Q: My daughter is in 6th grade, and she’s an avid reader. She’s choosing teen stories that seem to actually be romances - vampires, warriors, rebels, detectives - they all seem to focus on the love interest in the end! I feel like it might be influencing her behavior toward the boys in her school - in a way that to me seems vulnerable. Do you have any good stories about strong female characters without the romance?
Children’s Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. Will my daughter lose her unique identity, trying to fit into the images she sees modeled in teen novels? The strong female characters all fall in love in the end! Can we get some strong-female novels appropriate for a 6th grade reader?
There's no need to "break bad" when you have great picture books about pizza to read!
You know, we all get a little mad sometimes. But throwing perfectly good pizza onto the roof of your house is NOT an okay way to show your anger! It makes me cry to think of the tragic--TRAGIC--scene in the TV series Breaking Bad when Walter White hurls a delicious-looking pizza onto the roof, instead of directly into his mouth where it belongs.
I'm not the only one weeping. According to Buzzfeed, the people who live in the house where the show was filmed would really like you to stop throwing pizza onto their roof, please. They have backing from the show's creator, Vince Gilligan, who says
Your Oakland Public Library has three out of four winners of this prestigious international award for children's illustration.
Someday when I'm rich, really disgustingly wealthy, I'm going to the Bologna Children's Book Fair in Bologna, Italy, and I will meet aaaaalll the wonderful illustrators and buy them a glass of vino. Seriously, I am obsessed with picture book illustration, and the book fair in Bologna attracts artists from every corner of the globe.*
This year, though, we're all in luck! Because you don't have to go any farther than your local Oakland Public Library branch to see almost all the 2015 winners of the Bologna Ragazza Awards. 2015 is the 50 year anniversary of the award, which means--fun fact--that it was created during the birth year of Alex Winter, aka Bill S. Preston of seminal American film Bill and Ted'
Children's Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. This week: Human reproduction! If your post-Valentines conversation with your tweens & pre-teens went from lovey-dovey to the birds-&-bees, you might appreciate some literary support. This is a frequently-asked-question...
Q: My eight-year-old son is asking me about how babies are made. I gave him a short-version answer, and now he has a lot more questions. I'm realizing that my older daughter (now 12) probably had a lot of questions she didn't ask out loud when I gave her the simple answers a few years ago. What books do you have for both of them?
A: We have plenty of books on this topic for different ages. You will find it much easier to answer your children's questions with the help of some well-chosen books! Whether you read a book aloud to a younger child, give one to an older child to read herself, or simply read one yourself to get
After 20 years of taking storytimes to Head Starts and CDCs, Books for Wider Horizons marked the occasion with food, cake, and wonderful memories.
As the culmination of the months-long 20th anniversary Books for Wider Horizons celebration, we all partied at the end of January in the Main Library. Current and past volunteers, staff, and community members gathered to share memories and honor the passion, effort, and time that have gone into this simple storyreader program.
After we all enjoyed some wonderful snacks, Nina Lindsay, Supervising Librarian for Children's Services, opened the remarks section by reflecting on the impact that BWH has had in the community. This year our 61 volunteers are delivering 91 weekly storytimes at 36 centers, resulting in 1,456 more hours of storytimes a year than the library could possibly offer without these dedicated souls.
Gerry Garzón, OPL's library director, then thanked the past and present volunteers without whom the program could never
Kid lit history was made this year, my friend.
Did you see the ALA Youth Media Awards this year? They are SO COOL. Groundbreaking choices were made in every category of these annual awards for children's books. Here's why:
1) Diversity rules!
This year's Medal and Honor recipients are African-American, Latino, Asian, multiracial, deaf, queer, and differently abled. The Newbery and Caldecott Awards have been criticized in the past for being overwhelmingly white; perhaps the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement is causing a cultural shift in children's literature.
Check out this year's groundbreaking Newbery, Caldecott, and other award winning children's books!
Each year the Newbery, Caldecott, and other Youth Media Awards are decided and announced at the American Library Association Midwinter conference. This year's awards break new ground in recognizing a wider diversity of excellence in literature (the Newbery) and "picture books" (the Caldecott). Could it have anything to do with OPL's Sharon McKellar being one of the Caldecott committee members?
Look for a fuller recap from us
Volunteer to read in a school, come to a library storytime, or just check out some of our favorite books to read at home
Next week, the Oakland Public Education Fund is sponsoring an African American Literature Read In in the schools and is looking for volunteers. If you can volunteer to read in a school next week, it is not too late to sign up.
Their site includes a great recommended reading list, which we contributed to, and includes many of
Celebrate Multicultural Children's Book Day with author profiles and book recommendations.
The push for diversity is one of my favorite things happening in children's books these days, and grassroots organizations like We Need Diverse Books are jumping to support the cause. Add to that list of organizations Multicultural Children's Book Day, which had its first day in celebration of diverse children's books in 2014.
This year, Multicultural Children's Book Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, January 27. Have a celebration yourself by visiting their blog for Author and Illustrator Spotlights, book suggestions,
Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: Do you have some books to prepare our child for the new baby we’re expecting?
Children’s Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. Nearly 5,000 babies are born in Oakland every year! Books can help older siblings cope with the transition from rock-star/minor-deity to has-been.
Q: Do you have some books to prepare my child for the new baby we’re expecting?
A: Yes, we do! Different issues come up for kids who are about to have a new sibling. I’d like to share books that include some different angles on the question. I think of them in these 5 rough categories:
Books that simply explain what welcoming a new baby might include. If you don’t know yet what your child is thinking or feeling about the whole thing, simple books without drama may be a good starting place.