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Archive for March, 2012

 Did you know that research shows that a simple way to enhance intelligence, creativity, self-esteem, and academic ability in kids is to give them the gift of knowing more than one language? And, that this can be valuable and can be done, even if the parents do not know the language!

A very easy way to start this process is by having your kids have fun with the new language through stories and poems.

To help you do this, the creator of the “13-min A Day” Online Hindi Immersion Program and Co-Founder of Cheeni for Tots, Rakhi Sharma, brings you a FREE On-line Hindi-English Bilingual Story Time for kids.

This unique story-time for tots (aged 3-8) and their parents, is designed to be a time of fun and frolic, a time to enjoy stories, poems, and songs in a new language, Hindi (together with English explanations and interactions). This allows kids to soak in the language and learn, without even realizing it! It is open for parents and kids from all the beautiful cultures of the world, and kids/parents do not need to know the Hindi language.

To preserve interactivity, spots are limited (to just 20), and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis and (going by the popularity Cheeni-for-Tots’ other programs) will likely to disappear fast. So, hurry here to register, NOW!

Online Story time will be Tuesdays, 6:30pm PST Starting April 3rd, 2012. To participate, sign-up to participate at cheenifortots.com/Library/storytime

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New things at the Library

The Library is no longer a quiet place to find a book. It is a living and exciting place to experience knowledge. This knowledge comes in many many forms and formats.

I just discovered a new format of books. In “3:15 Season One Things that go bump in the Night” Patrick Carman has integrated three platforms into one book. You Listen then Read then Watch.

On the very first page you are given a website and a password and told to join the story. You go to the website hear the introduction then read the short story and if you dare you go back and watch the video. Then on to the next short story. Very fun and very interactive.

Another book I am currently reading is “The Day Before” by Lisa Schroeder.
I love this book it is told in prose in the form of one or two page poems about life and Amber’s perfect day. Can’t wait to see how it unfolds… 

If you wish to see some of the differences at the Libraries come visit us at Fremont Main Library on Saturday April 7th between the hours of 10 am – 4 pm and see the Overdrive Digital Bookmobile and have the helpful staff show you all you need to know to connect your electronics to our Library and start enjoying the wonderful world of e-books and audio-books.

Hope to see you at the Library soon.

Check the schedule for the Overdrive Bookmobile at http://www.digitalbookmobile.com

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Dresden Files

This  is  a science fiction/mystery   series by  Jim Butcher. It  takes place  in a Chicago that is very similar to our world.   Except  magic  exists.   Not  that most people  know it or belive it  exists.   Because  then  may be vampires would  be  real.   And  demons  and  werewolves.  And  wizards  like  Harry  Dresden. 

Now, I love  these books and  recommend  them highly.   But what I really want to do is celebrate  the age  we  live in. I love stories and even though I chouse books first , there are so many other ways to Enjoy them.   For Example , the Dresden files. You  can  get  them in a  book.   You  can  also get  them in a  ebook ( look  at  overdrive ) .  the also  come in  graphic  novels. And they  were  also  in a  television  series. 
Here is the promo for the Television series that will give you a few hints about the story line :

We live in an age where we can discover stories in all kinds of media . Explore a new-to-you story today.

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I spent my junior year in Spain many years ago.  Today, my favorite way to review my Spanish is to read “Baldo,” a comic strip by Cantu and Castellanos published online by the San Jose Mercury News. Since the Mercury publishes the strip in both Spanish and English, I can test my understanding, which is, usually but not always, good. I believe anyone could appreciate the gentle humor of this comic with Latin flavor   By the way, to search online for more comic strips in Spanish, use the phrase “Tiras cómicas.” And our Fremont library has more titles, too, of comics in Spanish.

From last Sunday (3/25/12), here are two versions of  “Baldo,” with comments about freedom.

Baldo, Spanish Version

Baldo, English version

Online English version of "Baldo," a comic strip by Cantu and Castellanos.

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Paint Splatter Duck Tape Beach BagStarting in March, and continuing into April, the Library is having Duct Tape Programs.  Tweens age 10-12 will be able to make a wallet or something else fun for themselves ,or for a gift, completely made of duct tape!  Check our Eventkeeper schedule for the program nearest you, and make sure to register your tween.

I know making things out of duct tape has been around for a while, and has become  a craze, especially for tweens and teens.  I’ve even seen “how to do it” lessons on You Tube, so I know it’s big. I started wondering who invented  duct tape and why. 

So, I  turned to the internet and did some research.  According to Duck Brand’s website www.duckbrand.com, duct tape was invented  by Johnson & Johnson’s Permacel Division during World War II to meet the need for a tape that could seal canisters, be used on trucks, repair guns, and windows, etc., and remain strong, flexible and waterproof.  Starting with medical tape as a base,  polycoat adhesives were added along with a polyethylene coating that enabled them to  laminate the  tape to cloth backing.  The result: a three-layer tape that was strong, durable, flexible and could repel water! Thus the product was named “Duck tape“, and it was originally green.  

Later, duck tape started to be used for household purposes like repairing duct pipes, and was changed into the familiar gray “duct” tape we usually think of to match.   In the 1970’s, Manco, Inc. changed the name back to Duck Tape and put Manco P.  Duck on their logo giving something ordinary some personality. They also put the duct tape in shrink wrap which made it easier to stack for retailers.  As they say, the rest is history. The make it-out-of-duct tape craze was born.

Some 70 years after it’s invention the uses for duck tape seem to be endless.  On Duck Brand’s website you can join a duck tape club, and find many step by step duck tape projects ranging from wallets to tote bags to a baseball cap! Duck tape now comes in more than 20 colors and designs. There are even places that will make duck tape to your specifications, thus giving lots of possibilities.  The library has some books on the practical and fun ways you can use duck tape.  In addition to You Tube demonstrations on the internet, you can  see pictures of  duck tape  art.  The Internet’s Duct  Tape Art Gallery, http://www.octanecreative.com/ducttape/dtgallery.html, has some fun and funky, sublime and extreme examples of  duck tape art.  Check it out if you have some time, there are many pages,  and parents may want to check it first to make sure if it is suitable for children.  Don’t forget to register your Tweens for our library programs, and if you are intrigued, learn about duct tape for yourself.  Go! Make something useful or just plain fun out of duck tape!

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ImageBy now you’ve heard about eBooks and how people everywhere are downloading electronic books onto their computers or eReaders.  Maybe you’re already an old pro at using eBooks.  But if you’re new to the scene and want to know what’s available at your library, you’re in luck.  The Alameda County Libraries have a great guide to help you understand how your computer or eReader works with the library’s eBook collections.

Head to our our eReaders Guide at guides.aclibrary.org/ereaders and click on a tab to see how you can download eBooks from the library’s collections onto your eReader (or future eReader).   If  you’re considering purchasing an eReader, you’ll find sources to help you compare the different devices.  Kindle, Kindle Fire, Nook,  Sony, iPad,, Android etc., all these choices make my head hurt so this guide helps to clear the confusion.

To learn even more about  eBooks, keep April 7th open on your calendar and stop by the Fremont Main Library to walk through the DigitalBookmobile.  This is a great opportunity to see first hand how to download eBooks and a chance to walk around a truly unique Bookmobile.  Maybe I’ll see you there!

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I recently read The Puzzling World of Winston Breen written by Eric Berlin. If you like mysteries written for children and you enjoy putting your brain to work solving puzzles then this book will be right up your alley. Eric Berlin, who happens to write crossword puzzles for the New York Times, has written a mystery that weaves a variety of puzzles and riddles into the plot for the reader to solve as they make their way through the story. The main character is twelve-year-old Winston Breen. He is a puzzle lover and often tries to find patterns and puzzles in everyday things, like the arrangement of toppings on a pizza. He is also well-known for creating puzzles for his friends and family to solve. When a small wooden box he gives to his sister at her birthday party reveals a hidden puzzle everyone at the party immediately thinks that Winston created the puzzle as part of the gift. Soon the partygoers realize that Winston is trying hard to figure out the puzzle right along with them and is just as confused as to where it came from.

Winston and his sister Katie agree to share the puzzle and try to solve it together. They discover however that their puzzle is one portion of a larger puzzle that leads to a hidden treasure left behind by a wealthy citizen of their town. The reader is introduced to a whole cast of characters including Winston’s two best friends, a librarian, an ex-police officer, two questionable treasure seekers and a local newspaper reporter. The group of characters come together to set out on a treasure hunt and to solve some mysterious burglaries that have been happening around town.

As the mystery unfolds the reader finds a series of puzzles and riddles sprinkled throughout the story. Some of the puzzles are pertinent to the plot and are revealed through the text, others are just fun riddles to take a couple of minutes out of reading to solve. You can download the puzzles from the author’s website here. The answers are included in the back of the book in case you get stumped. The Puzzling World of Winston Breen is a very entertaining story that keeps you guessing throughout. Eric Berlin does a wonderful job of blending the puzzles and riddles into the story for an interactive reading experience. If you want to solve more puzzles you can check out Winston’s puzzle blog here.

If you like this book or just enjoy reading mysteries you might also like these books:

The sequel to The Puzzling World of Winston Breen is The Potato chip Puzzles.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin is another book with a puzzle for the reader to solve as they read the book.

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler  by E.L. Konigsburg are both great mysteries to read!

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