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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for March 9, 2015

finding springFinding Spring by Carin Berger

“A baby bear cub named Maurice is curious about spring—and he’s upset when Mama tells him that before he can experience his first spring, he has to hibernate through his first winter! Mischievous Maurice decides to leave their warm den and go find spring for himself. He asks all his friends for help . . . and finally finds something beautiful and full of magic and light. Spring! He wraps it up and takes it home, determined to show Mama and everyone else. The only problem? When Maurice wakes up, his little piece of spring (a snowball) has melted.”                   [JPB BERGER]

mind-blowing makeup in special effectsMind-Blowing Makeup in Special Effects by Danielle S. Hammelef

“Special effects make vampires and aliens look lifelike in movies. Actors bleed, monsters walk, and people grow old. How do makeup artists create these special effects?”                   [J791.43027 HAMMELEF]

epic stuntsEpic Stunts by Danielle S. Hammelef

“Move characters hang from tall buildings. They catch fire and crash cars. How do actors do these dangerous stunts? Most of the time, actors don’t. Highly trained stunt performers do this risky work.”    [J791.43028 HAMMELEF]

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If you want to know what our clerks do – ‘check it out’!

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Feeling Smart : Why Our Emotions are More Rational Than We Think

feeling smartWhich is smarter your head or your gut? It’s a familiar refrain: you’re getting too emotional. Try and think rationally. But is it always good advice?

In this surprising book, Eyal Winter asks a simple question: why do we have emotions? If they lead to such bad decisions, why hasn’t evolution long since made emotions irrelevant? The answer is that, even though they may not behave in a purely logical manner, our emotions frequently lead us to better, safer, more optimal outcomes.

In fact, as Winter discovers, there is often logic in emotion, and emotion in logic. For instance, many mutually beneficial commitmentssuch as marriage, or being a member of a teamare only possible when underscored by emotion rather than deliberate thought. The difference between pleasurable music and bad noise is mathematically precise; yet it is also something we feel at an instinctive level. And even though people are usually overconfidenthow can weall be above average?we often benefit from our arrogance.

Please join us for series of talks on the family’s emotional wellbeing by Esmael Darman (MS in Clinical and Counseling Psychology).

 The program is in Farsi/Dari Language.

Saturdays: January 24, and February 7 & 21 Time: 3p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 Union City Library


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Monday Children’s Book Reviews for December 22, 2014

Some classic Christmas books:

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

“Della and Jim love each other very much but have no money for getting Christmas gifts for one another. But when Della decides to make a great sacrifice that will give her enough money to buy the present Jim deserves, she soon discovers that that her selfless act may have been for naught. This is a new, richly illustrated interpretation of the well-loved, poignant short story by O. Henry.”                     [J HENRY, O]

The Nutcracker illustrated by Alison Jay

“Based on the Balanchine ballet, this sumptuous package is the perfect gift for any fan of The Nutcracker – young or old. The nicely balanced text (not too much, not too little) captures all the best moments and sets the stage for Alison Jay’s richly imagined art. Sharp-eyed readers will notice tiny details playing out thrillingly over the course of the story (keep an eye on the gifts under the Christmas tree!). From the cozy Christmas party to the delectable Marzipan Palace, Alison Jay’s artwork is truly enchanting – a snow-globe version of The Nutcracker to read every night before Christmas and all winter long.”       [JPB JAY]

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens; illustrated by Brett Helquist; abridged by Josh Greenhut

“In this luminous picture book adaptation of Charles Dickens’ immortal classic, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge leaps off the page to warm the soul of one and all. Be swept away in an unforgettable Christmas Eve, from Scrooge’s first “Bah, humbug!” to the arrival of the Ghost of Christmas Past; from the courage of Tiny Tim to the glory of Christmas morning. Brett Helquist’s art bursts with spirit, humor, and an irresistible attention to detail. Here is a treasure for the whole family to share, year after year. A merry Christmas, everyone!”     [JPB DICKENS, C]

Twas the Day before Christmas: the Story of Clement Clarke Moore’s Beloved Poem by Brenda Seabrooke; illustrated by Delana Bettoli

“On Christmas Eve day, 1822, Clement Clarke Moore struggled to write a surprise for his children. While traveling to lower Manhattan from his farm, Chelsea, many thoughts ran through his head. What would his children enjoy more, a poem or a story? The final result has become a beloved classic of the holiday season, The Night Before Christmas.”            [JPB SEABROOKE,B]

The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers

“New York Times bestselling artist Susan Jeffers has created a Nutcracker unlike any that has gone before, with a lovely spare text based on the ballet.

“This is the perfect gift to share with children before they see The Nutcracker. Everyone who has seen the ballet will cherish it—as will anyone who enjoys stories where love triumphs.

“Come, take a front-row seat. The world’s most beloved holiday fairy tale is about to begin.”    [JPB JEFFERS,S]

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, illustrated by P. J. Lynch

“The story of Ebenezer Scrooge opens on a Christmas Eve as cold as Scrooge’s own heart. That night, he receives three ghostly visitors: the terrifying spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. Each takes him on a heart-stopping journey, yielding glimpses of Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit, the horrifying spectres of Want and Ignorance, even Scrooge’s painfully hopeful younger self. Will Scrooge’s heart be opened? Can he reverse the miserable future he is forced to see? Now in an unabridged edition gloriously illustrated by the award-winning P.J. Lynch, this story’s message of love and goodwill, mercy and self-redemption resonates as keenly as ever.”          [J DICKENS]

A Little House Christmas Treasury: Festive Holiday Stories by Laura Ingalls Wilder; illustrated by Garth Williams

“A collection of stories which describe the experiences of a pioneer girl and her family as they celebrate various Christmases in the Big Woods in Wisconsin, on the prairie in Indian Territory, and on the banks of Plum Creek.”              [J WILDER,L]

The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown; pictures by Jim LaMarche

“They put golden tinsel on his branches

And golden bells
And green icicles
And silver stars
And red and green and blue and purple chains of shining Christmas balls.

“All alone in an empty field grew a little fir tree. It dreamed of being part of a forest-or part of anything at all. Then one winter day, a man takes the little fir tree away and it finds itself at the center of a little boy’s very special celebration.

“This treasured story by the legendary Margaret Wise Brown has been newly illustrated by award-winning artist Jim LaMarche. Warm, glowing paintings complement the gentle text to capture the true heart of Christmas.”             [JPB BROWN,M]

The Littlest Angel by written by Charles Tazewell; illustrated by Guy Porfirio

“An earth-sick little angel, newly arrived in the celestial kingdom, finds his recent transition from boy to cherub a difficult one, in a new edition of a classic story.”   [J TAZEWELL,C]

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, read by Jim Dale

“Bah Humbug!” That’s how Ebeneezer Scrooge feels about Christmas–until the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future decide to show the crotchety old miser the error of his ways. Together they travel through time, revisiting all the people who have played an important role in Scrooge’s life. And as their journey concludes, Scrooge is reminded of what it means to have love in his heart, and what the true spirit of Christmas is all about. A timeless story the whole family will enjoy!       [CDB J DICKENS,C]

The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter

“When the tailor becomes sick and cannot finish the waistcoat for the Mayor, the mice finish it for him.”                             [JPB POTTER,B]

Kay Thompson’s Eloise at Christmastime

“Here she is at Christmastime
Complete with tinsel and holly
Singing fa la la la lolly, And over the roar of the jingle bells
You can hear hear hear her say, It’s absolutely Christmas
But I don’t mind a bit, I give everyone a present
For that’s the thing of it, So when it’s everly Christmastime
And you’re under your Christmas trees, Simply tinkle a bell and have a trinkle
And remember
Eloise”                                                                    [J THOMPSON,K]

A Newbery Christmas: Fourteen Stories of Christmas by Newbery Award Winning Authors

“A collection of stories about Christmas, by Newbery Award-winning authors such as Eleanor Estes, E.L. Konigsburg, Madeleine L’Engle, and Katherine Paterson”                              [J NEWBERY]

The Bells of Christmas by Virginia Hamilton

“In 1890, in Springfield, Ohio, Jason Bell awaits the arrival of Christmas and his Uncle Levi Bell and muses on the manner in which people will celebrate the holiday one hundred years from then.  Set against the carefully researched background life of a middle-class black family in Ohio a century ago, ‘Hamilton’s story moves along at an elegant pace, giving readers time to savor the holiday preparations.'”                       [J HAMILTON]

Uncle Vova’s Tree by Patricia Polacco

“Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and children gather at a farm house to celebrate Christmas in the Russian tradition. Based on Polacco’s childhood memories, this is the story of her Great-uncle Vladimir, known as Vova, and his colorful and inventive celebrations of the Russian Orthodox holiday of Epiphany. Polacco’s art warmly depicts the vibrant costumes and decorations from her family’s homeland, and the text conveys the magical feeling of a child’s wonder and joy during the holidays.”   [JPB POLACCO]

So many memories, so many wonderful stories. Enjoy, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!



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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!

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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!

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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]


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