On Tuesday evening, about a dozen children and their parents arrived at the Dimond branch of the Oakland Public Library for a spooky-story time. As the families filed up the stairs into the Halloween-themed room, the tiny ghouls, princesses and animals greeted each other. The kids giggled as they found seats on the mat, excited for this new twist on a weekly favorite.
In the center of the room stood Miriam Medow, the children’s librarian, dressed for the occasion as a fuzzy blue dinosaur. She welcomed the kids with a song—“Come on and join the game, you’ll find that it’s always the same”—and had them follow along as she acted out different animal sounds.
Although the event drew a smaller crowd than usual—the library expects between 60 to 80 people each week for the Tuesday night story time—Medow was pleased with the turnout. “I wasn’t sure that they would show up,” she said. “It’s always beautiful to see people come together at the library, and on Halloween no less.”
Medow read stories full of witches, bats and goblins and sang a few songs in between. During Little Goblins Ten by Pamela Jane, the kids growled and snarled and giggled along. What’s in the Witch’s Kitchen? by Nick Sharratt was a crowd favorite, producing laughter from the parents and some debate from the kids over the merits of cakes versus snakes.
After singing a goodbye song, Medow invited the group to stay for “mystery boxes”— containers full of mysterious foods labeled as mummy hair and vampire hearts. Squealing with delight, and a little hesitation, the kids dipped their hands in to discover the slimy textures.
When asked if she enjoyed the mystery boxes, five-year-old Kioni Brown simply said, “It was spooky!”
A full list of Oakland Public Library events can be found here.