Dia de los Niños celebration inspires budding readers

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Dia de los Niños celebration inspires budding readers
About 60 young children and their families attended the wildly successful “¡Dia de los Niños!” celebration Tuesday, April 30, at San Pablo Library. (Photos by Kathy Chouteau)

By Kathy Chouteau

There’s nothing better than seeing a gaggle of little children smiling from ear-to-ear and having the time of their lives. About 60 young children and their families attended the wildly successful “¡Dia de los Niños!” celebration Tuesday, April 30, at San Pablo Library.

Held in the state-of-the-art library’s bright and sleek Program Room, the free event was a local celebration of Mexico’s “Day of the Child,” which, according to various attendees that evening, is a major happening there. Children’s Librarian Petra Ferretti said the event aimed “to tie together children and books while celebrating all languages and backgrounds.”

Ferretti kicked off the fun with some songs and book readings, which throughout the entire event included works such as Book Fiesta, Reading Makes You Feel Good and Baby Shark. Then there were bubbles—so many bubbles—courtesy of Ferretti’s magical bubble machine, which saw the children jumping up into the air delightedly in an attempt to catch or pop them.

Next up was a fun craft activity where children and their families could employ the creative use of markers, gems, stars and the like to decorate their very own bookmark—which came in a variety of rainbow colors.

One particular stand-out activity during the celebration was the event’s “Scavenger Hunt,” where the children were given a piece of paper with popular book characters from the past and present on it and then searched throughout the children’s section to find pictures with those characters. The kids eagerly fanned out to search and locate the characters—including favorites like Pete the Cat, Eloise, Babar and Paddington Bear—on the library walls and bookshelves, crossing them off their papers whenever found.

When finished with the hunt, the children were generously rewarded with their choice of a free book—a fantastically clever and effective way to encourage young readers.

Richmond resident Yarely Banuelos, who accompanied her three year old daughter to the event, said it was “good for her. She likes to read and these sort of activities instead of going straight home and doing our regular routine.”

“It’s a way to teach her our traditions, so she knows and is aware,” Banuelos added about the Mexican celebration being observed at the library that night. “It’s a big deal at home,” she said, wearing a smile as big as her daughter’s.

The San Pablo Library is located at 13751 San Pablo Ave. in San Pablo. Next up for kids at the library is a free “Comic Book Day” Thurs., May 9 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here for info about the upcoming event or here for info about the library.

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