Monday, December 14, 2020


This week's take home craft is a hanging holiday elf to decorate your refrigerator or a bedroom door! Inside the kit are shapes for a head, tunic, arms and legs, a hat and other elf elements, including some extra paper and cotton for your creative kid. The directions are included, a guide to how your child might put the pieces together, but this week, there is no picture model for kids to follow. For your reference only, here's the pieces and how they could be used. 

Here's a sample of the directions in the kit:
The small yellow U-shaped pieces could be pockets on the elf’s shirt or tunic! Do you want one, or two, or zero pockets? Maybe you could add some buttons for his shirt and some toys or Christmas items sticking out from his pockets (if he has them!). There’s some extra white paper in your kit if you want to draw things and cut them out - or you could just draw with crayons or markers right on his shirt.

We have a dozen kits available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call or email and we'll get your kits to you through curbside pickup.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

A Pirate Christmas

I love this book. The illustrations are so detailed and clever. If you get a chance, borrow it and read it to your kids up close. Very sorry about the orientation of the camera...try to view it at full screen. 

If some child knows the answer to the question I pose about halfway through the story, could you post it in the comments, please? πŸ˜‰Thanks.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Christmas Tree Craft

For this week's take-home craft, we’re making a simple two-sided Christmas tree decoration. There are three steps to this craft - covering a cardboard triangle with foil, collaging over the foil with tissue paper, and finally bedazzling the tree with jewels and sequins. Your child will need glue, scissors, crayons, and some patience (or help!) turning a gold disc into a tree topper. Directions and all the materials are included in this week's take-home craft kit. Give us a call or email to let us know how many kits you'd like to pick up curbside. Quantities are limited! That said, we have a couple of Advent calendar chain kits left from last week - and we even have a leftover moose kit if you'd like to make a Christmoose! 🀣

Let us know too if you'd like some holiday books - we have lots!

Monday, November 30, 2020

December Holidays!

Does your family celebrate a big holiday in December?  There are lots of special days!  Hanukkah starts December 10th, Las Posadas begins December 16th, Christmas is December 25th, and Kwanza starts December 26. The Yule, or the Winter Solstice (the longest night of the year!) is December 21st. And there are more! This week’s craft will help your child see the number of days left until your family's BIG DAY!

Kids connect lots of colorful or sparkly loops, with one for every day of December leading up to your holiday. Each day, they remove the bottom loop. When the loops are gone, it's time to celebrate!

Contact the library for your kit(s), available to pick up from the Curbside Bin. December starts tomorrow!! 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Read Aloud: The Ugly Pumpkin

 I just love this book. Every year when I read it, I laugh all over again. It's pretty short - I hope you and your children like it, too. Post a comment, and let me know your family's reaction.

Thanksgiving Dinner

Even though Thanksgiving this year will not be our traditional celebration, I'm trying to find ways to make it a memorable one for my family. This week's craft is a way for your child to take part in the planning and preparation of your special day by making place cards for each person at your table. Craft bags this week contain cut-out white cardstock oak leaf shapes, tiny paper leaves, stickers, and stick-on gems. All your child needs is crayons, markers, or paints, a glue stick, and imagination! Give the library a call or email us so we'll know how many leaves you need in your child's craft bag. We'll gather them up, get back in touch with you, and we'll leave the kits for you at our Curbside location.  We also have several craft bags left from last week if kids in your house would like to make a turkey!

Maybe your child would like to help with food preparation. Here are a few websites with easy recipes for kids - there are lots more online!

Two Ingredient Cream Biscuits:

Apple Pie Bites (I'm going to make these myself!)

Pumpkin Spice Chex Mix

Calls for a bag of Candy Corn or Harvest Mix but I bet you don’t need it. 


My favorite thing to make with kids is butter! Heavy cream in a jar, shaken vigorously for several minutes. Just past the whipped cream(!) stage, the cream will separate into a lump of butter and a bit of buttermilk. Take out the lump, mix in a little salt, and put it in a small bowl on your table. Believe me, your child will be so proud when that butter is passed for rolls, potatoes, etc. If you need a recipe, there's one here:

Want a read-aloud story with a recipe to follow? We have several in the Children's Room! 

Pancakes pancakes by Eric Carle, with a recipe for pancakes. 

Cranberry Thanksgiving by Harry Devlin and Wende Devlin featuring "Grandmother's Famous Cranberry Bread" 

Amelia Bedelia’s first apple pie has a recipe for apple pie. 

Bear and chicken - make "Bear’s vegetable soup"

The Mitten, with a recipe for Grandma’s delicious hot cocoa.

The gingerbread man, with a recipe for gingerbread cookies!

Pumpkin Soup!: with a recipe for that! 

Soup Day: make delicious "Snowy day vegetable soup" 

And we have two books with pie recipes...

How to make a cherry pie and see the USA

How to make an apple pie and see the world

This year, I am thankful that our community is supporting the library and each other. I'm thankful that kids have resources and adults who are committed to helping them grow and learn in and outside of school. I'm thankful that there is hope for a time when we can all be together again as we were before.

Have a safe and a memorable holiday with your family.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Time for Turkey!

There's a new craft kit for kids this week, available for Curbside Pickup now. Here's the start of it - all these pieces are in the kit along with long paper strips to attach to the back for feathers. Kids need crayons, scissors, a glue stick, and some imagination to make this turkey for display at your house! We also have some Thanksgiving books - search our catalog HERE or tell us your child's age and we can pick a few for you. Just call us or email and we'll save a kit for you. I also have a few moose kits left if you'd rather have a moose for Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Make a Moose!

I had so much fun reading our new children's book, Jefferson Measures a Moose by Mara Rockliff, that I wanted a craft to go with it. And here it is: a moose puppet in a take-home bag with all pieces and directions included. Aren't those unbleached coffee filter antlers funny? 

Let us know if you'd like to request a kit or two for your children and maybe a moose book to go with it - here's what we have:
Moose Tracks by Karma Wilson
If you Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff
This is a Moose by Richard Morris
This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers
Z is for Moose by Kathy Bingham
Jefferson Measures a Moose by Mara Rockliff

Email or call us 677-3740 and we'll deliver a kit and books to you curbside!

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Whooo??? YOU!

It's another take-home craft kit for kids - this week, a paper bag owl! Materials, including the paper bag, are included in the ziploc bag kit. All your child needs is crayons, scissors, a glue stick, and imagination! Let us know if you'd like an owl book or two to go along with the craft. Both are available for Curbside Pick-up, as are all kids' books in our online catalog - just call us at 603-677-3740 or email to Supplies are limited!

Monday, November 2, 2020

I'm a Winner! πŸ†

ook!! I won some books for the Gordon-Nash in a raffle from the NH State Library! These are picture books all based on stories and events of famous lives. 

In Ben of All Trades, a young Benjamin Franklin tries to find a job that he likes. Hard Work But It's Worth It is about the life and accomplishments of President Jimmy Carter. In Box, slave Henry Brown mails himself to freedom! Rescuing the Declaration of Independence tells the story of one man's determination to save important historical documents from a British invasion of Washington!

But my favorite one is Jefferson Measures a Moose by Mara Rockliff. It's about Thomas Jefferson, who loved books and numbers and math! A nature expert in France wrote a book about America and said some bad things - like birds couldn't sing, dogs didn't know how to bark, and people were weak and not very smart.  Jefferson wanted the world to think favorably about our brand-new country, and he used numbers to do that. He measured and weighed and used numbers to set the record straight! He got a moose from New Hampshire and wait til you see what he did with it! Wow!

The more I read about Thomas Jefferson, the more fascinated with his life I become! If you want to borrow this book (or any of the others listed here - or any of the others that we have!), call us (677-3740) or email ( and we will check it out to you and get it to you curbside. 

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Curbside Service is for Kids, Too!

We've been doing Curbside Service at the Gordon-Nash for a few weeks now and patrons have been checking out books and other library materials. I've had a few requests for children's books and am always so excited to fill them! The new children's areas are just about organized so it's easy for any of us to find books that are requested. And kids can borrow books, too!

So - Halloween's coming later this week! How about a nice spooky book? Here are just a few popular titles - and an opportunity for a take-home craft for kids! 

Bone dog by Eric Rohmann 
Although devastated when his pet dog dies, a young boy goes trick-or-treating and receives a timely visit from an old friend during a scary encounter with graveyard skeletons.

Click, clack, boo! : a tricky treat by Doreen Cronin
Farmer Brown does not like Halloween, but the animals hold a Halloween party in his barn.

Creepy pair of underwear! by Aaron Reynolds
A young rabbit is frightened by his underwear...!

The fierce yellow pumpkin by Margaret Wise Brown 
A little pumpkin dreams of the day when he will be a big, fierce, yellow pumpkin who frightens away the field mice as the scarecrow does.

Halloween Motel by Sean Diviny
When a family mistakenly checks into the wrong motel for Halloween, they do not realize just how scary the other guests are.

Halloween hustle by Charlotte Gunnufson
Skeleton is dancing his way to a Halloween party, but as he grooves across town, he keeps stumbling, tumbling, and falling apart.

John Pig's Halloween by Jan Waldron
Too scared to go trick-or-treating, John Pig stays home on Halloween and has an unplanned party with some unexpected, monstrous guests.

Pete the cat: Five Little Pumpkins by James Dean
Pete the Cat takes on the classic favorite children's song "Five Little Pumpkins" in New York Times bestselling author James Dean's Pete the Cat: Five Little Pumpkins. Join Pete as he rocks out to this cool adaptation of the classic Halloween song!

Ladybug Girl and the dress-up dilemma by David Soman
"It is Halloween and Lulu doesn't know if she should dress as Ladybug Girl or find a different costume for the special day."

The legend of Spookley the square pumpkin by Joe Troiano
Spookley is ridiculed for his odd shape until his uniqueness saves the day.

The too-scary story by Bethanie Deeney Murguia
At bedtime, their father tells Grace and Walter a scary story about two children in a dark forest.

Room on the broom by Julia Donaldson
A witch finds room on her broom for all the animals that ask for a ride, and they repay her kindness by rescuing her from a dragon.

Mercy Watson : princess in disguise by Kate DiCamillo
Persuaded by the word "treating" to dress up as a princess for Halloween, Mercy the pig's trick-or-treat outing has some very unexpected results

Pumpkin Hill by Elizabeth Spurr
The townspeople must decide what to do with thousands of pumpkins that roll down a hill and into their midst just before Halloween.

I've made up a limited number of Halloween craft bags, with materials and instructions for making a simple Pumpkin Person to hang at your house. Kids just need crayons, scissors, and glue - all other materials are provided. If you'd like a take-home craft bag, just let us know how many when you request your books. 

To request library materials, call the library (603-677-3740) or email ( We'll fill your requests, get back to you to confirm, and then deliver them to the large bin by the downstairs back door so you can pick them up. If you want to learn how to use the library's online catalog to search for and request books, there's a short video on the library's website that shows how that's done ( Pretty easy! Hope we hear from you soon!

Monday, August 10, 2020

Read-Aloud: No Dinner! The Story of the Old Woman and the Pumpkin

 Here's our last Storytime for the summer, based on a folktale from India. 

Week 5 Finishes, Our Last Week Begins

Although Week 5 is in the books, all of the previous week's activities are still available online through these blog posts, and any can be done at any time during August. These spinners were our craft from Week 5 and are great toys that kids can easily make themselves. Nice job to this young patron and his family!

Here's the link ( to activities for our final week, which will look a little different. I've put a Fairy Tale Escape Room activity in place of a Bingo sheet. There's a scavenger hunt to look for objects in familiar stories. The STEM activities have all been introduced during the other weeks and the new challenge, if accepted, is to make an engineering suggestion, plan, or creation for another fairy or folk tale. As a writing activity, I'd love to get emails with feedback from kids and families as to what worked and didn't work for them this summer. As always, your family may do as much or as little as you like, and kids can also go back to other weeks to complete items they may have missed. Remember, the focus is as it's always been - to read and to have fun.

Please be sure to get photos of activities or completed sheets or records to me within the next few weeks. Around the time that school begins, I'd like to distribute small prizes to those children who participated this summer. Thank you so much to families who have made use of these activities. As much fun as it's been to plan this unorthodox Summer Program, I am so hopeful that our 2021 program will be a more recognizable as the programs from other years. 

I leave you with one of my favorite photos - kids reading at night by headlamp. Hoping you and your family have a wonderful last few weeks of summertime. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Monday, August 3, 2020

Wow! It's Already Week 5!

What a great week we had with activities last week! Many photos are already on the Gordon-Nash Facebook page, and I'll be adding them here a little later on this morning. But, in the meantime, here's the link to the activities for Week 5 - and, if you have some more, keep the photos coming from previous weeks.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Read-Aloud: The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

During Week 4 of our Summer Program, there have been lots of at-home activities involving the story of The Three Little Pigs - the engineering video, the LEGO challenge, the puppet show...  I knew I wanted this week's read-aloud to be a retelling of that same story, but from a different perspective or with different details. After a lot of thought (and a lot of reading!), I finally decided on this version, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, a book which has been around for about thirty years. The author's name is Jon Scieszka, he used to be a second grade teacher, and he's written lots of other books since this one. The story is also very different, but look for similarities. 

I've been having issues recording this and am getting a little frustrated and worried that I won't get a read-aloud posted in time. So, who better to read the book than the author himself? He does a much better job than I do, and I hope you like the story and the illustrations! Leave me a comment below if you want!

Monday, July 27, 2020

Week 4! Here's some more!

Here we are in the last week of July and staring the fourth week of our most unusual Summer Reading Program. If you're just now finding this, jump in this week or on any of the previous weeks and start having fun! 
It's great to hear that kids are reading and taking advantage of various ways to get books! Don't forget - if there's a favorite that you're looking for or a book you're anxious to read, let us know and we'll try to make that happen!

Before we get on to Week 4 activities, here's a quick look at some photos from Week 3. It looks like there was lots of fun with bridge-building activities! Some to help the Billy Goats get past the Troll...

and some to support cans of food!
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Beautiful painted rocks from this week's Bingo sheet.
A water picture for our Photo Challenge:

And an original poem about summer:
Hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, s'mores
Lots of meals to eat outdoors
Unless it pours. 

Here's the link to our Week 4 activities: This week, there will be opportunities to be better engineers than the those three pigs were! There will be another puppet musical to watch and our Storytime read-aloud will be a different version of the Wolf and Three Pigs story. Be sure to check out the two Bedtime Math posts - one features fascinating physics and the other one is really funny! Cool down yourself and your family with crafty fans. And our writing challenge is to create a song! If you do, send it to me - and I'll sing it for you!

Keep sending in photos for this blog and our Gordon-Nash Library Facebook page. 
Keep reading and having fun!
Keep cool!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Week 3 is Here - With a Song!

hope everyone had fun with our Week 2 activities. I sure had fun reading Kate and the Beanstalk!
Here's this week's menu of activities for Week 3 of our Summer Program. This week, you'll help goats get over a bridge, you'll listen carefully to background sounds, you'll build a weight bearing structure, maybe you'll get a little wet, and you'll hear a funny story about another Jack, this one who brings a special gift to the princess's birthday party! There are lots of other activities, too! Also, there are still some engineering kits left - click here to sign up if you want some! 

Someone asked if there was a deadline in getting activities and challenges in - and the answer is no! Take as much or as little time as you like with these suggested activities. The goal for this summer is to read, of course, but it's also to have fun.

Do check in though, with photos and videos of activities that you wouldn't mind sharing with me. Kids also like to see what friends are doing, so let me know if I can share online, too! Here are a few projects from this week! 

Engineering Jack's parachute!
When your materials don't work the way you had expected, 
it's good thinking to change your design - and materials! Engineers do that!
A LEGO Castle!
Note the banner flying from the top!
Check out this beautiful Family Coat of Arms! Wow!
Finally, do you remember last year musician Steve Blunt and author Marty Kelley came to the Gordon-Nash and did a program for us? We couldn't ask Steve Blunt back this year like we wanted to, but he gave me one of his songs to share with you. It's all about stories - and he does sign language! Sing along with Steve!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Read-Aloud: Kate & the Beanstalk

Here's this week's read-aloud. I'm not sure why, but it doesn't start at the beginning. If you drag the playhead marker back to the left and the beginning of the video, it will play right.

In the meantime, I'll keep searching for a way to fix it.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Week One: Fun! Week Two - NEW!

There sure has been a great response to Week One activities - it sounds like kids are having a good time being outside, creating, and investigating. Here are two of the Gnome Homes created by clever builders!

Image may contain: plant and outdoor      Image may contain: outdoor

I heard that two of my favorite patrons were trying to completely fill their Week One Bingo cards! What a great idea!! I hope they succeed! Here's their progress so far!

And here's are a few cairns by one of our young readers! Such craftsmanship! Such balance!! 

It's The Gingerbread Man's boat! It floats!!

And finally, here are two wonderful young friends who took the challenge to memorize nursery rhymes as suggested on the Week One Bingo card. Great job to both of you!!

If you're getting a late start or want to revisit some of the past activities or videos, the link to Week One activities and downloads here.

Here's the link for the activities for Week 2: Included this week is a link to a wonderful puppet musical that I loved! A library in California has generously made this available to other interested libraries, but only until the end of the week at which time the link will be deactivated. So watch soon! There's also a STEM challenge that features the same fairy tale as the play. There's a Build a Castle LEGO Challenge and a chance to design your own family crest to hang in your home-castle! There's a new photo challenge, a new scavenger hunt, a new Bingo Card, and a new Thursday Storytime, coming in a few days.

Do you have friends who need Summer Reading Program materials and an Engineering Kit? I have some left! Just let me know! Click here to fill out the form to make it happen!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

2020 Summer Program: "Imagine Your Story"

It's been quite a year so far for all of us. In January, when I ordered materials and began planning for this summer's reading program, I never dreamed we'd be where we are today.

In trying these months to repeatedly adjust my plan for a summer program for kids, I was really hopeful that I wouldn't have to involve any online or virtual programming. But with the way things are, that's exactly what will be happening. 

This summer, I will offer children weekly at-home activities in the name of the Gordon-Nash. Some will involve reading, some will be craft-related, and there are a few interesting STEM activities as well. There are photography and LEGO challenges, fun Bedtime Math games and activities, and a virtual Storytime. To start the activities for Week One, click here:

I hope there is enough here to allow you and your child to make choices about how your family will participate. As your child completes activities, let us know. You can save your papers to turn in at the library at a later date, or you can show them if you check out books at the New Hampton Community School's Curbside Library on Tuesday mornings. You can also take photos of activity sheets, craft creations, models built, and experiments performed and email them to me (email address below) or post them to a weekly post on the Gordon-Nash Library Facebook page. When the program is finished, small prizes will be awarded to all who have actively participated.

One of the STEM challenges this summer involves videos and craft material from the Children's Museum of NH in Dover. They have supplied us with videos of their engineering challenges and with the materials kits they would have used had they presented in person at the library. I have kits for 50 children. If you would like kits for your child or children, just let me know by filling out and submitting this quick form at

I hope you will find creative ways to keep books in the hands of your children. The New Hampton Community School is generously offering their students Tuesday morning curbside pickup of books selected from their online catalog at Share personal books with friends. Borrow from other libraries. Download to Kindles. If there is a book that someone is really anxious to read, let me know - and maybe we can make that happen. Lastly,  I hope that you continue to read to and with your children this summer and make literacy a family affair.

Please reach out with questions and concerns. My email is below. If you leave me a voice mail at the Gordon-Nash (677-3479), I'll get your message and call you back.

I hope to see you soon at the library. Take good care.

Chris Hunewell (

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

For Independent Learning: Kourtney LaFavre's If Sun Could Speak

Kourtney LaFavre was a much-loved first grade teacher at the New Hampton Community School for many years. She still lives locally with her husband and four kids, and is now a writer. This year, she came back to the New Hampton Community School with her soon to be published book, If Sun Could Speak, and she read her story to students. Mrs. LaFavre helped kids understand the placement of the Sun and planets in the Solar System by acting as planets themselves. She answered questions about her work. She presented the audience with a quick writing challenge and worked with students individually to get them started on their own writing.

If Sun Could Speak has since been published and is now available through links on Kourtney's website at In the "Book Activities" section of this website is a recording of Kourtney reading her book. She has also posted activities for kids to have fun and to experiment with the power of the Sun. Additionally, there's a link to her Pinterest board for more ways to have fun with the sun.

A great way to learn - with a wonderful website, a fascinating STEM story, and lots of exciting and fun activities to do during these warm Spring and Summer months. Check it out!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

For Independent Learning: The Library of Congress

If you're missing the library (like I am!), check out this website of a fabulous library that belongs to all of us: our National Library, The Library of Congress in Washington DC!

There are lots and lots of fun things for kids and families to investigate at their website, like classic books to read, activities and information from DogMan author Dav Pilkey, a braille activity sheet, stories and read-alouds from the Imagination Library and so much more!

Check it all out at The Library of Congress website at!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

For Independent Learning: The Little A Theatre

Quite by accident, I found this small theater group in London who does puppetry for children. Much of their work is based on children's stories and picture books that we all love. I first noticed that most of the set design and puppetry looks like it was made from found objects - cardboard, markers, sticks. Then I saw a sign at the end of the show that said it was all made by the artist "entirely from stuff I found in my flat during lockdown!" I thought "Kids could do that!" and I wondered if watching this group perform that might inspire some of you to create your own puppets and shows. What do you think?

After you watch their version of I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, check out other performances by Little A Theater on their YouTube Channel. They're so much fun to watch, and very creative. I bet you could do something like this! And if you do, leave me a comment so I'll know!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

For Independent Learning: The New Hampton Nature Trail

Today was a beautiful Spring Wednesday, and I took my first walk of the year on our New Hampton Nature Trail. I walked the trails, I did some of the exercise stations, I sat and read my book, and I took lots of photos. What a great place to relax, rejuvenate, and learn!

All along the trail, there are woodland flowers and plants, many with tiny signs giving the name of the plant.
There are little streams and even a vernal pool, with lots to notice! Can you find the eggs?

Look at this long tree trunk! Do you suppose creatures live here?
What sort of bird made this nest in the grasses?
A beautiful walking trail - right in our own community! 
Don't forget the importance of social distancing! But get out!
The New Hampton Nature Trail website has maps and lots more information! Here's the link!

And here's a not-so-great video. Next time, I'll remember to turn my phone!

Monday, April 20, 2020

For Independent Learning!

Need some inspiration for Independent Learning Day/Week? Check out these links - I'll add more as I find them!

The Exploratorium.
"Ongoing exploration of science, art, and human perception." Online experiences and activities for kids and adults. It's one of my favorite spots on the internet! Be sure to check out "Tinker Around Your House!" And I'm going to see if I can make some cranky contraptions!

The Museum of Science at Home.
From the Boston Museum of Science. Live presentations, engineering projects, podcasts, kid-friendly activities, and STEM!

Boston Children's Museum
Daily activities emailed to your house - as well as an archive of previous activities. Lots to choose from here!!

Squam Lakes Association
"Share, Learn, Adventure". Videos, photos, activities, games, and prompts to help you explore and learn about a variety of nature topics.