Storytime with Miss Celeste

Fe fi fo fum
It's time for us to have some fun!

Hello Everybody,

I must say, I simply can NOT believe all the new faces that we have had the last few weeks!  I do hope that you will all become regulars.  For those of you that are new to our group, generally we read from 1-4 books - depending on the 'mood' of the kidlets.  As we have SO many new littles, our group has been extremly lively - which is why we only read 1 book this last Tuesday.  Don't worry about it, they will get used to the group and your little one will settle down and listen.

Our letter this last week was P. The kidlets certainly knew a lot of P words - did you work with your little one?  I am pretty sure that Pizza is my favorite p word. ;-) 

Our theme last week was 'Chinese New Year'.  I must confess, I forgot to write the name of the book that we did read (oops!), so I can not list it. But here is a small list of other Chinese New Year books that E.P. has;

The runaway wok : a Chinese New Year tale 
by Ying Chang Compestine

Happy Chinese New Year, Kai-lan!
Lauryn Silverhardt

Celebrate Chinese New Year
Grace Lin

My first Chinese New Year
Karen Katz

This next New Year
Janet Wong

They have quite a few more for you to chose from.

Author Website of the Week

I hope that you will check out some of Grace Lin's books - there are a LOT of them. Her website is packed with crafts and fun things to do, most of them relating to one of her books.  You click on the book and it takes you to a page with coloring sheets and activites. She has activites for all ages, from a simple coloring sheet for your little to activites for your older child and things for you to do as well.

Next Week (February 12)
Our letter of the week will be Q.  So think up some q words (Queen Celeste, anyone? tehehe!) Do we have anyone whose name starts with Q?

Our theme will be 'Be my Valentine', I am seeing a heart craft in our future!

I am going to take a wild guess and believe that most, if not all, of my storytime parents are readers themselves.  Are you finding ways to feed your own reading addiction?  I remember how hard it was when MY kids were littles.  I am pretty sure that I hid books in the bathroom.

Until next week,
Miss Celeste




Yoga Time

Foster library is happy to team up with local yoga instructors to offer a fun, new service. Beginning Wednesday during the story time hour (3:30-4ish), parents are welcome to practice the ancient traditions of yoga while the kids hear a fantastic story. As long as your child is 4 and up, and you have your own mat or towel, you are welcome to join the group on the second floor of the library. This is a pilot program, so if you are interested, let us know! We will offer yoga every Wednesday for February and April. Keep checking for updates!

If you can’t make it to yoga, check out some great titles we have in the library.

Children's Books:

My Daddy is a Pretzel

Babar’s Yoga for Elephants

Adult Books:

Books about Yoga

Friars Faces


From the Ventura City Hall Brochure:
"Between the first and second floor windows of City Hall are 24 faces. Made of terra cotta, they depict mendicant priests called brothers or friars. These happy friars, a popular detail of the era, add a bit of whimsy to the serious neoclassical facade and are also an historical reminder that the City of San Buenaventura was one of the nine original Mission towns founded by Father Junipero Serra and Franciscan friars in 1782."

Find more information on the fascinating history of Ventura here.

Resident Photographer Aleta Rodriguez

Food lovers shout out!

Attention: Ventura County Residents

E.P. Foster library is starting a series of food events the title of the series is Book Appétit. Cookbook authors, chefs, restaurateurs, all involved in any aspect of the food industry are welcome to participate. Book Appétit’s main purpose is to celebrate food and bring our diverse community and tastes together. We would love to hear from the community with any suggestions you have as far as scheduling events or inviting speakers!

Please contact David Harrison at with ideas or questions.

P.S.The pictured bread and San Marzano tomatoes will be discussed in an upcoming blog...

*****David's Dish

19th Century British Authors: English Romanticism

    Nineteenth Century English Literature is remarkable both for its high artistic achievement and for its variety. The greatest literary movement of its earlier period was that of romanticism. It was born in the atmosphere of the violent economic and political turmoil that marked the last decades of the 18th and the first decades of the 19th century. The outburst of political activity brought on by the Great French Revolution of 1789 and the bitter wars with Napoleon's France that ravaged Europe for almost 25 years were the dominant political forces at work. The hardships of the industrial and agrarian revolution whose joint effect was a gradual change of all aspects of social life in England made the situation rife with class hatred.

    Great distress was caused by large landowners enclosing millions of acres of land for their own purposes and thus dispossessing labourers who were reduced either to slaving on  the fields of their masters or to migrating in search of the means to support themselves by working 12—14 hours a day for wages notoriously below subsistence level. The labouring poor, in town and country alike, suffered the utmost misery from underpayment and overwork and from crowding in hugely overpopulated industrial areas. This, briefly, was the background for the English Romantic Movement.

    Two authors whose writings reflected these tumultuous changes were Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens. Hardy chose to evaluate the changing patterns of relationships within the framework of upper middle class society with his drama, (Tess of the D’urbervilles and The Mayor of Casterbridge). Dickens focused more on the culturally depressed and the downtrodden with satire (Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol), and with the legal and social injustices of the day (A Tale of Two Cities). I will begin with Hardy’s fourth novel, “Far From the Madding Crowd”, and then reflect on Dickens novel, “The Pickwick Papers”, later in the month.



 Thomas Hardy

       One of Hardy's central concerns in all of his writing was the problem of modernity in a society that was rapidly becoming more and more industrial. His project as a writer was to create an account of life in the swiftly changing Dorsetshire as it had once been. He was particularly interested in the rituals and histories of that part of England, as well as the dialect of its locals. The title Far From the Madding Crowd suggests avoidance of the life of a city, modernized government, crowds and industry; in it, Hardy tries to fashion a portrait of what he saw as an endangered way of life .

      At the beginning of the novel, Bathsheba Everdene is a beautiful young woman without a fortune. She meets Gabriel Oak, a shepherd, and saves his life one evening. He asks her to marry him but she refuses, because she is not in love with him. Upon inheriting her uncle’s prosperous farm, Bathsheba moves away to Weatherbury.

      In one of the most dramatic scenes (rife with metaphor) Gabriel befalls a tragic misfortune as his dog goes mad and drive’s his sheep off the edge of a cliff. (This is a great metaphorical symbol for the changing landscape of the agrarian society,set against the development of Industry). Oak becomes destitute as a result and travels to Weatherbury looking for work.

   After rescuing a farm from fire, he asks the mistress if she needs a shepherd . It is Bathsheba and she hires him. But he becomes much more than a shepherd with the needed skills of managing a prosperous farm to his impetuous mistress. His humble ways and loyalty bail her out on more than one occasion. Oak becomes integral to her prospects. However, Bathsheba then falls for a dashing but immature young soldier in his Red Uniform, Sergeant Troy (only after teasing a middle aged wealthy neighbor on a whim with a valentine sent to him that reads, “Marry Me”.) That man becomes obsessed with her. And now with Oak and Troy; she has a 3rd suiter. But her true love is the Sergeant.

    Within a series of social accidents, Troy has empregnated a girl (Fanny Robin) right before he falls for Bathsheba. Fanny dies in child birth and Troy leaves the area grief stricken and Bathsheba heartbroken. But the neighbor/suitor is enraged with Troy’s action and kills him. He is then arrested by Oak (who is now also a bailif) and is sent away to prison. With only one prospect left, the durable but whimsical Bathsheba finally consents and marries Oak at the end of the novel. They are seen sitting by a fireplace quite comfortable together. But on the mantle sits a music box with a figurine attired in a red soldier’s uniform; unrequited love on two fronts in an age of Romanticism, Madness and changing prosperities.

Guest Blog - Story time with Celeste

Storytime with Miss Celeste

 Fe fi fo fum, It's time for us to have some fun!

 Did everyone have a great time this last Tuesday? I sure did!  I do hope that you parents/caregivers are enjoying Storytime as much as the littles and I do.  If there are songs or stories that you would like us to do, please share them with me.  It helps if you can write them down for me, or go on over to the E.P. Foster Facebook page and leave a comment. 

 I see a lot of you making connections with each other and I love that.  Parenting is hard (and wonderful) and our connections help.

 So this week our Letter of the Week was O. We had TWO kidlets with O names; Olive and Oscar.  Olive spoke up (kinda ;-)) but I did not know about Oscar til later.  By the way, if you wanted to check out a book with characters named Olive or Oscar - EP has some!

 The O is probably one of the easiest letter signs of them all -you just put all your fingers on your thumb and make an O!

Here is a link to some beautiful ASL fingerspelling art. This ( is a fabulous website if you are interested in learning sign. 

Our theme this last Tuesday was 'Cold Weather Critters'.  We read 'Playtime Penguins' by Tony Mitton and 'Over in the Arctic' by Marianne Berkes.  Don't you just love books that read with rhythm?  I thought that the Arctic book would be too long for our group, but they loved it!  :-) I will definitely be reading more from her 'Over in' series.

 EP has many more books with cold weather critters, here are just a few;

 A Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis

Little Polar Bear series Hans de Beer (there are about 9 or 10 in the series, EP has around 7 AND a bunch in Spanish!)

Whale is Stuck by Karen Hayles

Snow Bear by Jean Craighead George (might be a bit old for the toddler group, but this is an awesome author)

Penguin Pete & Little Tim by Marcus Pfister (of Rainbow Fish fame)

Arctic Song by Miriam Moss

In Arctic Waters by Laura Crawford

A splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom

Baby Beluga by Raffi (I wish that I had remembered this one in time to re-learn it, it is a great story-song).

 Author Website of the Week

Guess what? The Authors of BOTH of the books that we read this week have websites, so we are going to have TWO this week. Why?  Because I just could not decide which one to pick. ;-)

And while these sites do not have all the bells and whistles (or videos or coloring pages) that last weeks site did, I am sure that you will find some lovely books to add to your list of 'must reads'.

 Next Week (February 5th)

Our Letter of the Week will be P, so think up some great P words (I am thinking Pizza!) and if we have anyone whose name starts with P, Please speak up!

 Our theme is going to be Chinese New Year.  This is the Year of the Snake, so of COURSE we must read books about snakes! If anyone has a stuffed snake, please bring it!

 Until next week,

Miss Celeste

Computer Classes @ Foster

Computer Classes @ Foster

The staff of Foster library is happy to present computer classes every Monday. The classes are free and open to the public, no registration or sign-up necessary. Classes should last about 45 minutes, and will always start at 11:00 a.m. Here’s a quick run-down of this month’s classes:

2/4 Basic Training – Doug takes you through the five basic steps of using the internet. Teaching you how to search, how to navigate, and much more.

2/11 Gmail – Staff will show you how to create a Gmail account, add a contact and send an email.

2/18 Library closed

2/25 Q&A – a drop in class where you can ask whatever you want. Individual instructors will be available to assist you with almost anything! Setting up a blog, uploading a picture, or working on a resume, all questions are welcome.

Call us for more info! 648-2716

ReferenceUSA training on job searching, business tips and more!

ReferenceUSA will be offering six different classes available online February through March 2013. ReferenceUSA is a great database for job hunters as well as those looking to start a new business. These hour-long sessions will cover the basics of getting started and the essentials of using ReferenceUSA for a variety of subjects:

   * Search Essentials - Fridays at 9am
                    Registration required
   * Career Search Strategies - Weds. at 12:30pm
                    Registration required
   * Start, Manage & Grow Your Business - alt. Mon. at 12:30pm
                    Registration required
   * People Who Seek People - alt. Mon. at 12:30pm
                    Registration required
   * Consumer & Lifestyle Data - alt. Tues. at 12:30pm
                    Registration required
   * ReferenceUSA Mapping - alt. Tues. at 12:30pm
                    Registration Required

This is also a great opportunity for current users to learn some new tips, tricks and techniques. Lots of time will be reserved at the end of the session for questions.

To explore ReferenceUSA - see the eLibrary under Subjects "Business", "Careers & Jobs" or "Phone Books".

Perfect Poundcake


First off, I would like to wish Ina Garten a slightly early happy birthday, Ina’s birthday is February 2nd.
Ina’s recent cookbook Barefoot Contessa foolproof: recipes you can trust is a gem, stunning photos and interesting recipes make this a foodie’s dream. One of the many highlights of her book is the 10 foolproof tips for cooking, abide by these tips and you will be the envy of all your foodie friends. The gist of the tips is stick to therecipe the first time and experiment latter. Personally I recommend reading cookbooks from cover to cover, many authors sneak some great information in unexpected places. I poured over Ina’s wonderful tome and fell in love with the perfect pound cake recipe, and the hunt for a vanilla bean began. I went into gatherer mode  and found all of the ingredients and had at it. One warning, be prepared to do lots of flour sifting, but in the end the outcome of all the sifting will be the most perfect pound cake you have ever tasted!  The cake was a smash hit itdisappeared from the table in less than 45 minutes. Three cheers for the birthday Contessa! *****David’s dish

Check out the book at Foster Library, or put a hold on it - we will send it to you!

If there are any cookbooks in Foster Library’s collection that you would like me to try out, please leave the title on our Facebook page and I’ll get cooking.

February is African American History Month

February is African American History Month. Ventura County Library joins the Library of Congress and many others in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.

See Biography In Context (in our eLibrary under "Biography") for articles about famous figures in African American history, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks and Barack Obama.

Or, try U.S. History In Context (in our eLibrary under "History & Social Studies") to get information for things like Abolition and the Underground Railroad, Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement.

It's all free with your library card!

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