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Summertime Crafts

Kids doing crafts at the libraryRemember the crafts you did in summer camp? 


Lanyards by the yard, painted rocks, sand-cast wax candles, tie-dye t-shirts?


Its officially summer now, and if you recall these activities fondly, roll up your sleeves and teach a new generation how to get creative with what's on hand!


These books might get your creative juices flowing...


Cover of Summer Camp Survival Handbook by Chris PallattoCover of Summer FunCover of The American Boys Handy BookCover of American Girl's Handy Book


Don't forget to check out these craft programs at the library this month!

Posted by Sandra Stewart on Jun 28, 2012 | Comments: 0 |

National Safety Month for Kids

June is National Safety Month! Learn the tips and best practices on how to stay safe by checking out the following titles!




Safety by Liz Gogerly

This book contains helpful advice about staying safe in today's fast-paced world. Learn about the real concerns to pay attention to at various places: at home, at school and more.






Play it Safe Online by Phyllis Cornwall

Learn how to avoid certain hazzards and dangers online. This book provides tips and advice on how to remain safe online such as not posting certain pictures, how to limit personal information, choosing secure sites and more.


Traffic Safety





Traffic Safety by Nancy Loewen

Traveling this summer? This book will help you discover common transportation hazards and learn how to avoid or handle them.


Safety at Home



Safety at Home by Mary Lee Knowlton

This book provides helpful tips and advice for kids on how to stay safe at home. Learn how to avoid common home-related accidents and injuries by reading this book.


Safety in Your Neighborhood





Say No and Go: Stranger Safety by Jill Donahue

Even though your neighborhood might appear safe, dangerous incidents may randomly occur. This book will help you know what they are and how to handle them. Learn how to effectively know your neighbors, watch out for strangers and dealing with people at the doorstep.




For more recommendations, please see a Youth Services Librarian at your library.




親愛的家長們,悠閒的暑假即將來臨,計畫好要如何渡過這麼美好的時光了嗎?告訴您一個最棒的點子,那就是好好利用圖書館,就如同在圖書館培養比爾蓋茲 書中所言,公立圖書館有各式各樣免費的服務,善用圖書館不僅可以培養出最優秀的小孩,也能省下許多教育費用,像我就身受其利。比如說,我的小孩每年都會參加圖書館舉辦的暑期讀書計畫,她們很高興只要閱讀想看的書籍,就可以贏得許多獎品,所以暑假都花很多時間在看書,我也就省下了暑期夏令營的費用。然而,圖書館的獎品其實不是最重要的,最有價值的獎品是您的小孩一生的成就將無可限量。大量閱讀可以增進小孩的閱讀能力,更加為其他科目墊定學習的基礎,進而成為幸福的資優生。為了您的小孩,請帶著全家人一起來圖書館參加各項活動,特別是今天即將開始的暑期讀書計劃。




Picture of a Library

Greetings parents! The wonderful summer vacation is around the corner. Do you have any plans for the fabulous summer ahead? If you don’t, then here is the best idea -- using public libraries. Just like mentioned in the book, 在圖書館培養比爾蓋茲 , San Jose Public Library offers many free services and events. Using the services and attending the events helps your children become the best, and also saves you lots of money. I have a good example of these benefits. My girls join summer reading program every year. They were happy to earn many prizes by reading their favorite books, so they spent lots of time reading during summer. Therefore, I saved lot of money for not sending them to summer camps. How awesome is that! However, the biggest benefit of this program is not the prizes you get, but is the future of your child. Because your children read many books, their reading comprehension skills will improve, which can be applied to many other subjects of interest. The learning would become so easy. So for your children’s own good, please take your family to a library near you, attend their events, and also sign up for this child-friendly and educational summer reading program right now!

Posted by Anne Wang on Jun 1, 2012 | Comments: 1 |

To What Miserable Wretches Have I Been Born?

Book Cover: To What Miserable Wretches Have I Been Born?Being a parent is hard work! There are joys and tribulations and endless questions about the effectiveness of parenting skills. Well, now in the book To What Miserable Wretches Have I Been Born?, Suzanne Weber gives voice to the little ones who let parents know what they think about the things parents do. Find out their thoughts about that first visit to the doctor or that first trip to see Santa Claus! How do they feel about attending those mommy and me classes or when you decide that they're ready for that big girl or big boy bed. I laughed out loud reading these poems and I'm sure you will too. There is some colorful language so may not appeal to everyone. Here is one poem called "Cry Guide," being read by the author. Enjoy!



前不久敝人閱讀了天下雜誌CommonWealth Magzine 2011年教育特刊 (第486期2011年11月30 日—12月13日),雜誌中提及閱讀是未來公民所應具備的五大技能之一,在閱讀中尋找樂趣的孩子,能發掘書中無限可能,勇敢推出未來之窗。對於這個想法,我個人深感贊同。因此,想推薦聖荷西公共圖書館 (San Jose Public Library)館藏之中幾本跟閱讀有關的中文著作,和家長及老師朋友們分享。



大量閱讀的重要性  李家同



教出孩子的中文力  天下雜誌出版



名家讀書法  孫琴安



小學時期的閱讀能力決定一生的成績  金明美著 ; 張琪惠



教出閱讀力培養Super小讀者          柯華葳


Posted by Anne Wang on May 26, 2012 | Comments: 0 |

Top 5 Reasons ...

Conroy Cougar reading to child

Top 5 Reasons to Enroll Your Child into Our Summer Reading Celebration!



1. The number of books read during the summer is consistently related to academic gains. (Bridging the Summer Reading Gap, 2003)


2. Children who read six or more books over the summer gained more in reading achievement than children who did not.  (Bridging the Summer Reading Gap, 2003)


3. One to three months of academic growth can be lost over the summer. (National Summer Learning Association)


4. Students who do not engage in educational activities during the summer typically score lower on tests at the end of summer than they did at the beginning. (Summer Learning Loss: The Problem and Some Solutions).


5. Libraries contribute to the intellectual growth of children during the summer.  (Making the Case for Library Services to Children and Teens, State Library of North Carolina)


You can start to sign up for the Summer Reading Celebration June 1.

Farewell Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak died today.  He was a transformative author and illustrator of books for children.  Where the Wild Things Are is his best known title, which won the Caldecott Medal in 1964.  As a child, I spent many hours listening to Really Rosie - a musical based on his books with music by Carol King.   You might enjoy reading them too!

Cover of Alligators All Around by Maurice SendakCover of Piere: a cautionary tale by Maurice SendakCover of Chicken Soup with Rice: a book of months by Maurice SendakCover of One Was Johnny: a counting book by Maurice Sendak

Graphic Novel Making Contest - June 1 - July 31, 2012

logo, Graphic Novel Contest



Congratulations to the winners! - Check out their Work!

Winning Contestants San Jose Public Library Graphic Novel Making Contest















Children up to age 6

1st place: Joaquin Albornoz, age 5, “Joaquin’s Birthday Party”

Honorable Mention: Kapil Kumar age 5 1/2 , “Sharing and Friendship”


Children ages 7-12

1st place: Nathan Koketsu, age 11, “Adventure in the Open Sea”

2nd place: Madurya Suresh, age 9, “The Search for the Sun”

3rd place: Laura Shieh, age 12, “Silver Dandelion”

Honorable Mention:  Audrey Chiang, age 8, “The Firefly and her Glow”



1st place: Apanuba Mahmood, age 14, “Flaming Resolve! – Fleeting Demon Encounter”

2nd place: Huyen Nguyen (Chibi Teresa), age 15, “Phantom Dream Hunter: The Prologue”

3rd place: Sienna Gonzales, age 14, “Colored Pencils”

Honorable Mention: Thu Nguyen, age 14,  “Terra”



1st place: Queena Xu, “Butterfly Wish”

2nd place: Christine Bainbridge, “A Dream”

3rd place: Eric Elemen, “Super Busy Dad”

Honorable Mention: Darren Tat, “Death Match”


For more photos, please vist the San Jose Public Library Flickr site.



If you have a talent for creating comic/manga style illustrated short stories, you are invited to enter San José Public Library’s Graphic Novel Making Contest for all ages as part of our Summer Reading Celebration, 2012. This contest is sponsored by San José Public Library, Hijinx Comics, San José Museum of Art and TRY Japan Culture Group.



Here’s how to enter …


  • Create your own comic book with a maximum length of 8 pages, including the cover page.
  • Use letter-size paper (8.5 x 11) with black-and-white drawings and text on one side only.
  • Each submission must be the creative and original work of a single individual—the author/illustrator.
  • The contest is limited to amateur authors/ illustrators only.
  • Computer generated images are acceptable as long as they are your original work (no clip art)
  • Consider submitting a photocopy that is an accurate reflection of the original (as submissions are non-returnable).
  • San José Public Library reserves the right to reproduce your work. You can reuse all your work after the contest.
  • Be sure to print and complete the creative works release form. Include your Name, Age, Contact Information and Signature.
  • Entries can be submitted to any San José Public Library location no later than 8p.m. on Wednesday, August 1, 2012There is a limit of one entry per contestant.


Entries will be judged on content and illustrations by a panel of library staff and comic industry professionals. All cash prizes will be awarded as gift cards. 


  • Children (up to age 6): first place will receive Art Supplies
  • Children (7-12):  first place $40, second place $20
  • Teens (ages 13-17):  first place $100; second place $70; third place $50
  • Adults (age 18 and above):  first place $100; second place $70; third place $50


Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at a reception to be held at the Berryessa Branch Library on Saturday, August 25th at 2:00 p.m.in the Community Room. 


Check out the award winning entries from 2011 and 2010. We're discussing last year's winners and other graphic novels in the Online Book Club during June and July.      


Learn how to make your own comic book, graphic novel or manga!  Oliver Chin will be teaching this free workshop for teens at some San José Public Library branches.


San José Public Library staff members are ineligible to participate.

San José Public Library reserves the right to refuse submissions that are not appropriate for a general audience. This contest is open to all California residents.



Multicultural Books for Little Ones

Are you looking for some books to expose your child to new places and different cultures?  Well, here are some titles/series that you may want to explore. 


Egypt coverThe series True Book covers many countries including Egypt.  The series includes interesting facts about the country without overwhelming children with details.  It starts off with two questions about the country to which the children will find the answer reading the book.  The book has gorgeous pictures and not too much text.  I have found that this book can be read to a pre-schooler without too much editing, and for a 1st or 2nd grader, this series/title would be perfect for reports.  One caveat: this series is an old one so you need to be selective about the titles.  Be sure you find the newer edition.  The library owns many older editions, but the newer ones are better.


What We Wear coverWhat We Wear by Maya Ajmera is a beautiful book of costumes and dress, celebrating children from around the world.  It has a map of all the nations represented in the book and pages of suggestions of what to do with your children to explore different cultures: visit a folk festival, check out a museum, or ask about clothes of the past.  The book has visually stunning photos of children from all the cultures of world, doing different things at different times.  I really recommend everyone to take a look.


D is for Down Under cover

D is for Down Under: an Australia Alphabet is a beautifully illustrated picture book part of a larger series which highlights the contributions of each country.  Part of a larger alphabet series that covers democracy to Fenway Park, many of the authors are famous in their own right.  The books are written in verse with enormous pictures to illustrate the alphabet, and each of the alphabet letters represent one important aspect of the country or culture.  In addition, the pages include detail about the topic which the teacher or adult can choose to elaborate upon and read.  Take a look at this series.  The only unfortunate aspect of this series is that it is not catalogued in a way so that you can find the titles of the series easily.  You must look up the title individually.  On the back of the book, there is a good representative list of the titles in the series.  Also, if you go to the website: www.discovertheworldbooks.com you will find a list of the country books.


True Books and the Discover the World series are shelved in the Countries/States area.  If you have any questions, ask the librarian to show you the section.  You can find a plethora of country books.  Browse at your leisure.

Fun Alphabet Books!

LMNO Peas by Keith Baker, Alpha Oops! the Day Z Went First by Alethea Kontis and Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham are three picture books with fun and zany story lines for the alphabet.  I never imagined the alphabet could be so fun.  I read these stories to my pre-school age son, and he loved them.  The pictures are wonderful and the twists and turns between the alphabet characters make the story so fun.  I recommend these stories highly.  LMNO Peas and Alpha Oops! the Day Z Went First are displayed on the concept display pyramid, and Z is for Moose is a new book on the new book display shelf.  Check for these titles at your next visit.  If you don't find them, don't be surprised because they are very popular and may be checked out!

LMNO Peas coverAlpha Oops coverZ is for Moose cover