Fall Foliage with Studio MPL Jr.

Maggie uses crepe paper to put all the colors of autumn into a single leaf.

Maggie uses crepe paper to put all the colors of autumn into a single leaf.

Studio MPL Jr., our club for artists in kindergarten through second grade, celebrated the colors of the season at their last meeting.

They used crepe paper to make it look like a single leaf had all the shades of autumn.

Then they added artistic flourishes to their frames, drawing pastel swirls of wind around their leaves.

Addison uses pastels to add swirls of wind to her frame.

Addison uses pastels to add swirls of wind to her frame.

Studio MPL Jr. is our newest art club. It’s for children in kindergarten through second grade. (If your child is in third through sixth grade, they can join our original Studio MPL.)

Every month, the kids in our art clubs take on a new art project. They’ve sketched live modelscreated imaginary friendsmade sun catcherspainted sunsetsweavedtried out pointillism and even garnered inspiration from Jackson Pollock.

Our next Studio MPL Jr. meeting is 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15, at our Main Branch. Meanwhile, Studio MPL will meet the following Monday on Dec. 19. We’re making Christmas ornaments!

Both clubs are free to join. However, we do ask that you register beforehand. You can sign up online or by calling (440) 255-8811 ext. 221.

Elizabeth constructs her frame with two pages of construction paper.

Elizabeth constructs her frame with two pages of construction paper.

Visit our Facebook page for more Studio MPL Jr. photos.

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Research before you buy with Consumer Reports

Check bias-free reviews from Consumer Report before you do your holiday shopping.

Check bias-free reviews from Consumer Report before you do your holiday shopping.

Whether you’re shopping for Christmas gifts, a computer, or car, you can get free and unbiased reviews of competing products from our Consumer Reports database.

Read rankings and recommendations on hundreds of types of products: mattresses, car seats for your baby, store credit cards, tablets, TVs, and more. (It also ranks bacon, weirdly enough.)

You can even read other shoppers’ reviews to see if they jibe with Consumer Reports’ assessments.

Consumer Reports doesn’t accept advertising or have shareholders. They also test all products in house. Because of this, they are a trusted source and buying guide.

Get professional insight when you’re shopping this holiday season with Consumer Reports, and get them for free with your library card.

By the way, Consumer Reports is just one of dozens of databases you can use for free with your library card. You can search your family history, get help with your job search or picking your next book.

 

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Get your magazines for free with Zinio

Get free digital issues of your favorite magazines whenever an wherever you want with Zinio.

Get free digital issues of your favorite magazines whenever and wherever you want with Zinio.

Whether you like watching birds or your weight, economics or ESPN, yoga or video games—there’s a magazine for that.

And you can probably download issues of that magazine for free using Zinio and your Mentor Public Library card.

You can download electronic versions of issues from National Geographic, Reader’s Digest, Cosmopolitan, Newsweek, Diabetic Living, Men’s Health and more than 70 other magazines.

You can read them on your computer, smartphone, or tablet and keep the issue as long as you want. And (not to put to fine a point on it) for free.

So check out all the magazines that are available on Zinio. Then download that issue you perused in the checkout line but decided not to buy.

It’s all yours.

And to make this as easy on you as possible, we’ve already put together a video explaining how to sign up for and navigate Zinio.

By the way, Zinio is only one of the awesome digital services you get for free with your Mentor Public Library card.

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Jingle Bell Rock with the Travelin’ Man Band

The Travelin' Man Band is playing a free concert on Dec. 14 at the Headlands Community Center.

The Travelin’ Man Band is playing a free concert on Dec. 14 at the Headlands Community Center.

Get in the holiday spirit with a free show by The Travelin’ Man Band.

They’ll be playing Christmas tunes at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at the Headlands Community Center—which is at 9096 Lake Overlook Drive, across the street from our Headlands Branch.

The concert is free and open to everyone. However, we do ask that you register in advance. You can sign up on our website or by calling our Headlands Branch at (440) 257-2000.

By the way, we are hosting a sleigh—sorry, we mean a slew—of special programs to celebrate the season at all of our branches. That includes:

All of these programs are free, though some of them require registration beforehand. You can sign up on our online event calendar or by calling the library.

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Season’s Readings: Christmas Books for Teens & Adults

Make the season warmer with a good book.

Make the season warmer with a good book.

We already gave you 21 Christmas books for kids. How about another batch of seasonal reads for teens and adults?

1. Christmas Stories by Truman Capote, Leo Tolstoy, Vladimir Nabokov and more

For the erudite Christmas enthusiast—this phenomenal collection includes Christmas stories from more than a dozen of literature’s greatest lights, including Alice Munro, Charles Dickens, Willa Cather and O. Henry. (You can probably guess which O. Henry story is included.)

2. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris

If you haven’t read any Sedaris, then “SantaLand Diaries”—the story of a 33-year-old man working as an elf at SantaLand—is a great point of entry.

3. The Worst Noel: Hellish Holiday Tales

The perfect collection for people who hate Christmas. Writers tell the story of their worst Christmases.

4. A Different Kind of Christmas by Alex Haley

Haley’s best known as the author of Roots and the ghostwriter of Malcolm X’s autobiography. That sort of resume doesn’t immediately make one think of Christmas. However, A Different Kind of Christmas is true to both the season and Haley. It tells the story of a young man who’s trying to help one of his father’s slaves escape on Christmas Eve.

5. The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap by Donna Kauffman and more

Three sweet stories with baking, romance, and Christmas in common. Light and delicious, just like the titular cook.

6. You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs

Burroughs was on his sixth memoir by the time he wrote You Better Not Cry. That’s even more than Winston Churchill. You would think Burroughs would be out of material by now, but his Christmas-tinged recollections range from sweet to sad and never miss their mark.

7. Decked With Holly by Marni Bates

This YA book about a girl pretending to be fauxmantically involved with a mega-popular rock star is over the top in all the right ways. Teens who liked Bates’ Awkward will get a kick out of Holly too.

8. When the Snow Falls by Fern Michaels & more

It’s a hard-baked holiday. Michaels and other authors tell Christmas noir stories with PIs that are twisted as a candy cane (but not as sweet.)

9. He Sees You When You’re Sleeping by Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark

A posthumous man tries to earn his way into heaven by helping a 7-year-old moppet whose family has run afoul of the mob.

10. I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus by S.G. Browne

The hysterical Breathers gets a holiday sequel. The failed leader of a zombie civil-rights movement—you might have to read Breathers for context—tries to help his fellow undead and a lonely Breather girl while dressed as Santa Claus.

11. A Christmas Blizzard by Garrison Keillor

A wealthy and depressed urbanite is stranded in North Dakota—on his way to Hawaii, no less—because of a blizzard. A small town and the holiday teach him some life lessons.

12. Politically Correct Holiday Stories: For an Enlightened Yuletide Season by James Finn Garner

The master of cultural sensitivity James Finn Garner explains why snow forts are too militaristic, snow angels are offensive to the agnostic, and that Santa is nothing more than an exploiter of elves. (Don’t worry. He’s kidding.)

13. Rudolph! by Mark Teppo

Rudolph opens with Santa hacking the Vatican and gets weirder and wackier from there. The North Pole Coalition—led by Santa and a hairless, irradiated reindeer named Rudolph—decide to storm the afterlife, so they can give one little girl an honest-to-goodness Christmas miracle.

14. The Gift by Nora Roberts

This book compiles two Roberts’ holiday romances, All I Want for Christmas and Home for Christmas.

15. An Irish Country Christmas by Patrick Taylor

The third book in the Irish Country series with Dr. Barry Laverty. Like its counterparts, Christmas is long on charm and atmosphere.

16. Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

Even if you don’t know Macomber by name, you probably still know her stories. She’s responsible for the stories behind several Hallmark films. So if you enjoy Hallmark films, you’ll love Macomber’s books.

17. Santa & Pete by Christopher Moore & Pamela Johnson

Did you know that Santa used to have an African accomplice named Pete? You know about the elves and Rudolph; but, somehow, Santa’s most important helper has disappeared in the annals of time. (If you liked Moore’s story about Jesus’ forgotten friend Biff, then you’ll get a kick out of this too.)

18. The Christmas Wish by Richard Siddoway

A big-city professional is forced to reassess his childhood when he returns to his hometown for Christmas and hears of his grandpa’s mystery woman, Lillian. He’s tasked with both finding “Lillian” and saving the family’s real-estate business.

19. A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer

Massachusetts in the off season is chilly for Nicole Somerset, who can’t seem to thaw her new step-daughter Kennedy’s heart.

20. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

You know this one: stingy lender, hobbled child, three ghosts, humbug. Even if you’ve seen a half-dozen movie versions of this story, you should still read the book. It has some of Dickens’ finest writing.

21. The Bible

Not to proselytize, but it is the first Christmas book.

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