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Reading Buddies at the Almaden Branch Library

Does your young reader need a helping hand? Perhaps some practice reading words out loud and applying basic comprehension skills, or maybe just some fun reading time to encourage a lifelong love of books?


Join us at Almaden Branch library for Reading Buddies, offered once a week on Wednesdays from 5:30-6:30 pm. We have trained, enthusiastic teen volunteers available to read with your child. Our volunteers work one-on-one or in small groups with kids to help them choose the right books for their reading level and to practice reading them together in a fun, stress-free environment. This program is recommended for young readers in K-3rd Grade, but older or younger children are welcome to join us if this sounds like the right type of program for them. No need to sign up in advance...Just join us in the Doris Dillon Children's area!

Logical Puzzles

Everyday life brings lots of puzzles to solve. It is good to start preparing to face them from an early age.

San José Public Library has several good logical puzzles books for kids and adults.

One of them is Super-colossal Book of Puzzles, Tricks and Games. It contains hundreds of activities such as optical illusions, card tricks and psychological games.


Everything Kids' Riddles & Brain Teasers Book cover


Everything Kids' Riddles and Brain Teasers Book has hours of challenging fun for kids.


The Brain Explorer book coverThe Brain Explorer: Puzzles, Riddles, and Other Mental Adventures includes a collection of puzzles and activities dealing with math, memory and visual perception.

Try them all!


Also do not forget to bring your children ages K-6 to our next Math Club that will be held on February 12 in the King Library Children's Room.

We Are in a Book

book jacket of We Are in a Book! by Mo WillemsWhat's not to love about the series of adventures of two best friends, Piggie and Elephant by Mo Willems? In this new adventure We Are in a Book, our two heroes find out that they are actually characters in a book! What a surprise! My six-year-old son found this book to be hysterical! Especially the parts where the characters are laughing about "Banana." 


book jacket of Knuffle Bunny by Mo WillemsFans of this former Sesame Street writer include not only children, but adults as well. If you like this author, you will probably enjoy his picture books! Who can ever forget their favorite childhood toy (Knuffle Bunny series) or who can ever forget about wanting to do things that the adults said you couldn't do (Pigeon series.) book jacket of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus


My son's cautious steps into reading ended when he started reading Piggie and Elephant. Now, I can find him eagerly reading Elephant and Piggie books after school!

Baby Sign Language Workshop @ King Library

Book Cover: Baby Sign Language BasicsThe Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library is hosting a Baby Sign Language workshop on Saturday, Janurary 29 at 3:00PM in the Exploration Room. Knowing baby sign language and teaching it to young babies gives parents the opportunity to communicate with their children "long before babies can verbalize their wants and needs." Research studies show that "signing with babies accelerates language acquisition, reduces frustration and aggressive behavior, and as children mature, results in a greater interest in reading." Our teacher, Bill White, from Touch Blue Sky will be teaching parents and caregivers over 40 basic baby signs that are based on American Sign Language (ASL). The workshop is designed for expectant parents and parents with hearing babies who range in ages from birth to 18 months old. After the workshop, or if you can't make it to the workshop, please check out the many baby sign language books the library owns. So the next time your baby cries or is irritated he might know the signs to tell you what he wants!


Remember that parking is Free on Saturdays in downtown San Jose.

TumbleBooks – Audio Books and Games for Kids

TumbleBooks logoTumbleBooks are animated, talking picture books that teach kids how reading can be fun and engaging. TumbleBooks take existing picture books and add animation, sound, music, and narration that can be read to you, or you can read along. There’s also a collection of memory games, spelling games, puzzles, and more.

If you are looking for titles for younger children, the category “Story Books” are geared towards children in kindergarten through second grade. The category “EBooks & Audio Books” includes a number of classics, such as “Wind In The Willows”, and you can read them online or download these to your computer, Android phone, and/or tablet.

You do need Flash 6 or higher to enjoy all the features of TumbleBooks. A great resource to let kids have fun at the computer while reading and learning!

Long Live the Picture Book!

A recent New York Times article cites a decline in picture book sales, in part due to the economy but also because of parents who have begun pressing their early elementary age children to leave the picture book behind and move on to more text-heavy chapter books.


While picture books continue to circulate heavily at the library, I do occasionally encounter a parent who feels picture books are “beneath” their school-age child.  I find this sad, because chapter books and picture books are not mutually exclusive, and both have a place in developing children’s literacy skills and fostering a love of reading. In fact, many picture books contain surprisingly sophisticated vocabulary, nuanced humor,  and themes that are much more suited to “older” readers than to preschoolers.


When read together with a parent, a picture book provides a great opportunity for adult-child interaction. And whether read with a grownup or independently, picture books offer the satisfaction of completing a book in one sitting.


According to an article from the children’s literacy organization Reading is Fundamental, “Picture books help older kids with comprehension and prompt them to read critically. They can use the pictures to predict what's going to happen next. The images can teach children to watch, look, and listen for clues, warning signs, and exciting things they might otherwise miss.”


Book cover of Mind Your Manners, B.B. WolfMind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf by Judy Sierra is a good example of a book that will appeal to school-age children. Both the story and illustrations contain sly humor and references to storybook characters that would be lost on younger children who may not be as familiar with the fairy tales.


In the book, B.B. Wolf (and you know what B.B. stands for) is living at the Villain Villa senior center when he invited to the annual Storybook Tea at the local library. With advice from his crocodile friend and a library etiquette book, B.B. Wolf is determined to behave properly.  Despite a slip-up, he manages to impress the librarian and fellow party guests, among them Little Bo Peep, Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Little Pigs, and The Little Engine That Could. Children will enjoy finding other favorite characters tucked among the illustrations by J. Otto Seibold. Look for this book in the Picture Book section of your library!

Math Contests Explained!

 different items for measurement, rulers, protractors and other itemsHave you ever thought about competing in Math Competitions or the Math Olympiad? If yes, come and listen to a one hour presentation by Vish Rajiv from Lynbrook High, who will walk you through the exciting world of math contests. Is it hard? Is it fun? Are math contests expensive? Where can you find help? This presentation is for students in grades 3-6 and their parents and will be held in the Evergreen Library Community Room during Family Activity Time on Saturday, January 22 at 3:00 p.m.

Posted by Vidya Kilambi on Jan 18, 2011 | Comments: 0 |

Lunar New Year Celebration

 Bringing in The New Year book cover

Did you know that 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit for the Chinese and the Year of the Cat for the Vietnamese? In the Chinese zodiac calendar, the cat is not among the 12 zodiac animals. Have I tickled your curious bone? Want to find out more?  Come and join us on Saturday, February 5 from 1-3 PM for a fun-filled celebration of Lunar New Year at Tully Library! We will have puppet show, featuring the Story of the Chinese Zodiac = Mười hai con giáp, crafts, games, Open Mic for the children, Vietnamese calligraphy word art giveaway, light refreshments and lion dance.


This program is sponsored by Friends of the Tully Library, teensReach, Cung Tam Thu Phap & the Vietnamese American Woman Volunteer Association of Northern California.


Cung Chúc Tân Xuân! 

Để các em biết thêm về phong tục Tết, xin mời quý phụ huynh và  các em đến tham dự đông đủ Thứ Bảy, Ngày 5 Tháng 2 vào lúc 1:00 đến 3:00 giờ trưa.  Chúng ta sẽ có múa rối, làm thủ công, trò chơi Tết, ca hát cho nhau nghe, thưởng thức bánh mứt và đặc biệt năm nay, chúng ta sẽ có Ông Đồ của Cung Tâm Thư Pháp vẽ chữ mừng xuân, chúc phúc cho mọi nhà.  Phần múa lân sẽ do Hội Phụ Nữ Thiện Nguyện Bắc Cali phụ trách.

Inclusive Storytimes

Speaking in picturesSan José Public Library has been fortunate enough to have staff trained by the Inclusion Collaborative. The Inclusion Collaborative is all about access. Children with special needs should have equal access to storytimes, like children who are typically developing.


Staff has been trained in how to provide visual schedules and cues, how to create a welcoming environment (cooling rooms, defined sitting spaces, fidget toys) and ways to encourage parent communication.


Children who are exposed to a variety of experiences grow up to be more well-rounded adults. Parents will see that their child is safe and welcomed and will hopefully feel less isolated.  Inclusive Storytimes start again in January. Check our events calendar to find Inclusive Storytimes.

Parenting Your Baby: The First Year

Book cover of Consumer Reports Best Baby Products

Regardless of whether you are a parent-to-be or an experienced parent, choosing the right baby product for your child can be extremely challenging. Specifically, good baby products might be cheaper than you expect or they might be unneeded for a baby. Consumer Reports Best Baby Products will give you a list of brands which will be essential for your baby. They will also list what safety issues need to be addressed and the correct price for a good baby product. Not only do they list brands, but this is a how-to-book which emphasizes the pros and cons of general products. Can’t find this book? There are similar books, such as Baby Bargains by Denise & Alan Fields, which provide similar information.




Book cover of The No-cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers

After buying everything essential for your baby, you wonder what’s next. Questions such as when is the correct age to potty train your baby, how do you get your baby to sleep, and most importantly, how to get through your first year of parenting? Books, such as, Johnsons’ Your Baby’s First Year, Pantley’s The No-cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers, Christine Gross-Loh’s The Diaper Free Baby, Fisher-Price’s My Very Own Potty!, and MacGregor’s The Everything Get Your Baby to Sleep Book can be extremely helpful for both new and old parents. These books will guide you throughout your first year of parenting and help you tackle the next years.



These books are available at the San José Public Library and can be requested.