Enter Fred’s Collage Challenge!

Ever since I read Steve Jenkins’s The Animal Book, I’ve been having fun making my own collages, so much in fact that I want everyone to do it–I challenge you to make your own collage!

It’s amazing what you can make with some scraps of paper and glue, let alone with string, twigs, and bits of fabric. Basically, if you can find it around your house, you can use it in a collage!

Since I don’t get around much, bring your collage to the Framingham Library (49 Lexington Street) by September 29 for me to see it. We’ll display it for everyone to see in October and award superlative medals, too!

I can’t wait for the library to be full of your collages!

If you need some ideas to get going, here are some collage books that inspired mine. You can find them and others in the Framingham Library’s children’s room. Also check out my own collage, posted in the blog entry below.

By Lois Ehlert:

  • The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life
  • Rrralph
  • Lots of Spots
  • Boo to You!
  • Oodles of Animals

By Eric Carle:

  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar
  • Friends
  • The Rabbit and the Turtle: Aesop’s Fables

By Steve Jenkins:

  • The Animal Book (This is the book that started this whole project!)
  • My First Day

Dancing Feet! by Lindsey Craig, illustrated by Marc Brown

Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth; collages by Susan L. Roth

Look! Look! Look! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace with Linda K. Friedlaender ; illustrated by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace

Remember to bring your collage to the library when you’re done. I can’t wait to see what you make!



My First Collage!

Hi, everyone,

My Collage Challenge is now under way! Here’s the very first collage that I made. I used construction paper, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and stick-on jewels. Does this turtle remind you of anybody?


I hung my collage on the wall in the Framingham Library’s children’s room (the librarians helped a little), but now my collage is lonely. Please bring your own collages to the library to keep mine company! I can’t wait to see them!



Must-read Animal Book!

Since I’m a turtle, I may be biased, but I love to learn about animals! Right now, I’m having a ton of fun reading The Animal Book by Steve Jenkins. It’s a nonfiction book about all sorts of unusual creatures, and, as you can see from the cover, the pictures are amazing.

animal book

Steve Jenkins illustrates each animal as a brightly colored and marvelously detailed collage. You can learn so much just by looking at the pictures, and then there are all the facts! There’s a to-scale collage that compares the leatherback sea turtle and the spotted turtle. Until I saw the picture, I had no idea my leatherback cousin was so big! And who knew that the boxer crab uses toxic sea anemones like boxing gloves to fight off attackers? Animals do so many cool things, and Jenkins covers them all: how we hunt, hide, eat, grow, and change over time. And he features our most quirky friends. Be sure to ask for The Animal Book the next time you come to the library. I’m off to read about the assassin bug, and maybe make a collage of my own!


sun reading

As a turtle, there is nothing I like more in the summer than basking in the hot sun and working on my tan. Well, I should say there is nothing better than basking in the sun while reading a book! Summer is the best time to read. Because I love reading so much, I joined the Summer Reading Program at the library! Here is some more information about it from our homepage: http://www.framinghamlibrary.org/kidspage.htm.

fizz boom read

 It has been so much fun adding up how many hours I have read so far. I might be a slow walker, but I am a pretty fast reader. Since I’ve already read 5 hours, I received a T-Shirt! It looks great on me 🙂 And it makes me proud to be a reader! If you haven’t signed up for summer reading yet, there is still time. Come by the library to sign up and learn more about it!

Lockwood and Co. – The Screaming Staircase

You should read this book. Front Cover

You may think that as a turtle I don’t know a lot about great writing, but let me tell you, I know a good story when I read one and this is a great story.

It takes place in England where ghosts have become a problem with a capital ‘P.’ At least, the capitalize it in the book. Anyway, the Problem is that ghosts have pretty much overrun the whole country and it turns out that children are the only ones who have the sensitivities needed to hunt them. Kids like Lucy, the main character, become agents and work for companies that hunt ghosts and keep people safe. Lucy is part of Lockwood and Co., along with Lockwood himself, and George. Because Lockwood and Co. has no adult supervisors people are a bit skeptical of them and they get into some trouble when they accidentally burn down their client’s house while trying to handle a particularly nasty ghost. In order to repair their damaged reputation (plus make some badly needed money) they accept a job at the most haunted house in England. That’s when things get very interesting. This book has everything–mystery, great characters, spine-chilling spookiness, and suspense! You’ll love it!

Book Buddies are back!


I just love these pups! Sure, I’m a friend to all animals, but these are very special dogs. They’re special because they’re trained to be reading buddies for kids who want to improve their reading skills or just have a comforting friend to read their favorite stories to. 


This is Katie Bear. She’s just a nice as she looks. She’ll be here every other Sunday. Ask the librarians at the Children’s desk for details.


And this is Tessie. She’s here every other Saturday! She’s a very good listener!

There will be a Book Buddy here every weekend so give the Children’s Room a call to register for a time slot!

Keep reading!



I think that painting just moved.

Library 4.12.12-31

Seriously, look at it! It might be me, I’ve been staring at it for kind of a while. See, I was on one of my trips through the library (sometimes the librarians take me around to get a new perspective on things) and I swear the painting of Dr. Zabdiel “Zab” B. Adams at the main circulation desk winked at me. I mean, I suppose it’s possible that I was imagining things. After all, I did just finish the first book in the series The Books of Elsewhere called The Shadows, by Jacqueline West.

shadowsHave you read it? I just loved it!

I’m almost done with the second book in the series, Spellbound. Spellbound

It’s all about this 11 year-old girl named Olive who moves into a big, old, spooky house with her parents. Olive feels a little lonely and misunderstood because her parents are mathematicians and Olive is not very interested in math and numbers. She’s more of an artistic type…kind of like me. Anyway, Olive starts to notice that there are some really strange paintings in this new house of hers. Not only are they strange, but she thinks she sees things moving in them!

One day, a talking cat shows up in her room and that’s when she knows this is no ordinary house. But the story gets really interesting when Olive realizes that when she wears a pair of spectacles she finds in one of the bedrooms, she can actually enter the paintings! And there’s a whole other world in those paintings called Elsewhere. The trouble is that there’s something evil in the house–something that has trapped some of the inhabitants of Elsewhere in these paintings! In one painting Olive meets Morton, a little boy who she realizes used to be a real, live human boy, not just a painting. Olive decides she must solve the mystery of the strange family who owned the house before her, the McMartins, and set Morton free. Luckily, she has the help of the three cats who live in the house. They can all talk but they are also very secretive and Olive can’t decide if she can trust them or not. Anyway, it’s definitely going on my “Must Read” Book list!

Well, I better get back to watching that painting. Ooh! He definitely just twitched! I’ve got my eye on you, Dr. Zab.


Hey, you.


Yes, you. Listen.

The thing is…

I could really use a snack.

Do you happen to have any fresh lettuce? That would be great. A grape or two, perhaps? I think those pellets the librarians give me are over there…There! In that room behind the big desk! A couple of those would really be tasty. See if you can sneak one, would you?

The librarians here…they say I’m…well…overweight. But I say that’s nonsense! Sure, my shell is a little snug in places. But I’m quite certain that’s just due to my well-developed muscle tone! All of this yoga I do isn’t for nothing, you know!


Anyway, I’ve been on this diet for what feels like AGES now. What’s a hungry turtle to do? Thank goodness I have all these wonderful books here to distract me. Speaking of which, I’d love to tell you about one I’ve just finished! It’s called The One and Only Ivan and it was written by Katherine Applegate.

Let me tell you, that Ms. Applegate really knows her stuff. You see, it’s all about a gorilla called Ivan who lives in this terrible roadside mall and arcade with some other animals including his good friend Stella, the elephant. The trouble is, Ivan and his friends are not treated very well at this mall. People just stare at them all day long and they’re forced to do all sorts of tricks. Ivan distracts himself by painting. He’s a very good artist. Come to think of it, I once knew a gorilla who was an artist…a sculptor, actually, but sadly he grew obsessed with sculpting the perfect discarded banana peel and didn’t produce much work. Trouble was, he liked to use real banana peels for authenticity and he kept eating up his sculpture!

But I digress…

Everything changes for Ivan when a new baby elephant called Ruby arrives and Ivan’s best friend Stella asks him to please find a way to get her–and all of the animals–out of the zoo. That’s when Ivan uses his great artistic talent to find a way to escape and save Ruby.  It’s really a beautiful story about what you can accomplish when you put your mind to it. So inspiring! Now that I’ve read Ivan’s story I just know that with some effort and imagination these tummy rumblings of mine will be a thing of the past in no time! But the thing is, Ivan had a little help. A young girl called Julia who helps him get his message out. So, I’m on the lookout for my Julia. I mean, if Ivan can be a hero then surely I can get another turtle pellet or two!
So what do you say? Can you help a turtle out? Or if not, at least read The One and Only Ivan and come in to chat with me about it! I need to take my mind off those tasty pellets.

My Name is Winifred.

FredBut you can call me Fred.

Everyone calls me Fred, you see, even though I am a girl. People think I’m a boy although I just can’t imagine why. Just look at my undershell! Who’s ever seen a boy turtle with a convex undershell? Still, people do seem to forget and call me a boy all the time. I suppose it’s the name. It’s ok, though, I’ve gotten used to it. I’ve learned it’s best not to let these things bother me. You see, I am a very enlightened turtle.

Life here at the library is pretty sweet, I must say (well, it was sweet before the diet–but I’ll get to that later). I get to read all the books I can get my claws on.  I decided to start this blog to let people know about some of my favorite books and about what life here at the Framingham Public Library Children’s Room is like for an Asian Box Turtle. The truth is, I’m a bit of a celebrity. People come from all over to see me. They’ve even made T-shirts and stickers with my picture on them. Being famous is nice, but it can get a little stressful. Thankfully, I am a very calm and centered turtle. I have learned lots of yoga poses and meditation techniques to help me cope with all the hubbub and attention.

Anyway, I do hope you enjoy my blog! I’ll post soon but until then just remember what the letters in my name stand for–F.R.E.D–Framingham Reads Every Day!