Vestmannaeyjar, Ísland ~ August 15, 2002
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The Nights of the Pufflings
Island Library

The Vestmannaeyjar Library.
The bottom floor houses the library and,
the top floor houses the folk museum.

Welcome to the library.

It could be a library in Maine
but you're far to the north in Vestmannaeyjar.
This is a professional library in a thriving fishing village.
Twenty percent of Iceland's fish exports are caught here.

These books look familiar. And who reads them at story hour?

Jenný Guðmundsdóttir, Children's Librarian
email her at

She took some photos of her husband puffin hunting.
Culturally it's very similar to deer hunting in Maine.
They use a long pole with a net and decoys.
You can see Jenný's photos here.
Their home page is here.

Meanwhile, look at six-year-old Halla in the book.

Hey, it's sixteen-year-old Halla working at the grocery store.

and say, "Gjörðu svo vel," one more time.
Who is her next customer?

Bruce and Halla.

In the center of town I run into two others from
my book, Nights of the Pufflings, Arnar and M
Is he ever proud of his four-wheel truck.
They're standing in front of their father's
grocery store, Vörval.

Later that night Halla is home having a snack
with her boyfriend, Valdi. She's eating hard fish.
It's really good. A fish like haddock is washed in
salt water and simply dried. You peel the fish off
the skin and eat. It's a great protein chew.

While Halla is enjoying the company of her boyfriend...

Pufflings are landing outside.

A new generation is rescuing the young birds.
It's midnight and Rut from Reykjavík has got one.

Yes, the kids are out and about with the pufflings.
I wish you could've heard Halla's father, Óli and I,
laughing at ourselves, grown men, out watching for
pufflings in the middle of the night.
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