Early Literacy Storytime Fridays @ 10:30am - April 2021

Mindfulness for Kids and Families

Got stress? Feeling overwhelmed? We have resources to help you learn and practice mindfulness skills that can support your family's mental and emotional wellness during these extremely challenging times!

Mindfulness is a science-backed practice that trains the mind, body, and heart to be in the present moment with specific mindful skills. Research shows the benefits of mindfulness include~

  • Reduced stress

  • Decreased anxiety and depression

  • Strengthened immune system

  • Improved attention and memory

  • Better sleep

  • Increased self-awareness

  • Improved blood pressure and cardiovascular health

  • Much more!

Last month, Oakland Public Library partnered with JG Larochette from the  Mindful Life Project to present a great series of online Mindfulness For Families programs. Recordings of these sessions are available for you to view~

Mindful Life Project is committed to supporting the wellness of kids, families, and school communities through mindfulness programming; they have excellent online resources to share, including an awesome free app and a YouTube channel full of informative practice videos.

And of course, the Oakland Public Library has books about mindfulness for all ages! Here’s a list of recommended titles to get you started~

Book cover image of Tummy RideNiños Mindful series / Whitney Stewart -- This delightful bilingual English/Spanish board book series introduces mindfulness concepts to babies and toddlers.




Book cover image of Meditate with meMeditate with me : a step-by-step mindfulness journey / Mariam Gates ; illustrated by Margarita Surnaite -- Cheerful illustrations accompany mindfulness skills instruction with a repeated invitation to, "Breathe in, and fill your whole body. Breathe out, and relax your whole body." For preschool - 3rd grade.



Book cover image of Mindful Day

 Mindful day / Deborah Hopkinson -- A young girl and her family show readers how to practice mindfulness throughout a busy day. For preschool - 3rd grade.



Book cover image of Breathe like a Bear

Breathe like a bear: 30 mindful moments for kids to feel calm and focused anytime, anywhere / Kira Willey; illustrated by Anni Betts -- Imaginative mindfulness exercises for focus and relaxation. For preschool - 3rd grade. 




Book cover image of Anh's Anger

Anh's anger / Gail Silver; illustrated by Christiane Krömer -- Anh learns how to sit with and move past his anger, instead of saying hurtful things to people he loves. For preschool - 3rd grade. 





Book cover image of Charlotte and the Quiet Place

Charlotte and the quiet place / Deborah Sosin; illustrated by Sara Woolley -- When Charlotte is overwhelmed by noise and a hectic world, she finds silence and practices mindful breathing. For preschool - 3rd grade. 



Book cover image of Mindful Me

Mindful me: mindfulness and meditation for kids / Whitney Stewart -- Mindfulness meditations and exercises for older elementary age kids. 






Book cover image of Just Breathe

Just breathe : meditation, mindfulness, movement, and more / Mallika Chopra; illustrated by Brenna Vaughan -- Practical advice, breathing exercises, and guided meditations to help kids cope with everyday challenges. For grades 3 - 7.





 Book cover image of Sitting still like a frogSitting still like a frog: mindfulness exercises for kids (and their parents) / Eline Snel -- Instructions for meditation practices to use with children; includes a CD with guided practices.





Book cover image of Growing Up Mindful

Growing up mindful: essential practices to help children, teens, and families find balance, calm, and resilience / Christopher Willard, PsyD -- Principles and practices of mindfulness for parents, caregivers, and teachers.






Book cover image of A Still Quiet Place

A still quiet place: a mindfulness program for teaching children and adolescents to ease stress and difficult emotions / Amy Saltzman, MD -- Presents an 8-week mindfulness-based stress reduction program for adults to use with kids and teens.





 Did we miss any of your favorite resources about mindfulness for kids? Let us know in the comments!

Día! 2020 - a virtual celebration

Desplácese hacia abajo para leer en Español...
Día! - Diversity in Action is how we celebrate  Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros - book joy with families. OPL was scheduled to present Día with these four fabulous performers. Please enjoy their online videos (click the highlighted links).

Alphabet Rockers is an Oakland based, Grammy-nominated hip-hop group that focuses on youth activism. 

Join their daily dance party, ROCK THE BLOCK! Free on Zoom and Facebook Live at 4PM PST, Monday-Friday. 
Register at

Asheba is a musical storyteller who specializes in calypso, the musical and folkloric oral tradition of Trinidad.

Watch 'No More Monkey from the 2005 Putumayo CD.

Mariela Herrera is a Bananas playgroup facilitator from Chile.  She is performing daily, on Facebook live at 10 am. 

Juan L. Sanchez is a singer/songwriter, educator and artistic director from Spain.


Please also enjoy some of our favorite stories/storytellers:

And in case you missed it, you can see some of your favorites OPL storytime presenters on YouTube. 


¡Día 2020! Una Celebración Virtual 

¡Día! - Diversidad en acción es cómo celebramos el Día de los Niños / Día de los Libros - alegría de libros con las familias. En celebración de Día OPL tenía previsto presentar a estos cuatro artistas fabulosos. Disfruta sus videos en línea (haz clic en los enlaces resaltados).  

Alphabet Rockers es un grupo de hip-hop basado en Oakland, nominado al Grammy, que se enfoca en el activismo juvenil. 

¡Únete a su fiesta de baile diaria, ROCK THE BLOCK! Gratis en Zoom y Facebook Live a las 4 p.m. PST, de lunes a viernes. 

Regístrate en  

Asheba es un narrador musical que se especializa en calipso, la tradición oral, musical y folclórica de Trinidad. 

Mira 'No More Monkey del CD Putumayo 2005. 

Mariela Herrera, Chilena es una facilitadora del grupo de juegos Bananas.  Ella se presenta diariamente, en Facebook en vivo a las 10 am. 

Juan L. Sánchez es un cantante / compositor, educador y director artístico de España. 

Disfruta también de algunos de nuestros cuentos y narradores favoritos: 


  • TeachingBooks.Net  tiene más de mil entrevista, en inglés, donde conoces a autores  Meet the Author Interviews 

  • Esperábamos verlo a Todd Parr en  Fairyland en el Festival Turn the Page Festival. 

Y en caso de que te los hayas perdido, puedes ver algunos de tus presentadores favoritos de OPL OPL storytime presenters en YouTube.  



Family, Food and Travel

Challenge Extended: 1000 Books Before Kindergarten!

Shhh.  Listen.  Did you hear that? 

Yes, it was the sound of librarians everywhere shouting hooray while reading about Daliyah Marie Arana. This amazing young book worm visited the Library of Congress, met with the newest Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and was Guest Librarian for the day, a most prestigious title, especially when bestowed upon an impeccably dressed 4 year old! Daliyah's special afternoon was in celebration of a big reading accomplishment that her family celebrated with their local public library.


When Daliyah was 3, her mom enrolled her in her public library's 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program in Georgia. This program encourages families to read 1000 books before the first day of kindergarten and when her family completed this most impressive feat, her mother contacted the Library of Congress to share the sweet accomplishment and request a tour for her young reader. Cue the collective sighs of joy.


Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden welcomes 4-year-old Daliyah Marie Arana of Gainesville, Georgia to be "Librarian for the Day," January 10, 2017. Photo by Shawn Miller.

Adorable? Yes

Impressive? Oh yes!

Doable? Totally!

Now, I know that 1000 books seems like a lot but think about it, how many times have you read that one book? You know the one. That one with the bunny, or the truck or...heaven forbid, Caillou? You probably read that book 10 times just yesterday! When we run the hypothetical numbers, if a parent read  just one book, one time each day to their child every day since the day they were born until the day they turned five, that would be 365 books for 5 years, 1825 books!  

baby at library   

So Many Books, So Much Time! 

baby at library 


This means we all get wiggle room for busy days, or busy years. Even if your baby was colicky and you just walked around the house rocking her for the first three months and didn't get a chance to pick up Moo Baa La La for a while, you have probably already read a TON of books together.  Or maybe when your daughter was 2, she decided that sitting was just the worst thing ever so your bedtime snuggle with a book became a wrestling match with a toothbrush, it's okay, because I can bet on bowl of mush that you have read, Goodnight Moon about a million times. Or maybe it was a Pigeon book or maybe one of those floppy paperbacks that has way too many words but your daughter is so smart that she knows exactly what Thomas just said so you can't skip even one line.  Sigh.  


Where was I?  Oh yes,1000 books.  

So while librarians everywhere loved and widely shared the heartwarming story of the youngest librarian in our ranks, Ms. Daliyah, we know you can to it too. Oakland Public Library hereby extends the challenge to you and your family today. We may not be able to offer personal tours of the Library of Congress, but our online badges are colorful and our high-fives plentiful!  

Sign up today!

Beanstack logo



Nitty Gritty Details

  • How does this all work?

Oakland Public Library has teamed up with Beanstack to help you reach some amazing reading goals!  Just click here and follow the steps. You can create a reading profile for each child in your family and keep everything together in one place. Choose the "1000 books before Kindergarten Reading Program" when registering and you're done! You can also choose to get one email a week with a personalized book recommendation, a link to the library catalog and reading tips based on your child's profile. 

  • Does it really count if I read the same book 5 or more times?

Yep! Repeated reading of the same book is extremely beneficial for pre-readers. It helps develop vocabulary, memory, positive connections with literature, self-confidence and more!

  • My kiddo is 3, is it too late to join?

No way! Even if your child starts kinder next year, you can still join! You can even go in a enter all of your favorites from back in the day and move on from there.

  • What if we don't make it to 1000 by the time kindergarten starts?  Did we fail?

Nope, you are awesome.

  • What do we do when it is done?

Keep reading of course! The Beanstack software can come in very handy for those homework reading logs too!

I Don't Want To Hug Aunt Myrtle: A Consent Lesson From Kids To The Adults Who Love Them.

The children in my branch have asked me to tell you this: They don't want to be required to be hugged, kissed, pinched, or petted by family this holiday season.

This is an important worry for some kids during the holiday season. Relatives from all over the world meet up and everyone loves the children, but the children are not comfortable (yet) around the extended family members.

Here are some examples I was given (family members names changed of course):

  • Your kid doesn't want to hug Aunt Myrtle.
  • They hate it when Grandpa Joe pinches their cheeks or rubs their hair.
  • They don't want to want give Grandma Martha any "suga".
  • And your kid don't care if cousin Pam hasn't seen the family since last holiday season, they don't want her to tickle them.  

Your kids are not afraid. They just don't want to be touched by a bunch of relatives they haven't seen since last December. They just want adults to respect their personnal space. ( And some hate to be tickled) 

Someone might be asking: "But, if these adults are safe, why shouldn't my child show them affection? " or "Isn't it rude not to hug a family member?'  

No it is not rude to not hug a family member if you don't want to.  Your body belongs to you, no matter how old you are.  Here is a video that explains everything very nicely:

And this folks, is the very first lesson you can teach your child about consent. If you want your children to grow up appreciating consent within an adult perspective, we adults must start appreciating consent within a child's perspective.  Please, on behalf of the kids who asked me to post this blog, give them the power to say no.

Do you want to emplower your child and teach them about personal space?  Here are some more books to consider: