December 2010


Travel through California history with Calisphere’s newest feature: a set of interactive maps with hundreds of images from the past century, plotted at the locations they depict.  Calisphere called Local History Mapped.

This feature consists of five maps of California with approximately 350 images from Calisphere plotted on the locations they depict.  Users can browse the maps to find images, explore their neighborhoods, and learn about local history.  Each map is on a different theme—civic buildings, disasters, transportation, city scenes, and everyday life—and includes a short essay with selected images and a “teachers’ toolbox” with ideas and activities for K-12 educators.


All of the maps are available from the Calisphere homepage (, as you’ll notice a new space highlighting this in the “Collections for Educators” section.  Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can view a map at random with the URL


This past Sunday I went with my spouse to the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.  I would highly recommend to members of the Alameda County Library System that they take advantage of the free museum passes that they may borrow for one week’s time to visit this museum.

The current exhibits at the museum include Curious George Saves the Day:  The Art of Margret and H.A. Rey, Black Sabbath:  The Secret Musical History of Black-Jewish Relations, and Reclaimed – Paintings from the Collection of Jacques Goudstikker.

Curious George, the monkey protagonist of many adventures, would never have seen the light of day if it were not for the determination of his creators, the illustrator H. A. Rey and his wife, author and artist Margret Rey.  Born in Hamburg to Jewish families, they left Germany and lived together in Paris from 1936 to 1940.  Hours before the Nazis marched into Paris in 1940, the Reys fled on bicycles, carrying drawings for their children’s stories including one about a mischievous monkey, then named Fifi. The Reys themselves were saved by their illustrations when authorities found them in their belongings, which established their occupation as illustrators of children’s books.  This may explain why saving the day after a narrow escape became the theme of most Curious George stories.  The exhibit features two activity rooms for younger visitors and features a whimsically illustrated corner of Paris, based on the illustrations of the Reys.

Black Sabbath: The Secret Musical History of Black-Jewish Relations is a musical journey through a unique slice of recording history – the Black-Jewish musical encounter from the 1930s to the 1960s.  Little attention has been paid to the history of the influence of Jewish music, life, and culture on many Black musicians and singers.  From  Cab Calloway’s mixing his own hepcat jive with Yiddishisms, to Johnny Mathis singing “Kol Nidre,” to The Tempations’ take on “Fiddler on the Roof,” visitors can learn how Black artists treated Jewish music as a resource for African-American identity, history, and politics.  There are several tables where visitors can put on headsets and hear examples of the African-American vocal artists singing tunes based on Old Testament themes, or taken directly from Yiddish and Hebrew music. 

Reclaimed commemorates a remarkable story of post-Holocaust restitution and the extraordinary life and legacy of Jacques Goudstikker, a preeminent art dealer in Amsterdam. Goudstikker’s vast collection of Old Master paintings was stolen by Hermann Goering during the Nazi Occupation of the Netherlands and was not restored to members of the Goudstikker family until February 2006. The exhibit has on display examples of many lesser known Old Masters, including portraits, landscapes and religious works. 

Materials of interest relating to these exhibits available to members of the Alameda County Library include:

“Curious George” »  The Complete Adventures of Curious George / Margret & H.A. Rey    JPB  REY, M

 Cecily G. And The 9 Monkeys               JPB REY,H

  Whiteblack The Penguin Sees The World         JPB REY, M

The lost museum : the Nazi conspiracy to steal the world’s greatest works of art / Hector Feliciano    709.44 FELICIANO

The rape of Europa [videorecording] / Actual Films ; in association with Agon Arts & Entertainment presents ; written, produced and directed by Richard Berge, Nicole Newnham and Bonni Cohen ; co-producer, Robert M. Edsel ; an Actual Films production, in association with Agon Arts & Entertainment and Oregon Public Broadcasting                  DVD 364.162 RAPE

Black music in America : a history through its people / James Haskins ; illustrated with photographs     781.7 HASKINS

The music of black Americans: a history  / by Eileen Southern       780.973 SOUTHERN


Want to give that special child in your life a gift they’ll keep for years to come? The children’s librarians at the Dublin Library can help. We’ve put together a list of great books, all of them recently published and perfect for gift giving. You may not see these titles advertised everywhere, but that’s what makes them the ideal surprise. All of these books are available at the library, so come see us if you’d like to look before you buy.


You Push I Ride Board Book by Abby Levine ; pictures by Margot Apple (ages 18 months – 3 years)
Newly released with board pages, this classic tale is a slice of toddler life.

Ready for Anything by Keiko Kasza (ages 4 -7)
Raccoon is nervous about all of the things that could spoil a picnic, from bees to dragons, until Duck convinces him that surprises can be fun.

Jump! by Scott M. Fischer (ages 2 – 5)
Lively illustrations and rhythmic text have animals jump-jump-jumping every which way.

What if? By Laura Vaccaro Seeger (ages 3 – 6)
What if a boy found a beach ball and kicked it into the ocean? What if two seals found it and began to play? What if a third seal appeared on the beach looking for a friend? Enjoy this visit to the beach and the chance to guess what happens when different choices are made

A Bedtime for Bear by Bonny Becker ; illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton (ages 5 – 7)
A small but effervescent overnight guest tries the patience of a curmudgeonly bear who needs absolute quiet to fall asleep

Duck Rabbit by Amy Krouse Rosenthal ; illustrations by Tom Lichtenheld (ages 5 – 7)
Two unseen characters argue about whether the creature they are looking at is a rabbit or a duck

City Dog, Country Frog words, Mo Willems ; pictures, Jon J Muth (all ages)
Through the seasons, whenever City Dog visits the country he runs straight for Country Frog’s rock to play games with him, but during the winter things change for them both

Maybelle in the Soup by Katie Speck ; illustrations by Paul Rátz de Tagyos (ages 7 – 9)
When Mr. and Mrs. Peabody invite a guest to dinner, Maybelle the cockroach, who lives under their refrigerator, ignores the warnings of Henry the flea to be sensible and ends up “splashing” into a big adventure.

How Oliver Olson Changed the World by Claudia Mills; pictures by Heather Maione (ages 8 – 10)
Afraid he will always be an outsider like ex-planet Pluto, nine-year-old Oliver finally shows his extremely overprotective parents that he is capable of doing great things without their help while his class is studying the solar system.

Jake by Audrey Couloumbis (ages 10 and up)
When ten-year-old Jake’s widowed mother breaks her leg just before Christmas while her sister and best friend are both away, a grandfather Jake barely remembers must come to Baltimore, Maryland, to help a neighbor take care of him.

What Happened on Fox Street by Tricia Springstubb (ages 10 and up)
Fox Street means everything to Mo Wren, who is nearly eleven, and so she is very upset when a land developer offers to buy her father’s house, especially since she has not yet found the fox she is sure lives in the nearby ravine.

Any Which Wall by Laurel Snyder ; drawings by LeUyen Pham (ages 9 and up)
In the middle of an Iowa cornfield, four children find a magic wall that enables them to travel through time and space

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (ages 10 and up)
Eleven-year-old Delphine has it together. Even though her mother, Cecile, abandoned her and her younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, seven years ago. Even though her father and Big Ma will send them from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to stay with Cecile for the summer. And even though Delphine will have to take care of her sisters, as usual, and learn the truth about the missing pieces of the past.

Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord (ages 10 – 12)
When the state of Maine threatens to shut down their island’s one-room schoolhouse because of dwindling enrollment, eleven-year-old Tess, a strong believer in luck, and her family take in a trumpet-playing foster child, to increase the school’s population.

How I, Nicky Flynn, finally get a life (and a dog) by Art Corriveau (ages 12 and up)
Moving to inner-city Boston after his parents’ divorce, eleven-year-old Nicky struggles to cope with the changes in his life, including acquiring a former guide dog that leads to a mystery for Nicky to solve.

A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban (ages 11 and up)
Zoe Elias, who longs to play the piano but must resign herself to learning the organ, instead, finds that her musicianship has a positive impact on her workaholic mother, her jittery father, and her school social life.

Rocky Road by Rose Kent (ages 12 and up)
Fashion-loving twelve-year-old Tess moves with her deaf younger brother and impulsive single mother to Schenectady, New York, where they open an ice-cream shop and lead a campaign for urban renewal.

Day-Glo Brothers by Chris Barton ; illustrated by Tony Persiani (all ages)
The creative Switzer brothers invent day-glo paint.

What Really Happened to Humpty? by Joe Dumpty as told to Jeanie Franz Ransom ; illustrated by Stephen Axelsen (all ages)
Detective Joe Dumpty rushes to investigate the mysterious circumstances under which his older brother, Humpty, fell from a wall on his first day as captain of the new Neighborhood Watch program. A hilarious send-up of detective fiction and nursery rhymes.