Kids' books are bigger than you think

SAT 4/12

Once upon a time, there was a land of infinite possibilities filled with millions of tiny readers. The readers were transported by rapidly growing beanstalks, befriended by crimson dogs as tall as two-story buildings, and beguilingly taught to count to ten by gaggles of rhyming monkeys. From the very first books we read as children, we are privy to wondrous journeys that tickle our imaginations while simultaneously offering important messages: Don't judge by appearances. Share your toys. Wipe, please. Who are the authors of these seemingly innocent but infinitely potent pieces of literature? And who are the artists who provide the whimsical backdrops and unforgettable characters that become an extended family we love and trust throughout our lives? These questions and more will be answered this Saturday at UC Berkeley's twelfth annual Celebration of Children's Literature. Included are activities for the kids, panels, workshops, and book signings. 10 a.m. at the Dwinelle Conference Room, 370 Dwinelle Hall, UCB campus. Free. 510-642-0137. -- Justine Nicole

SAT 4/12

Strings Attached

The biggest reason to go to the charming Children's Fairyland in Oakland has always been its puppet shows. And the man responsible for that reputation is master puppeteer Lewis Mahlmann, whose artistry and imagination over forty years have made the kids' theme park alongside Lake Merritt a destination for enthusiasts from all over the world. Fairyland pays tribute to Mahlmann Saturday and Sunday with a special Puppet Weekend series of shows including The Elves and the Shoemaker, as well as a display of some of his creations. Admission, as always, is $6 per person, infants under one year free. Children's Fairyland is located at 699 Bellevue Ave. off Grand Avenue in Oakland. or 510-452-2259. -- Kelly Vance

SAT 4/12


Oh! That Miffy! Always poker-faced (or is she merely miffed?) even while doing such exciting things as riding a bike, staying in the hospital, or having a birthday. Since the '80s, Dick Bruna's girl rabbit has been thrilling American babies and preschoolers with her simple rhymes and bright colors (European kiddies have enjoyed her for much longer). Now, in honor of Easter, Barnes and Noble (5604 Bay St., Emeryville) invites your kids to make Miffy ears, Miffy finger puppets, and Miffy masks at their Miffy and Friends Party. Call 510-547-0932 to register. -- Stefanie Kalem


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