Surprise book of the month

Beautiful Goats cover.docxBeautiful Goats: Portraits of Classic Breeds

Written by Felicity Stockwell  and photographed by Andrew Perris

I have noticed that Library staff love putting Beautiful Goats: Portraits of Classic Breeds on display and it always gets borrowed. So what is so appealing about this unusual title?

I asked myself “Why do we love goats?” They eat almost everything and can butt you in the backside, then appear to laugh about it.  However, goats are also sweet natured and have pretty faces. They have personality. Maybe they are endeared to us from childhood, when we listen to the story of the brave Billy Goats Gruff outwitting the vile troll on the bridge. One of my colleagues also told me that goats have become nearly as popular as cats on the Internet.

In the first few pages of Beautiful Goats: Portraits of Classic Breeds, Felicity Stockwell looks at the history and cultural significance of goats. She writes about the agricultural products derived from goats, goats as pets, wild goats and show competitions. However, the greatest part of this book is devoted to showcasing 40 breeds of goats. Photographs are accompanied by specific information about each breed that is featured.

These goats are simply photogenic and definitely beautiful. Each goat is photographed against a simple grey background, which reflects the colour of the book’s covers.  They do not require any other artifices. Andrew Perris skilfully manages to capture so much expression on each of these animal’s faces.  The goats look proud and happy to be photographed on set. They raise their heads in regal poses as if to say “This is my good side”.

The final section of the book ‘Reportage’ takes a fun look inside a goat show, where black and white snapshots are posted billboard style, accompanied by cute captions.

It is worth browsing through this lovely book, whether you have an interest in agriculture, you would like a cheeky pet or even if you just enjoy clever photography. You can reserve Beautiful Goats: Portraits of Classic Breeds. Or enquire next time you visit the Library.

 

 

Season’s Greetings

wrting-cardsEvery year, do you mechanically write out your Christmas cards at the last minute, using the same message for everybody, while getting a sore wrist?

Do you write “Merry Christmas and best wishes for the coming year, love from…” Even if that is what the card’s verse basically says?

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Or do you cringe when you have selected or made a beautiful blank card that needs a message? If you would like to saysomething more poetic and personalised, then Just the Right Christmas Words could be what you need.

just-the-right-christmas-words-cover-largeJudith Wibberley has created a selection of messages that you can use for your festive cards and invitations, to make the people who receive them feel special. She includes a variety of wording for Christmas and New Year greetings in both prose and in verse. There are messages for loved ones and different relatives, including families who have a new child.

Judith also writes for friends who are living overseas or serving in the armed forces. She includes a special section for Christian messages and for writing to Jewish friends celebrating Hanukkah. So as is noted on page 155 of Just the Right Christmas Words,“This Christmas, Spend a little, Laugh a lot, And enjoy.”

You can reserve Just the Right Christmas Words through the online catalogue or enquire when you visit the Library.

Our Slouch Hat Soldiers on show

Brothers in Arms

They served the same cause,

Fresh-faced boys departed,a new breed of diggers returned,

toughened by violent events.

They knew what was expected of them,

battle savvy,

they backed each other,

fought off insanity with humour,

got the jobs done.

 

They witnessed events

no one should see,

did things they’d rather not talk of,

fought battles

long after they had ended.

And in this chasm of hell

A special breed of mateship grew.

Second World War 1939 – 1945.  Robert John Jarrad, Page 47, Slouch Hat Soldiers Generations at War, an Echoes Downunder publication, 2014.

Robert John Jarrad speaks about his poety at the Tea Tree Gully Library.

Robert John Jarrad speaks about his poety at the Tea Tree Gully Library.

When local retired engineer, military gunner, artist, didgeridoo player and writer Robert John Jarrad launched his first book of poems Slouch Hat Soldiers – Generations at War at the Tea Tree Gully Library in March 2014, there was standing room only.

Accompanied by illustrations from by internationally acclaimed military artist Barry Spicer, Robert’s collection of poignant war poetry focuses on Australians who enlisted when their country called.  Robert based his poems mainly on the powerful stories and images told to him by his nineteen relatives – including his father and grandfathers – who had enlisted and served in World Wars I and II, and in the Vietnam War. As we hear in his poem Brothers in Arms, Robert’s poems give us an insight into the harsh realities of war, but he also describes the mateship between soldiers and how they used humour to cope with their dire situation.

Robert hopes reading his poems may help a new generation of Australians to understand what it was like to go to war and how those who served were prepared to give their lives for their homeland that they loved. Moreover, they came back forever changed by their experiences.

Since the launch of Slouch Hat Soldiers – Generations at War, Robert Jarrad has toured around Australia, speaking to community groups about his book. He has been invited to several Centenary of Anzac events. In 2015, Robert’s poems, selected from his book Slouch Hat Soldiers-Generations at War, were performed at the Australian War Memorial’s ‘Of Words and War’ Anzac Centenary poetry event.

Now Robert’s literary achievement has been honoured once again. Some of his poems will feature prominently in the upcoming Wish me luck – an Anzac Centenary photographic exhibition, which pays tribute to South Australia’s World War II veterans. The exhibition is showing from 9 July to 11 September, in the Flinders University City Gallery, located within the State Library of South Australia on North Terrace.

Vale Clifford Brice

‘Poster boy’ for the Wish Me Luck exhibition, Vale Clifford (Cliff) Bryce sits aside his portrait.

Curated by Sharon Cleary (Veterans SA) and Louise Bagger (AIPP), the Wish me luck Exhibition has grown out a special nationwide project, which began on Anzac Day 2015. The Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) photographed Australia’s surviving World War II veterans, many of whom are now in their late nineties.  In South Australia 1050 portraits were taken over a seven month period.

Veterans SA is partnering with AIPP, Flinders University Art Museum and Atkins Photo Lab to present 100 photographic portraits of those who served in the Navy, Army, Airforce and Medical Corps from SA during WWII. Entry is free.  The Flinders University City Gallery is open Tuesday to Friday from 11am – 4pm and Saturday and Sunday from 12 – 4pm.

A series of public talks will accompany the ‘Wish me luck’ exhibition.  Come and hear Robert reading from Slouch Hat Soldiers on Sunday 4 September at 2.00pm at the Flinders University City Gallery.   RSVP essential to 08 8207 7055. Copies of Slouch Hat Soldiers – Generations at War, will be available for sale.  Part proceeds of all book sales will benefit Legacy.

Bob Jarrad Wish Slouch Hat SoldiersYou can also borrow Slouch Hat Soldiers – Generations at War through the One Card Network. Search the online catalogue or enquire next time you visit the Library.

Discover more about Robert Jarrad and his acclaimed book Slouch Hat Soldiers.  You can also explore the 100 Years of Anzac website.  Read more about the Wish me luck exhibition and Robert’s poetry reading.

All about Roald Dahl and The BFG

Work experience student Verona is an avid reader and has always loved the stories of children’s writer, Roald Dahl. In this blog post, she shares her travel tale, when she and her son visited the Roald Dahl Museum in England.

Who has seen the new movie The BFG? I haven’t yet but it’s high up on my list of things to do. When my son was little (he’s 13 now so I’m not allowed to call him little anymore) he loved reading Roald Dahl’s books. He has read every one of his children’s books. We started off reading them together and then as he got older he read them by himself. It renewed my love for his stories. We even got to visit the Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre on a family trip to England.

The Story Centre is in a town called Great Missenden and it is where Roald Dahl lived for years and wrote many of his stories.

BFG

This is a picture of the outside of the Story Centre.

Roald Dahl

Inside the Story Centre there is a replica of the chair that Roald Dahl sat in to write all of his books.

It was here that my son got his copy of The BFG. The BFG, like many of Roald Dahl’s children’s stories is darkly comic and includes ‘gross topics’ that were often not written about. They include offbeat and imaginary characters. Roald Dahl often portrays the adults in his stories as cruel and the language he uses can border on inappropriate and this often appeals to children. You might then be wondering about the suitability of his books for your younger children. I would recommend starting with some of his lighter books such as The Enormous Crocodile or Fantastic Mr Fox and reading them together with your child but with anything, you as a parent have the best idea of what they will find amusing and what they will find too scary or dark to read.

With the movie The BFG in cinemas at the moment, now is a perfect time to explore not only the book of The BFG, but also some of his other stories. TTG Library has many of his stories and they are available in books, audio books and some DVDs. The library has an old animated movie of the BFG available on DVD to borrow.

Roald Dahl’s books are over 40-50 years old but they are still enormously popular today. The library has multiple copies of all his popular stories but you might need to place a reserve on the one that you want to borrow so that you don’t miss out.

Come into the library to have a look at not only the collection of Roald Dahl books but others that are similar in style.

We put an echidna onto our new library bags!

Our new library bags arrived earlier this year. There is a bit of story behind them and how Anstey, the library’s echidna mascot, came to feature on the design.

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When another order of bags arrived with the standard logo late last year, we decided they would be the last lot. After that, the library bag would be refreshed. We would embrace a new design!

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The old library bag.

It’s funny how something as simple as a bag can bring about so many opinions. Of the 40+ staff who work in the library, everyone had a different perspective on what colour, size, shape and design a library bag ought to be.

The majority agreed the new bags should be made from sustainable materials, to reflect council’s slogan ‘Naturally Better’. We ordered sample sizes, filled them with books and walked around the library with them to test bag shapes. Staff and 20 customers were shown the samples and asked what they thought. A compromise was soon met and the size issue was sorted. But how to go about creating a new design?

We wanted a new design that was eye-catching and captured the fun and dynamic nature of Tea Tree Gully Library. A take-home advertisement for the library. Unique, reusable, sustainable.

Something a bit hipster.

Last November, we were talking about the hipster generation and their impact on marketing  and society. Did you know there are now more than 25,000 baristas in Australia? Ten years ago there were 8000.

Douglas McWilliams, economist and founder of the London-based Centre for Economic and Business Research, says ‘Hipsters have identifiable spending patterns and homogenous tastes. But they don’t want others to copy them, so they keep up by changing their tastes, by moving on to the next thing.”

Hipsters traditionally reject popular, mass culture and spend their money on products that reflect their individuality. Acknowledging the hipster impact and the digital age means branding and new library bags are required to be just that much more sophisticated.

That’s where Bernard Salt came in.

Bernard Salt

Demographer Bernard Salt, who writes quite a lot about hipsters

Bernard Salt, who writes a weekly column for The Australian, had written an article that very week, announcing he had determined the ‘epicentre’ of hipster cliques in major Australian cities. As a way of measuring the hipster flow and its impact on a city and culture. In the article, he claims to have pinpointed the hipster centres of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

On impulse, we decided to google each of the centres. That’s how we came across the adorable logo of the cafe that marks Melbourne’s hipster centre zone: Bluebird Espresso.

 

bluebird logo

Image credit: Not a foodie blog

Cute, simple and memorable. We loved it and thought we’d try and create a similar design for our very own library bag. Instead of a bluebird – we decide to use the library’s mascot, Anstey the echidna.

 

 

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Anstey has been our long-time mascot, much loved by staff and customers. He features on the mural in the children’s area and on the postcard with the children’s programs. There’s even a stuffed toy version of Anstey. But these Anstey/s are very much designed to appeal to children – it’s adults who mostly purchase library bags.

We sought echidna-spiration from the web.

All lovely and pretty echidnas. We thought about going to a graphic designer to try and replicate one of them, but our Arts & Cultural Coordinator Kelly took the idea home and worked into the night to come up with a grungier, hipster Anstey.

She created the artwork using a rubber pad, ink set and scraper. The yellow colour block behind Anstey was used to make him pop on a black calico bag (as chosen by staff and customers when we walked around with samples).

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Anstey and some of the different designs

Transferring Kelly’s design from a rubber stamp sheet onto a piece of calico turned out to be easier than we thought. A graphic designer created a vector of the original illustration to send off to the printers, and voila. We had our very own Bluebird Espresso / Bernard Salt-inspired, grunge Echidna ‘hipster’ library bag.

Tea Tree Gully Library bag

The library bag on display – when it went travelling to Japan in April this year.

The bags are $3 each and can be purchased from the customer service desk within the library.

Thank you Bernard Salt and Bluebird Espresso.

You can read Mr Salt’s ‘hipster’ article, published in The Australian on 8 October 2015 here

A classic comes of age? Ladybird books for grown-ups

Ladybird books logoThe official Ladybird Classics site http://www.vintageladybird.com/ tells us that the printers Wills & Hepworth, from Loughborough in England, registered the Ladybird trade mark in 1915.  During the First World War, the company started publishing wholesome and healthy literature for children, in an attempt to sustain profits during the war years.

However, it was not until the early 1950s, under the guidance of Douglas Keen, that Ladybird Books established itself as a respected and well known children’s brand. Titles covered a vast range of subjects and interests, including British heritage, history, fairy tales, family stories, travel and pirates! The 1950s to the 1970s are often thought of as Ladybird’s ‘golden age’.

Ladybird books for children were affordable and designed to balance education with entertainment – and words with beautiful, detailed pictures. Distinguished commercial artists, rather than children’s book illustrators, created the artwork for each story, which made them unique. The illustrations in each book were full of light and colour and reflected the optimism of people in post-war Britain. Those books focusing on contemporary Britain depicted a utopian lifestyle, with happy nuclear families spending time together and a society full of new technology and modern conveniences

Now authors J.A. Hazeley and J.P. Morris have created a range of Ladybird books written specifically for adults. Full of tongue-in-cheek humour, Ladybird Books for Grown Ups are neither wholesome nor healthy!

The HangoverThey carry a similar premise to the original children’s books. “This delightful book is the latest in the series of Ladybird books that have been specially planned to help grown-ups with the world about them.” Clear, large script, which is easy for children who are learning to read, is ‘thoughtfully’ placed opposite original vintage illustrations, in the style of the classic editions.  These literary devices are designed so that grown-ups will think that they have taught themsleves to cope!

Much of the humour is achieved by the matter of fact, unemotional nature of the text and its placement alongside a sometimes contradictory, or exaggerated illustration. Quintessentially British and cleverly written, you can hear a voice in your head like somebody reading to children about issues relevant to adults, “What a confusing world it can seem with a hangover. Sit as still as you can. Do not attempt to make any decisions. Look out of the window. Can you recognise simple shapes or colours? Is there a moon or a sun in the sky? What sort of a name might you have? Where might there be bacon?” The Hangover, page 12.

402261-MumOne of my favourite excerpts comes from ‘How it works’ The Mum, page 42, “When she was single, Debbie had nightmares about being left alone and unwanted. For the last three years, someone has called for her every two minutes and watched her every time she has taken a bath or sat on the toilet. Debbie now dreams of being left alone and unwanted, even for just a few minutes”.

 

DatingDating is about everyone’s search to find a partner in life.  This little book will help you to smile and realise that you are not the only one experiencing bad dates, with totally unsuitable people.  Perhaps after reading it you to never look at romance in quite the same way!  On page 46 of Dating, a woman is being served at the counter of a 1950s post office,  “Judith is breaking up with Tony.  She knows a text message can be impersonal so she has come to her local Post Office.  The lady at the counter checks Judith’s envelope is sealed.  If any of the faeces leaks out, the Post Office is not obliged to carry it.  Judith sends her package by recorded delivery.  She can make sure it has reached Tony and know she is single again.”

The ShThe-Sheded explores men’s primal need to have their own space, or rather how use their beloved man cave to escape from family and responsibility, at any given opportunity.

 

 

The Mid Life CrisisThe Mid-Life Crisis makes us laugh by talking about the funny things we do in middle age to try and keep up with the times, relive our youth or just make ourselves feel better about growing older. The book starts with “When we are young, we all dream of doing something wonderful and exciting with our lives. What will we be? A cosmonaut? A detective? A tommy gunner? A groin surgeon? Anything is possible. And then, one day, it isn’t.” The facing page features old fashioned style illustrations of an American astronaut, a deep sea diver, army troops heading into battle and a medical team performing surgery. Where did all that time go?

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The Hipster uses ridiculous text to make fun of affluent, trendy bearded men and pretentious women.

Other titles which are available in the Ladybird books for grown ups series are Mindfulness, How it works’ : The Wife and  ‘How it works’ : The Husband.   You can borrow Ladybird books for grown ups through the One Card Network. Reserve them online or enquire at the Library.

The simple, but delicious scone

Who doesn’t enjoy a Devonshire tea, with warm scones fresh from the oven, topped with lashings of thick cream and jam?

The simple but delicious scone is loved around the world. In Patisserie : an encyclopedia of cakes, pastries, cookies, biscuits, chocolates, confectionery and desserts, celebrated pastry chef Aaron Maree writes that scones come in many flavours and varieties. In America, scones are known as biscuits or soda biscuits and they can be served with both savoury dishes and sweet toppings. The scone is a cousin of the Scottish bannock, a flat disk baked on a hot griddle plate, which is then marked into triangles.

“A good scone should be of uniform colour and size, lightly golden brown on the base and top, but with white sides. The interior should be light, soft and white.” He stresses that in order to ensure that your scones are soft and well risen, you must always rub the butter into the dry ingredients lightly. Never overwork the dough and do not knead it at all.”

Next door to the Library is our cherished cafe Bake and Brew, who bake delicious scones daily. And! We have secured the recipe from Sue the pastry chef.

Scones

Oh sweet scones, how graceful you sit. Your fluffy, subtly sweet texture melts in our mouths on these days we toil. We honour and give thanks to you, heavenly light beings.

 

Here it is:

World’s Best Scone Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of self-raising flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 50g butter
  • 500mL milk
  • 1 dessertspoon cream

Method:

Sift the flour into a large bowl and add the baking powder.

In a microwaveable jug add butter, milk and cream and microwave for three minutes on low.

Add this liquid mix to the bowl.

Mix gently and then turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently and pat like a baby’s bottom.

Use a scone cutter or glass to make round scone shapes and put them onto a greased oven tray. Ensure the scones are placed close together, as they give each other support as they cook.

Cook in a 180° oven for 15 minutes.

You can also borrow Patisserie : an encyclopedia of cakes, pastries, cookies, biscuits, chocolates, confectionery and desserts from the Tea Tree Gully Library.