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You can find out who the first American president was (and what a Moomintroll is) by perusing two of the books on this month's list, provided by Voice staffer Karol Barske and Eureka Valley Librarian Pam Ow. To see if the reads are available, drop by your local branch library or visit the San Francisco Public Library at www.sfpl.org. Meanwhile, don't miss the March 8 reopening of the Noe ValleySally Brunn Library at 451 Jersey Street.
- Greek gods and goddesses live in a run-down house in London and worry about their waning powers, in Gods Behaving Badly, a satire by Marie Phillips.
- In Duma Key, Stephen King's latest tale of psychological and supernatural suspense, a man begins to create artwork that can either cure people or kill them.
- In The Sixth Form, by Tom Dolby, a smart but shy teen raised in California is introduced to East Coast wealth and privilege when he spends his senior year at an elite prep school in Massachusetts.
- Killer Year: Stories to Die For, an anthology edited by Lee Child, includes 16 crime stories published in 2007--13 by newcomers and three by veteran mystery writers.
- The Book of General Ignorance, by British TV's John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, is jam-packed with random trivia, including the facts that camels store fat, not water, in their humps, and Peyton Randolph was the first American president.
- Bob Sullivan exposes Gotcha Capitalism, subtitled, "How Hidden Fees Rip You Off Every Day, and What You Can Do About It."
- In The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals, Missy Chase Lapine suggests adding cauliflower to macaroni and cheese, and putting blueberries in cupcakes.
- Ann Rule's latest volume of true-crime case files, Smoke, Mirrors, and Murder, focuses on seven tales of marriages gone wrong.
--Annotations by Karol Barske of the Noe Valley Voice staff
- Young Morton imagines that If I Had a Dragon, instead of a little brother, then playtime would be more fun. The humorous pictures and story are by Tom and Amanda Ellery. Ages 3 to 7.
- Jane Yolen and Mark Teague team up on another rhyming dinos-as-children book to illustrate naughty and proper behavior in How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? Ages 3 to 7.
- There Is a Bird on Your Head! by Mo Willems is the 2008 Geisel Award winner for beginning readers. Expressive Piggie helps Gerald the elephant cope with the birds on his head. Ages 5 to 7.
- Two friends' relationship is put to the test when their opposing teams compete for the championship in Hunter & Stripe and the Soccer Showdown, by Laura Malone Elliott. The raccoon characters are endearingly illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. Ages 5 to 8.
- In Moomin, meet Tove Jansson's unique creatures, featuring Moomin (who resembles a hippo in appearance), his parents, and assorted friends--Snorkmaiden, Sniff, Snufkin, and the Mymble--in a collection of comic strips originally published in the 1950s. Four adventures involve unwanted houseguests, family life, a vacation on the Riviera, and pirates. Jansson's novels about the Moomintrolls are also in the library's collection. Ages 10 and older.
- Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children About Their Art features contemporary picture-book artists' brief essays about their backgrounds, inspirations, and advice, accompanied by self-portraits, photos of their studios, sketches, and finished art. Ages 9 and older.
--Annotations by Pam Ow, Children's Librarian, Eureka ValleyHarvey Milk Memorial Branch
- Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Bevan Dufty will help do the ribbon-cutting at the newly renovated Noe ValleySally Brunn Branch Library on Saturday, March 8, 1 p.m. Come meet the staff, tour the building, and enjoy refreshments, crafts, music, poetry readings, and other entertainment.
Lapsits and Story Times
- The Noe Valley Library sponsors two regular programs to encourage and entertain young readers. You and your baby or toddler are invited to hear stories, songs, and fingerplays at the weekly lapsits, held most Tuesdays at 10:15 a.m. Children 3 to 5 will like preschool story time, a read-aloud program that happens right after the lapsits, at 11 a.m. This month, the programs will be held on three Tuesdays, March 4, 11, and 25. The first will take place at Bethany Church at 1268 Sanchez Street. On March 11 and 25, the events will return to their home, the Noe Valley Branch Library at 451 Jersey Street.
Music and Movement with Gayle
- Musician Gayle Schmitt will share traditional songs and homemade tunes on Tuesday, March 18, at 10:30 a.m., at the Noe Valley Library, on Jersey between Castro and Diamond.
Say Bye-Bye to Eureka Library
- The Eureka ValleyHarvey Milk Library at 3555 16th Street invites you to a party on Saturday, March 1, 1 to 3 p.m., to wish a temporary goodbye to the branch. There will be activities for kids and music offered by the Jules Broussard Trio. Following the party, the library will close for a year-long seismic renovation.