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Kids: Celebrate National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month! Help your child discover poetry by checking out the library’s children poetry collection. Here are some recommended books to get your child excited about poetry:


Poetry Books


Book cover of The New Kid on the Block: PoemsThe New Kid on the Block: Poems by Jack Prelutsky

A collection of funny poems about strange creatures and people such as Baloney Belly Billy and the Gloopy Gloopers.





Book cover of The Random House Book of Poetry for Children

The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (Various Authors)

A varied and complete collection of more than 550 poems by various poets, including Emily Dickinson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Frost, Langston Hughes, Nikki Giovanni, Lewis Carroll, Ogden Nash, and Shel Silverstein.




Book cover of Where the Sidewalk Ends

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

This is a masterful collection of humorous poems and drawings by Shel Silverstein that will engage readers.





Learn to Write Poems


Book cover of Haiku Activities

Haiku Activities : Asian Arts & Crafts for Creative Kids by Patricia Donegan

Introduces the form of Japanese poetry known as haiku, explores the seven keys to writing haiku, and provides instructions for five haiku projects, including creating haiga, or illustrated haiku.





Book cover of Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry

Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem by Jack Prelutsky

Featuring personal anecdotes and an abundance of information, this is a humorous guide, filled with poetry exercises, ideas, projects, and pointers that teaches readers how to write poetry.





Book cover of Poem-Making

Poem-Making: Ways to Begin Writing Poetry by Myra Cohn Livingston

Introduces the different kinds of poetry and the mechanics of writing poetry, providing an opportunity for the reader to experience the joy of making a poem.





More Ways to Celebrate


Besides reading and writing poems, here are other ways that you and your child can celebrate National Poetry Month, according to Lily Jones and Skila Brown from www.education.com/magazine/article/Celebrate_Poetry:


  • Memorize a poem together.
  • Write poems about various things and occurrences at home.
  • Read a short poem before a family meal, such as breakfast or dinner.
  • Take a notebook and go on a walk. Be ready to write a poem or phrases about various things that you or your child would observe.
  • Have a poetry slam by inviting other kids or adults over to read poems aloud.

And as always, you can ask a Youth Services Librarian to help you find more poetry resources at your local library branch

Protect Your Infant

Photo of mother holding child

In addition to making sure your child gets all the immunization shots that he or she needs, you should always have the poisoning emergency number 1-800-222-1222 handy. Young children have the highest risk of poisoning because of their natural curiosity. Many common household items can be poisonous to children. Never leave cleaning supplies, medicine, alcohol, fumes, and chemical products unattended and within the reach of your child.


Having the First Aid Quick Guide can also be useful. This pocket size book was put together by the National Safety Council.  Founded in 1913, NSC is an nonprofit membership organization devoted to making our world a safer place. You will find valuable information on how to provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and first aid to infants. If you want to take a look at it before purchasing one to keep, please make a visit to your local library.   

Got a Mystery to Solve? Call Nate the Great!

   Book cover of Nate the GreatDo you have a child always asking "why"? Then  Nate the Great series, by Marjorie  Weinman Sharmat, is right up their alley. This mystery series for children is a fun way to introduce the genre. The stories follow Nate the Great, a young detective, as he searches for clues to help solve mysteries in his neighborhood. But the best part is that he explains how he solved the mystery. These engaging books will have your child putting on a thinking cap to see if he or she can outsmart and outwit, Nate the Great. Checkout this series in the Children's Easy Reader section of the library.

Get Your Health and Wellness Resources from San Jose Public Library

Photo of Melanie I have a 10 month old daughter and found out how much health and wellness resources are needed. There were times that I wanted to look up certain medications for Melanie. I also searched for information on particular symptoms that she had. San José Public Library has several health and wellness databases which have been helping me. To access most of these databases from home you'll need your library card and pin number.


Consumer Health Complete covers all areas of health and wellness from mainstream medicine to holistic and integrated medicine. This database includes topics such as aging, cancer, diabetes, drugs and alcohol, fitness, nutrition and dietetics, and children's health.


Medline Plus has information on diseases and conditions, hospitals and physicians, and medical drugs. This database includes links to a medical encyclopedia and dictionary, and clinical trials from the National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health. The database is also accessible if you type in http://medlineplus.gov.

US Census Statistics and American FactFinder

It is hard sometimes to find verified statistical data. US Census Home Page may help. To search data in particular area you would need to go to American Fact Finder. US Census currently is working on simplifying the search technique and developing a new web page. There are some basic steps that you would do searching both sites - a New American FactFinder and the Legacy American FactFinder The latter will go away in Fall 2011.


New site has a nice Help page that will guide you through the  Quick Start search or Search using categories and topics. Data search could be performed by using geography (maps), industry codes or population groups topics. After getting results arranged in the table,  you also can create a reference map or thematic map based on this data.


By clicking on American Fact Finder Virtual Tour link in the content (left frame) you will be able to view a short video that will explain to you how to navigate this site.

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 |