Taters, tots 

MOCHA sticks it to 'em

SAT 11/22

One of the most disappointing developments of the last forty years is that now, when you buy a Mr. Potato Head, you get a plastic potato -- which may be more hygienically correct, but lacks that satisfying crunch when you poke it with the pegged facial parts. However, don't despair. The Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA) in Oakland is sponsoring a Mr. Potato Head Beauty Pageant this Saturday afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m., with real potatoes and various adornments far more inventive than the traditional bugging eyes, big lips, and hat. Each decorated potato, says the museum, "will be judged for untamed talent, wild extravagance, and general offbeat personality." This is one of MOCHA's Saturday workshops for the whole family to create art together, so grownups will be persuaded to make a Mr. or Ms. Potato Head alongside their kids. Whether you want to eat him or her afterward is up to you. While you're there, check out "Then and Now," an exhibit of art by children's book illustrators that includes artwork from their childhoods, and pick up a schedule for future Saturday workshops. Coming up in December, kids and parents will make wreaths, candlesticks, and jewelry for holiday gift-giving. 528 9th Street, Oakland. 510-465-8770 or MOCHA.org -- Sarah Cahill

SAT 11/22


Romance for los chicos

The lovely, lyrical East Bay acoustic trio Cascada de Flores (Arwen Lawrence de Castellanos: voice and guitar; Jorge Leceaga: lead guitar and tres; Sabra Weber: voice, flute, and claves) began as a group devoted to traditional Mexican song forms -- their rousing rancheras evoke the glories of Las Hermanas Mendoza. But lately their folkloric repertoire has been on Cuban holiday: Witness their latest CD, Puente a la Mar.The group has played for children in schools and libraries all over the Bay Area. Which brings the Waterfall of Flowers to La Peña Cultural Center (3105 Shattuck Ave.) in Berkeley this Saturday morning (10:30) for a special concert. $4 adults, $3 kids, $10 families of three or more. To learn more about the music, visit Cascadadeflores.com-- Kelly Vance


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