Spring is here at last, and butterflies have come to visit Willow Glen Branch Library! The kids of Room 1B at St Christopher School have created these beautiful watercolor works of art and generously shared them with the Library. They have been fluttering above the picture books in the Family Space since mid-March, brightening the spirits of staff and Library customers alike during the last few weeks of rainy weather. Thanks to the wonderful young artists and to their teachers, Mrs. Lang and Mrs. Zeitler, for all their work. If your class is interested in displaying artwork in the Willow Glen Branch Library, come in and talk to one of the staff members.
The second and fourth Thursdays of the month are two of my favorite days, because dogs and books come together at Willow Glen Branch Library for our popular Reading to Dogs program. I always enjoy seeing Sassy and all the Furry Friends. On March 24, Willow Glen had a brand new visitor, the tall and handsome Tygon. He arrived with a bandage on one leg because he was still recovering from a bad spider bite. With any luck, his recovery will include the discovery of super powers. He already has super speed--Tygon is a Greyhound, and he used to be a racing dog. In fact, Tygon was one of the last dogs to race in Kansas, before the last dog-racing track was closed down. But that was two and a half years ago; since then, Tygon has been enjoying a more leisurely life in California with his human, Patrice.
It could be said that Tygon is a teacher's assistant at Willow Glen High School. His favorite subject in school is chemistry. He also enjoys being a Furry Friend, which lets him meet lots of new people, especially children, with whom he is unfailingly patient and tolerant. At ninety-five pounds, Tygon is on the large end of the Greyhound scale; his roommate Onyx is fully grown at only sixty pounds. I found out that Greyhounds often enjoy sleeping on their backs. This unusual canine behavior is called "roaching." For more information on this fascinating breed, take a look at your local library for books about Greyhounds. To meet Tygon in person, youngsters can come to Willow Glen on my favorite days and read him a book.
For Christmas last year I received The Sunset Cookbook. It’s from the editors of Sunset magazine and contains over 1,000 recipes from their archives. Recipes like “Oven-roasted Fall Vegetables,” “Classic Pesto” and “Steamed Clams or Mussels in Seasoned Broth” cover the basics. Then there are more complicated dishes, like “Shiitake and Edamame Salad with White Miso Vinaigrette,” “Caramelized Carrot Risotto” and “Roll-your-own Vietnamese Summer Rolls” that will satisfy the more accomplished cook or someone willing to take on a challenge. There are also plenty of poultry and meat recipes if you are so inclined, though I’m not.
There’s a great section on grilling, including a spread on “Cooking (and Eating) from Nose to Tail.” I have tried hard to ignore this page but you may enjoy it. More in line with my taste is “The Griller’s Guide to Vegetables,” which gives the grilling times and instructions for a variety of vegetables.
There are recipes for breads, muffins, cookies and mouthwatering desserts. I made the “Chocolate Chiffon Cupcakes” for my mom’s birthday and they were a success. That recipe is from Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake in San Francisco, and many other recipes in the book come from restaurants and Sunset readers.
I like the sidebars with quick recipes, like “Stir-fried Brussels Sprout Leaves” and “Fava Bean Puree.” Then there are informational pages like “A Guide to Asian Greens” and “Meet You at the Farmer’s Market” and a section on western wines. I love the book’s focus on fresh produce and the emphasis on western ingredients. As a California native I’m proud of our state’s agricultural heritage and love Sunset magazine of its emphasis on the western U. S. This cookbook lives up to the Sunset name and I’m sure it will provide me with tasty recipes for years.
In 1962, in a program known as Operation Pedro Pan, 14,000 Cuban children left their homeland and came to the United States, alone, as refugees. The United States government helped settle these children with family members, friends and in foster homes in Miami and other areas of the country. Carlos Eire, now a professor of history at Yale, was one of these children. He first wrote about his story in the memoir Waiting for Snow in Havana, which vividly recalled his life as a son of privilege in Cuba and the hard life that followed in the United States. His latest memoir, Learning to Die in Miami, focuses squarely on Eire's experience from the moment he and his brother arrive in Miami until his mother joins them in the United States years later. Eire struggles with the Cuban part of himself, trying to kill it off so he can be fully American, but also doesn't want to completely lose that part of himself. This is a good companion book to Waiting for Snow in Havana but may also be enjoyed on its own.
If this sparks your interest, you may want to learn more about Operation Pedro Pan and its background. You can start with these library materials.
The San Jose Public Library offers you the convenience of learning a language from your home computer, laptop or any mobile device with access to an Internet connection. There are 34 different languages, plus English, to select from in Mango Languages. In addition this database offers a translation feature where you can type in a word or phrase and it will respond with the equivalent in the language of your choice. The individual, learn-a-language lessons can be done at your own pace where you can pick up where you left off upon your next log-in. There are "cultural notes" recommending when one might use certain greetings and phrases. I enjoyed using the Narrator option where a speaker reads each lesson page along with the words being learned. Reinforcement was gained along with learning as I went along and was asked to repeat phrases that were previously covered.
This is a wonderful program and is free to you. On our homepage just click on the "Research" square in the lower left hand corner. This will bring you to the next page where you choose "Find Articles Online." It is here you will find among the list of Subject Specific Resources our Learn a Language link. Check it out! ¡Buena suerte!
In The Unreleased Beatles, author Richie Unterberger examines the group from a unique perspective. That is to say he explores the huge amount of material that that Beatles did not intend for public consumption (i.e. bootlegs, out takes, alternate recordings, rare film footage), but is available if one looks hard enough. A great opportunity to look behind the scenes while the Beatles developed their craft.
Sometimes I find it difficult to find yearly car reviews in Consumer Reports in our Ebsco database.
After clicking on the April link I see Consumer Reports " Top Picks," "Best and Worst," "Profiles," "Ratings," "Used Cars," "Safety," "Used Car Reliability," and "Reliability" history of new and used cars. Next I click on "PDF Full Text" to see the complete magazine article.
Note: You will first need to enter your library card and password to access Ebsco database.
If you’ve visited Willow Glen Library on a Wednesday afternoon, you may have seen Nancy reading to individuals or small groups in our children’s area. She is pictured here sharing a story with library visitors Mason and Alexandra. Nancy began volunteering at the library last fall. In addition to reading to children during Stories With Nancy, she has helped with library storytimes, crafts, our Book Adventures book club, and our Music and Movement With Preschoolers program.
Nancy is a long-time resident of Willow Glen and a retired teacher. She taught reading, religion, and social studies at St. Christopher’s School for 20 years. She has also taught at schools in Cupertino, Barstow, and Germany. Nancy loves to travel and has been to China, Europe, Mexico, and other countries all over the world. She also enjoys reading and gardening. Nancy’s volunteer service is much appreciated by library customers and staff alike. Next time you see her in the library, say hello!
Amber Brown, the spunky third-grade heroine of Amber Brown is Not a Crayon, has a problem. She’s been best friends since preschool with Justin, and now it looks like Justin’s family will be moving away. Amber thought things couldn’t get any worse after her parents divorced and her father moved to France. But now Justin is preparing to move and, worse still, he acts like it’s no big deal. He won’t talk about it with Amber and then the two stop speaking to each other altogether. In this and other Amber Brown books, author Paula Danziger displays her knack for combining serious subjects with humor in a way that connects with her audience. The book’s storyline, coupled with its slim size, large type, simple sentence structure, and line drawings by Tony Ross, will appeal to young readers in grades 2-4.
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.