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Early Literacy Tip: See-Show-Say

When your toddler or preschooler finds a book that they love, chances are, they will want you to read that book over and over and over again. Plus, once more after that. How do you beat the fatigue and make sure that your child is getting the most out of the book? 


Try the See-Show-Say method as devised by professor Joseph Sparling, author of the Abecedarian Approach:


  • See: Direct the child’s attention to a picture or detail and name or describe what you see. This step introduces a new word or concept to the child. 
  • Show: Ask the child to show you an object, detail or action on the page. This steps checks to see if your child has learned the word.  
  • Say: Ask the child to name the picture, object or detail or to say something about it. This step gives your child a chance to show that they know the new word. 

Try these three tricks to make the time spent reading together more meaningful. This type of interactive reading will help strengthen your child’s developmental skills over time. It will reinforce and introduce new vocabulary and comprehension skills as they learn to expand to what they already know. Use this opportunity to teach your child new words in the child's first language or in English. Talk about the pictures, point out favorite objects in real life, (trucks, animals, etc), explain signs at shops and on the street, and even talk about the pictures on food packets.  


Don't forget to visit one of our teen reading buddies at your library for more reading practice. 

A Family That Reads Together

Did you know that many of your favorite authors of adult fiction also write children’s books? Why not start a family book club, and introduce your favorite authors to your kids.


The Ice Dragon coverA Game of Thrones coverGeorge R. R. Martin

For Adults – The Game of Thrones: A Song of Fire and Ice Saga (Fiction Martin)

For Kids – The Ice Dragon (J Fiction martin)




Coraline coverThe Ocean at the End of the Lane coverNeil Gaiman

For Adults – The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Fiction Gaiman)

For Kids – Coraline (J Fiction Gaiman)




Treasure Hunters coverGame Over coverToys coverJames Patterson

For Adults – Toys: A Novel (Fiction Patterson)

For Teens – Game Over (YA Fiction Patterson)

For Kids  - Treasure Hunters (J Fiction Patterson)




Harry Potter coverThe Casual Vacancy coverJK Rowling

For Adults – The Casual Vacancy (Fiction Rowling)

For Kids – The Harry Potter Series (J Fiction Rowling)

Spooky Halloween Books for Grade School Kids

It's October and readers of all ages are in the mood for spooky books to read. Here are some age-appropriate, Halloween-appropriate suggestions for school kids who are in the approximately third-to-sixth grade age range.


Beware: R.L. Stine Pickes His Favorite Scary Stories book cover

Beware: R.L. Stine Picks His Favorite Scary Stories
The perennially popular author of the creepy Goosebumps series shares stories by Ray Bradbury, Shel Silverstein, Bram Stoker, Edward Gorey and more.



Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of a Mystery book coverBunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of a Mystery by James and Deborah Howe

This was one of my own favorites when I was about 9 years old. I still have vivid memories of reading about 8-year-old Toby Monroe staying up late on Friday nights to read in bed, sharing snacks with Harold and Chester at his side. Our affable narrator Harold the dog lives with his friend Chester the cat in the Monroe household. Chester suspects something sinister when the Monroe family gets a new bunny with vampire cape-like markings and a habit of sucking the juice and color out of vegetables. Author James Howe wrote five other books in the Bunnicula series as well as a spin-off series, Tales from the House of Bunnicula.


The Witches book coverThe Witches by Roald Dahl

In The Witches, classic children's author Roald Dahl spins a tale about himself at age 7, when his Norwegian grandmother helped him spot witches and stop them from turning children into mice. 




The Letter, The Witch, and The Ring book coverThe Letter, the Witch and The Ring by John Bellairs

13-year old Rose Rita's next door neighbor Mrs. Zimmerman is a friendly witch. When Mrs. Zimmerman receives a strange deathbed letter from her uncle, the two friends go in search of a magic ring.




Coraline book coverCoraline by Neil Gaiman

11-year-old Coraline Jones moves into a old house with her family. She discovers a door to another world where life seems better than her more ordinary existence, but she soon learns the real meaning of "too good to be true."

Sweet Reads

Perhaps the most beloved candy-themed book of all time, Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory celebrates it's fiftieth anniversary this year.  Consider enjoying the movie adaptation of the book with your children as well! In honor of this iconic book, here are some other great books for children with candy themes.



Like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Candymakers is set in a candy factory where children have come to compete for a grand prize. Author Wendy Mass weaves the story by alternating chapters in each of the four main characters' voices. The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders is also a great, page-turning choice for tween boys and girls!



Younger readers might enjoy these chapter books in Daisy Meadows' Rainbow Magic series:


Max's Chocolate Chicken by Rosemary Wells, Lilly's Chocolate Heart by Kevin Henkes, and Curious George Goes to a Chocolate Factory by H.A. Rey are classic literary treats for preschool age children.


Is your child curious about the science or history of chocolate? Check out one or more of these nonfiction books:


Chocolate: A Sweet History by Sandra Markle

No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young

Who Was Milton Hershey? by James Buckley

The Mars Family: M & M Candy Makers by Joanne Mattern

Posted by Rosemary Van Lare on Sep 30, 2014 | Comments: 0 |

Captain Underpants Book Signing!

Captain Underpants coverDav Pilkey, The author of Captain Underpants, will be at Hicklebee's this September for Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000! Follow the mischievous adventures of George Beard and Harold Hutchins as they, and Captain Underpants of course, fight Melvin Sneedly! Will they be able to defeat Melvin using Wedgie Power? Or will their plans to save humanity be flushed away? Find out at Hicklebee's on September 7, 2014 at 2:00 PM! Join the staff, fellow book lovers, and Dav Pilkey for awesome butt-kicking action!




1378 Lincoln Ave.

San Jose, CA 95125-3010


Phone No.:

(408) 292-8880

6 Books for the First Day of School

Summer is ending and in its place will start a new school year. For many kids, this new school year will be their first school year. Children will be filled with questions, hesitation and excitement about what will be in store for them. Here are some great books to start the discussion on what types of experiences they'll encounter during the next few months.


Various Book Covers


  1. First Day of School by Margaret McNamara - After a summer of playing with his puppy, Michael is sad to learn that she cannot stay with him on the first day of school (J Easy Reader McNamara)
  2. Mouse’s First Day of School by Lauren Thompson - When he goes to school, Mouse finds a world of new objects and new friends. (J Picture Book Thompson)
  3. Amelia Bedelia’s First Day of School by Herman Parish - A literal-minded first-grader's first day of school is filled with confusing adventures, much to her delight. (J Picture Book Parish)
  4. Chu’s First Day of School by Neil Gaiman - On the first day of school, a young panda learns about the special things his animal classmates can do. (J Picture Book Gaiman)
  5. My First Day of School by by Nancy Skarmeas - Daniel liked preschool just fine, but he is not so sure he wants to go to kindergarten. (J Picture Book Skarmeas)
  6. Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney - Llama Llama experiences separation anxiety on his first day of nursery school.  (J Picture Book Dewdney)

Question of the Week: From Wind Power to Wind Garden, or How to Build Your Own Wind Turbine?

Book CoverSTEM stands for "Science, Technology, Engineering and Math". Lately it has been transformed to STEAM with "Art" added. STEAM is a theme of the Summer Reading Challenge this year. One of the most interesting subjects that fits in this topic and currently is explored by many children and young adults is Wind Power and the possibility to build their own Wind Turbines, as well as different ways of displaying such devices in special Wind Gardens.




The library has many books and eBooks on this subject, including:

Book Cover

See more Questions of the Week

Children's New Non-fiction at Almaden and Cambrian

picture of cover picture of coverpicture of coverpicture of coverpicture of coverpicture of cover

Thanks to the Friends of the Library, we have been able to order new children's non-fiction animal books.  We are excited to find them on our shelves and have displayed some of them in the new non-fiction displays at the branches.  We hope this summer you would check out some of our new and exciting new non-fiction as you meet your summer reading challenge.  You will find that some of these non-fiction books to be appealing and attractive to even the very young. 


One series, which is notable for the young, and I mean kindergartners and even pre-schoolers, is the series: Pebble Plus.  I just discovered them.  They range in topics from health issues as teeth, to biographies and animals such as meerkats.  Seedlings is another wonderful series for young children.  We have the Penguins title.  With Seedlings, like Pebble Plus, the subjects range from animals to cranes and diggers.


I would like to give a special thanks to the Friends for making these purchases possible, because these books are such a delight to children, and they will be enjoyed for years to come.  Every time I see children exploring through books, I appreciate the library.  Thank you so much for your hard work, Friends!  We all benefit from your efforts.


I would also like to encourage those who are looking for a place to volunteer and/or donate, to consider the library, because it is well worth the investment.  We are investing in our future when we invest in literacy and education. 

National Summer Learning Day

Logo for Summer Learning Day June 20

Mark your calendars! National Summer Learning Day is coming up on Friday June 20th! If you don't want to wait, you don't have to. You can celebrate Summer Learning Day all summer long.


How can you celebrate?


1. Sign up for our Summer Reading Challenge! This year's bingo grid is filled with lots of fun activities for everyone in the family.


2. Find out what events and programs are taking place at your local library this summer.


3. Use our Discover and Go program for discounted or even free tickets to Bay Area museums (Including the San Jose Tech Museum and the Cal Academy of Sciences in San Francisco!)


4. Host a family literacy celebration. Talk to your children about your favorite books and topics. Learn about a new subject together, or build something together. Ask grandparents to share stories about their youth.

Books for Middle Schoolers!

Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecybook cover Wings of Fire


The Talons of Peace is a secret movement that is determined to end the war between the seven dragon tribes. They follow a prophecy that will end the war, but with great costs; sacrifices. Five dragonets have been raised in secret since birth in order to fulfill this prophecy and their destiny. But some dragonets don’t want that destiny; so they runaway to find their original homes and discover how much danger the dragon world is really in.



book cover the giver


The Giver


Jonas lives in a perfect world. A world where there is no suffering or pain. Society decides everything you do and determines the roles you will play in the future. Jonas, however, is chosen to be The Receiver and will get special training from The Giver. The Giver is an individual who has every memory and understands the true

 feeling of pain and pleasure of life. Jonas will learn the secrets of the past and will see his world is not so perfect after all.



How to Train Your Dragon

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third is preparing for his final and most important initiation test. This test will truly prove whether he is ready to be a member of the Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans. In order to show his worth and pass his initiation test, Hiccup must catch and train a dragon.

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