Noe Valley Voice December-January 2010

Books to Read

Winter Wonderland at the Library

By Susan Higgins, Adult Librarian

Noe Valley/Sally Brunn Branch Library

December offers plenty of chances to increase your stress levels: holiday parties, family gatherings, travel on crowded roads, lines at airports, and the risk of spending lots of money. How can a trip to your local library make you feel better? Stop by and borrow some books that will help soothe your nerves and calm your mind.

On the topic of money, have you considered how much you’ll save if you borrow books, movies, and music from the library? If you borrow one book or audiotape a month instead of buying it, you could easily save $200 or more per year. Another money-saving strategy is to try before you buy. Before purchasing that new cookbook or how-to book on gardening, borrow it from the library to make sure it’s really something you want to add to your permanent collection.

For the kids, it’s a great time to read books that will enhance the family’s enjoyment of the winter season. In addition to many stories about specific holidays, the library has books that will introduce young children to their first snow (even if San Francisco can’t). Older readers can find fiction with winter themes and nonfiction books about snow sports.


Stress Reduction for Adults

Reduce your anxiety and relax with the audio CD version of Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life, by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Frank Lipman, founder and director of New York’s Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, presents a program for beating fatigue based on improving eating and exercise habits, in Spent: End Exhaustion and Feel Great Again.

Beating Stress, Anxiety, and Depression: Groundbreaking Ways to Help You Feel Better, by Jane Plant and Janet Stephenson, explores new methods for the prevention and treatment of stress.

The audio CD Conquer Stress: Meditations to Take You From Tension to Tranquility, by K.R.S. Edstrom, offers a series of short programs designed to fit into busy schedules.

Healing Your Family History: Five Steps to Break Free of Destructive Patterns, by emotional wellness counselor Rebecca Linder Hintze, recommends steps for healing family dysfunction.


Just for Teens

Chill: Stress-Reducing Techniques for a More Balanced, Peaceful You, by Deborah Reber, provides friendly advice for overscheduled teens.

Stress 101: An Overview for Teens, by Margaret O. Hyde and Elizabeth H. Forsyth, is an informative book that helps teens understand what stress is and offers self-help tools for reducing its effects.

Mental tricks, breathing exercises, spa treatments, and other natural remedies are the focus of Girl in a Funk: Quick Stress Busters (and Why They Work), by Tanya Napier and Jen Kollmer.


Picture Stories for Reading Aloud to Young Children

A young rabbit discovers a world covered in white in Danny’s First Snow by Leonid Gore.

Mouse tries sledding, skating, and building a snow house in Mouse’s First Snow by Lauren Thompson.

A mother cat makes caps and mittens for her kittens in the bedtime story Knitty Kitty by David Elliott.

A mole ventures off into his first snow and mistakes an icicle for a diamond in Diamond in the Snow by Jonathan Emmett.

The classic 1963 Caldecott Award winner The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is still a winter favorite.


Fiction for Older Children

Beginning readers will enjoy the story of Freddy facing off against Max the bully in the school snowshoe race in Ready, Set, Snow! by Abby Klein.

Truck lovers who are just beginning to read can delve into Snow Trucking! by Jon Scieszka.

One line of text per page plus repetitive vocabulary makes Tiny the Snow Dog by Cari Meister a great choice for very early readers.

In Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen, a 13-year-old boy is forced to survive a harsh winter alone in the Canadian woods.

Snow, Snow: Winter Poems for Children offers crisp, icy poems by Jane Yolen accompanied by Jason Stemple’s beautiful nature photographs.

Savannah sprains her ankle on her first day at a cabin in the snow in Snowfall Surprise by Jane B. Mason and Sarah Hines Stephens.


Winter Sports

Blades, Boards, and Scooters by Keltie Thomas explores the history and science behind snowboards, skateboards, and inline skates, and offers tips for safety and maintenance.

Clive Gifford describes the best equipment choices and basic-through-advanced techniques for children in Snowboarding.

Learn about popular and lesser-known Olympic sports and athletes in Freeze Frame: a Photographic History of the Winter Olympics, by Sue Macy with a foreword by Peggy Fleming.




Jungle Joe Puppets

On Saturday, Dec. 11, from 11 to 11:45 a.m., popular ventriloquist and puppeteer Jungle Joe will present  his “Animal Trainer Show,” a creative, interactive event for children of all ages.


Toddler Tuesday

The Noe Valley Library sponsors Toddler Tales—stories, rhymes, movement, and music—on Tuesdays, Dec. 7, 14, and 28, from 10:15 to 10:45 a.m., and from 11 to 11:30 a.m. The program is aimed at children 18 months to three years old, but all ages are welcome. On the third Tuesday of the month—Tuesday, Dec. 21, at 10:15 and 11 a.m.—the library hosts Family Films, short films based on picture books.


A Book Club Invite

The Noe Valley Book Discussion Group welcomes new members to its monthly meetings. The next gathering will be on Wednesday, Dec. 15, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Drop-ins welcome.


All events take place at the Noe Valley/ Sally Brunn Branch Library, 451 Jersey Street between Castro and Diamond streets. Call 355-5707 for information. Please park strollers by the elevator.