Manga Reviews: Bunnies, Alice, and Vampire Boys

Graphic novels and manga are not just for teens or anime fans. There are so many great stories and wonderful artists out there for you to discover, so why not try something new! Below are three popular manga series that could appeal to just about anyone.

bunny

Bunny Drop is one of the most unique and unusual manga series I have ever encountered. It is a perfect choice for those wanting to give manga a try and haven’t read anything else or watching much anime before. It is in the slice-of-life genre, meaning that it portrays the real life of the characters, with no fantasy, science fiction, or supernatural content.

Bunny Drop is the story of Rin Kaga, that little girl pictured on the cover, as she grows up with her adopted guardian, Daikichii. Rin is the daughter of a manga artist/author mother who abandoned her to Daikichii’s grandfather, who is the father! Daikichii does his best to raise Rin, while Rin unknowlingly makes Daikichii into a better person in her own way. Bunny Drop is unbelievably sweet and addicting.

Get your copy from KCPL by going to the catalog here!

I personally am not a fan of the original Alice in Wonderland or Alice Through the Looking Glass or even the classic animated “Alice in Wonderland” movie. There is something unnerving about it. Despite that, I absolutely loved Alice in the Country of Hearts by QuinRose.

The main character is, of course, the one and only Alice Lidell. Alice is feisty, but she isn’t mean, and she stands up for herself and stands her ground when it comes to things she feels strongly about. The male characters are so varied and different, and their character designs are incredible detailed; they have so much depth as people. Readers will enjoy meeting and making friends with all of them! The plot is impeccable in its forward motion by using short yet captivating story arcs. The introduction of new characters is seamless and smooth. The author reveals secrets and mysteries slowly, but without too much teasing. It is all just so good.

So go out and read it. Start with Alice in the Country of Hearts omnibus volume 1, then move on to volume 2. Then move on to Alice in the Country of Clover. And then finally on to Alice in the Country of JokerThere are volumes for each of Alice’s possible suitors, so you’ll get to explore the possibilities of each story arc and relationship.

Blood Lad, Vol. 1

I just discovered Blood Lad, and I loved it so much that I bought the first volume for my personal collection. It is so original, yet so familiar to many manga and anime fans. There’s a demon world, a human ghost, vampires and werewolves, monstrous creatures, and damsels in distress. The protagonist, Staz, is so loveable yet absolutely weird. He’s a demon, and a mafia boss, but he loves human culture, especially Japanese stuff, and he collects it like a hoarder.

I really enjoyed the style of art that the author, Yuuki Kodama, has. There is a ton of detail, the characters’ expressions are awesome and full of feeling, and the character designs themselves are just very unique and appealing. Readers will love Staz’s crazy fashion sense, and wonder what strange outfit he’s going to toss his human ghost girl into next. Another great thing about the art are the color panels! There are several full color front and back pages in the front and middle of each volume. Each volume is simply enormous for a manga volume. It encompasses almost 3 normal sized manga volumes. There is so much content, so much story, so much cool art and quirky characters and awesome action and demon world shenanigans.

Right now there are 5 volumes of Blood Lad published in English. KCPL has the first 3 on order, and you can put them on hold by going to the catalog right here!

This week’s entry was written by Eden Rassette, the Young Adult Programmer at Erlanger. You can see what she’s up to and what she is reading by following her blog: The Cosplaying Librarian.

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New Parents

So, you’re ready for your new arrival!  The nursery is freshly painted, crib assembled, pictures hung, stuffed animals in place, baby clothes folded and put away…everything is ready for the wee one to make their place in your home.  You’ve attended childbirth classes, got your breathing down and are all set for the big day.  Your hospital bag is packed with all the essentials and by the door to make the dash to the hospital when it’s time.

expectAs a new parent the Kenton County Public Library has been an invaluable resource for my family.  I prepared for my son’s birth by reading as many Childbirth/Pregnancy books as possible. My favorites were the ever-popular What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and Pea In A Pod.

StartWe make his baby food and have found many great recipes in baby food cookbooks especially Start Fresh:  Your Child’s Jump Start to Lifelong Healthy Eating.

It’s never too early to start reading up on parenting techniques.

SD1400_20121024_07_smWhen we can find the time we enjoy taking him to baby storytime.  It’s a great way for babies and their parents to be social, build comaraderie and instill a love of reading.  Finding the time is the difficult piece but it is so worth it.  Building baby’s first library is easy using this booklist; these books are great selections to read to your little one.

The Kenton County Public Library has a selection of links for developing early literacy on our Pinterest page.   Baby book recommendations are there too!

Great Parenting Websites and Blogs to check out:

A Round of baby blogs featuring all sorts of parents and philosophies.  Family Friendly Cincinnati has great ideas about activities to share with children in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati. The family oriented restaurant reviews and park reviews are especially helpful.  This is the blog from 4C for children. Staff who are also parents share their adventures in parenting and their own early childhood expertise.  The Bump has pregnancy information, baby advice and parenting tips with forums.  Everyday Family is a community of parents with updates on baby’s development.  Mom 365 is a community of mothers with forums on a variety of baby topics.

Stroll into your local branch of the Kenton County Public Library and discover all the library has to offer you and your new baby.

-blog written by Erin DeSantis and Amy Schardein

City Directories: The Phone Book Before the Telephone

Want to buy a book in 1900? Head to Carrie Mendenhall or Mrs. Wm. Metzger!

Researching the history of your house and curious about the former occupants? Or possibly searching for an ancestor that lived and worked in Covington from 1880-1889? A city directory, think phone book before the telephone, is a wonderful resource for genealogy and local history research. The directories, beginning in 1834 for Covington, contain an alphabetical listing of local residents and businesses. Later directories include separate sections for business, advertisements, and streets. City directories are particularly useful for genealogists and other researchers because not only do they list the head of household and home address, but often the first name of the spouse, other members of the household, occupation, and place of employment. In many cases, the directories note when an individual has been widowed and the first name of the deceased spouse.

Want to know who lives in Jones Flats apartments? The Directory of Householders, otherwise known as the crisscross directory, is a great way to look up your neighbors.

Want to know who lives in Jones Flats apartments? The criss-cross directory was a great way to look up your neighbors.

A very useful section, which first appears in the 1931-1932 Covington City Directory, is the Directory of Householders or Street and Avenue Guide.  This is a reverse directory that lists the streets alphabetically along with the location, intersecting streets, and the address and name of each resident. This is an excellent resource when researching a building without knowing the name of the former resident or business.

Residents of Covington in 1886 had a wide variety of jobs. For instance, Jane B. Walter was a book sewer.

Residents of Covington in 1886 had a wide variety of jobs for instance Jane B. Walter was a book sewer.

The business directory, later titled the “Yellow Pages,” is another great tool for researchers. The entries are classified by type of business rather than name. For example, the 1900-1901 Covington City Directory includes businesses under such headings as Bee Supplies, Bicycles, Blacksmith Shops, and Boarding Shops. This section is quite helpful when one knows the type of business, but not the name, or wants to see the type and numbers of businesses in a given time and place. Did you know Erlanger had 2 plumbers and 3 restaurants in 1931?

Directories often have a City Guide section that provides detailed information on the community, local government, public officials, churches, newspapers, banks, parks, postal rates, and/or community organizations. This information can be used to create a portrait of the community where your ancestor lived.

Style, color, images, and slogans were more popular in the Business Advertisements section of the Covington 1961 City Directory.

The directories, in print and/or microfilm formats, can be found in the Local History and Genealogy Department. The collection currently holds directories for Covington, Newport, and vicinity for the years 1834, 1839-1840, and 1856-present. In addition, Cincinnati City Directories are available for 1902-1935 and 1956-present. Various directories are available on microfilm for the following Kentucky cities: Ashland, Bowling Green, Corbin, Danville, Frankfort, Hopkinsville, Lexington, Louisville, Maysville, and Paducah. Ancestry.com, available by visiting the Library, has digitized directories for many U.S. cities, including Covington, Newport, and Cincinnati.

Visit the Covington branch to see how the city directories can help you unlock clues about your family or house!

Written by Bill Stolz, Local History and Genealogy Department, Covington

Summer Travel: Far and Wide or Right at Home

Ebook beach

Whether you are planning a trip abroad, across country, locally or fantasizing about a dream vacation; the Kenton County Public Library has your ticket to information.

Begin your research with the library catalog. Browse your local branch library (Covington, Durr, and Erlanger) in the travel section beginning in the 900’s. Top travel guides are Fodor’s, Frommer’s, Rick Steves’, National Geographic Traveler, Insight Guides, Lonely Planet, and Let’s Go.

Take a look at the magazine section at the library or the magazine database, Zinio for travel magazines such as National Geographic Traveler and Sierra. Or visit the Culturegrams database to learn about the culture, language and much more about countries all over the world. Need to learn the language to get by while traveling? Look in the 400’s on the library shelves or visit Mango, the language database.

New travel websites to use: Trippy; Oyster; Hipmunk; Jetsetter; TripIt; Wanderfly; or Gogobot.

Watch foreign movies or travel documentaries to visually travel.

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Get a flavor of the place you’ll be visiting, check out ethnic cookbooks like these:

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Staying at home? The library offers numerous programs for you to enjoy. Interested in local events? Check out Cincinnati.com or CityBeat for up-to-date local happenings.

Here’s a list of recommended travel reads available at the Kenton County Public Library. Finally, don’t forget to stock up on great reads while vacationing this summer through our e-book sources.

Plan your whole trip with your Kenton County Public Library card and have a fun summer!

SD1400_20130608_26_sm  Blog written by Erin DeSantis, Young Adult Librarian

Read – Play – Win!

Read – Play – Win!

kenton reading art catrowThe Kenton County Public Library  Summer Reading Club for teens, adults and children is in full swing! A whole world of adventure awaits you in books and programs at the Erlanger, Durr and Covington branch libraries. The best part is: you can win prizes just for reading!

Children ages 2-10 can visit any Kenton County Public Library location to pick up a reading log. Once children read, or their parents read them, five books, they can pick up a prize. Once children reach 10 books read or listen to 10 books they earn the annual KCPL summer reading t-shirt. They can also enter a raffle to win more prizes, including the grand prize of a Nintendo 3DS XL. Children’s illustrator and author David Catrow designed the T-shirt art.

For teens in grades 6-12, the library has planned many great programs, like a Summer Lock-In and monthly movie nights. Teens can enter weekly raffle drawings for reading and attending programs as well. For each book , and program attended, teens can complete an entry to win a prize each week. Prizes include iPod touch; Kindle Fire HD, Amazon gift card, Visa gift card, Game Stop gift card, and restaurant gift cards. The grand prize is a Chromebook.

Adults will receive a raffle ticket for every book read or program attended as well. Weekly drawings for prizes include gift cards to local book stores, and a grand prize of a Nook HD.

pizza winner durrKenton County Public Library’s Summer Reading Club runs through August 31. Visit www.kentonlibrary.org/src for more information. Many prizes are made possible thanks to the Friends of the Kenton County Public Library. Snappy Tomato Pizza and Family Friendly Cincinnati are also sponsors of the Kenton County Public Library Summer Reading Club. Watch this cool video about Summer Reading Club.

Here are just a few of the awesome programs you can expect this summer:

Covington Branch – 502 Scott Blvd., Covington

Racing to Read 5K Walk & Run & Summer Reading Kickoff – Saturday, June 8 at 9 a.m. The Library 5K and Summer Reading Club will kickoff together. Proceeds benefit early childhood literacy. Cincinnati Circus balloon artists, face painters and jugglers will be there too!

Bollywood – Thursday, June 20 from 3-6 p.m. for those in grades 6-12 – Journey to India, watch a Bollywood film, create mehndi body art and enjoy Indian food.

Teen After Hours – July 19 from 7-9 p.m. for those in grades 6-12. Hang out after hours and check out the new Young Adult Area!

Craft it, Eat it – Wednesdays in June & July from 2-3. Create crafts you can eat! Children ages 5-12.

src book display

Fun with David Catrow! – All ages. Thursday, July 18 from 2-3 p.m. Meet, listen to, and watch him draw! Children’s author and illustrator and creator of this year’s Summer Reading Club art is looking forward to meeting you.

Dur Branch – 1992 Kenton Lands Road, Independence

Morse Code Jewelry – Monday, June 17 from 6-8 p.m. for those in grades 6-12. Make a necklace that doubles as a secret message. Bring a friend who has never been to the Durr Branch and you will both get a prize!

Christmas in July – Monday, July 29 from 6-8 p.m. for those in grades 6-12. White elephant gift exchange and Christmassy photo booth. All kinds of fun games, activities, crafts and snacks guaranteed to make you forget how hot it is. Craft supplies provided to make the gifts. You do not need to bring anything.

The Music of Zak Morgan – Saturday, June 22 at 11 a.m. for all ages. Grammy nominee Zak Morgan’s unique brand of children’s music delivers songs and poems with wit and charm that inspire and tickle the funny bones of children and adults.

Meet David Catrow! – Thursday, July 18 from 7-8 p.m. for children in K-5 and a parent. Meet, listen to and watch him draw! Children’s author and illustrator and creator of this year’s Summer Reading Club art is looking forward to meeting you.

Erlanger Branch – 401 Kenton Lands Road, Erlanger

Presentation with Author Nick James – Friday, June 7 at 6 p.m. and Saturday, June 8 at 5 p.m. Everyone is invited to join the author of the series “Skyship Academy” as he talks about becoming a writer, his created world of Skyship and answers your questions. Get your books signed, or win a free signed book.

Skyship Tag – Saturday, June 8 at 1 p.m. – Join the author of the “Skyship Academy” series Nick James as he hosts a unique game of capture the flag based on his books. This program is for those in grades 6-12. Registration is preferred, parental permission for this outdoor physical activity is required.

skyship tag

Circus Mojo! – Mondays, June 10 & July 15 at 6:30 p.m. The troupe from Circus Mojo will be here to present a short show and then guide participants in workshops to learn circus skills like juggling and balancing. The show on July 15th is a repeat of June 10. This is for those ages 7-17, and registration is required.

European Vacation Food Series – Tuesday, June 25, Wednesday, July 24 and Wednesday, August 14 at 7 p.m. Take a culinary trip through Europe this summer. Samples will be served. This program is for adults only.

Songwriting for Teens – Mondays, June 10, 17 & 24 and Mondays in July from 4-5 p.m. Join us for an eight-week songwriting workshop sponsored by the Carnegie. Find the perfect title, create lyrics and the structure of the song. This program is for those in grades 6-12. Please register.

Beginning Reader’s Theatre – Tuesday, June 11 at 2 p.m. for those ages 8-12. Learn the basics of Reader’s Theatre by participating in charades and acting out short plays. All props provided.

Meet David Catrow! – Thursday, July 18 at 10 a.m. for children in K-5 and a parent. Meet, listen to and watch him draw! Children’s author and illustrator and creator of this year’s Summer Reading Club art is looking forward to meeting you.

All locationspostcard-ebay

Send us a postcard from your vacation and we’ll display them in the Library.

These are just a few of the dozens of programs being offered at each branch this summer. Please visit our website for additional programs, details and to register (many require registration) or stop by the library and pick up a calendar. Don’t forget to pick up your book log or raffle tickets.

scheper kids SRCAnother great benefit of Summer Reading Club is it helps with the “summer slide.” Many children forget what they have learned over the summer, which then causes teachers to have to reteach during the first month of school. Some children fall so far behind that they can never catch up. Keeping children reading and their brains active helps prevent this. The Library can help with specific programs:

Puppy Tales – Read to a dog at the library! Reading to dogs is proven to improve reading skills. Grades 1-6

Covington Branch Library – Saturday, June 2 from 1-3 p.m.

Erlanger Branch Library – Sundays, June 16 & July 21 from 2-4 p.m.

Reading Buddies – Erlanger Branch Library – June 15 & 29 12-2 p.m. and July 13 & 27 12-2 p.m. – English and non-English readers are welcome to read with a buddy and improve their reading skills.

Storytimes – Storytimes are located at all three branches on various days and times. See the calendar or website for a full listing.

Teen Book Club – Beyond the Book is a book club offered at the Erlanger Branch just for teens. Visit the website for details.

These are just a few of the programs that keep kids reading and the creativity flowing.

Any questions or comments you have can be left here on the blog, or you can call your local branch to find out more! Just go to the KCPL website and look for the contact information on the left side of the page.

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Expanded Local History & Genealogy Dpt at Covington Library

The Local History and Genealogy Department has opened in its new space at the Covington location of the Kenton County Public Library. The department is now located on the top floor, and is staffed all hours when the library is open. The department’s collection includes Kentucky Biographies, Kentucky Fiction, Kentucky Non-Fiction, Kentucky Reference (containing numerous books on many Kentucky counties), city and business directories dating back to the 1830s, maps, and many more resources for doing genealogy and history research. Come enjoy the quiet workspace and dig deeper into your family history!

                   Department

Looking south in the Local History and Genealogy Department. The chairs and tabletops from the Carnegie library were refurbished and used in the new space.

Microfilm Machines

Beth uses one of the microfilm machines to look up newspaper articles.

Maps

Need a map? The department has city, county, regional and state maps of Kentucky.

Computer Area

If you’re interested in accessing online databases such as Ancestry.com, geNKY, or Faces and Places, we have eight new computers dedicated to this purpose. Staff members are readily available to assist you with using these resources.

Check out our video of the new department! Have you visited the new department yet? Let us know what you think!

Financial Responsibility with the Library

wall street journalWhile you get your body in shape for summer, get your finances feeling healthy, too! Visit the Kenton County Public Library for all sorts of resources to get financially fit. For new graduates, The Wall Street Journal Guide to Starting Your Financial Life by Karen Blumenthal provides clear, concise steps to set-up checking and savings accounts, manage your first car or college loan, establish an emergency fund, prudently pursue a good credit rating and launch a basic retirement plan. The book also makes an excellent graduation gift!  Newlyweds will find the Morningstar publication, Investing for the Long Run: Strategies and Solutions to Shape up Your Personal Finances available in both hard cover and as a PDF on the library’s web site, a great short guide to review together before launching into married life. Morningstar helps you think through the pros and cons of keeping accounts separate or combining them for joint ownership. The tome also provides fifty basic ways to save money and approach the many purchases needed to set-up a household wisely. Gift givers would also do well to check the library’s Consumer Reports online edition to uncover the best appliances to purchase for the future couple.

New households and young families are often overwhelmed by the onslaught of information thrown at them frodave ramseym life insurance agents, stock brokers, accountants, lawyers and financial planners. Who do you trust? A good first step is to educate yourself about the particular product or service you need to purchase. The library’s shelves and virtual e-book site are full of titles that can help you discern the best path to take. Some great volumes by popular financial gurus include The Road To Wealth: A Comprehensive Guide To Your Money by Suze  Orman,  The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey, Making the Most of Your Money Now by Jane Bryant Quinn and Money Rules: The Simple Path to Lifelong Security by Jean Chatsky. Read up on renting versus buying, leasing versus purchasing a car, saving money in your company’s 401-k plan or starting a Roth IRA or both, the best ways to save for college, buying whole or term life insurance, protecting yourself from identity theft and more. Feel a little less nervous and more in control of your own plans when you meet with a financial services professional.

Folks starting to take care of aging parents, paying for weddings or just getting closer to retirement have a myriad of money issues to plague a good night’s sleep. Specialized books on specific topics can help open your eyes to the many options available to you for help.  A Bittersweet Season: Caring for our Aging Parents and Ourselves by Jane Gross and Caring for Your Parents: The Complete Family Guide (AARP) by Hugh Delehanty & Elinor Ginzler are two  books that supply support and show ways to find the medical, community and government resources available for your parent’s individual situation. On a happier note, Bridal Bargains: Secrets to Throwing a Fantastic Wedding on a Realistic Budget  by Denise & Alan Fields, now in its 10th edition and The Knot’s Complete Guide to Weddings by Carley Roney will aid both frazzled brides and parents.  The Retirement Maze: What You Should Know Before & After Retirement by Rob Pascale gives the reader a blueprint to follow before taking the giant step of leaving the world of work behind permanently.

mcclendon_cover finalFor the serious investor with time to spare, the library and a cup of coffee can combine for a great morning of free research sources.  The library carries all the newspaper favorites including the Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily , Barron’s and the Cincinnati Business Courier in cherished hard copy form. Trusted database resources like Valueline and Morningstar are available online for free . Copies are ten cents each if you like to print out investment reports on potential stocks. Demographics Now is the library’s main “go-to” resource for those doing feasibility studies for starting your own business during the retirement years.  The savvy saver can also read the latest editions of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, MONEY, Bloomberg’s Business Week, Forbes, Fortune and Fast Company. Past month editions can be checked out for 28 days. If you get tired of paying for research you can print, visit the library to access it for free.

 

 

 

The Kenton County Public Library helps you make the most of your money. Some additional financial resources available from the FTC include:

This post was written by Natalie Ruppert, adult librarian at the Covington Branch.