StoryWalk: A Free, Outdoor Reading Adventure

Image of the mural "Valley of the Heart's Delight" on Alum Rock Ave and White Rd. This mural is part of the StoryWalk route.

Join the San José Public Library for its first StoryWalk reading experience in the Alum Rock Village in East San José. StoryWalks are free outdoor reading experiences where families walk along a short route and read a story, station by station. The SJPL StoryWalks are a great way to discover and support local community businesses, family bonding, physical activity, and the joys of reading and learning. Local small businesses in the Alum Rock Village along Alum Rock Avenue and White Road will display story pages on their storefronts. Each bilingual Spanish-English story page is accompanied by fun questions and prompts for caregivers and children to do together. The story pages stay posted for several weeks at a time for families and passersby to enjoy.

The StoryWalk Book

As families go on the StoryWalk, they will read the book Counting on Community by Innosanto Nagara, a Bay Area-based author, illustrator, and activist designer. The book is about counting, but it's not just about counting – it's about how we're all connected. The story and vivid images show young readers ways to appreciate and help others in their communities. Counting on Community reminds readers that when things get tough, they are not alone – they can count on their community. Watch the video below for a very special message to StoryWalkers from the author, Innosanto Nagara!

The StoryWalk Route

Families begin the StoryWalk at TeaZer Cafe and follow the directions on the StoryWalk posters to each following station. The route goes along N. White Road and Alum Rock Avenue and spans 14 stops in total, ending at the Dr. Roberto Cruz Alum Rock Branch Library.

Download and print a PDF StoryWalk map

Digital map of the StoryWalk route, which has 14 stops and is located on Alum Rock Avenue and White Road.
The StoryWalk route spans 14 stops along Alum Rock Ave. and White Rd.

StoryWalk Stations

  1. TeaZer Cafe (22 N White Rd, #30)
  2. Botanica Orunmila (22 N White Rd, #20)
  3. New York Pizza (22 N White Rd, #10)
  4. Starbucks (3103 & 3107 Alum Rock Ave)
  5. High Rollers Art Studio (3113 Alum Rock Ave)
  6. Baby Nutrition (3117 Alum Rock Ave)
  7. Kiana's Joyería/Inglés de Volada (3139 Alum Rock Ave)
  8. Carnitas El Rincón (3141 Alum Rock Ave)
  9. Josmarc Perfumes & Jewelry (3151 Alum Rock Ave)
  10. Esthetic Dental Care (3151 Alum Rock Ave)
  11. Las Delicias (3130 Alum Rock Ave)
  12. City Care Pharmacy (3130-A Alum Rock Ave)
  13. El Rodeo Men's Wear (3100 Alum Rock Ave)
  14. Dr. Roberto Cruz Alum Rock Branch Library (3090 Alum Rock Ave)

What to Expect on the StoryWalk

  • Read: The StoryWalk pages are spread out across a couple blocks on White Road and Alum Rock Avenue and the whole route takes about 10-20 minutes to complete.
  • Count: Children will have the opportunity to practice counting and thinking about items they see in their community.
  • Play: Families will be able to have fun together as they enjoy simple prompts and physical activities on each poster.
  • Explore: Families will be able to explore the Alum Rock Village as they visit each participating local business.


Highlighting East San José

The San José Public Library StoryWalk is proud to partner with many local small businesses in the Alum Rock Village. SJPL seeks to honor our community as a place where people come together to work, play, learn, and grow. Each participating business serves as a StoryWalk station and displays a book page in their storefront windows along the route. Additionally, there is a StoryWalk station inviting families to interact with the beautiful mural on Alum Rock Avenue and White Road, "Valley of the Heart's Delight" by local muralist Carlos Rodriguez, who has deep roots in East San José. The mural not only highlights the rich history of San José, but it also tells a powerful story of what's possible when a small group of people take action and create something beautiful for their community.


Finished the StoryWalk? Here are more activities you can do in your community!

  • Find ways to help in your community every day!
    Plant a seed, share with a friend, or clean up litter – these are just a few ideas! Small things—like helping to wash the dishes or making a nice card for a friend—can make a big difference.
  • Play "I spy…" in your community
    Write down or draw what you see in your community: friends, family, teachers, books that you like, schools, grocery stores, restaurants, trees, animals. What are your favorite things in your community?

For more information about the SJPL StoryWalk, please email:


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Your Comment
Hi Medha! Thank you for the questions! There is no fixed timing to visit the StoryWalk. Since the posters are on storefront windows, you can visit the StoryWalk anytime of day, regardless of business hours. The current StoryWalk book will stay up until at least the end of November. After that, we will switch out the posters and put up a new story. We're currently doing a book giveaway for the StoryWalk: the first 3 people to take a picture on the StoryWalk and post it on Facebook with the hashtag #SJPLStoryWalk will receive a free copy of the StoryWalk book, "Counting on Community." You can also share the picture with the Early Education Services, San José Public Library Facebook page, @SJPLEarlyEd. The StoryWalk consists of 14 posters along a short route, and each poster has one page from the storybook, accompanied by simple activity prompts and questions. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

Submitted by Cynthia Jimenez on Thu, 10/22/2020 - 9:11 AM


Your Comment
How long is this activity going to be available for, from what date to what date?

Your Comment
Hi Cynthia -- thanks so much for the question! Since the posters are on storefront windows, you can visit the StoryWalk anytime of day, regardless of business hours. The current StoryWalk book, "Counting on Community," will stay up until at least the end of November. After that, we will switch out the posters and put up a new story. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

Submitted by Pam crider on Wed, 11/18/2020 - 10:18 AM


Your Comment
What a cool idea! Bravo SJPL. Will this activity be offered in any other San Jose neighborhoods at a later date?

Your Comment
Thank you so much for your comment! StoryWalk expansions to other neighborhoods are still in the planning stages -- do you have any suggestions for where you would like to see it next? We welcome your thoughts!

Submitted by Pricilla Stevens on Tue, 02/02/2021 - 10:36 AM


Your Comment
Hi, I am interested in doing something similar in my area of San Antonio. I work for an elementary school and I think that this would be wonderful for our students! Do you have any resources or ideas that you could share?

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