By Margaret Chatfield
Pat Miller’s beautiful picture book titled, “Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution” (Albert Whitman & Company 2010), is a terrific book to share with your child to explain New Year’s resolutions. Squirrel is the main character. He is listening to the radio on Jan. 1 and the announcer says, “It’s January first, a great day to make a resolution.” It is the first time Squirrel has heard the word resolution.
Squirrel goes to visit his friend Bear at the Lonewood Library to find out what a resolution is. Bear wisely tells Squirrel that “a resolution is a promise you make to yourself to be better or to help others.” Bear states that he is going to teach Skunk to read. “As we begin a new year, we make a fresh start,” says Bear. As the two friends converse, Squirrel finds out that their friend Skunk is still sick. Squirrel goes to visit his friend Skunk and plays a peek-a-boo game to cheer him up. Skunk laughs and laughs and feels better. As Squirrel is heading home, he notices his friends Mole and Turtle struggling to find a place to plot out their garden. Planting a garden is their resolution. Squirrel climbs up a tall tree to spot the perfect place for a garden. It is easy for Squirrel to see the clearing way up high in the tree. His friends Mole and Turtle are very pleased with the location for their garden.
Squirrel heads to the diner for lunch and finds his friend Porcupine looking grumpy. Porcupine tells Squirrel he made a resolution to be less grumpy but cannot find anything to make him laugh. Squirrel begins to tell Porcupine joke after joke and they both have a good hearty laugh, nearly falling off their stools.
Afterwards, Squirrel is still troubled. So far, all his friends have made resolutions and he still does not have one. Squirrel woefully says “I’m the only animal in the forest who hasn’t made a New Year’s resolution.”
At the diner, Rabbit takes Squirrel’s order and offers this advice: “Think of a way to improve yourself. Or a way to use what you’re good at to help others.”
Eventually, all of Squirrel’s friends gather in the diner. Porcupine comes in laughing and telling jokes. Skunk arrives feeling better with Bear about to begin reading lessons. Turtle and Mole excitedly talk about their new garden plans.
Rabbit noticed all of this happy activity and said to Squirrel, “You’re doing a great job on your resolution.”
“I didn’t know I had one,” Squirrel replied. Rabbit explained, “Your actions are better than words. It looks like you resolved to help someone every day!” Squirrel proclaimed, “I did it! I made my very first resolution! I resolve to help someone every day!” How simple and effective is that!
The Middlefield Branch also continues to improve and help patrons every day. Telescopes are available for checkout through all Branches. The Foundation for Geauga Parks supplied the telescopes for our new Geauga Skywatchers Club that meets monthly at various GCPL locations. Meetings feature lectures and astronomy activities geared to a sixth through 12th grade audience, but the meetings are open to anyone with an interest in astronomy.
Also new this year at the Middlefield Branch are Steam kits for all ages. There are 22 kits throughout all GCPL Branches. You can check out an otamatone, a microscope, a ukulele, and much more. Stop by the reference desk to view a listing of all our Steam kits or visit our online catalog.
Finally, in 2019, GCPL library system acquired an adorable raccoon mascot named Rascal. Rascal makes appearances at many programs and events throughout the year. You can catch Rascal at the Administration Center, 12701 Ravenwood Dr., Chardon (44024) on Sunday Dec. 8 from 12:30 to 3 p.m. and Celebrate the Holiday with the Chardon Polka Band.
A couple other new year’s picture books to share with your child are “The Night Before New Year’s” by Natasha Wing, Shante Keys, “New Year’s Peas” by Gail Piernas-Davenport, and “Happy New Year, Spot!” by Eric Hill.
The Middlefield Branch, 16167 East High Street (44062) is open Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Call 440-632-1961.