Q&A Patrons ask; librarians answer. The Reluctant Reader

Q&A: Children's Librarians answer questions all day, every day, from children, parents, caregivers, and teachers. This is part one in a series sharing a question from a patron and an answer from a children's librarian.

The Reluctant Reader. Part 1.

Q: My son is 8 years old and he hates reading. It's like torture to get him to sit still for the 20 minutes each day his teacher requires. I'm at my wit's end. I'm worried about him, and I know he's feeling stressed about it, too. What can I do?

sketch of a librarian ready to take notesA: It's not time to panic. I've met plenty of kids who say they don't like to read, and who avoid reading at all costs, and yet they grow up to be readers. Parents don’t always know that each person starts reading in their own good time. Statistically, this often happens sometime around or before 3rd grade, but it's not universally true that by 3rd grade everyone reads on their own. Plenty of bright children become readers later than anyone expected.

The single best predictor of whether or not a child will learn to read, read capably

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Awards Excitement!

The American Library Association Youth Media Awards are nigh! Will you be watching?

No, this isn't about who is custom-designing my dress for Oscar's night.  This is about the Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, and other Youth Media Awards, soon to be unveiled, on Monday January 27th!

You met Miriam Medow, OPL librarian and member of this year's Caldecott committee, a couple of weeks ago.  Miriam, and members of many award committees, are now in their final weeks of re-reading their confidential short-lists, nominated from among hundreds of children's books published this year.   Around the middle of next week, they will pack their bags with warm clothes, books and notes, and head to Philadelphia PA for the

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Book Trailers for Kids

Information about and examples of book trailers – short video clips meant to get readers excited about books.

Have you ever seen a book trailer? They’re just like previews that we see at the movies, only they’re advertising upcoming books! Publishers have been putting more energy into creating exciting and enticing trailers for their books, in the hopes that watching these videos online will encourage people to go out and read the whole story.

If you or your kiddos are ever in need of new inspiration for what to read next, book trailers are an excellent way to go! Check out these trailers to see if any capture your family’s interest.

Chapter Books

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Re-Create Workshops in January and February

Art and recycling merge in the 2014 Oakland Re-Create Art Contest.

OPL has lots going on for children and families in the next couple of months. For Lunar New Year we are bringing both Chabot Space & Science's portable planetarium (Star Lab) and Goof Ball, a magician who will amaze us with his Eastern Magic. We are celebrating African American Heritage month by presenting Kirk Waller, storyteller extraordinaire. And we are happy once again to host workshops for Oakland's 2014 Re-Create art contest.  We'll spend the next couple of weeks highlighting these special events. 

Image from Re-Create ExhibitionFirst up is Oakland's 2014 Re-Create Art Contest (sponsored by the City of Oakland Pubic Works Agency and produced

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Who chooses the Caldecott Medal?

Lakeview Branch Children's Librarian Miriam Medow is serving on this year's Caldecott Award Committee. She tells us a little about her experiences this year so far, in anticipation of the award announcement later in January.

Have you ever wondered how those shiny gold and silver embossed medals wind up on the year's most distinguished picture books?  

The Caldecott Medal has been awarded each year by ALSC, a division of the American Library Association, since 1938.  A different committee of ALSC members is elected and appointed every year to decide which picture book, by an American illustrator, will win the award.  You can watch the live webcast of the award announcments at 5 a.m. on Monday January 27th, and check in with us throughout

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Fantastic Family Read-alouds

A list of recommended chapter books for families to read aloud together, available at the Oakland Public Library.

Kids are off school and the holiday season is drawing to a close. Tis the season for digging into a great all-ages read-aloud! Cuddle up with your kiddos, try some of these favorites, and tell us in the comments about the beloved books in your family:

Picture Books

Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock book cover

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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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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 will be co-hosted by

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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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