What's New for Parents

  • Increase
  • Decrease
  • Normal

Current Size: 100%

  text size

Subscribe to this blog: RSS Email

Talking to Kids about Disasters

Cover of Terrorists, Tornados and TsunamisWith all the footage of Japan coming across the media, parents of children are going to be asked some very serious questions about the earthquake, tsunami and the aftermath. It seems the younger your children are, the more you want to protect them from devastating news like this. 


Here are some resources that might help:


FEMA has a website about disaster readiness for kids that walks you through the steps of how to make a disaster plan for your family.


FEMA also has a webpage devoted to helping parents and teachers help their children cope with disasters. It is comprised of a quick overview of how different aged children cope, what their needs are and how to help them.


Terrorists, Tornados, and Tsunamis: How to Prepare for Life's Danger Zones by Lt. Colonel John C. Orndorff and Suzanne Harper. This book takes all sorts of dangerous situations and explains what they are and how to be better prepared to handle them if they should occur. A really good book for middle schoolers.


Eight Days: A Story of Haiti by Edwidge Danticat.  This novel describes one child's experience during and after the earthquake in Haiti.


DVD - How and When to Dial 911 - situations when a child should dial 911 and what to do in case of an emergency.


More books on earthquakes for children

More books on tsunamis for children


Stories y Cuentos

The Willow Glen Branch Library offers several one-on-one and small group reading opportunities for kids each week. Join us Tuesdays at 4 pm for Stories with Barbara. Barbara is a retired teacher and dedicated volunteer who loves reading with children. Wednesdays at 2:30 pm drop in for Stories with Nancy. Nancy is also a retired teacher and she is always eager to read with all kids. Join us also on Fridays at 3:30 pm for Stories with (Cuentos con) Priyanka. Priyanka is a high school student and volunteer who will read to your child in either English or Spanish.


Los viernes a las 15:30 Priyanka lee a los niños en la biblioteca Willow Glen. Priyanka es una voluntaria y un estudiante de la escuela secundaria. Ella puede leer a su hijo en inglés o español.

Free Reading Help

On Tuesdays at 4 pm and Saturdays at 11:30 am the West Valley Branch Library offers free reading help for children. The Reading Buddies are trained teen volunteers that are on hand to either read to your child or to help your child practice reading. This is a great opportunity for younger children to have one-on-one time with a caring, enthusiastic teen mentor who will help them practice their reading in a low-stress environment.


Reading to Rover is another opportunity for kids to practice their reading at the West Valley Branch Library. This event  is generally held on the third Thursday of each month at 3:30 pm. At this program we pair children who want to improve their reading skills with literacy assistance dogs for some quality reading and bonding time. Come join the fun!

Russian-English Bilingual Story Time at the West Valley Library

The West Valley Library is adding another story time!

The West Valley Branch of the San Jose Public Library system is excited to announce a new weekly bilingual story time in Russian and English!  This new story time takes place on Friday afternoons in our Family Place Center starting at 5:00 pm and will allow you a unique opportunity to start your weekend off with Russian stories, finger plays, songs, history and more that the whole family can enjoy.


This bilingual story time will be conducted by a local West Valley community member named Olga.  Olga originally came from Saint Petersburg which she describes “as the most beautiful city of Russia, the former capital of Russian Empire and where one of the greatest museum hermitage is located.”  Olga worked as a journalist before coming to Silicon Valley.  She worked for a Russian newspaper in the SF Bay Area for a short period and then enrolled in college to get an Art Degree. After graduating, she started a family and now has 3 boys.  She says, “ I want my kids to be not only bilingual but also bicultural, and Russian literature as well as history are a really important part of it….we would like to share our activities with other kids our ages and cultural background. We want our kids to stay connected. We hope others will join us in listening and practicing our native tongue”. Please join Olga and her family at the West Valley Library at 1243 San Tomas Aquino Road, San Jose, CA 95117 at 5pm every Friday afternoon starting March 11th.


We have four other story times that occur weekly and an Inclusive storytime on the fourth Saturday of the month.  If you would like to check the days and hours for these and other programs please view our West Valley Library events.

Computer History Museum

Image of the computation machine modeled by BabbageIt was an amazing discovery for me! I had no idea I would enjoy a trip to the Computer History Museum so much. This museum is located in Mountain View and very easy accessible from 101 freeway. Two hours went unbelievably quickly and there was still so much to look at, to read about, to try out. I think that this museum should be discovered by everybody who lives in our area or visits Silicon Valley. You will find out how this all started from regular mechanical calculators to first models of calculating machines that were created by Charles Babbage. Then this journey will take you all the way to first computers and computer games and at the end - to the most modern computer models.


Our library resources include lots of interesting books on this subject as well. I would like to recommend several of them:

Posted by Nina Petrova on Mar 5, 2011 | Comments: 0 |

Dogs and Cats

Cover of Dogs and Cats by Steve JenkinsKids love dogs and cats, including grown-up kids.  That's speaking from experience. Growing up, I was closer to our family's calico cat Patches, and our next-door neighbor's dachshund Gus, than I was to my siblings. (Shh.... don't tell them that.)


Dogs and Cats takes that innate fondness kids have for their pets, and runs with it. While the short book can easily be read at one sitting, and is designed to appeal most to children from about age 6 to about age 10, it is packed full of information, for the most part dished out in one-paragraph nuggets.  For example, on one page we learn why dogs chase balls, why dogs roll in manure, why they bark at strangers, and why they are easy to housebreak. On another page, we learn why cats purr, whether they can see in the dark, why they sleep so much, and why they chase their tails. 


The book is beautifully laid-out, with attractive pictures on every page. A nifty little trick, too, that makes one go "Wow. How neat!", is that the book can be read from both sides. Namely, open the book, then start reading about dogs. Close the book, flip it over, open it, and now you're reading about cats. 


So whether you read this book back to front, or front to back, if you are fond of your pets, you're sure to like this book. Enjoy! And pet your cat or dog while reading it, too!


book cover of BabymouseBabymouse is a sassy young mouse who dreams of glamour, excitement, adventure, straight whiskers, being queen of the world, and of course, being invited to Felicia Furrypaws's oh-so-exclusive party. Readers will love Babymouse's vivid imagination and also the clever illustrations and hilarious storyline of brother-sister team Matthew Holm and Jennifer L. Holm. The artwork is full of humor, life and movement.


Babymouse lives a life any school kid will identify with. Getting up in the morning is hard, P.E. is not for the faint of heart, opening your locker is dangerous and good friends are worth more than gold. Babymouse has an imagination that sweeps her away.


Also check out this interview with the authors.


Beauty Lou and the Country Beast

My son Noah is in fourth grade and recently performed a starring role in the school play "Beauty Lou and the Country Beast." Incredibly, the children, in grades k – 5, have three days to rehearse their lines, songs and dance routines for their main performance on the fourth day. With such a short time-frame and only two people "training" the children it was surprisingly a wonderful well put-together show!


Now you may think it was the school staff that helped the students put on the show but it was a group called Missoula Children’s Theater. Having never heard of this organization I did some minor research and learned that they are a non-profit group that has been around since the 1970’s. MCT sends out teams of two staff members; the actor and the director, throughout the U.S. and Canada from school to school putting on these performances. My son has often talked about an interest in acting and this was a nice way for him to get a taste of it. Many children are never exposed to the performing arts and MCT certainly makes a lasting impact on lots of children.


If you get an opportunity please check out their website and read about their history. As a non-profit organization they happily accept donations and through their website you can book them for a week or check out their tour dates.

Get Your News in Vietnamese at Tully Library!

Những Tờ Báo và Tạp Chí Được Yêu Chuộng Nhất tại Thư Viện Tully!

Khi tôi nói tôi làm việc tại Thư Viện Tully, ai cũng nghĩ tôi có nhiều cơ hội để đọc sách hoặc đọc các báo hay tạp chí Việt ngữ có tại Thư Viện.  Khi còn sống, Ba tôi là một độc giả trung thành của tạp chí Văn Nghệ Tiền Phong.  Ông thường khuyến khích tôi đọc sách báo Việt ngữ để tôi không quên tiếng Việt.  Tôi không say mê đọc báo như Ba tôi.  Nhưng từ khi Ba tôi mất, tôi lại tìm đến sách báo Việt ngữ như để nhớ đến Ba tôi.


Tôi rất may mắn vì tôi không phải đi đâu xa để tìm chúng.  Tại Thư Viện Tully, những tờ báo có tên tuổi tại hải ngoại và được nhiều người ưa chuộng điều có ở đây.  Và tôi đã tìm đến tạp chí Văn Nghệ Tiền Phong, Việt Tide, Hồn Việt, Con Ong Texas và báo Người Việt.  Đây là những tờ báo và tạp chí có nội dung phong phú và tin tức cập nhật.  Bây giờ thì tôi cũng đã thành một độc giả trung thành của các tờ báo nói trên.  Vì những tờ báo này rất được nhiều người ưa chuộng, tôi cảm thấy may mắn khi tìm được một hay hai cuốn/tờ còn lại trên quầy để mượn đọc.  Nếu quý vị cũng thích đọc báo hay tạp chí như tôi, quý vị thử tìm đọc những tựa nói trên tại Thư Viện San Jose.

Valentine’s Day Is Coming Soon!

Book cover of If You'll Be My ValentineChildren, teens and families are invited to come to the Edenvale Branch Library to create Valentine’s Day cards on Friday February 11 at 4:00 PM. Supplies will be provided.


Here are some cozy Valentine’s Day books that young children may enjoy:


Be Mine, Be Mine, Sweet Valentine written by Sarah Weeks, illustrated by Fumi Kosaka. Several animals and a little boy give special valentines to the ones they adore.


If You'll Be My Valentine  written by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Fumi Kosaka. A little boy gives special handmade valentines to those who are important to him.


Valentine Mice!  written by Bethany Roberts, illustrated by Doug Cushman. Several mice deliver valentines to the other animals in the forest.


If you enjoy these books, check out the websites of authors Sarah Weeks and Bethany Roberts, and illustrator Doug Cushman.