Northern Lights

Last Tuesday evening I was walking my dog downtown New Liskeard over behind TDSS when I encountered something so remarkable that I still can’t stop thinking about it! 

As I left the house, I could see that there were many ice crystals in the air, and my deck was super sparkly.  The flash of ice and snow crystals is a big part of the joy I find with winter, but this was way more noticeable than usual.  As I walked past the street lights, I noticed that they had ice auras around them from the crystals, but nothing prepared me for what was coming next!  I could see faint shimmering lights and thought that this must be some kind of muted northern lights, but soon the lights became very bright and rainbow coloured and looked like forty or so spotlights beaming up pillars of light into the sky! I have spent many years in the north, and a lot of that time has been spent outdoors here in northern Ontario and in the Yukon.  I have seen northern lights so grand it almost made me weep, but I have never seen pillars of coloured light like I saw that Tuesday!  When I got back to my house, I looked up light pillars and discovered that this rare phenomenon is caused by the ice crystals in the air.  Light is directed upwards and then down in the light pillars I encountered.  You have to Google this, as it is such a rare and interesting thing to witness!

Now that the kids are back with online learning and stuck at home again, I went looking through the junior nonfiction section to find some interesting books about science and nature to engage our younger patrons.  The pandemic has placed a toll of fear and uncertainty on all of us, and maybe it will help a bit to think about the amazing things that surround us, even during COVID-19.

Here are some of the cool books I found:

Marvelous Medical Inventions

Marvelous Medical Inventions by Ryan Jocobson (J 610 JAC).  A fact filled book that explains where the common items we use today, like toothpaste and band aids came from.


Smithsonian Did You Know?

Simthsonian: Did You Know? Amazing Answers to the Questions you Ask (J 600 DOR) is filled with informative answers to questions we have all thought about!


Science Adventures: Shipwrecked

Science Adventures: Shipwrecked (J 613.69 SPI) is a book with science experiments that  explore what ,makes objects sink and float, like when you are shipwrecked!


10 Plants that Shook the World

10 Plants that Shook the World by Gillian Richardson (J 581.63 RIC) is so interesting.  It looks at the plants that give us chocolate, pepper, and a grass called papyrus that gave us paper, plus more fascinating plants and how we use them.


Fossils for Kids

Fossils for Kids: An Introduction to Paleontology by Dan Lynch (J 560 LYN).  I have always been fascinated by fossils, and really got into collecting them when I lived in Moosonee.  Much of the area here, as in Moosonee, was an ancient shallow sea and that is why we can find so many fossilized snails, corrals, and bryozoans around our lake shore and in old quarry’s.



The Kid Haven Science Library: Cells by Jeanne DuPrau (J 571.6 DUP) is an excellent introduction to cells and how they work to keep us alive.


Monsters of the Deep

Awesome Oceans: of Monsters of the Deep by Flowerpot Press (J 591.77 AWE) is sure to be a big hit for anyone who likes weird real stuff!


Minibeasts Under a Stone

Minibeasts Under a Stone by Sarah Ridley (J 592.175 RID) is a fun look at the insects who live right in your back yard.


A Whale on her own

A Whale on Her Own: The True Story of Wilma the Beluga Whale by Brain Skerry (J 599.5 SKE) is the real story of a whale who hung around a bay in Nova Scotia. 


Everything Birds of Prey

National Geographic Kids: Everything Birds of Prey by Blake Hoena (J 598.9 HOE) has amazing photographs of prey birds!  This is a great introduction to the amazing world of birds.


The Life Cycle of a Honeybee

The Life Cycle of a Honeybee by Bobbie Kalman (J 595.79 KAL) is a well organized book that really helps kids understand bees by using great pictures and well written text. 


I hope that by focusing on the amazing things that are going on around us, we can forget about COVID-19 for a bit! The library is full of interesting books for both kids and adults, and of course we also have a large French selection of both non-fiction and fiction books for everyone.