Q&A Patrons ask; librarians answer: My preschool daughter is obsessed with sparkly princess stories! Is it time to worry?

Q&A: Children's Librarians answer questions all day, every day, from children, parents, caregivers, and teachers. Princess picture books for preschool-age children are in demand at every branch - but what do parents really want to know?

Q:  My daughter wants even more books about princesses wearing beautiful, sparkly dresses. I would like her to read books about confident girls whose sense of self is built on their capabilities, dreams, and interests. Do Photo of princess dollsyou have any like that – or any in which the princess doesn’t marry the prince? 

A: Yes, there are princess stories that feminists can embrace! The trick is to find the ones that will please your daughter as much as they will feed your long-term character goals for her.  I would point you to the article by

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PAWS to Read at Lakeview

Your child can read to a dog! Bring her to our Lakeview Branch on April afternoons. Sign up is required.

Boy reading to dogIs your child shy about reading out loud? Does your child avoid 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 shows that children gain ease in reading when they read to dogs. And who wouldn't love being around these mellow dogs?

Sign up for 20-minute sessions by calling the branch (510 238-7344) or by dropping by.

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Moving On Up

A list of 2nd-4th grade level chapter books recommended by Oakland Public’s children’s librarians.

Next time you’re in the children’s area of your library, keep an eye out for the Moving Up and Series Paperback books. These are special sections where you can find beginning chapter books for kids who have graduated out of early readers. Books here typically feature wide margins, short chapters, lots of illustrations, and vocabulary appropriate for 2nd – 4th graders. Super popular books in these sections include Captain Underpants, Mercy Watson,

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Q&A Patrons ask; librarians answer. My middle-grader is refusing to read.

Q&A: As Children's Librarians, it's our job to answer questions from children, parents, caregivers, and teachers. Part four puts the focus on the one person in the family who doesn't enjoy reading.

Q: I love to read, my older son loves to read, but my daughter hates it. How can I get her as excited about reading as the rest of us are? I’d be happy if she read anything, but she’d rather do anything else than read. I bring home stacks of books, and she rejects them all. When she’s tested, she can read, but she won’t do it. She’ll start a book, and abandon it. Help!

A: It may be time for a reading intervention if your child consistently answers “What do you want to read?” with; “I don't.” Emergency measures are needed!

It sounds like you did just the right thing with one child, but it's not working with this one. I'm going to suggest that you put aside your expectations about your family's reading characteristics and take some time to observe this child as if you hadn't really done that before. It might help to think of yourself as a personal assistant rather than a parent, teacher, or friend when it comes to reading.

 

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Books for Wider Horizons - Taking Storytimes to Young Children

Books for Wider Horizons - Expanding the library beyond its walls.

BWH VolunteersEvery week about 60 dedicated volunteers read to children in 40 preschools in Oakland. They have been trained, tested, and sent forth to share their joy in language and literature with some of Oakland's youngest children.

These wonderful folks have committed themselves to a pretty rigorous schedule. They spend more than 20 hours over a period of two weeks in training. Then, once they are ready, we ask them to read 30 minutes a week at a Head Start or other preschool. That may not sound like a lot of time, however most volunteers spend hours choosing books, songs and fingerplays the children will enjoy. 

One of our volunteers has been with the program for almost twenty years, as long as Books for Wider Horizons has been in existence. Others take on multiple time slots, because they love it so much. Several manage to fit their storytime reading into their lunch break. Others are retired

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Writing and Reading

Playing with shapes will help babies learn to identify alphabet letters. This will, in turn, lead to learning how to write and even how to read better.

The skills needed to learn how to read and write are connected in children's brains.  In order to ready your child for reading, try some of these easy and fun writing activities:

FOR BABIES:  Of course your baby is not ready to read or write just yet, but learning to recognize shapes is the first step towards acquiring those skills. So point out different shapes you see and describe them to your child.  Find things that are round, such as balls, and let your child explore them.  Boxes are all around you; let your child play with a cardboard box and talk about squares and rectangles.  Playing with simple shape and color puzzles will also help develop these skills.

FOR TODDLERS:  Keep playing with shapes but also have fun introducing alphabet letters.  Toddlers love hearing their names,  Expand the sound of your toddler's name by writing it on all sorts of

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Seeing Stars at the Melrose Branch

Meet a star from Disney on Ice, and visit the Chabot Space and Science Center's Star Lab, this week at the Melrose Branch.

Have you visited the Melrose Branch?  This week might be the time. 


Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - 2:00pm - 
2:45pm, come to the Melrose Branch to meet a star from  "Disney on Ice presents ROCKIN' EVER AFTER."  One of the stars of this production will be making a stop to greet you, on the way to the Oracle Arena for their evening performance.

Thursday, February 27, 2014 - 10:00am

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Q&A Patrons ask; librarians answer. Killjoys: Judgment, Shame, & Frustration (Reluctant Readers, part 3)

Q&A: As Children's Librarians, it's our job to answer questions from children, parents, caregivers, and teachers. Part three responds to a question about kids reading trashy junk & endless series.

Q: I'm ready for him to move on! My son has been reading Garfield books forever! (or Junie B. Jones, Captain Underpants, Rainbow Magic, Geronimo Stilton, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, or endless hours of comics.) Isn't it time for him to read harder books? Old illustration of baby getting thrown out with bathwater

A: Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. While those books may seem as worthless as old bathwater; repetitive, stale, and stagnant to you, in fact re-reading or reading formulaic writing builds fluency and increases comprehension – but the baby in this metaphor is your son's fledging motivation. In your efforts to dump those stale books, make sure you'

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Kirk Waller - Storyteller Extraordinaire

Are you looking for something to do to celebrate African American Heritage Month? Come to hear Kirk Waller's tales based on the African American experience.

For the past several weeks we have been honoring the citizens and institutions of Oakland in our children's programming. Public Works has sponsored the annual Re-Create art competition, with free workshops by Pro Arts at OPL branch libraries. Goofball the Magician and Chabot Space & Science Center have helped us commemorate Lunar New Year in a new way.

Next up is our annual celebration of African American Heritage Month

The children's librarians at Oakland Public Library wanted to celebrate this year with something both pithy and entertaining. We could not have made a better choice.

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Black History Books for Kids

A list of excellent African-American history books for kids recommended by children's librarians at Oakland Public Library.

If you're seeking children's books that honor and celebrate African-American history, Oakland Public Library has what you need! The following staff recommendations are perfect to share with your kiddos year-round, and especially in observance of African-American History Month. We hope you enjoy our suggestions; let us know in the comments if we missed any of your favorites!

Picture Books

Charlie Parker played be bop book cover

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