Winners of the 2011 Essay Contest sponsored by the Costa Mesa Library Foundation were announced at an awards dinner on Oct. 20 at the Captain's Table, Orange Coast College.
With the theme "My Favorite Book," first place in the fifth- and sixth-grade category went to Arielle Esparza from Victoria Elementary School. She won $100 for her essay on "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland." Runner-up Victoria Madrid, of Paularino Elementary School, won $50 for her essay on "Romeo and Juliet."
In the seventh- and eighth-grade category, the winner was Kinani Asuega of Costa Mesa Middle School with her essay on "The Giving Tree." She won $100. Runner-up Jocelyn Vidal, from TeWinkle Middle School, won $50 for her essay on "Charlotte's Web."
Also present at the awards dinner were students from Rose Anne King's OCC architectural class, who displayed colorful posters inspired by the winning essays.
This was the second annual essay contest sponsored by the Costa Mesa Library Foundation, whose mission is to expand existing library services and build a new state-of-the-art central library in the city.
*Goblins, Hares and Bears
The themes in children's books quite often are taken from folk tales and fairy tales. They get told over and over again, varying a little with the author's interpretation.
Lesley Conger's "Tops and Bottoms," published in 1970, is one of these. The delightful illustrations by Imero Gobboto help tell the story of how the farmer kept tricking the horrible goblin.
The goblin wanted half of the crop so if he asked for tops, the farmer planted something that grew under the ground, and if he asked for bottoms, the farmer planted something that the top half was harvested. Eventually the goblin got so mad he disappeared and never came back.
My son was small when the book came out, and it was his favorite book. We ended up repeatedly checking this same book out of the library. It was read to him at least twice each night at bedtime. I don't remember what broke the chain, but he really liked that book.
Recently I was remembering that time, and looked up "Tops and Bottoms." Much to my surprise, I found that someone else had used the same title in 1995, and this book, by Janet Stevens, also uses the "tops and bottoms" of vegetables.
In this case, the slothful bear now owns the land. The hare wants to get his land back. The hare plants vegetables on share, with the bear choosing tops or bottoms.
I haven't read this book, but it has been chosen as a Caldecott Honor Book, and has gotten good reviews. Both books are suggested for children aged 4 to 8.
At Donald Dungan
Movie Night for Adults at the Costa Mesa Donald Dungan Library will be at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 15 with the showing of "Planes, Trains & Automobiles."
And, remember, you have until Nov. 21 to enter the Recipe Raffle for a chance to win a $20 gift certificate to Mimi's. Enter the raffle by writing your favorite recipe or a description of your favorite cookbook. Winning recipes may be published in the library's newsletter.
Special Thanksgiving Story times will be held at 2 p.m. Nov. 15, at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 16 and at 11 a.m. Nov. 21.
There will be crafts, toys and play-kitchen time. Bilingual Story time is scheduled for 2 p.m. Nov. 17. The library is at 1855 Park Ave., Costa Mesa. For more information, call (949) 646-8845.
At Mesa Verde
A special class, "ETSY — eBay for the Creative" is the first of two Saturday morning classes for turning craft skills into income, or finding unique holiday gifts.
The first class will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Mesa Verde Library, 2969 Mesa Verde Drive East, Costa Mesa. The second class will be Jan. 14.
Also, attend "Drawing Manga" and learn to draw Manga with artist Larissa Marantz. All ages are welcome. The class will be at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 15.
Call (714) 546-5274 for more information.
MARY ELLEN GODDARD produced this column on behalf of the Friends of Costa Mesa Libraries, the Costa Mesa Library Foundation and the three Costa Mesa Libraries in the Orange County Public Libraries.