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Santa Clara City Libraries Throw 2017 Summer Reading Kickoff

At Central Park Library during the June 10 Summer Reading Kickoff, children and adults in superhero costumes–from Wonder Woman to Guardians of the Galaxy themed–marched in a parade throughout the library. “Reading is My Super Power” is this year’s theme for the children’s summer reading program (all reading program events are sponsored by KeyPoint Credit Union and the Santa Clara City Library Foundation & Friends).

“The summer reading kickoff is for kids and families to come out and show us what their reading super powers are,” said Erin Ulrich, the library’s program coordinator of youth services.

“But what if you don’t know how to read?” said Angela Ocana, librarian. “Your mommy, daddy, grandma, grandpa, uncle, babysitter, or best friend… if they read to you, that counts as a book too. We’re going to give away prizes. You can enter into getting San Jose Giants tickets. So if you haven’t signed up, please do.”


Also at Central Park Library was Rachel Malin, a puppeteer from the Puppet Art Theater Co., who gave a comedic puppet show showing the story of outsmarting an enemy in “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.”

“We have hand puppets, which are the moving mouth puppets, and rod puppets, which are supported by rods,” Malin said. “Eyes are usually made of either plastic eggs or ping pong balls. For the hand puppets, you make a duckbill with your hand to make the puppet talk.”

In the morning, Northside Library hosted its Summer Reading Kickoff. One of the acts was Rebecca Nile, also known as the Bubble Lady. With sass and humor, Nile used bubbles to tell stories, give makeovers to children and create giant swirls of sparkle all around her. Niles used mainly ordinary household objects–for example, strawberry baskets, string, pipe cleaners and a pasta fork–to create bubbles.

“I thought that with the consciousness around reuse, reduce and recycle, it’d be a great idea to inspire children and families and show that they don’t have to spend a lot of money to create bubbles,” said Nile, who has been doing bubble shows for 20 years. “They can have fun and make their own wands and equipment…For upstart bubble enthusiasts, there’s a wonderful Yahoo group called Soap Bubble Fanciers they should check out.”

The library’s Teen Read program (theme: Escape the Ordinary) will give each participant who reads three or more books this summer a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card as well as raffle entries for prizes, such as an iPad mini. The Adult Summer Reading Kickoff (theme: Remember the 80’s) took place on June 16 at Northside Library. Visit for information about registration and events for all the reading programs.


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