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Find a listing of the latest arrivals of books, audio and video items at the Wauwatosa Library, as well as information on upcoming events and staff suggestions for timely information you can use every day on the library's blog.

Children's Story Room

The completion of the Children’s Story Room reveals a magical space that conveys man’s desire to not only hear and read stories but to actually enter stories as a participant.  Children enter the Story Room through “big book” doors that are surrounded by other giant books, one of which just happens to be Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.  The inside of the room contains seven large murals and three “eco-triangles” that depict the history and breadth of children’s literature.  The stage features two large books that open and close.  Between the pages, a mural shows several children walking into a wondrous world filled with the beauty of nature—flowers, trees, hills and animals.   

It takes more than one or two people to transform a bare room into an oasis of imagination.  Nine talented artists and craftsmen, Tony and Toby Spolar, Jennifer Farr, Jenn Moore, Rick Pflieger, Philip Atilano, John Imig, Greg Martin and Bob Kirchhoff, created the room in three phrases starting in 2004.  It is fun to wonder whose imagination produced the fairy tale castle mural, who worked on the heavy construction scene, and which of them is fascinated with the Wizard of Oz. 

Books that use the idea of characters entering a book to participate in the story are The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, The Book of Story Beginnings by Kristin Kladstrup, and Magic by the Book by Nina Bernstein.  The Inkworld series by Cornelia Funke is unique in that a main character in Inkheart “reads out” characters from a scary book into his own world.  In the sequel, Inkspell, the main characters enter the scary book to try to change the course of the story and the story within the story.   

The Story Room is open to the Public during regular library hours whenever the room is not being used for a school or story program.  We offer story programs for various age groups throughout the year.  Please visit our web site or pick up a calendar from the Children’s Reference Desk for more information.    

New Additions


All We Know of Heaven by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Beneath the Roses by Gregory Crewdson
  Photographs/essay by Russell Banks

Dear Mr. President: Letters to the Oval Office From the Files of the National Archives by Dwight Young

Faster, Better, Stronger: 10 Proven Secrets to a Healthier Body in 12 Weeks by Eric Heiden

Gate House by Nelson DeMille

Horror Writers Association Presents Blood Lite: an Anthology of Humorous Horror Stories

Martha Stewart's Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook by Martha Stewart

Member of the Family: Cesar Millan's Guide to a Lifetime of Fulfillment With Your Dog by Cesar Millan

Pieces of My heart: a Life by Robert Wagner

Widows of Eastwick by John Updike
  Sequel to Witches of Eastwick

Audiobooks on CD

  Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell

Panama Fever: the Epic Story of One of the Greatest Human Achievments of All Time-the Building of the Panama Canal by Matthew Parker

Panic in Level 4: [Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science] by Richard Preston

Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich

Whole Truth by David Baldacci

Music on CD

   Dim Sum/Ying Quartet
  String quartets written by Chinese American composers

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As the holiday time approaches, people everywhere are starting to jot down names and companies are compiling their mailing lists.  Stores are stocked with holiday greeting cards and the postal service is bracing itself for another busy holiday season. 

The custom of sending greeting cards is a popular and old tradition.  A brief history of its origins probably starts with the ancient Chinese who exchanged good will messages to celebrate the New Year.  By the early 15th century, handmade, hand-delivered greeting cards, primarily New Year’s and Valentine cards were being exchanged in Europe. The Germans began printing New Year’s cards from woodcuts as early as 1400.   In the mid 1800s, due to advances in printing and the introduction of the postage stamp, the greeting card became a more affordable and a popular way to convey messages. The first published Christmas card appeared in London in 1843.  Sir Henry Cole hired an artist to design a holiday card that he could send to his friends.  Esther Howland, from Massachusetts, is known for her beautiful, handmade valentines.  In 1849, she started a successful publishing firm specializing in decorative cards.  In 1856, a German immigrant named Louis Prang, started a small lithographic business near Boston and within 10 years, perfected the process and began producing elaborate, high quality Christmas cards.  He is generally credited with starting the greeting card industry in America.  And what an industry it is.  According to the Greeting Card Association, Americans alone purchase 7 billion greeting cards every year with annual sales estimated at more than 7.5 billion! (and, these numbers don’t include e-cards). 

Today, greeting cards come in all shapes and sizes and are both homemade and mass-produced.  Pictures on cards range from fine art to tacky cartoons; messages, from poetry to crude jokes.  Aside from the standard type of greeting card, there are photo and “audio cards” that play music or sounds when opened.  New trends in cards include “lenticular” cards that appear to move utilizing a hologram-like technology and cards with flashing lights.   

Although greeting cards are usually given on special occasions such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day and birthdays, they are often given to express gratitude, condolences and friendship.  Whether it’s a sad or happy occasion, whether you receive a serious or laugh-out-loud card, it’s always nice to know someone is thinking about you. 

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