Children



Did you already get your two free books this summer? Earn up to two prize books by participating in Alameda County Library’s Summer Reading Program, “Ready for Tomorrow.” If you haven’t yet signed up for Summer Reading, then there’s no time like the present! Simply visit http://summer.aclibrary.org and register yourself and/or the children in your family. It’s going on now through September 15.

How do you get free books? By earning points. It’s easy. Just go back to http://summer.aclibrary.org and log the minutes or hours that you’ve spent reading. You will get points based on how much time you read. Or, check out our fun list of activities and choose a few to go out and do. You can, for example, “Plant a seed and watch it grow,” or “Try a new food from a different country.” Mark off online the activity you’ve completed and you earn points.

You can also earn points by doing one of our weekly activities and getting a secret code to enter online. Past challenges included matching up animal tracks with the animal that made them, or deciding whether certain objects would sink or float when placed in water. Come in to the library Monday – Thursday, Noon – 4:00 pm, now through July 27 to earn your secret code.

All ages from kids to adults can participate! When you reach 250 points and 500 points you can pick out a free book from our prize book cart. Children and teens will also receive a museum pass at the 250 point level.  At 500 points you will also be automatically entered in the end of summer Grand Prize Drawing (you must have entered an email or phone number at registration to qualify).

Grand Prize Drawing Prize for Kids:

SRG kids prize

Grand Prize Drawing Prize for Teens and for Adults:

SRG teen prize

So what are you waiting for? Register now!

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Teen Book Talk features reviews by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of another movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The DVD is now available to place on hold at the library (there is currently quite a long hold list!)

Teen reviewers select which titles and movies they’d like to review, and opinions are their own. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Neha H., Teen Reviewer

Name of Movie: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Release Date: November 18, 2016

MPAA Rating : PG-13

My rating : 4 stars

Genre : Fantasy, action, thriller

Set roughly seventy years before the timeline of the Ha rry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the first entry in a five-part series of prequels that will focus on the events leading up to the climactic duel between Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald and Albus Dumbledore. With a screenplay penned by J.K. Rowling, F anta stic Beasts is directed by David Yates, and produced by David Heyman and Steve Kloves — all of whom worked on the original Harry Potter film ser ies. The film follows the adventures of British magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), after he arrives in 1920s New York City with a briefcase filled with magical creatures.

Newt finds himself directly in the midst of the sudden chaos and turmoil that wreak havoc on New York streets; the mayhem gradually reveals the longstanding tension and deep distrust between the American magical community and the “No-Majs” (non-magical people, the equivalent of Muggles). Although Newt evidently prefers the company of the beloved creatures he carries with him, he encounters demoted Auror Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), her Legilimens sister Queenie (Alison Sudol), and Jacob Kowalski, a No-Maj (Dan Fogler), all of whom help him in his quest to save the American Wizarding World from total anarchy.

Each of the actors deliver superb performances; Oscar-winner Redmayne, in particular, perfectly captures the charisma and charm of Newt. While not quite as emotionally powerful and gripping as on the page, Rowling’s talent still shines through her screenwriting; she expertly conveys the developing relationships between the characters through memorable lines of dialogue.

The thrilling, fast-paced action sequences are supplemented by a lilting score courtesy of James Newton Howard ( The Hunger Games, T he Dark Knight, Maleficent), who incorporates snippets of John Williams’ classic “Hedwig’s Theme” along with refreshingly original elements. However, a few scenes in the middle of the film seem a bit too drawn out, and the magical creatures — which were promoted as the core of Fantastic Beasts — are quickly forgotten in the midst of the action. Nevertheless, Fantastic Beasts makes for an entertaining fantasy adventure sure to enchant audiences; moreover, its underlying commentary about the dangers of intolerance and paranoia is just as riveting as it is deeply unsettling.

Looking for a fun art activity to entertain your kids? This project is easy, requires only a few supplies, and will entertain kids for quite a while.

You will need:

paper (we used construction paper, but cardstock would work as well)

an aluminum tray (like a disposable roasting pan) that is slightly larger than your paper

craft sand in various colors (you can buy online or at some craft stores; call first to ensure they have it in stock)

white glue

newspaper (or something to cover your work surface)

optional: glitter, a pencil, paper plates or empty salt shakers

Project Notes: this project is a lot of fun, but it can get very messy! You may want to try this outside, if there’s a sheltered spot that’s not too windy. If you choose to try it inside, you might want to cover your work surface with newspaper or place mats of some kind.

Directions:

Step 1: Start with one piece of paper. You can draw out a pattern, picture or just random lines using your pencil. (Or you can skip this step altogether and just use the glue to draw patterns.)

Step 2: Place the paper into the tray. Take out your sand and either pour a little bit of each color onto a paper plate (I’ve found that it is easier for little hands to have one plate for each color of sand, instead of sharing plates with multiple colors of sand), or adding colored sand to salt shakers (I would use cheap and small salt shakers from a dollar store, if you choose to go this route).

Step 3: Trace over the pencil lines with the glue. If you skipped drawing on the paper, use the glue to create patterns or random lines directly onto the paper.

Step 3: While the glue is still wet, sprinkle craft sand over the glue. You can mix the colors together, or you can cover different areas of the glue with one particular color (for example, if you drew a flower, you might add pink sand to the petals, and green sand to the stem/leaves). If your kids are using the sand off of the plates, this is a good exercise for practicing fine motor skills (pinching the sand between fingers is great practice!) Salt shakers work will for little hands too, and can help with hand/eye coordination in using the salt shakers to add sand to the paper.

Step 4: Once you’ve covered all of your glue with sand, shake the excess sand off of the paper and into the tray. You’ll end up with all the sand colors mixed together, but you can always use the rainbow sand to decorate a new glue picture (this looks really pretty on random abstract glue lines!) If you really want the colors of sand to stay separated, you can dump the excess sand off of the paper before adding a new color. Store sand in ziplock bags for limited mess. Optional: Use glitter in place of one color of sand to add a sparkly pop to your artwork!

Step 5: Set aside to dry. This type of art project will not last for a long time, unless you want to seal it. You’d need to buy Modge Podge or another type of sealant in order to keep the sand from drying out and falling off of the page. They do look pretty while they last, and kids have a blast working on their art. This project kept my toddlers and preschoolers entertained for more than 30 minutes at a time. A great way to “save” these types of projects is to take a photograph.

 

 

Today is the first day of winter, formally called the winter solstice. It is also known as the shortest day of the year, when the sun is in the sky for the shortest amount of time…at least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere! For our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, such as those in southern Africa, Australia, and most of South America, it is the longest day of the year and the beginning of the summer solstice. It all depends on how far the Earth’s axis leans away from the sun. In December, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted furthest away from the sun, which is why we tend to get rain, snow, and all the other good stuff that comes with colder weather.

Regardless of the scientific explanation for why the seasons change the way they do, kids love all things related to winter. Take a look at all the winter-related children’s books the library has to offer!

dec16-winter

Highlights:

frosty


Snow Day! : Frosty the Snowman

Adapted by Courtney B. Carbone

A magic hat brings Frosty the Snowman to life! Can Frosty’s friends help him get to the North Pole before he melts?

 

 

 

crafts
10-Minute Seasonal Crafts for Winter
By Annalees Lim

You can do so many things with twigs, pinecones, and rocks. You can even use yogurt containers to make your own penguin bowling set!

If you’ve ever been in a long car ride, you might have played “I spy” with your fellow passengers (if you managed not to annoy each other to the point of tears). If you’re not familiar with this game, you play “I spy” by describing something that you see to the opposite player. However, you cannot give the actual name of the object away; it’s up to your partner to guess which object you have picked. So instead of “cloud,” you might say “something white” or “shaped like a porcupine” instead.

One of the greatest things about “I spy” is that you can play it anywhere. The best time to play would be at a place where you’d normally spend an inordinate amount of time waiting, such as at the doctor’s office, in the kitchen while cookies are baking, or in line for a ride at Disneyland.

If you’d rather not find your own objects to “spy,” we have plenty of “I spy” types of books at the library. You can search for them on your own through the library’s catalog by typing “picture puzzles” as a keyword search. Of course, we’ve already pulled a sample for you – see below!

dec16-picture-puzzles

Highlights:

art

 

The Art Treasure Hunt
By Doris Kutschbach
What sorts of things can you find in famous artworks?

 

 

 

princess

 

Where’s the Princess?
By Chuck Whelon

This magical books features scenes from twelve favorite fairy tales, from “Sleeping Beauty” to “Pinocchio,” with search-and-find fun on every page.

Are you doing anything for Thanksgiving? Some people get together with family members and have a huge feast. There are the standard, traditional foods that you can typically find at a Thanksgiving meal – turkey, ham, green beans, pumpkin pie, and something involving cranberries. But who says that Thanksgiving is limited to just these dishes? If it’s a time for feasting, fill your table with whatever you’d like!

If your child likes to help out in the kitchen, this is the perfect opportunity to let them create a dish all on their own…with just a little bit of adult assistance. We have some great cookbooks for kids at the library. Take a look below!

nov16-cooking

Highlights:

cooking-class
Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!)
By Deanna F. Cook

Explains basic cooking techniques in kid-friendly language and offers recipes using fresh, healthy ingredients and featuring imaginative presentations.

 

 

desserts

 

Easy Desserts From Around the World
By Heather Alexander

Learn to cook a variety of different desserts, plus information about the countries they come from, and the special ingredients in each dish.

International Games Day is this Saturday! You can celebrate anywhere, with anyone, and with any kind of game. See below for some ideas!

nov16-games-day

Highlights:

games
Games: Learn to Play, Play to Win
By Daniel King

Provides instructions on how to play a range of card and board games, as well as strategy and history of the games.

 

crazy-eights
Crazy Eights and Other Card Games

By Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson

Explains how to hold, shuffle, and deal cards, and provides instructions for such games as Aces Up, Go Fish, and Spit.

 

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