion.

Birnhaum Guides. Birnbaum’s 2017 Walt Disney World For Kids: The Official Guide. Disney Editions, 2016. ISBN 1484737784

*****Buy if have kids the age to read on their own (at least Magic Treehouse series level)

Note that it’s NOT WITH kids, FOR kids. They expect kids to be the ones reading this one.

Colorful, easy to read

Written in narrative format

Rating system scary, dark,or loud

Activities to do

Includes kids in planning

Must say was disappointed in how much our kids like it but I think others would

Touring plans book — Optional

First chapter apologizing for format

Information Disney wouldn’t tell you

System of opinions based on age

Maps not overly clear

Wilk, Roger. Discover the Magic: The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Walt Disney World. 2nd ed. n.p.: n.p., 2015. ISBN 9781505687491 **** Don’t Buy ****

I admit I was on a bit of a Disney book buying binge and I bought this strictly based on its cover. Seriously this is the second most pick me up and buy me cover that I’ve ever seen. If he didn’t design it himself, I want to hire whoever did it for any book I write. Sadly the cover is the best part of the book. The inside clearly says self-published. There are good self-published books, but most of them are crying out for want of an editor and this is no exception.

Apparently Wilk defines insider as someone who has been to Disney on several trips since 2008 as a normal tourist and in those last seven years apparently spent a lot of time in the parks. However, he didn’t learn a lot because you could get absolutely everything else in this book from other guide books. The only exception are his personal opinions which certainly aren’t worth buying the book for. The opening of the book starts with him getting kind of irate at the fact that people posted negative comments on Amazon (which I totally should have read) and seemed especially focused on the fact that people complained that his photos weren’t in color. He seemed to think people didn’t understand that color photos cost more in a book. Frankly to me the photos even in black and white were one of the few pluses in the book because I do have to give him credit that he illustrated more things he was talking about with photos than the other Disney books I’ve read. However, they were nothing special and you could find just as good or better images doing a quick image search.

Note that the edition I got was the second. It seems that according to the interior text it was greatly expanded from the 1st edition which must have just been a pamphlet or something. Also, Wilk has the nerve to have published 3 more books about Disney when he didn’t really have enough to say to fill this one.

*****If it is the only Disney book available to you, it covers the bare essentials of information well enough, but a strong do NOT buy.

Final – Disappointment have to still have your physical Disney credit card to get discount, kids glad to go

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,  LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Library Ghost

ICPL Carnegie
ICPL Carnegie

Old buildings that creak and crack,
Moving shadows to stop you in your track,
Chairs pulled out and computers clack.

Happy Halloween!

Libraries have their share of ghosts,
“Living” near our computer hosts,
Why not? It’s where everyone loves the most.

Happy Halloween!

Ghosts in Libraries

There are plenty of stories about ghosts in libraries, after all libraries are often in older buildings, from bookshelves to children’s room decorations there are plenty of things that make strange shadows, and sometimes they have programmed or motion detector lights that are supposed to go on and off by themselves. They’re not as creepy as Silence in the Library, but it’s enough to make you nervous if you’re by yourself and who knows? That bump in the night you’re imagining may not be all in your mind at all….

Sarah on library staircaseLocal Ghosts

A favorite local ghost story happened when the Cedar Rapids Public Library was still in its old Carnegie building. A little old woman came in like clock work to check out books. One morning a staff member saw her come in and commented on her new dress. She just smiled and went on. Later the staff member heard she died and that her son had bought her a new dress to be buried in. Believe it or not.

The Champion Library Ghost

Of course the library that makes the most of its ghost is the haunted Willard Public Library in Evansdale, Indiana. Their lady in grey has  been caught in several photos since first being seen in 1937. They give special Lady in Grey tours and she is given her own section on their website. They put up a webcam in 1999 to look for her that proved so popular it crashed the entire town’s e-mail. They since added more cameras. See for yourself their best of captures and the live feeds for you to check yourself.

A runner up would be the Sweetwater County Library in Green River, Wyoming that have had ghostly occurrences there since the library opened up in 1980. Since 2006 they’ve hosted ghost walks where patrons and those interested can use real ghost hunting equipment like ghost boxes, dowsing rods, and KII meters to hunt the library ghosts for themselves. However, there is nothing about it on their website. I guess the ghost doesn’t like publicity.

And Look Here

Check out a write up of more haunted libraries from the American Library Association.

And ooooOOOOOOooooooo from the U.S. Census Bureau

NOTE: The photos are just some library photos I happened to have. Their inclusion is NOT ghost related. 🙂

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Quote: Simple Pictures Are Best by Nancy Willard

Willard, Nancy. Simple Pictures Are Best. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976.

This is picture book comes from the era of my childhood although I don’t think I ever read it until I was an adult. It’s the story of a couple who build a life together and when a big wedding anniversary rolls around they decided to have a photographer come and take their photo. The photographer and his young assistant James come to the farm to take a picture with a large box camera. They start off with a simple photo in front of the house, but the photographer asks a series of questions about what they want. His questions are always this or that and his assistant James convinces them to do both. It gets crazier and crazier until you just have to see the actual photo he took.

After every time they add something the photographer would say “Simple pictures are best.” That is one of my best pieces of advice I’ve gotten from a picture book. It’s Occam’s Razor for kids.

When I’m trying to figure out how to do something, I always tell myself “Simple pictures are best” and look for the simplest way to do it. You might have heard me mutter this to myself. I say it a lot. So now you know what I’m talking about.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

What comes next? Updated

LH book shelves

It used to be that most of the series books were listed in a big thick book that I loved to get off the shelf and read through at the library. I don’t even know if that same book is still in print, but you can now find much of the same information online. Below is my list of favorite websites for finding out what comes next in a series. If I missed one you like to use, please let me know.

I had enough additions since I posted the original version of this that I thought it was time to post it again as a clean copy. To find notes about where I got suggestions for additions from, check the bottom of the original post.

General Adult Fiction –

KDL (Kent District Library) What’s Next
http://ww2.kdl.org/libcat/whatsnext.asp

Nebraska Library Commission Books in Series Database
http://nlc.nebraska.gov/ref/booksinseries.asp

Fiction DB
http://www.fictiondb.com/series/series-lists.htm

Books in Order (this one is by an individual and has lots of ads)
http://www.bookseriesinorder.com

Fantasy Fiction –

Fantastic Fiction (from United Kingdom)
http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/

Murder Mystery –

Stop You’re Killing Me
http://stopyourekillingme.com/

Children’s Books –

Mid-Continent Public Library Juvenile Series and Sequels
http://www.mymcpl.org/books-movies-music/juvenile-series

Young Adult Books –

Bettendorf Public Library
http://yaseries.bettendorflibrary.com/index.php/Main_Page

Other Related Sites

What should I read Next?
http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/search

BooksnBytes
http://www.booksnbytes.com/

WeNeedDiverseBooks
This site was recommended on IowaLib and is a hub of finding lists of diverse books. I haven’t had a chance to look it over much myself, but take a look and let me know what you think. [Added November 26 2016]
http://weneeddiversebooks.org/where-to-find-diverse-books/

FictFact
This website is run by volunteers and not only gives a series listing, but allows you to sign up to get e-mails when a new entry in a series you’re following is released. Registration is free and may be done either through direct registration or through social media log ins. Recommended on Iowa Lib Jan 2014.
http://www.fictfact.com

Iowa Readers’ Advisory Round Table
Reviews and connections between books by Iowa Librarians of the Reader’s Advisory Round Table of the Iowa Library Association.
http://iowareadersadvisory.blogspot.com

Multiple Copies for Book Clubs
This list from the State Library of Iowa gives a list of multiple copies with numbers and the library that holds each collection to aid bookclubs across the state.
http://www.statelibraryofiowa.org/ld/k-p/multiple-copies

landmark-books2

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+,  LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Save

Fall 2016 Schedule for the L.M. Montgomery Society of Ontario

What Laura Ingalls is to the United States, Anne Shirley is to Canada. Her much believed and respected author, L.M. Montgomery, has undergone nothing short of a renaissance in scholarship, interest, organizations, conferences, and preservation since I made my trip to Prince Edward Island as my high school graduation present. Tonight I’m tipping the hat and sharing word of one of the organizations in Montgomery’s honor and sharing their fall schedule.

Rilla of Ingleside
Rilla of Ingleside

Republished with Permission of the L.M. Montgomery Society of Ontario.

Dear friends and supporters of the LMMSO,

We’ve got a busy fall ahead!
October 29 is our annual Lucy Maud Montgomery Day, celebrating poetry in honour of the 100th anniversary of The Watchman and Other Poems. You can find the day’s agenda and the registration form at our Calendar of Events: http://lucymaudmontgomery.ca/calendar-of-events/
Members, please join us for our annual general meeting, November 2 at 5:30 at the Historic Leaskdale Church. We’d invite all our supporters to consider becoming actively involved with our volunteer organizing committee – a variety of jobs are available, with a great group of people. Please respond to this message if you’d like to find out more.
Our Maud’s Favourite Things Gift Show and Sale is Friday & Saturday, November 11 &12. We’re still looking for vendors, and it will be a big year as the site is also on the Rotary Christmas Home Tour on the 12th!
Finally, please join us for our community Christmas concert (November 26) and service (December 11).
We thank you for your support, and hope we’ll see you at some of these great events.
The Lucy Maud Montgomery Society of Ontario