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Easy Reading Books for Adults at the Library

Book Cover Blind Boone PAR Book CollectionDid you know that there are easy to read books for adults at the San José Public Library? You can go to the Pearl Avenue, Santa Teresa, Evergreen, and Edenvale branch libraries to find many interesting books. Some of them are about music, including an African American ragtime musician named Blind Boone who is pictured here. Imagine what it was like to travel around the U. S. after the Civil War. This book is one example of many. There are also books about sports, hobbies, including car collecting, history, and many other subjects. Take a look and check one out. Ask library staff to help you find interesting books. While you are there, think about becoming a Partners in Reading volunteer tutor or work on your reading and writing skills. You can call (408) 808-2361 to find out more about these books or about the program.

Parenting: Picture Books for Childhood Issues

Don't you wish you had books to address some bothersome childhood issues?  Well, here are some that I found that work well with my child.


If you have any other suggestions, send a reply, and I will add your suggestion to this blog.


Just Like Bossy Bear cover The I'm Not Scared Book cover What Do You Say? cover Martha Doesn't Say Sorry cover I'm the Best cover

Newest Additions to the Children's Literature Canon

Think you’ve read everything by Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle and Shel Silverstein?  Think again.  These enduring authors have generated new books posthumous for you to share with your families.


Bippolo Seed Book Cover

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories by Dr. Seuss is a compilation of short stories found by a collector in old Red Book Magazines.





Book Cover

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle shows an animal on every page in a surprising color, based on Carle’s inspiration by the artist Franz Marc.





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Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein is a collection of poems selected by his family that will make you laugh out loud.

Is Adopting a Shelter Dog for You?

Cover of Saved! A Guide to Success With Your Shelter DogLately, animal shelters throughout the Bay Area are advertising specials about dog adoption and the reduction or elimination of fees. Last December we rescued a dog who has subsequently adopted us. Here’s our story.


It had been 27 years since I last had a dog and I had him for 17 years. Now we have a yard and a neighborhood full of kids who love dogs. But how to get one? My first dog was one of the last of a litter of pups that a pet shop owner was trying to give away. But this time I knew I wanted a different kind of rescue dog – a little fellow who needed to feel special and taken care of and would be happy to see me when I got home. It took two trips to the shelter to find a little guy and get approved.


Biscuit joined our household on Dec 27, 2010 so it’s just over eight months that we’ve been a family. They say that a sleeping dog is a happy dog. If this is true, he must be the happiest little guy on the block because he is always sleeping! He was scrawny when we got him, but now he has filled out, and is looking healthy. He adds a lot of laughter and personality to our home, but I do wish I knew some things and thought more before I just jumped in. I thought that patience and care would be enough. I was wrong. I'm slowly learning how to reduce his separation anxiety and over-protectiveness of my husband. For us, this adoption was very well worth the learning-as-I-go. Maybe in a few years we'll be better "parents" for a second adoption!


Here are some resources to help you – and your children - make your pet adoption decision.

Skip to My Lou: A Little Ditty for Kiddies

CD cover of Putumayo Kids presents African PlaygroundThe library has many groovy music CD’s for children. Introducing music to children can help them learn about rhyme, math, the alphabet, rhythm, dance, and encourage them to develop a sense of self. Through music kids will learn about animals, fruits, vegetables, body parts & movement, nursery rhymes and many cultures.


Here are some of the most remarkable music CD's I have found for children: Putumayo for Kids Collection (music from cultures all over the world), Smithsonian Folkways children's music collection (some oldies but goodies), The Laurie Berkner Band (all original songs about rocket ships, dinosaurs, and more). Just get silly, dance, sing songs, and have fun!


Browse our complete collection


here are some companion books!

Where in the World Is... ? An Online Atlas for SJPL Users

Freckled faced rural girl in front of map of the world in classroom (circa 1960's)Have you ever found yourself looking for a simple map of a country on the internet only to be bombarded by images that were just too complicated or maps that don’t have the basic information you need?


I’m guessing that you already know that being a SJPL card holder has great benefits. One of them you might not know about is access to World Book Encyclopedia for Students and its online atlas. The maps are straightforward and easy to search and many of the larger country and state maps include population density, temperature, precipitation and economic and political data as well. I travel to India every year and sometimes I simply want to know where one of India's 28 states is located or some basic information about just how rainy it will be during monsoon.  It's simple and it works.


So the next time you’re curious about places like IrelandTasmania or Mozambique and you don’t have time to plow through Wikipedia or an image search -- just head to World Book Student with your library card number and PIN and explore the world!

Getting Ready for School? Check Us Out!

Are you getting your child ready for school? Or are you wondering what this school year will bring? Or are you already worried about the afterschool struggle with homework? Well, there's help for you! We have a collection especially geared for the needs of children and parents and school. The collection includes test prep guides, workbooks for math and English, and books on how to help your child succeed at school. The collection is called the Educational Resource Center.


Two series titles that introduce what content each grade is likely to cover are:

Book cover of What Your First Grader Needs to KnowBook cover of Everything Your 1st Grader Needs to Know

Making the Grade: Everything Your 1st Grader Needs to Know

and What Your First Grader Needs to Know.



In the collection, we also have some very popular workbooks on various subjects by the publisher Spectrum. Some examples are the Math and Test workbooks:

Book cover of Spectrum Math Grade 4

Spectrum Math Grade 4

and Spectrum California Test Practice Grade 4


We also have the Scholastic Explains Homework Series which is excellent to use in helping your child with particular subjects. There is the Scholastic Explains Writing Homework and the Scholastic Explains Reading Homework which explains English homework so well.


For general guides on helping your child with homework, there are:Book cover of 20-minute Learning ConnectionBook cover of How to Help Your Child with Homework


How to Help Your Child with Homework by Jeanne Schumm

and 20-minute Learning Connection by Douglas B. Reeves.


The last series that I would like to recommend to help children with reading is called Comprehension and Critical Thinking, a compendium of articles from Time for Kids. There are six titles in the series for grades 1-6.

Book cover of Comprehension and Critical Thinking Grade 6 Book cover of Comprehension and Critical Thinking Grade 5 Book cover of Comprehension and Critical Thinking Grade 4Book cover of Comprehension and Critical Thinking Grade 3Book cover of Comprehension and Critical Thinking Grade 2 Book cover of Comprehension and Critical Thinking Grade 1

Teaching Young Children About Friendship and Tolerance

Book cover of Cat and Mouse in the SnowOnce again, world news has focused on a terrorist act, this time in Norway. The alleged shooter believes that his country should not tolerate anyone who comes to live there from mid-east countries. How do parents respond to such news?


One way is to be sure to teach young children about friendship and tolerance. Materials that can be checked out from the San José Public Library can aid in illustrating this lesson. I would like to highlight three books that can be used for this important task.


Margaret and Margarita, Margarita y Margaret is a picture book by Lynn Reiser that is in both English and Spanish. It is about two children that meet at a park. Although they do not speak each other's language, they have a great time and look forward to playing together in the park again.


Book cover of And to Think That We Thought That We'd Never Be FriendsCat and Mouse, written by Tomek Bogacki, is the first in a series of picture books featuring the title characters. In this book, a kitten and a young mouse become friends, not knowing that they are supposed to be enemies. Their siblings also meet, and all play happily together.


And to Think That We Thought That We'd Never Be Friends was written by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes. Starting with the children of one family and ending with the entire world, people discover how quickly they can end an argument and learn to be friends.


Come to your local public library and check out the resources available to parents and caregivers about teaching tolerance and friendship to young children!

Meet Squish!

Book cover of Babymouse:  Mad ScientistSquish is an amoeba who first appears in Babymouse: Mad Scientist, written by sister and brother team Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm. Squish also appears in his own series, starting with volume one, Squish, Super Amoeba. These kid friendly graphic novels are great for readers of all ages, especially elementary school students.



Book cover of Squish:  Super AmoebaDo you want to learn more? Please visit the following websites:




Jennifer Holm

Matthew Holm


In addition to reading graphic novels, do you like to create your own graphic novels? If so, please check out our Graphic Novel Making Contest. Happy reading, writing and drawing!

Fun Things To Do in July

Corduroy Goes to the Library book coverLike most parents, I have already signed up my children for the summer reading program.  My soon to be second grader wants to know "what else is going on at the library where you work, Mom."  While I jot down a list of fun things for her and her little sister to do at the Tully Library, I thought I'd share it with the rest of the parents in this community.


At the top of my list is the For Goodness Snakes program.  I hosted this program last year and everyone was absolutely fascinated with these amazing creatures.  It was wonderful to see both children and adults interacting with these fearsome looking, but quite gentle animals.  This is one program that Natalie will not miss this year!


There are four more items on that list of mine.  For my youngest daugher, I have the Music & Movement program to keep her entertained.  I also include Monsters of the World just in case Natalie likes to be scared a little.  For the family, the Kids in the Kitchen and the Spectacular Smoothie programs will be fun and educational at the same time.  Hopefully, everyone will learn to make healthier snacks after these workshops.


If you haven't signed up for tons of activities for your children already this summer, please check out these fun and free programs at your local library.

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