Fun on (Almost) Zero Dollars a Day

Are you tired of buy, buy, buy? Do you just want to have fun? So does your child. Here are some free toys for you both to play with.

With the holidays upon us, pressure is on to buy expensive toys. However, for babies and toddlers, play = the chance to smell, taste, hear, touch and see different things. That is how babies and toddlers explore their new, exciting world. Here are some tips for simple and almost free things you can make for your toddler this holiday season (with thanks to Rachel Payne at Brooklyn Public Library):

  • Cover a table with a sheet of contact paper sticky side up. It teaches your child the meaning of sticky.
  • Make a set of blocks out of cardboard boxes you already have at home. Think about those empty cereal boxes and spaghetti boxes you plan to throw out or recycle and repurpose them.Cereal Box
  • Stuff a scarf into a paper towel tube and what do you have, an instant game of peek-a-boo.
  • Tape some bubble wrap to the floor and let your child walk

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A few (1) of my favorite things

As I reflect on the great books I've read this year, one really stands out: Where'd you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.

As I reflect on the great books I've read this year, one really stands out: Where'd you go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.  Bee is an over-schedule teen in a Seattle private school filled with parents who seem to have too, much time, show too much interest or otherwise are over-involved in school politics.  Bee's dad is an up-and-comer at Microsoft, and her mom, Bernadette, is a former prodigy-turned mom-on-the-verge (of a breakdown).  This book is sassy, charming, and Bernadette is totally relate-able.

At a recent holiday party, a friend told me that here favorite part of the book was actually in the reader's guide at the back (trade paperback version).  It's a short piece called "Dear Mountain Room Parents" and it's hilarious!  A mostly

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Readers I know #4: "what made being alive almost worthwhile"

A book brings comfort when nothing else can.

Peace to you and yours this holiday season. --Miss Amy

 

*The book is Kurt Vonnegut: Letters, ed. Dan Wakefield

**Thumbnail image via sarahpanic on flickr

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90 Second Newbery Film Festival Coming to Oakland

The 90 Second Newbery Film Festival is coming to Oakland in February, co-hosted by Newbery Honor winning author Jennifer Holm! It is not too late for kids or teens to submit their entries to the festival.

The 90 Second Newbery Film Festival is coming to Oakland!

We posted back in October about how kids and teens can enter their video creations to the 90 Second Newbery Film Festival. Since then, the deadline for entries been extended to January 20th,  giving kids that precious time over winter break to work on their entries.  

And, we are very pleased to announce that the Film Festival will be coming to Oakland on Saturday, February 8th, at 12 noon, at the Rockridge Branch Library.  It

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The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out A Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The 100-Year-Old Man Climbs out a window and accidentally gets involved with crime, wild car cases, eccentric elephant owning women and world leaders! Fun, Fun, Fun!

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out A Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

Do you crave to find a new funny novel? Well, this is it! So you've read all the "Girl" series, Dragon Tattoo, ...Played with Fire and Kicked the Hornet's Nest....and you've read other Swedish authors and liked their dark, violent mysteries....and you've heard that Swedes and other Nordic people don't have a finely tuned sense of humor.....Well, that is Wrong! This book proves that a Swedish author not only can make you laugh out loud, but will amaze you with his satire and insight of the deadly world of international politics.

Some of you may be familiar with the German folk character of Til Eulenspiegal, the simple country man who does everything wrong and comes out smelling like roses every time! Well, that archetype is our 100-Year-Old Man, except, one who accidentally throughout his long life has single-handedly

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Kids Can Cook!

A list of recommended cookbooks for kids available at the Oakland Public Library.

Family gatherings and chilly weather make the holiday season a perfect time to cook and bake with kids. Come on over to the library and feast your eyes on these cookbooks, designed specifically for children!:

DK Children's Cookbook cover

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Make a Winter Snow Globe

Are you looking for gift ideas? How about a snow globe?

Do you miss the snow? Have you never been to the snow but dream of going? Do you simply to look at the snow glitter as it drifts down to a winter scene? Whatever your reason, celebrate winter with us by making a snow globe. You can give it as a gift or keep it for yourself. We'll never tell.

Friday, December 13 at 3:00 PM Elmhurst

Friday, December 13 at 3:30 PM César Chávez

Saturday, December 14 at 1:00 PM 81st Avenue

Saturday, December 14 at 2:00 PM Rockridge

Tuesday, December 17 at 4:00 PM

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Beyond the Book Shelf

Beyond the Book Shelf is a 15 minute film about the library. Check it out!

Check out this amazing 15 minute documentary about the Oakland Public Library: Beyond the Book Shelf.  Including interviews with staff and patrons, the filmmakers show the library as an "emerging tool in the community."  This film is the creation of incredibly talented library staff, and it deserves to be shared with everyone.  

What do you think?  What has the library done for you?  What do you see as the library's role in the community?   Check out what these people had to say and comment to add to the conversation!

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What to Make?

Your library has plenty of ideas and activities for things to make with your kids.

Want to make something with your kids, but need some ideas?  If you're tired of browsing online, come in and ask our staff to show you the arts and crafts section.  You'll find plenty of books to page through for ideas.

You can also check out our events listings this month for arts and crafts, knitting, and other hands-on activities.   Tomorrow, try:

Afternoon Crafts at the Melrose Library, Wednesday Dec 5th and Dec 18th at 2:30pm

Weekly Art with MOCHA, Wednesdays at 2pm (this month through December 18th), at the 81st Avenue Branch, the

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Thank You

What am I grateful for? I'll tell you.

Cover of Giving ThanksTwo of my favorite books in the Oakland Public Library children's collection are Thank You by Felicia Walker and Giving Thanks: a Native American Good Morning Message by Chief Jake Swamp. The gratitude expressed is with different words and for different things, but it is real and heartfelt. It occurs to me that this is a good time of the year for giving thanks.

So, here goes. Thank you to the

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