Oakland Mayor's Toy Drive Needs New Books!

Buy a book at your local independent bookstore to donate to an Oakland child in need of a holiday gift. While you're at it, use our shopping list for the children in your life too!

The library is partnering with the Oakland Mayor's Toy Drive to ensure that a new book is included in every gift bag.   You can help by shopping at your participating local independent bookstore.   The following stores will be selling books for the Oakland Mayor's Toy Drive. Stop by, buy a book or more and leave it with the store for donation to the Toy Drive!

Laurel Book Store 1423 Broadway

Pegasus Books Oakland, 5560 College Ave

Marcus Bookstore, 3900 Martin Luther King Jr. Way

Great Good Place for Books, 6120 LaSalle Ave

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Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: Beginning Readers too boring? Write your own!

Children’s Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. The kindergarten teacher tells my child to read on her own at home, but the "Readers" she's capable of reading bore her. How can I keep her interested and still do what the teacher says?

Book cover of I'm Bored by Black & OhiQ: My youngest child is just learning to read, but she finds all the beginning reader books boring. Do you have any more exciting ones? 

A: Maybe! First let’s take a look at that section, to make sure you’ve seen the ones that young readers enjoy the most. Children’s Librarian Miriam Medow posted a great list online about a year ago, and we can

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Hands-On Science Books

A list of recommended science experiment books available at the Oakland Public Library.

During this season of colder weather and shorter days, you can find plenty of inspiration for activities to do with kids in the science section of the library. These are just a handful of our favorite books that help curious kids explore the world around them through scientific experimentation. Check them out!:

Crazy Concoctions book cover

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Best Illustrated Books of 2014--with a raffle!

What's YOUR favorite illustrated book of 2014? Leave a comment to enter the raffle!

Wow, "Best Of" season has started already! Last week, the New York Times released its annual "Best Illustrated Books" list, ten illustrated books NYT staff felt outdid all the others this year. You can see the slideshow here.

We here at OPL like their choices, but are sad that some of our favorites didn't get picked. (I mean, have you seen Viva Frida?!) Below are the books that made the NYT's list--you can get the first six from OPL, and the last four you can get through Link+... also at OPL*. Either way, visit your local branch and ask for these--they're all treats.

We want to know--what's YOUR favorite illustrated book of the year? What would be on your "Best Illustrated" list for 2014? Leave a comment with your choice(s), and you'll be entered in a drawing to win a signed copy

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My Desk for Day of the Dead

I keep thinking that I will be able to clean my desk but I just don't think it will ever happen.

 At the Library we offer more than just books and reference material. During the week, OPL children's librarians offer numerous storytimes, bring performers in, support community events or present crafts. Part of my job is to help bring these programs to the library. Which brings me to my desk.

                                                

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Book Characters Make Great Halloween Costumes

Dress up as your favorite book characters for Halloween. Here are some ideas.

Halloween is fast approaching.  Still need a costume for your child and/or for yourself?  What about a favorite children’s book character?  Last year, Children's Room Librarian Laura Gravander and I dressed up as Elephant and Piggie of Mo Willems fame. See the resemblance?

   

Uncanny, isn't it?

One Halloween, all of the Children's Room staff dressed as different Rainbow Fairies.

Rainbow Fairies

And, of course there was the infamous training where six Children's Librarians

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Screen Time and Story Time

E-reading vs.reading with young children is a hot topic; your library is developing its services around this content, and how we deliver it to you.

Did you catch the article in the October 11th New York Times: Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time?  There were several responses in today's Letters to the Editor section, but we are curious about your thoughts. 

This is something librarians have been talking about for quite a while*.  The Amercian Academy of Pediatrics "strongly recommends no screen time for children under 2, and less than two hours a day for older children," according to the Times article.   But we know that apps and ebooks can play an important role, along with picture books, in the

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Q&A: Patrons ask; librarians answer: Do you have true information about dragons?

Children’s Librarians talk with parents, caregivers, and children all day, every day. Kids who ask for information don’t always differentiate between fantasy and reality. Why not believe in dragons, if you're going to believe in dinosaurs - Right?

In the following scenario, Q is a boy, age 4½, accompanied by his mother, known here as Q(mom), and A is the children’s librarian. (btw: When Q says, “Guys!” he’s looking straight at the librarian. This is a bit unusual, but only because it’s plural. “Hey, you!” is more common.)

Q: Guys! Do you have a book about a dragon? A fierce dragon! A real, live, true dragon! Dragonology

A: So, you don’t want one of those stories where the dragon turns out to be friendly, I see. You want to know about real, fierce dragons! Okay, I think we can find something. Tell me, would

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Books for Wider Horizons - Taking Storytimes to Young Children for Twenty Years

Books for Wider Horizons is celebrating twenty years.

Books for Wider HorizonsThis year is our 20th anniversary of taking storytimes to young children in Oakland preschools, including Head Starts and CDCs, through the efforts of our trained volunteer storyreaders. We will be celebrating all year with posts on the history and future of Books for Wider Horizons.

Picture of Gay DuceyFirst up is an interview with Gay Ducey. Gay is a nationally-known storyteller and has been training our volunteers since the beginning. Her commitment to this program is legendary within the library, and she is a beloved mentor to all our volunteers.

We interviewed Gay on Saturday, October 11.

How and why did Books for Wider Horizons start?

As a group, OPL’s children’s librarians were not happy seeing only the children whose parents brought them to

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Concept Books for Kids

A list of books recommended by Oakland Public Library that help to teach concepts such as the alphabet, numbers and counting, colors, size and shape, opposites, etc.

Of all the picture books in the library, concept books are arguably some of the most useful. Alphabet books help young readers recognize letters and learn their ABCs, while counting books support early math skills. Toddlers and preschoolers may strengthen their understanding of many more concepts, such as color, size, shape, time, and opposites, through books at the library. Some branches have a special section for children's concept books; ask a staff member to help you find them!
Here are some of our favorites to get you started:

ABCs

Calavera Abecedario book cover

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