Oct. 5, 2008 Library Books

The following books are available at Portales Public Library:

What You Never Knew About Beds, Bedrooms, & Pajamas by Patricia Lauber. Illustrated by John Manders.

When lying on your pillow-top mattress on your queen-size bed, do you ever wonder how beds came to be? What did people sleep on before their invention? And what about bedrooms? What were they like before the invention of walk-in closets?

In this amusing book, Lauber takes us on a romp through the history of Western civilization, using the unique lens of sleeping arrangements, from cave floors to the invention of the box spring. Manders’ cartoon-like illustrations complement the light nature of the book with comical historical figures. Parents and children both will learn amazing facts about this fundamental aspect of our lives.

Margaret Chase Smith: A Woman for President by Lynn Plourde. Illustrated by David McPhail.

In this election year, where the outcome will bring us either the first black president or the first female vice president, Plourde and McPhail remind us of another political first. In 1964, Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman to run for president on a major-party ticket.

Chase, a Republican, began her political career finishing out her husband’s term in the House of Representatives. She stayed in Congress a total of 32 years, serving with dedication and diligence — once going 13 years without missing a vote. A timeline runs across the bottom of each page, charting the significant events in Chase’s long life, and an extensive author’s note adds detail to Chase’s story for interested readers.

The book concludes with a resource list that includes Internet, print, multimedia, and places to visit to continue learning about this political pioneer for women.

Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American Revolution by Laurie Halse Anderson. Illustrated by Matt Faulkner.

Anderson and Faulkner introduce readers to the other half, that is, the women who played an active role in America’s independence.

The story is told in both general terms of how women participated as well as specific examples of more than 40 women, such as Sybil Ludington, who once rode 40 miles on a rainy night to deliver the message of a British attack and round up militia men, or Mary Katherine Goddard who ran a newspaper and who printed the first edition of the Declaration of Independence that listed all 52 signers.

Faulkner’s pen, ink and watercolor illustrations bring to life these amazing women. Impressive endnotes continue the story with more tales, as well as clearing up some false information.