Kamis, 25 Agustus 2011

New Juvenile Chapter Book Review: Ruby Lu, star of the show

By Lenore Look

Call Number: J LOOK, L

Pages: 136

Grades 1-3

Ruby Lu is back and starting the 3rd grade! In the latest of the Ruby Lu series, we follow Ruby as she deals not only with the changes of starting a new school year but with the changes that come when her father loses his job. Her cousin, Flying Duck, who communicates through Chinese sign language, her brother Oscar, dog Elvis, and neighborhood friends as usual, are always there to help her get through these changes.

When Ruby realizes how desperately the family needs extra money, she and her friends come up with some ideas that can save the family. Though Ruby has the best of intentions, some of these schemes are more troublesome than helpful and produce hilarious results. The author takes a realistic look at a family struggling with a job loss and treats it with humor, sensitivity, and a lightheartedness that keeps the story uplifting. Ruby is charming and entertaining and the cartoonish illustrations add humor to the text.

As a Chinese American who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I love reading the Chinese words, phrases, and cultural references that are sprinkled throughout the books and would have enjoyed reading a series with a character like Ruby Lu when I was a girl.

Click here to view this title in the catalog.

If you enjoy this book, check out the others in the series!

Ruby Lu, brave and true

Ruby Lu, empress of everything


Selasa, 23 Agustus 2011

New Book Review: I feel Better with a frog in my throat: History’s Strangest Cures

By Carlyn Beccia

Call Number: J 615.88 BEC

Pages: 48

Best for grades 1-5

Pop-Quiz time!

Did any of these cures help with a cough?

A. Caterpillar fungus (Ancient China)

B. Frog Soup (Sixteenth-century England)

C. Cherry Bark (Ancient Native American)

In a multiple choice format “I feel better with a frog in my throat: History’s Strangest Curse” presents many common maladies like colds, sore throats, wounds, stomachache, fevers, and headaches with a verity of cures and treatments that people throughout time relied on. You’ll find out that some worked better than others.

My favorite was learning about how people throughout time cured and treated wounds: from moldy bread, honey, silver, puppy kisses, spider’s webs, mummy powder, maggots, a bulls mouth, and a dead man’s skill (ugh!—which apparently actually worked, who would have thought?!)

Each question is presented, and then each multiple choice option is explained with a “yes,” “no,” or “maybe” with comical illustrations depicting not only the curse, but also the dress , art, and architecture of the time and place from Ancient Egypt and China to Early twentieth century America.

“I feel better with a frog in my throat” is the sort of book that makes the non-fiction collection so much fun! Be sure to check it out!

Click here to view this title in the catalog.

Answers: A: maybe. B: No. C: Yes!


Kamis, 18 Agustus 2011

Hot Off The New Books Display!

The New Picture Books display is probably my favorite browsing spot in the library. There is almost always something exciting just begging to be seen in its shiny new plastic cover. This morning was one of those mornings when I happily found several new books by consistently wonderful authors. As my eyes scanned the shelf my mutterings (yes, I was alone) sounded something like this, "Oooo, a new Emma Dodd book. Oohhh, a new David McPhail. Whoa, a new Phillip Stead book. Wow, and a new Rosemary Wells!"

I Love My Mommy

By: Giles Andreae Illustrated by: Emma Dodd

A very sweet and simple rhyming book that lists all of the things baby loves about his mommy.

Find this title in our catalog

Pig Pig Returns

By: David McPhail

Poor Pig Pig. The last thing he wants to do this summer is take a road trip with his aunt and uncle. Along the way Pig Pig sees all kinds of wonderful things and, despite his worries, begins to enjoy his adventure.

Find this title in our catalog

Hands Off, Harry!

By: Rosemary Wells

Harry is a bit of a trouble maker who spends a lot of time in the "Thinking Chair" in his kindergarten class. After a series of accidents resulting from Harry not respecting his classmates personal space his teacher finally gets him to understand how to be more respectful.

Find this title in our catalog

Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat

By: Philip C. Stead

When Jonathan loses his best friend Frederick he decides to set sail to find him. This book is absolutely beautiful and chock-full of imagination. The best in the bunch, in my opinion!

Find this title in our catalog


Sabtu, 13 Agustus 2011


GameUp is BrainPop.com's recently unveiled website featuring educational (and fun!) games for smarty-pants students. BrainPop has designed a few of their own games, such as Chronopticon, in which players have to help Tim and Moby operate a time machine based on the movements of the solar system, and have also commisioned several outside organizations, including Nobelprize.org and the Space Science Institute, to create others.

All of the games on GameUp feature charming animated characters and audio. A stand-out for me is the Diabetic Dog Game that asks players to care of an adorable dog by making sure his blood sugar levels do not get too high or low.

BrainPop is, itself, a subscription service but, lucky for us, GameUp is offered free of charge! Also, make sure you stop by Brainpop Jr. for games designed for K-3 graders and BrainPop ESL for games designed for English language learners.


Captain Underpants Party

Like the crazy and courageous Captain Underpants? Well join us and unleash you inner silly superhero with games, crafts and goofy fun at our Captain Underpants Party!

Friday, August 19

2:00-3:30 p.m.

Grades 2-5

Registration required. Sign up at the Children's Desk or call (503) 350-3600.


Brick Builders Creations for August

Here are picturess of some of the creations at August's Brick Builders.

Join us next month (the second Saturday of every month) to build you own creation.

Saturday, September 10th

10:30-11:30 a.m.

Grades 1-5

Registration required. Sign up at the Children's Desk or call (503) 350-3600.


Rabu, 10 Agustus 2011

New Book Review: 13 Photos Children Should Know

By Brad Finger

Call number J 909.82 FIN

45 pages

Best for ages 8-12

What better way to learn history than by learning through the eyes of the people who lived through it? In 13 photos children should know momentous events are captured on film and presented on a large page spread complete with information surrounding the event and a little bit about the photograph.

Some moments children may already be familiar with through school or popular culture, such as Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, or they may even remember the event such as the 2008 Olympic games in China or last year’s disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Others might not be so familiar to them, such as the importance Nelson Mandela being released from prison or how the world changed when the Berlin Wall came down. Each photo is accompanied by a short explanation (with unfamiliar words available in a glossary) and supporting photographs both large and small. Running along the top of each page is a timeline showing important moments leading up to the featured on, and what came after, as well as world events that affect how each event is remembered.

What is especially great about 13 Photos Children Should Know is it gives a great jumping off point to talk more about momentous events of the last century and the people and times surrounding them through real photographs of real people and places. Beatlemania, The Lindbergh flight, the Moon Landing, and so many others children want to know about.

You might even ask the question of what photos do you think are missing… What events are significant enough to change the world?

Click here to view this title in the catalog.