News from the Children's Room
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August 5, 2019
Books About Starting School, Immigration, and Talking Kids About Difficult Times

As a nation we are again in mourning following a weekend of mass shootings. I'm highlighting my previous lists of resources and books for talking about difficult times, and two book lists about the experience of being an immigrant.

I'm also sharing a list of books about starting school.

Our August programming starts this Wednesday with Air-Dry Clay exploration, followed by making bookmarks, Building Club, and watching The Artistocats.

As always, let me know if you have any questions or thoughts.


Art Studio: Air-Dry Clay
Make a Bookmark
Building Club
Afternoon Movie: The Aristocats

Reading Challenge
Activity Challenge

7th-8th Grade Book Group
New Book Group Starting in the Fall

SUMMER READING for Middle Schoolers
Reading Challenge

Story Time with Molly
Story Time
Stay and Play

Starting School: Preschool & Kindergarten
Books About Immigration
Resources for Difficult Times: Talking to Children About the Tree of Life Shooting and Children's Social Justice Books and Resources

Art Studio: Air-Dry Clay
Wednesday, August 7, Edgewater Room
Between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.

Creatures, pinch pots, what can you make? Join us to experiment.

Perfect for kids 4+, but all children and their caretakers are welcome.

Make a Bookmark!
Wednesday, August 14, Edgewater Room
Between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.

Get ready for school by making a bookmark of your own. We'll bring lots of supplies and our laminator.

Perfect for children 5+, but all children and their caretakers are welcome.
Building Club: Legos and Magna-Tiles
Wednesday, August 21, Edgewater Room
Between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m.

We have a huge collection of Legos and Magna-Tiles. What can you make?

There are Duplos in the Children's Room for kids under 3. Children 3+ and their caretakers are welcome.
Afternoon Movie: The Aristocats (1970, rated G, 78 min)
Wednesday, August 28, Edgewater Room
3:00 p.m.

In this classic film (1970, rated G, 78 min, ©Walt Disney Pictures), a retired opera singer leaves her inheritance to her cat, Duchess, and three kittens. After being catnapped and abandoned in the countryside, the cats are helped by kind and kooky characters.

All children and their caretakers are welcome at this movie screening, We'll have lots of popcorn to share!
Summer at the Library
Celebrate summer with the annual Reading Challenge, activities, and programs for all ages.

This summer there are two great ways for kids to get prizes: complete activities and reading.

All children under 12, whether reading to themselves or being read to, are welcome to join the Challenge.

Pick up a reading log at the Library and complete the Challenge by 8/31.

Kids get a prize when they sign up and then again once they have read 12 hours.

Complete these four activities and collect a prize:
  • Go on a hike
  • Send a letter or postcard
  • Draw a picture or make a painting
  • Come to a Library program

7th-8th Grade Book Club
Monday, August 12
4:30-5:30 p.m.

In this novel, a photograph of a missing girl on a milk carton leads the main character, Janie, on a search for her real identity. For more information about the Book Club, contact Erin Wilson,

NEW Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Club!

Our Middle School Book Club has been a great success. This year we're transitioning it to a 7th/8th Grade Book Club and starting a new Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Club. There will be more information soon. Stay tuned!
  • Get a prize when you sign up for the Challenge and another after reading for 12 hours.
  • Keep reading for 20, 30, and 40 hours for additional prizes!

  • Complete 5 squares in a row (vertical, horizontal, or diagonal) to make a Bingo.
  • Fill in the blank line in each square with what you read or the date you completed the action.
  • Bring your Bingo card to the Library to get a raffle ticket for each Bingo.
  • Bingo card entries accepted through August 31, 2019. 
Story Time with Molly
Mondays, Edgewater Room
10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Join us for stories, finger plays, and songs. For children 3 and under and their caregivers.
Story Time
Wednesdays, Edgewater Room
9:40 a.m. and 10:40 a.m.
Join us for stories, finger plays, and songs! For children 3 and under and their caregivers.
Stay and Play
Wednesdays, Edgewater Room
10:00 - 10:40 a.m.
Toddlers and their caregivers are invited to 'stay and play' after the Sausalito Library's 9:40 a.m. story time. Preschool teacher Eliya will be there with blocks, stuffed animals, shaky eggs, and more. Join us!
Starting School: Preschool and Kindergarten

Starting school is one of the most enormous changes that happens in any life. Like all major life transitions, it elicits a mix of fear, excitement, wariness, and longing. And, like all passionate readers, I think books can help us thrive in complex times.

In Sausalito, our picture books about school are grouped together with a bright green sticker on their spine. I've made a list of some of my favorites about starting school and starting preschool.
Starting School
Starting Preschool
Books About Immigration

It is becoming clear that anti-immigration racism motivated this past weekend's shooting in El Paso. I wanted to highlight two lists I made in 2017 about immigration and the immigrant experience. I've updated the lists to include some more recent titles.
Picture Books About Immigration
Fiction About Immigration for 5th Grade+
Revisiting Lists About Talking to Kids about Social Justice, Difficult Times, and Violence

Our nation is again in mourning and shock from mass shootings. Here in California, we had barely started to recover from the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, and now we're reeling from El Paso and Dayton. In addition, gun violence continues to be a daily problem in many cities, like Chicago, and around the world.

A few years ago, I heard an NPR interview with Rachel Caldwell, a third grade teacher in Charlottesville. I've quoted from this interview before because I found it so compelling and inspiring.

She said, "I think we do a disservice to our students and our community at large when we underestimate what students are ready and able to talk about. That's why we are there as educators, to help them grapple with these topics, how to notice injustice, address it and engage with it productively....Last year, I was teaching second grade. And this was before any of these rallies occurred in Charlottesville. I had a student come up to me first thing in the morning off the bus and say, are there white people in Charlottesville that want to kill black people?"

With this in mind, here are two lists I made in the past for helping children in the aftermath of shootings and for discussing racism and social justice.


Resources for Difficult Times: Talking to children about the Tree of Life shootings

something happened in our town

I do not have children, so I do not have to face the difficult decision of what and how to share information about Pittsburgh (or Charlottesville or the Pulse shooting in Orlando or Ferguson or...). Pulling this book list and these resources together I was reminded of a couple things:



  • Not everyone has the privilege to protect their children from information about the shootings, although the adults in their lives can help them understand and process what has happened.
  • Even if you think you can protect your children, you don't know what they will be exposed to outside your home. 

whispering town


I want to highlight two of the online resources in particular:

In the Aftermath of a Shooting: Help Your Kids Manage Distress from the American Psychological Association is focused on the emotional impact of the shooting. It divides its advice into five areas: talk to your children, keep home a safe place, watch for signs of distress, take “news breaks,” and take care of yourself. I particularly like its guidance for how to start and shape the conversations with children, and knowing that the information is based on expert knowledge backed by an extremely reputable organization.

Talking to Children about Events in Pittsburgh from the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism was developed by a team of experts in childhood psychology and trauma. The page’s layout is hard to read, but it is worth struggling through the text. It includes advice for how to talk to different aged children, from preschool through college, and includes how to have a discussion about anti-Semitism and hate crimes in general. I find the text encouraging and reassuring for me in coping with the aftermath!

I’ll say that I was quite personally motivated to collect these resources. Although I'm not Jewish, most of my family is. My mother and step-father, as well as step-siblings and nephews, all regularly attend synagogue. My loved ones gather daily or weekly to celebrate, pray, and study as Jews: it could easily have been any of them.

How to Talk to Kids in the Aftermath of a Shooting
Social Justice Books and Reources for Kids
More from the Children's Room
Library Website
Library Catalog
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