Tuesday Children’s Book Reviews for December 16, 2014

December is a LOT of things! It is the beginning of winter, and the end of the year. Many, many holidays, observations, and commemorations take place in December. The weather is – usually – changing, and it’s – usually – time to bring out the warm sweaters, scarves and gloves, and – hopefully!!! – the umbrellas, raincoats and rain boots.

December is a month for family, food, and fun!

It’s great to GET things, but it can be even better to GIVE – to your family, your friends – and to people you have never met. You and your family can donate to a food bank; you can have fun picking out new clothes and toys for the U.S. Marine Corps TOYS FOR TOTS program. Have more time than money? Practice some holiday songs, then go visit a convalescent hospital and sing!

Be thankful for the things and people you have in your life.

Want to try your hand at making gifts this year? The Library can help!

Cool Knitting for Kids: A Fun and Creative Introduction to Fiber Art by Alex Kuskowski

“Provides step-by-step, illustrated instructions for knitting projects, including mitts, scarf, and bag.”   [J746.432 KUSKOWSKI]

Knits to Give: 30 Knitted Gifts Made With Love by Debbie Bliss

“Provides thirty patterns for both beginning and expert knitters to create hand-knitted gifts for a variety of occasions.”     [746.43204 BLISS]

Crafts for Styling Your Wardrobe by Susannah Blake

“A variety of crafts for kids to make their clothes their own. Includes upcycling old clothes and basic sewing stitches”                  [J646.2 BLAKE]

Earth-Friendly Wood Crafts in Five Easy Steps by Anna Llimos

“Provides step-by-step instructions on how to create fourteen simple crafts using wood and cork”                      [J684.08 LLIMOS PLOMER]

Gifts by Ruth Owen

“Readers learn to use recycled materials to make gifts for family, friends, and even their dog.
Contents: Giving green gifts — Juice Carton Bird Restaurant — Seed-Covered Napkin Rings — Newspaper Desk Organizer — Recycled Glass Vase — Make A Pet Place Mat — Recycled Plastic Holiday Door Wreath”                       [J745.5 OWEN]

Make Your Own Gifts, edited by Margaret Parrish

“Make Your Own Gifts has more than 50 fantastic projects to make great handmade gifts that will be more memorable than their store-bought counterparts. From photo frames to handmade soap, this fun guide to arts and crafts includes awesome gift ideas for all occasions. Simple step-by-step instructions alongside detailed photographs make these gifts easy and accessible for children to make. With projects that range from fun trinkets made with materials found around the house to tasty baked treats made from scratch, this entertaining gift guide also includes instructions on how to make unique wrapping paper and gift tags to make any handmade present priceless.”          [J745.5 MAKE]

Have a wonderful December!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Monday Children’s Book Reviews for December 15, 2014

The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie by Chris Van Allsburg

“From two-time Caldecott winner Chris Van Allsburg, creator of Jumanji and The Polar Express, comes a poignant story of one hamster’s struggle with destiny. Being a pet store hamster isn’t much fun for Sweetie Pie, but life in human homes proves downright perilous. As Sweetie Pie longingly gazes out of his cage at the squirrels frolicking in the trees, he wonders if he’ll ever have the chance to feel the wind in his fur. Allsburg’s expressive, soft-hued illustrations artfully capture a hamster’s-eye view of the wide and wonderful world where maybe, just maybe, Sweetie Pie could someday run free.”                                [JPB VAN ALLSBURG,C]

Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick

“An unsent letter in a first edition copy of Charlotte’s Web leads to a hunt for treasure in this heartwarming middle grade mystery from the author of The Mother-Daughter Book Club.

“Now that Truly Lovejoy’s father has been injured by an IED in Afghanistan and is having trouble finding work back home, the family moves from Texas to tiny Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, to take over Lovejoy’s Books, a struggling bookstore that’s been in the family for one hundred years.

“With two older brothers and two younger sisters clamoring for attention, her mother back in school, and everyone up to their eyebrows trying to keep Lovejoy’s Books afloat, Truly feels more overlooked than usual. So she pours herself into uncovering the mystery of an undelivered letter she finds stuck in a valuable autographed first edtion of Charlotte’s Web, which subsequently goes missing from the bookshop. What’s inside the envelope leads Truly and her new Pumpkin Falls friends on a madcap treasure hunt around town, chasing clues that could spell danger.”                [J FREDERICK,H]

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

“Tenderly and courageously told, Gracefully Grayson is a small miracle of a book. Its story is so compelling I found myself holding my breath as I read it and so intimate I felt as if what was happening to Grayson was happening to me. Thank you, Ami Polonsky, for creating this memorable character who will open hearts and minds and very possibly be the miracle that changes lives.” -James Howe, award-winning and best-selling author of The Misfits

“What if who you are on the outside doesn’t match who you are on the inside?

“Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: ‘he’ is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender’s body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson’s true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher’s wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit?”                                          [J POLONSKY]

The Sweet Story of Hot Chocolate by Stephen Krensky

“Warm up with the enticing history of hot chocolate in this fact-tastic nonfiction Level 3 Ready-to-Read, part of a series about the history of fun stuff!

“Did you know that for thousands of years, chocolate was a beverage and not a solid candy? Or that soldiers in the Revolutionary War received a monthly ration of chocolate for drinking? Learn all about the history of America’s favorite wintertime treat in this fun, fact-filled book.      [J641.3374 KRENSKY]

Fun and Festive Winter Crafts: Snow Globes, Groundhog Puppets, and Fairy Masks by Randel McGee

“Make Cool Projects for Winter! In winter, snow and ice cover the ground, the days are short, and the nights are long. In Fun and Festive Winter Crafts create easy crafts as you learn about the winter season. Read about symbols, holidays, and special events that take place during this frosty time of year and get creative!”                           [J745.5 McGEE]

Humorous Small Critter Jokes to Tickle Your Funny Bone by Susan K. Mitchell

“Why did the mouse take a shower? To get squeaky clean!

“Humorous Small Critter Jokes to Tickle Your Funny Bone is filled with fun jokes, limericks, tongue twisters, and knock-knock jokes that will make you squeal in delight! Read fascinating facts about rodents and other small animals, and learn how to create your own book of silly limericks!”                                             [J818.60208 MITCHELL]



Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Children, Reading, Teens, Union City Library

KIDS!!! Create and Make TODAY at the Union City Library!

Did you ever make fun creations with play dough? How about adding lights to those play dough shapes and lighting them up? This workshop is all about having fun while building circuits with colorful play dough. Kids will also learn the basics of electricity. Ages 7-12.

Union City LibraryFriday, December 12, at 4 pm. Sign-ups required: Call 510-745-1464 to sign up.

Newark Library, Friday, December 19, at 4 pm. Sign-ups required: Call 510-795-2627 to sign up.

Fremont Library, March 17, at 2 pm. Sign-ups required: Call (510) 745-1421 to sign up.



Leave a comment

Filed under Children, Events, Union City Library

Union City Library Benefits from Forest Park Service Learning Project

12-9-14 4When fourth graders Kshreya and Anushna were assigned a Service Learning Project for their class at Forest Park Elementary School in Fremont, they decided that they wanted to serve their community by donating books to the Library.

12-9-14 3They were able to rally friends and family to collect and donate over 120 books: board books, picture books, early readers, children’s paperbacks and hardbacks, and even a few teen titles. After contact Patricia Ryan, Children’s Librarian at the Union City Library, the students and parent Poornima Sundar, delivered the donated books Tuesday.

Great job, and thanks!

Leave a comment

Filed under Children, Uncategorized, Union City Library

Monday Children’s Book Reviews for December 8, 2014

Searching For Silverheels by Jeannie Mobley

“A girl’s search for the truth about a legendary woman teaches her a lot about what bravery and loyalty really mean.

“In her small Colorado town Pearl spends the summers helping her mother run the family café and entertaining tourists with the legend of Silverheels, a beautiful dancer who nursed miners through a smallpox epidemic in 1861 and then mysteriously disappeared. According to lore, the miners loved her so much they named their mountain after her.

“Pearl believes the tale is true, but she is mocked by her neighbor, Josie, a suffragette campaigning for women’s right to vote. Josie says that Silverheels was a crook, not a savior, and she challenges Pearl to a bet: prove that Silverheels was the kindhearted angel of legend, or help Josie pass out the suffragist pamphlets that Pearl thinks drive away the tourists. Not to mention driving away handsome George Crawford.

“As Pearl looks for the truth, darker forces are at work in her small town. The United States’s entry into World War I casts suspicion on German immigrants, and also on anyone who criticizes the president during wartime—including Josie. How do you choose what’s right when it could cost you everything you have?”  By the author of Katerina’s Wish.                                       [J MOBLEY,J.]

The Swap by Megan Shull

“With one random wish, Jack and Ellie are living life in each other’s shoes. He’s her. And she’s him. ELLIE assumed popular guys didn’t worry about body image, being perfect, or talking to girls, but acting like you’re cool with everything is tougher than it looks. JACK thought girls had it easy—no fights with bullies, no demanding dads, no power plays—but facing mean girls at sleepovers and getting grilled about your period is way harder than taking a hit to the face at sports practice. Now they’re dealing with each other’s middle school dramas—locker room teasing, cliques, video game battles, bra shopping, and a slew of hilariously awkward moments—until they hopefully switch back!”                                       [J SHULL]

World War I Unclassified: Secrets of World War I Revealed! by Nick Hunter

“From the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, this book takes readers on a journey back in time to discover the amazing story behind one of the most terrible wars in history. Packed full of amazing photographs and original documents from the National Archives, real-life artifacts and documentation enable readers to build a true and real account of World War I and how it shaped the world.”              [J940.3 HUNTER]


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

STAGEBRIDGE A Senior Theatre Company @ the Union City Library

Never Too Late

Wednesday, Dec 17 at 1:30 p.m.

Join us for theatrical works that showcase the rich and varied
experiences of older adults to a multigenerational audience.

Musical revue features songs,
outrageous skits, and hilarious
strolls down memory lane.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Older Adults, Union City Library

Sophie’s World Christmas Crafts Workshop

Make a special holiday decoration at this fun, free program! Space is limited. Come in the day of the program to pick up a free ticket. All materials provided. For the entire family.

Friday, December 5, 3:30-5 PM at the Union City Library

For the past 15 years, Sophie has assisted children in planning, creating, and crafting imaginations into reality through her award-winning party planning business, Sophie’s Stress-Free Soirées. Wanting to share her recipe for connecting people through creativity, Sophie invites you into her world… Sophie’s World!


Leave a comment

Filed under Children, Events, Older Adults, Teens, Union City Library