- May 26 & 27 - All libraries CLOSED for Memorial Day
From the poem The Beauty of a Horse (found on www.horseforum.com):
The thunder clap of hooves
The wind in their mane
The thrill of flight
And the birth of a spring ride
In some parts of San Jose you will still find homes with enough land to accommodate raising horses. They are rare now - most of us live in suburban areas and some in the urban downtown – but a few aficionados still make it work, keeping stables and corrals and raising these beautiful animals. If you love horses, whether it’s riding or betting on a race or just admiring their beauty, San Jose Public Library has loads of beautiful pictorial books on horses for you to enjoy.
Jennifer L. Holm is well-known for her Babymouse books, starting with Babymouse: Queen of the World (AR 0.5, Level 2.2). Ms. Holm takes a more serious tone in the Newbery Honor Book, Turtle in Paradise (AR 4.0, Level 3.7). Babymouse readers who are moving up to upper-elementary school reading will be pleasantly surprised by the likeable Turtle character.
Like the protagonist in The Absolute Value of Mike (AR 8.0, Level 3.9) by Kathryn Erskine, Turtle has a parent who is in an arrested stage of development. Like Mike, Turtle is sent off to a far away place while the parent is busy with work. In 1935 Florida, Turtle finds a different culture and bonds with her cousins, who run the Diaper Gang. Turtle finds a treasure map and seeks a way to get her family out of financial trouble. Does she succeed? Why has her mom's boyfriends shown up in Florida? Read it and find out!
Pugs in a Bug by Carolyn Crimi first caught my eye because of the beautiful purples on the cover and the humorous-looking dogs sitting in the Volkswagon. Sure enough, the wonderful illustrations are a delight to behold. When reading the jacket, I was surprised that the artist, Stephanie Buscema, has worked for Marvel and DC comics! As I mentioned before, I really like to see artists stretch beyond their comfortable niches!
As a big proponent of developing reading readiness skills, I was pleasantly surprised to see the phonetic structure and narrative of the book. Young children will enjoy the rhymes along with the funny dogs. I especially enjoyed the way the pastel colors blend from page to page. Add the concept of counting, and you have a great book for toddlers!
Young children will throughly enjoy the story of six dogs as they are each picked up for a pleasant drive. Unexpectedly, they come upon a dog parade and join in for fun and games. Pick this title up for your fun-loving toddler!
Pandora Gets Jealous by Carolyn Hennesy is the beginning of a fun series for tweens and teens that love books based on Greek mythology. It will even appeal to Percy Jackson fans! Our heroine is Pandora Artheneus Andromaeche Helena (or Pandy, for short). She is the thirteen year old daughter of Prometheus (who is famous for stealing fire from Zeus and giving it to mortals). Pandy brings a mysterious box to school that Zeus had given her Father. Pandy accidentally unleashes seven kinds of misery into the world. Zeus gives her six months to collect all the evils. The trouble and adventures Pandy gets into with her friends, Alcie and Iole, keeps the action moving and the tone, fun.
Ted the lovable bear is back in a new adventure called Artist Ted written by Andrea Beaty. In this new book Ted wakes up one morning and decides that everything around him is boring and needs some spiffing up. Ted proceeds to try and find an artist but when he can't he decides , of course, that he will be the artist - and the adventures begin! First, Ted discovers he doesn't have a brush or paints. What's a bear to do? No problem for Ted; a curtain tie makes a great brush and everyday household items like ketchup, mustard, jam,chocolate syrup and even toothpaste can make wonderful paints. Ted is "inspired" by white walls and a nice "white shirt" to the horror of his mother, principal Bigham and especially the new student in class Pierre. All ends well as it always does when Ted is on the job. Read Ted's other adventures in Doctor Ted and Firefighter Ted.
In the third century, a legendary giant, Finn McCool, walked the Irish countryside, helping farmers and villagers. He was a great warrior and had a kind heart, but he lacked one thing: wisdom. The villagers overlooked this fault, but Finn had a desire to better himself and learn the secret of wisdom. He took two giant steps to the next village, where a secretive old man lived who would reveal the secret of wisdom to the right person. The old man somehow knew Finn was on his way, and told him to catch the red salmon in the River Boyne. Finn's quest is just beginning in Finn McCool and the Great Fish. The reading level is 2nd or 3rd grade; best for reading aloud.
The Landry News (AR 4.0, Level 6.0) is an older title by the school-related author, Andrew Clements. However, it's theme is so timely because of the unobjective news reporting practiced by many cable "news" networks. Please also note the wonderful illustrations by the Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck author, Brian Selznick!
Cara, whose parents have divorced, first used her newspaper, The Landry News as a way to inappropriately express the truth, no matter who was hurt. Now she is at a new school. She disapproves of the lacksadaical way that her fifth grade teacher, Mr. Larson, runs his classroom. She prints her dissatisfaction in her newspaper. How will Mr. Larson react when he sees it?
The Constitution's First Amendment is explored in this novel. Should truth be tempered by mercy? How does truth and mercy fit in The Landry News? Will Mr. Larson ever change? Find out and check out this wonderful book!
The story of two young artists gives the reader a glimpse into the world of illustrating children’s books. The humor and whimsy will leave you smiling.
Some kids enjoy scary stories before bedtime... but what do ghost kids consider to be a scary story? Find out in the hilarious new picture book by David LaRochelle, The Haunted Hamburger. There are actually three separate stories in the book which father ghost tells to his wide awake ghost kids in an effort to get them to go to sleep.
The first tale, the Scary Baby, is all about ghostly Uncle Ned who flies about town trying to scare various people without any luck whatsoever. When he finally ends up in the bedroom of the scary baby, the baby’s crying is so awful that he decides to hide in an open drawer - big mistake - as (spoiler alert!) the baby’s mother comes in and mistakes Uncle Ned for a diaper! While this is truly a horrifying thought for the ghost children listening to the tale, human kids will definitely get a kick out of the illustration of poor Uncle Ned turned into a baby’s diaper.
Then there is the title story in which boastful cousin Nell somehow gets defeated by a hamburger in a race, solving math problems, and even in a scary face making contest. The full page illustration of the hamburger’s winning scary face: two green pickle eyes, scary yellow mustard mouth, and ketchup red cheeks is sure to get a laugh from non-ghost kids.
Lastly the tale of the Big Bad Granny... most frightening of all to the ghost children - where ghost Grandma comes up the stairs with a “Thump Thump Thump” to kiss ghost children all over the face with her red lipstick if they don’t go to sleep!
This year on March 12, 2012 the Girls Scouts of America will celebrate their 100th birthday. When I learned this, I was a bit surprised. Girls Scouts is so ingrained in my consciousness I was sure they were older than that. I was a Girl Scout when I was young. My cousin Donna was the troop leader, so I guess I figured it was in my blood. I vacillated between hiding from things that were too scary for wimpy me and reaching my dreams of learning new things.
I have to admit that some of the things we did at summer day camp were pretty boring and tedious. How many sit-upons and lumpy bead necklaces does one girl need? But they also took me beyond my expectations: making a campfire, cooking on it, camping outside, hiking in the woods, exploring careers, getting along with all kinds of people, making do with what you have. My strong, wild, creative cousin showed me that a girl can be whatever and whoever she wants to be. So thank you GSA (and Donna!) for helping me to become the strong, not so wild, creative, happy and successful woman I am today. You can do it, too!