All ages

Sign Language for Kids

For Babies

Adapted from American Sign Language (ASL, the primary form of communication in Deaf communities), baby sign allows children as young as 8-10 months to communicate when they are hungry, thirsty, sleepy, want more of something, are finished with an activity, and much more. Teaching babies to sign can be enjoyable, and presents a chance for adult-child bonding. Best of all, babies who are able to communicate their needs through sign may experience less frustration, which can reduce fussiness. That’s a benefit for everyone!

If you’re interested in exploring sign with your baby, come to the Dimond branch on Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 10:00 am for a Baby Sign Language Introductory Workshop. To learn more, call Rebekah Eppley at (510) 482-7844 or click here.

In the meanwhile, visit your local library branch to find these helpful baby sign books:

Baby Sign Language Basics book coverBaby Signs book coverBaby Signs for Animals book coverI coverLet's Sign book coverMy First Signs book cover

Baby sign language basics: early communication for hearing babies and toddlers / Monta Z. Briant

Baby signs: a baby-sized guide to speaking with sign language / [Joy Allen] ; pictures by Joy Allen

Baby signs for animals / by Linda Acredolo & Susan Goodwyn ; photographs by Penny Gentieu

I want--: teaching your baby to sign / Lora Heller

Let's sign!: every baby's guide to communicating with grownups / written by Kelly Ault ; illustrated by Leo Landry

My first signs / illustrated by Annie Kubler

For Older Children

Preschool and elementary aged kids can study and learn ASL as they would any other language. Some young children are fascinated by the idea of communicating without words, while others think it’s just plain fun! Kids typically have an easier time than adults picking up any language; this is especially true with sign because it taps into the tendency for children to be physical learners. Check out ASLU for online American Sign Language resources, and take a peek at these books and DVDs from your local library for more information:

Handmade Alphabet book coverSigning Fun book coverAmerican Sign Language for Kids DVD coverSign Language for Kids book cover

American Sign Language for kids. Beginner level 1, volume 1 [videorecording]

The handmade alphabet / Laura Rankin

Sign language for kids: a fun & easy guide to American Sign Language / Lora Heller

Signing fun : American Sign Language vocabulary, phrases, games & activities / Penny Warner ; illustrations by Paula Gray

Cinderella Stories from Around the World

Here’s a bit of library fun for you: pick a fairy tale, any fairy tale. Go see how many variations of that traditional story are available at your local branch. For some, like Rumpelstiltskin or the Ugly Duckling, your options will be relatively few.

The Girl Who Spun Gold book coverUgly Duckling book cover

And then, there is Cinderella. Hundreds of versions of this classic tale exist, in multiple languages across many, many cultures. At some library branches, it’s possible to find 20 or more variations on the shelf! Try comparing and contrasting some of these editions with your kiddos, and let us know which are your very favorites:

Walt Disney's Cinderella book cover The Philippine Cinderella book coverRough-Face Girl book coverGlass Slipper, Gold Sandal book coverGolden Sandal book coverDomitila book coverCendrillon book coverYeh-Shen book coverJames Marshall's Cinderella book coverGift of the Crocodile book coverThe Way Meat Loves Salt book coverPersian Cinderella book coverKorean Cinderella book coverSmoky Mountain Rose book coverThe Orphan book coverCinderella by Craft book cover

Walt Disney's Cinderella / retold by Cynthia Rylant; pictures by Mary Blair

Abadeha: the Philippine Cinderella / adapted by Myrna J. de la Paz; illustrated by Youshang Tang

The rough-face girl / Rafe Martin; illustrated by David Shannon

Glass slipper, gold sandal: a worldwide Cinderella / Paul Fleischman; illustrated by Julie Paschkis

The golden sandal: a Middle Eastern Cinderella / by Rebecca Hickox; illustrated by Will Hillenbrand

Domitila: a Cinderella tale from the Mexican tradition / adapted by Jewell Reinhart Coburn; illustrated by Connie McLennan

Cendrillon: a Caribbean Cinderella / Robert D. San Souci; illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Yeh-Shen: a Cinderella story from China / retold by Ai-Ling Louie; ill. by Ed Young

James Marshall's Cinderella / illustrated by James Marshall; retold by Barbara Karlin

The gift of the crocodile: a Cinderella story / by Judy Sierra; illustrated by Reynold Ruffins

The way meat loves salt: a Cinderella tale from the Jewish tradition / Nina Jaffe; illustrated by Louise August

The Persian Cinderella / Shirley Climo; art by Robert Florczak

The Korean Cinderella / by Shirley Climo; illustrated by Ruth Heller

Smoky Mountain Rose: an Appalachian Cinderella / by Alan Schroeder; pictures by Brad Sneed

The orphan: a Cinderella story from Greece / by Anthony L. Manna & Soula Mitakidou; illustrated by Giselle Potter

Cinderella / illustrated by K.Y. Craft

Crafty Kids

Have you ever stumbled upon the library’s collection of craft books for children? They’re in the 700s (near the art books), and chock full of great ideas for creative kiddos of all ages. Origami? Absolutely. Knitting? Indeed. Sewing? Mask-making? Scrapbooking? Ceramics? Yes, it’s all there! Check out some of these favorites, and let us know which craft books your kids adore:

Create with Maisy book coverKid Made Modern book coverKids Crochet book coverMartha Stewart's Favorite Crafts for Kids book cover

1-2-3 Calligraphy! book coverOrganic Crafts book coverPaper Airplanes book coverSneaky Art book cover

Create with Maisy / Lucy Cousins

Kid Made Modern / Todd Oldham

Kids Crochet: Projects for Kids of All Ages / Kelli Ronci

Martha Stewart's Favorite Crafts for Kids

1-2-3 Calligraphy!: Letters and Projects for Beginners and Beyond / Eleanor Winters

Organic Crafts: 75 Earth-friendly Art Activities / Kimberly Monaghan

Paper Airplanes: Models to Build and Fly / Emery J. Kelly

Sneaky Art: Crafty Surprises to Hide in Plain Sight / Marthe Jocelyn

Off the Page: Children’s Audiobooks

If you’re looking for something to captivate youngsters during an end-of-summer road trip, OPL has you covered! Each of our library locations carries a selection of children’s audiobooks to engage even the wiggliest of passengers. Ask library staff to help you find book/CD kits, too; these are books that include a CD so kiddos can read along with the audio.

Have you tried audiobooks with your kids? Let us know which ones they have especially enjoyed!

Classic Tales

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland book on CD coverCharlotte's Web book on CD coverHarriet the Spy book on CD coverJust So Stories book on CD coverPeter Pan book on CD coverPhantom Tollbooth book on CD coverRabbit Ears book on CD coverThree Tales of My Father's Dragon book on CD cover

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Lewis Carroll

Charlotte's Web / E.B. White

Harriet, the Spy / by Louise Fitzhugh

Just So Stories / Rudyard Kipling

Peter Pan / J.M. Barrie

The Phantom Tollbooth / by Norton Juster

Rabbit Ears (folk and fairy tales)

Three Tales of My Father's Dragon / Ruth Stiles Gannett


Contemporary Picks

Becoming Naomi Leon book on CD coverBud, Not Buddy book on CD coverDiary of a Wimpy Kid book coverHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince book on CD coverSerpent's Shadow book on CD coverMagic Tree House book on CD coverTale of Despereaux book on CD coverWhere the Mountain Meets the Moon book on CD cover

Becoming Naomi León / Pam Muñoz Ryan

Bud, Not Buddy / Christopher Paul Curtis

Diary of a Wimpy Kid series / Jeff Kinney

Harry Potter series / J.K. Rowling

Kane Chronicles series / Rick Riordan

Magic Tree House series / Mary Pope Osborne

The Tale of Despereaux / Kate DiCamillo

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon / Grace Lin


What Are We Reading Right Now?

Children’s librarians tend to hold in our hearts a deep and abiding love of children’s literature. We read kid's books for work, but we read them for pleasure too! Check out the variety of books that Oakland Public Library’s Children’s Librarians are reading, and let us know which books you're excited about right now:

Amy Martin, Eastmont Branch

Center of Everything book coverThe Center of Everything / Linda Urban

Andrew Demcak, Golden Gate Branch

City of Gold and Lead book coverCity of Gold and Lead / John Christopher

Annabelle Blackman, West Oakland Branch

I kissed the baby book coverOld Black Fly book coverOld MacDonald book cover Voices from the Disaster book cover

I Kissed the Baby! / Mary Murphy

Old Black Fly / Jim Aylesworth ; illustrations by Stephen Gammell

Old MacDonald / retold and illustrated by Jessica Souhami ; designed by Paul McAlinden

Titanic : Voices from the Disaster / by Deborah Hopkinson

Anne Lennon, Melrose Branch

Another Brother book coverGoblin Secrets book coverPart-time Princess book coverPig Parade is a Terrible Idea book cover

Another Brother / Matthew Cordell

Goblin secrets / William Alexander

Part-time Princess / Deborah Underwood ; illustrated by Cambria Evans

A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea / Michael Ian Black ; illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Dayni Kuo, Asian Branch

Grandaddy's Place book coverGrandaddy's Place / by Helen Griffith; illus. by James Stevenson

Janet Cheung, Asian Branch

Emily of Deep Valley book coverEmily of Deep Valley / Maud Hart Lovelace; illus. by Vera Neville

Laurie Willhalm, Main Library

Throne of Fire book coverThe Throne of Fire / Rick Riordan

Nina Lindsay, Main Library

P.S. Be Eleven book coverP.S. Be Eleven / by Rita Williams-Garcia

Ted McCoy, Cesar Chavez Branch

Aliens on Vacation book coverAliens on Vacation / by Clete Smith; illus by Christian Slade

Celebrate Pride…with books!

June is Pride month for the lesbian / gay / bisexual / transgender / queer community – a perfect time to explore these books with LGBTQ themes available at the Oakland Public Library. If you want more recommendations, check out the Rainbow Book lists for children and teens…and let us know here in the comments if you have any favorites to share! Happy reading, and happy Pride!

Picture Books

And Tango makes three book cover   Donovan's Big Day book cover   Family book cover    In our Mothers' House book cover   King and King book cover   Pugdog book cover   Sissy Duckling book cover   10,000 dresses book cover

And Tango makes three / Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell; illustrated by Henry Cole.

Donovan's big day / Lesléa Newman; illustrations by Mike Dutton.

The family book / Todd Parr.

In our mothers' house / Patricia Polacco.

King & King / Linda de Haan & Stern Nijland.

Pugdog / Andrea ỦRen.

The sissy duckling  / Harvey Fierstein; illustrated by Henry Cole.

10,000 dresses / Marcus Ewert; illustrations by Rex Ray.

Chapter Books

After Tupac and D Foster book cover     My mixed-up berry blue summer book cover     Popularity Papers books at OPL     Totally Joe book cover

After Tupac & D Foster / Jacqueline Woodson.

My mixed-up berry blue summer / Jennifer Gennari

The popularity papers: research for the social improvement and general betterment of Lydia Goldblatt & Julie Graham-Chang / Amy Ignatow.

Totally Joe / James Howe.

Nonfiction and a Comic too!

Drama book cover     Great big book of families cover     Harvey Milk Story book cover     It's so Amazing book cover

Drama / Raina Telgemeier; with color by Gurihiru.

The great big book of families / Mary Hoffman; pictures by Ros Asquith.

The Harvey Milk story / Kari Krakow; illustrated by David Gardner.

It's so amazing!: a book about eggs, sperm, birth, babies, and families / Robie H. Harris; illustrated by Michael Emberley.

Hot Off the Presses!

Do you know where the newest and shiniest books are kept in your local library? If not, ask a staff member to show you the way! Most branches have a “new book” shelf where you can find these and other fresh, fantastic books for kids:

Picture Books

Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons book coverH.O.R.S.E. book coverKiss Means I Love You book cover

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons / written by Eric Litwin; created and illustrated by James Dean

H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination / Christopher Myers

A Kiss Means I Love You / by Kathryn Allen; photographs by Eric Futran

Early Readers and Moving Up

Rabbit and Robot book coverPenny and her Doll book coverLulu and the Duck in the Park book coverEarwig and the Witch book cover

Rabbit & Robot : The Sleepover / Cece Bell

Penny and Her Doll / Kevin Henkes

Lulu and the Duck in the Park / by Hilary McKay; illustrated by Priscilla Lamont

Earwig and the Witch / Diana Wynne Jones; illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky


Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms book coverStarry River of the Sky book coverWho Could That Be at This Hour? book coverNanny Piggins and the Wicked Plan book cover

Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery & a Very Strange Adventure / by Lissa Evans

Starry River of the Sky / Grace Lin

Who Could That Be at This Hour? / Lemony Snicket; art by Seth

Nanny Piggins and the Wicked Plan / by R.A. Spratt; illustrated by Dan Santat


Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? book coverIsland book coverHow Many Jelly Beans? book coverMoonbird book cover

Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell / Tanya Lee Stone; illustrated by Marjorie Priceman

Island: A Story of the Galápagos / Jason Chin

How Many Jelly Beans? / by Andrea Menotti; illustrated by Yancey Labat

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 / Phillip Hoose

Graphic Novels

Drama book coverTrip to the Bottom of the World book coverWrinkle in Time graphic novel book cover

Drama / Raina Telgemeier; with color by Gurihiru

A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse: A Toon Book / by Frank Viva

Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel / adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson

Children’s Magazines

Have you discovered the children’s magazine section of your local library?

Zoobooks magazine cover    Babybug magazine coverBoys' Life magazine cover    Discovery Girls magazine cover     

Magazines are current, browsable, fun -- and OPL has a huge selection of them available to check-out for three weeks at a time. From American Girl to Zoobooks, magazines cover a broad range of topics for all ages. There’s pleasure reading to be found for everyone here!

Kiki magazine cover     Mad magazines at OPL     National Geographic Kids magazine cover     Ranger Rick magazine cover      Sports Illustrated for Kids magazine coverWWE Kids magazine cover      Your Big Backyard magazine cover

Babybug // Boys’ Life // Discovery Girls // Kiki // Mad // National Geographic Kids // Ranger Rick // Sports Illustrated for Kids // WWE Kids // Your Big Backyard

Tis the season…For poetry!

The library circulates poetry books all year long, but April, National Poetry Month, is their time to shine. Whether you’re looking for a traditional poem in picture book form to share with preschoolers, or a collection of silly rhymes for older kids, the library has you covered! Make a visit to the nonfiction section of your local branch – especially the 811.54s – to discover these and other wonderful poetry books for children:

Won-Ton book cover   Joyful Noise book cover   Step Gently Out book cover   A Kick in the Head book cover      Muu, moo book coverThe Dragons are Singing Tonight book cover   All the World book cover   Swirl by Swirl book cover   Where the Sidewalk Ends book cover   My People book cover

All the World / written by Liz Garton Scanlon; illustrated by Marla Frazee

Creature Carnival / by Marilyn Singer; illustrations by Gris Grimly

The Dragons are Singing Tonight / written by Jack Prelutsky; pictures by Peter Sis

Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices / written by Paul Fleischman; illustrated by Eric Beddows

A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms / edited by Paul B. Janeczko; illustrated by Chris Raschka

¡Muu, moo!: Rimas de Animales = Animal Nursery Rhymes / selected by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy; English versions by Rosalma Zubizarreta; illustrated by Viví Escrivá

My People / written by Langston Hughes; photographs by Charles R. Smith, Jr.

Step Gently Out / poem by Helen Frost; photographs by Rick Lieder

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature / written by Joyce Sidman; illustrated by Beth Krommes

Where the Sidewalk Ends / by Shel Silverstein

Won-Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku / written by Lee Wardlaw; illustrated by Eugene Yelchin