Most kids love a good scare, and Halloween is the perfect time to give it to them. Find these spooky stories at a library near you, and let us know in the comments if we missed any of your favorites!
Truly Frightening (for older readers):
Vivid. Colorful. Captivating. Nic Bishop’s nature photography is all this and more! His exciting insect and animal books, effectively designed for young readers, feature eye-popping images that satisfy children’s curiosity about the natural world. These are, quite simply, some of today’s best science books published for kids, and they’re available at your local library!
Bishop has been creating kids’ books for over 25 years, and is an experienced photographer both in the studio and in the field. Check out the trailer for his book, Spiders, for a glimpse into his creative process:
Animals and Insects
Chameleon, Chameleon / story by Joy Cowley
Red-eyed Tree Frog / story by Joy Cowley
Scientists in the Field series
Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World's Strangest Parrot / text by Sy Montgomery (2011 Sibert Medal winner)
Mysterious Universe: Supernovae, Dark Energy, and Black Holes / text by Ellen Jackson
Quest for the Tree Kangaroo: An Expedition to the Cloud Forest of New Guinea / text by Sy Montgomery
Saving the Ghost of the Mountain: An Expedition Among Snow Leopards in Mongolia / text by Sy Montgomery
Snake Scientist / text by Sy Montgomery
Tarantula Scientist / text by Sy Montgomery
Here’s an understatement for you: train books are popular at the library. They have the power to capture the attention and imagination of wiggly toddlers, curious preschoolers, and knowledgeable school-aged kids alike. They inspire squeals of delight when discovered and, sometimes, tears of despair when returned! Come find these tried-and-true books at the library for the train lover in your life:
Trains / Byron Barton
And the train goes-- / William Bee
Freight train / Donald Crews
Down by the station / by Jennifer Riggs Vetter ; illus. by Frank Remkiewicz
Trains : steaming! pulling! huffing! / by Patricia Hubbell ; illus. by Megan Halsey and Sean Addy
The caboose who got loose / Bill Peet
The little engine that could / retold by Watty Piper ; pictures by Loren Long
I saw an ant on the railroad track / by Joshua Prince ; illus. by Macky Pamintuan
Seymour Simon's book of trains / Seymour Simon
Come explore real-life ghost stories and other paranormal mysteries at the library…if you dare! They’re shelved together at the very start of the non-fiction section – look for the 001s and 133s or ask a staff member to point the way.
Ghosts: a nonfiction companion to A good night for ghosts / by Mary Pope Osborne and Natalie Pope Boyce; illustrated by Sal Murdocca
Are you afraid yet?: the science behind scary stuff / written by Stephen James O'Meara; illustrated by Jeremy Kaposy
Haunted histories: creepy castles, dark dungeons, and powerful palaces / J. H. Everett and Marilyn Scott-Waters
Beastly tales: Yeti, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster / written by Malcolm Yorke
The mystery of the Bermuda Triangle / Chris Oxlade
Are you psychic?: the official guide for kids / Helaine Becker; Claudia Dávila, illustrator
The mystery of UFOs / by Judith Herbst; illustrated by Greg Clarke
Want to discover a library secret? Go ahead and take a trip to the 782 section of the children’s nonfiction shelves and you’ll discover something amazing. Hidden treasures! Picture books that are meant to be SUNG! Some are traditional, others are silly – but all are crowdpleasing. Here are a few recommendations to warm up your singing voice:
Baby Beluga / Raffi; illustrations by Ashley Wolff
Down by the Station / Jennifer Riggs Vetter; illustrations by Frank Remkiewicz
Hush, Little Baby / adapted and illustrated by Brian Pinkney
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! / Karen Beaumont; illustrated by David Catrow
I Love You! A Bushel & a Peck / Frank Loesser; pictures by Rosemary Wells
Let's Play in the Forest While the Wolf is not Around / Claudia Rueda
Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy / Jan Thomas
Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes / Eric Litwin; art by James Dean
The Seals on the Bus / Lenny Hort; illustrated by G. Brian Karas
It’s not always easy finding the right books to place in the hands of brand new readers. Letting kiddos choose their own books is a surefire strategy for creating excitement about reading – you can use the five finger rule to decide if a book is too hard for a child. If you want some tried and true favorites, take a look at the Geisel Award winners and mosey on over to your library to find these awesome early readers!:
I spy Fly Guy! / Tedd Arnold
Rabbit & Robot: the sleepover / Cece Bell
Are you my mother? / P. D. Eastman
Penny and her song / Kevin Henkes
Zelda and Ivy: keeping secrets / Laura McGee Kvasnosky
Ling & Ting: not exactly the same! / Grace Lin
Frog and Toad are friends / Arnold Lobel
There is a bird on your head! / Mo Willems
Can you believe that the first Harry Potter book is now celebrating its 15th anniversary of publication in the U.S.? Go ahead and celebrate by reading the whole groundbreaking series! Or, if you're craving something similarly awesome, check out the first book in another excellent fantasy series:
The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Half Magic by Edward Eager
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Magyk by Angie Sage
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry
A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Leguin
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
When kids have questions, the books of David Macaulay are a solid place to start seeking answers. Macaulay’s nonfiction explores the art, design, and mechanics of buildings, technology, the human body, and more. His books are heavily illustrated and visually engaging, with clear writing that respects the interests and abilities of children. Come to the library to browse his fascinating work for yourself!
New and exciting -- for early readers!
Can’t get enough? Look for David Macaulay’s award-winning picture books on our shelves, and check out this awesome TED talk for a glimpse of his creative process:
Play has a direct link to early literacy experience. Play and stories work together to encourage creativity, imagination, and dexterity: all skills that help your child learn.
If you have DUPLOS at home, try some of the acitivities in the the Read! Build! Play! at Home Toolkit developed by LEGO in partnership with The Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC).
We also have DUPLOS and LEGOS for your child to play with at many library locations. Bring your child of any age in to one of our monthly LEGO Mania! clubs, where they can play and build with others.
LEGO Mania! Monthly Lego Clubs
First Tuesdays at 4pm at the Eastmont Library
First Fridays at 3:30pm at the Dimond Library
Second Thursdays at 3pm at the Main Library Children's Room
Second Fridays at 3pm at the Lakeview Library
Third Fridays at 3pm at the West Oakland Library
Ask your Librarian for other ways for your child to play at the library!
Malik Pedraza-Palomino is ready to fly with his LEGO creation at the 81st Avenue Library.
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!: 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