Children's Services Blog

We're not foolin'!

Woohoo, April Fools' Day! Did your kiddos celebrate with a prank or two? Keep that funny bone tickled with these joke, riddle, and wordplay books for young tricksters:

Ha! Ha! Ha! book coverJokelopedia book coverKnock! Knock! book coverPalindromania! book coverRiddle Me This! book coverSix Sick Sheep book coverWhy Did the Chicken Cross the Road? book coverYou Must Be Joking! book cover

Ha! ha! ha!: 1,000+ jokes, riddles, facts, and more by Lyn Thomas

Jokelopedia: the biggest, best, silliest, dumbest, joke book ever! by Ilana Weitzman, Eva Blank, and Rosanne Green

Knock, knock! by Saxton Freymann et al.

Palindromania! by Jon Agee

Riddle me this!: riddles and stories to challenge your mind by Hugh Lupton

Six sick sheep: 101 tongue twisters by Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson

Why did the chicken cross the road? by Marla Frazee et al.

You must be joking!: lots of cool jokes by Paul Brewer

PAWS to Read at Lakeview

Is your child shy about reading out loud? Is your child shy about reading at all? Join us on Wednesday afternoons in April.  Therapy Pets in Oakland is bringing dogs to the Lakeview Branch to give your child a fun way to practice reading. These gentle dogs do not judge children; they only love them. Research has shown that children gain ease in reading when they read to dogs.

Sign up for a 20-minute session at Lakeview

     Second Girl Reading to Dog       Another Girl Reading to Dog   Boy Reading to Dog

Meet Ana-Elba Pavon!


Ana-Elba PavonToday let's head over to 88th Avenue and meet Ana-Elba Pavon, now Branch Manager of the Elmhurst library.  

Ana, What brought you to the Elmhurst library?

I was assigned to work at the Elmhurst Library when I first became an on-call Children’s Librarian here.  I went to visit the library a few days before my first assignment, and like many people visiting this library for the first time, I went right by it because it blends in so well with the houses in the neighborhood!

Give us an example of what a day at work looks like for you.

I often prepare for the day’s activities before we open.  During our open hours, I may do a storytime, visit a school, have a meeting, and, of course, help people find things in the library.  At Elmhurst we are small enough that we can give everyone personal attention.  I am happy to serve people of all ages and backgrounds in English and Spanish.

What is your favorite thing about the Elmhurst library?

The people who use our library on a regular basis are so warm and friendly!  We are small, so we do get to know people who come to the library.  People are very appreciative when we help them whether it is finding the right book for a child, helping someone find a job or home on the computer, making copies, or finding the latest DVD.

Where is your favorite place to visit in Oakland?

My favorite place to visit in Oakland has to be the Oakland Coliseum and Oracle Arena.  I’ve seen all sorts of musical acts such as Madonna and Janet Jackson at the Oracle Arena and was privileged to see the Reverend Billy Graham at the Oakland Coliseum.

What’s your favorite book?

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  I was an English major at the University of California at Berkeley and took a course on the 20th Century Novel.  We didn’t get a chance to read or discuss it in class so the professor decided it would be the focus of one of the questions on the final.  That added pressure made me think I would hate it but I read it in 3 days and I loved it!

Ana-Elba Pavon

What’s your favorite food?

Pasta and seafood are my favorite meal.

What is the craziest thing you have ever seen in a library?

Buki the Clown!  I love her neon-colored outfits.  The last time she came to Elmhurst, she had a plastic flower decal on her nose and wore a bright baby blue tutu.  She also puts on a hilarious show.  She’s scheduled to come back to Elmhurst on Wednesday, July 10 at 1 p.m.  I’m sure she’ll be at other locations this summer as well!

Thanks for sharing Ana!

Anytime. I hope everyone stops in for a visit. 

Wimpy Kid Read-alikes

So far, Jeff Kinney has released seven volumes of his phenomenally popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid books – a series that I have seen 2nd to 7th grade students enthusiastically devour. Want more illustrated chapter books? Try handing these to young readers hooked by Greg Heffley’s comic missteps:

Origami Yoda book cover

Magic Pickle book coverAmelia's Notebook book coverBig Nate book coverDork Diaries book coverSpaceheadz book coverDragonbreath book cover

Angleberger, Tom. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda series.

Morse, Scott. Magic Pickle series.

Moss, Marissa. Amelia’s Notebook series.

Peirce, Lincoln. Big Nate series.

Russell, Rachel. Dork Diaries series.

Scieszka, Jon. Spaceheadz series.

Vernon, Ursula. Dragonbreath series.

Do you have recommendations too? Post ‘em in the comments!

Help Your Child Get Ready to Read - Talking

Every Child Ready to Read logo

You are your child's first and best teacher. Sharing five ativities regularly - talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing - with him will prepare him for reading.

We now know that from the moment they are born, they are learning about the world around them, processing input, making hypotheses, and coming to conclusions. A baby's brain  already weighs 25% of its adult weight; it has a lot of work to do!

It is never too soon to start talking with your child. As children hear spoken language, they learn new words and what they mean. They learn about the world around them and important general knowledge. Fifteen minute snippets of talking and listening while you are cooking, putting on makeup, driving, or gardening are as much as your child needs to start developing her vocabulary and understanding how language works, thereby getting her ready to read. 


Yes, again!

Cover of the book Baby Beebee Bird

Why does your toddler or preschooler ask for you to read the same book over and over?  Children learn through repetition, and they need to experience a story many times to fully understand it.  They also love to hear funny or rhyming words, and active or soothing rhythms, over and over and over--it's how they learn to talk, build their vocabulary, and learn to be creative with language! Every time you read that story again, they are growing their brains, and--most importantly--you are bringing them joy.

Of course, it's hard to bring joy if you've just had enough of The Baby Beebee Bird for the night.  Stop in to see us: we are always happy to help you choose library books suited especially to your taste and your child's, so that you can have a changing stockpile to tempt your child to try something new.  And don't forget our storytimes ...we'll read The Baby Beebee Bird for you. Though even we need a break from it too, from time to time.

What book does your child make you read over and over? 

Superhero Picture Books to the Rescue!

Do you have any superhero-obsessed 3-year-olds in your life? If so, then you may know how tough it can be to find age-appropriate books that satisfy these kiddos' interests.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9c/Redrangeralex.jpg/256px-Redrangeralex.jpgBut never fear, the library is here!

Pull on your crime-fighting capes and head to your local branch to check out these awesome superhero books for the preschool set:

Breen, Steve. Violet the Pilot.

Buehner, Caralyn. Superdog.

Chabon, Michael. The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man.

Cosentino, Ralph. Batman.

Cosentino, Ralph. Superman.

Cosentino, Ralph. Wonder Woman.

Cottringer, Anne. Eliot Jones, Midnight Superhero.

Graham, Bob. Max.

Grey, Mini. Traction Man Is Here!

Grey, Mini. Traction Man Meets Turbo Dog.

Macdonald, Ross. Bad Baby.

Mcleod, Bob. Superhero ABC.

O’Connor, George. Kapow!

Pilkey, Dav. Dogzilla : starring Flash, Rabies, and Dwayne.

Pilkey, Dav. Kat Kong.

Portis, Antoinette. Princess Super Kitty.

Schwarz, Viviane. Timothy And The Strong Pajamas : A superhero adventure.

Reynolds, Aaron. Superhero School.

Rogers, Gregory. Midsummer Knight.

Tauss, Marc. Superhero.

Thomas, Rich. The Amazing Spider-Man : an origin story.

Thomas, Rich. The Courageous Captain America : an origin story.

Thomas, Rich. The Mighty Thor : an origin story.

Thomas, Rich. The Uncanny X-Men : an origin story.

Weigelt, Udo. Super Guinea Pig to The Rescue.

Whatley, Bruce. Captain Pajamas.

Weitzman, J. Superhero Joe.

Ziefert, Harriet. Mighty Max!

Onward, upward, and away!

Baby Booties Camp

As part of our parent workshops this spring, we are offering programs from Bananas, the parents’ resource organization in Oakland. These expert presenters will share their programs from Baby Booties Camp: Brain & Language Development, Baby Yoga, Baby Massage, and Babies and Sleeping. All parents and children are welcome, but the focus will be on babies. This is the time to get your persistent questions answered.

Image of Baby Booties

Brain & Language Development – Coming May and June at the Rockridge, Golden Gate, and Dimond branches.

Baby Yoga – Coming April and May to the Children’s Room and Rockridge and Golden Gate branches.

Baby MassageMarch 20th at Lakeview and March 21st at the Children’s Room. In addition it comes in April and May to Golden Gate, West Oakland, and Rockridge.

Sleep Issues March 21st at Temescal. It will be at Rockridge, Dimond, and Lakeview in April and May.

Thanks to Bananas for their generous support with these programs.

Bananas Banner

Welcome!

Welcome to Oakland Public Library's Children's Services blog!  Here your children's services librarians will feature upcoming events, reading and activity recommendations, and stories about your libraries and the people who love them. 

Our "Library People" series will include spotlights on staff, as well as interviews with the many different kinds of people who use the children's materials and services in Oakland libraries.  Our favorite people, of course, are you.

Oakland's newest library is the 81st Avenue East Oakland Community Branch, which opened in January 2011 as a joint-use facility with the Oakland Unified School District.  We'd like for you to meet that year's graduating 5th grade class from Acorn Woodland Elementary and EnCompass Academy, as they introduce you to their library. 

This video was produced as a graduation gift to the 5th graders, by 81st Avenue Library Staff.