Groundhog Day happens every February 2nd. Here are some fun books that you and your family may enjoy on Groundhog Day, or any other time of the year.
Double Trouble Groundhog Day, written by Bethany Roberts and illustrated by Bryan Caulay is a fun book that features sibling rivalry between groundhog twins Gregory and Greta. One evening, Grampie Groundhog decides to hand over his weather forecasting duties to one of the twins. Grannie Groundhog decides that the twins should draw straws to see who will take over Grampie Groundhog's duties.
Go To Sleep, Groundhog! written by Judy Cox and illustrated by Paul Meisel is about a Groundhog with insomnia. Groundhog goes to bed on Columbus day and sets his alarm clock for February 2. Groundhog has trouble sleeping, so he goes above ground a few times to take walks. While above ground, Groundhog sees interesting sites and discovers new holidays. If you look carefully at the pictures, you will frequently see a little mouse, Groundhog's pal.
Substitute Groundhog, written by Pat Miller and illustrated by Kathi Ember, is another fun Groundhog Day story. Groundhog has a bad flu, and he needs to find a substitute to take over his duties. Whom will Groundhog choose? Read and find out!
Other fun books include:
The Promise of Hope: Can We Overcome?
Join us at the 84th Birthday Celebration Honoring the Legacy of Civil Rights Leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
WHAT: Join us for the annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. This event will feature live music, a libation ceremony, a theatrical presentation of Dr. King speaking, and reflections by the Community.
There will be a special award given to acknowledge the lives and contributions of Dr. Herman Hyatt and Henry Gage Sr. presented by the Legacy Committee and the San Jose City Council.
WHEN: Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Noon – 1:00 pm
WHERE: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library - Fourth St. Lobby
150 E. San Fernando St. (corner of 4th and San Fernando)
This event is co-sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Legacy Committee, Councilmember Sam Liccardo, San Jose Peace and Justice Center, and more.
Hurray for Three Kings' Day, written by Lori Marie Carlson and illustrated by Ed Martinez is a story about a girl named Anita and her family, and how they celebrate the Three Kings Day, also known as Epiphany. The family's celebration begins on the evening of January 5, and continues into the evening of January 6. This book is also available in Spanish.
The Legend of Old Befana: an Italian Christmas Story, retold and illustrated by Tomie de Paola is a gentle story about Old Befana, who visits the children of Italy on the Feast of the Three Kings to leave them gifts.
Strega Nona's Gift is another delightful story by Tomie de Paola. The reader learns about many Italian holidays, including the Eve of Epiphany, where it is believed that all animals can talk. The author recommends another book, Celebrating Italy by Carol Field for additional information about Italian holidays.
All of these books have interesting plots, cultural details, and beautiful illustrations. Happy Reading!
Are you trying to squeeze in some last minute gift-shopping for a child in your life? I may be biased since I'm a librarian but the best gift you could give a child is a really great book.
On Christmas Eve, my family always exchanged gifts and when I was 9, I was given a copy of Stuart Little by E.B. White. I spent most of the next day curled up on the couch immersed in the world of that little mouse who was adopted by a family and went on some great adventures. What a wonderful memory for me.
All children should have books of their own to keep and to read over and over. According to research studies, the number of books in the home is one of several factors directly connected to reading achievement in kindergarteners. Books to own don't have to be expensive. Many schools have programs for purchasing inexpensive paperback copies of books. And the Friends of the Library always have lots of gently used books at great prices for children of any reading level.
If you need help selecting a great book for a child, check in with us at the Library and ask for some recommendations.
Aside from Stuart Little - which is about at third grade level, here are a couple more of my favorites. Can't You Sleep Little Bear? - by Martin Waddell and Barbara Firth is a sweet book for a preschool aged child about a little bear who needs a very special night light.
I Will Surprise My Friend! by Mo Willems is a beginning to read book so hilarious, you'll be laughing out loud the whole time you read it. Elephant and Piggie are an unlikely pair of best friends, but they are so much alike and so very silly.
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen is a book that will grab the attention of any middle-schooler no matter how much they say they don't like to read. A boy is the sole survivor of a plane crash and must make it on his own in the wilderness. This book is short and the story is so compelling, you can't put it down!
So even if you've finished your holiday shopping, get one more present for the child in your life - make it a book - and make it a holiday tradition!
Poll your friends about their family's New Year's traditions and you may discover some interesting activities going on around December 31st!
How about a kiss!? When the ball drops (the Times Square New Year's Countdown) most people find their sweetheart and plant on them a big kiss!
My husband's family puts loose change on the doorstep on New Year's Eve and on New Year's Day brings the money inside. Its supposed to bring money in all year long. I did some research on this and it seems to be part of a tradition called First-Footer which is popular in Great Britain. The first person who walks through the door in the New Year is supposed to bring in luck with them. The first-footers come around to houses just after midnight bearing symbolic gifts including bread, coal for the fire, salt and money for prosperity and a bottle of whiskey to warm the spirits.
Some people eat black-eyed peas on New Years. This is supposed to ensure that you'll have plenty all year. Others eat pickled herring. Why? Because herring are plentiful this time of year and they are silver like coins. Another food often eaten to ensure prosperity in the new year is cornbread - because it is gold in color. Don't forget the grapes! Eat 12 grapes at midnight - each one representing a month in the upcoming year. Here is a neat article from Smithsonian Magazine on traditional New Year's foods.
No doubt, many people make new year's resolutions. Because of this, the first week of January is officially Diet Resolution Week. After all those holiday parties, some of us are going to need it!
What about Auld Lang Syne? Robert Burns wrote the poem Auld Lang Syne which means "old long ago" in 1788 - he claimed it was an old song that had never been in print that he had written down from an old man. Traditionally it is sung after the New Year is rung in.
What traditions do you observe for New Year's?
Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah by Susan L. Roth is a nicely illustrated book depicting adorable mice celebrating Hanukkah. The "Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah" song that starts out with the words "Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah, oh light the menorah" accompanies the colorful collage illustrations. Susan L. Roth's website contains other pictures from her books, as well as some pages describing her collage techniques.
Engineer Ari and the Hanukkah Mishap, written by Deborah Bodin Cohen, and illustrated by Shahar Kober, features Ari, a train engineer who steers his train toward his destination. On the way, Ari sees a camel is resting on the railroad tracks. What will happen next? Will Ari get to celebrate with his friends in time? Read and find out!
Hayim, the poorest man in the village, asks the local scribe write a letter to the Almighty. In his letter, Hayim requests enough oil to light all menorahs in town. Will Hayim receive a response? Read Letter on the Wind: a Chanukah Tale, written by Sarah Marwil Lamstein, and illustrated by Neil Waldman in order to find out!