Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Very Little Read

The Big Read is over, and although I don't have a final report yet all I needed to do to know that it was a success was look at how many copies of the Maltese Falcon were checked out. We started with over 100 copies of the book here at the Main Library, and for most of the month there were only about 6 copies available at any one time. We've never bought so many copies of one book before and it was gratifying to see them being used.

While the Big Read was in full swing on May 10, I was AWOL in Boston to attend the annual Make Way for Ducklings Mother's Day Parade. I grew up on the East Coast, and I always thought everyone my age was familiar with Robert McCloskey's lovely picture book about a family of ducks wending their way through the streets of Boston to get to the pond in Boston Garden. That turns out not to be true--but if you have a small person in your family, you won't regret reading the story to them. It was a Caldecott winner when it was published in 1942, and the illustrations are terrific.

The parade follows the route the ducklings and their mother took through Boston, and families from all over the area get decked out in their finest duck attire to march in the parade. I went with my grandson, who at not quite 4 months was one of the youngest participants, and the 1/2 hour walk on a warm, sunny Sunday seemed just right. Afterwards many families enjoyed picnics in the garden, but we headed home.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Falcon Has Landed

The Big Read has arrived in Snohomish County, and it looks as if the months of planning that went into this month-long celebration of Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon have paid off. We ordered over 200 copies of the book, and between book group sets and individual copies, most of them are now checked out. Check out our Big Read website for a complete list of programs and book discussions. It's exciting to see so much interest in a book that has been around for more than half a century. I don't think it's too early to say The Big Read looks like a success.