It is always nice to see some old books — which I read to my now long-grown-up children — in a recommended list of children's reading for this summer. "There Is an Alligator Under My Bed" by Mercer Mayer and "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak are two of them. Another two on this list are "George and Martha" by James Marshall and "The Day the Crayons Quit" by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers. The summer-reading list was in an article in Sunday's Parade Magazine about Levar Burton of "Reading Rainbow."
At the Costa Mesa/Donald Dungan Library
Master storyteller Karen Rae Kraut will have you clapping and singing at the Dungan Library's next free Summer Reading performance on Monday from 11 a.m. to noon. Her programs of award-winning musical story theater have been much appreciated from California to Tennessee.
The next week, on July 21 at the same time, will be the Flights of Fantasy Story Theatre, with its unique style of vaudeville storytelling that enables those watching — from children to adults — to appreciate multicultural folk tales, poetry and fables.
Is there a child around who doesn't like to build with blocks? On Tuesday and July 22 from 2 to 6 p.m., children and their families are welcome to visit one of the Duplo tables that are awaiting their magic creations.
Come to the library and watch and then discuss a film from various decades every Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. On July 15, the great 1953 film "Tokyo Story," directed by Yasujiro Ozu, will be shown. The next week, another memorable movie, "Rebel Without a Cause," directed by Nicholas Ray in 1955, is on tap.
There are also family films from different decades being shown this summer, this time on Thursdays at 4 p.m. On July 17, the 1953 Disney film "Peter Pan," and on July 24, the 1955 (also Disney) film "Lady and the Tramp" will be shown.
There is also, of course, Family Storytime, with stories, fingerplays, songs, crafts and more, open to children of all ages and their families from 7 to 7:30 p.m. on July 16 and 23. Children are welcome to come in their pajamas and bring their favorite stuffed toy.
At the Costa Mesa Technology Library
For those who would like to learn basic computer skills, navigate the Internet, create and use email accounts, print documents and images and more, sign up for a one-on-one learning session with a library volunteer. Call (949) 515-3970 or register on site. Walk-ins are welcome too.
At the Mesa Verde Library
For a "Storytime with a Twist!", the talented Abby Schachner, certified yoga instructor, will read familiar picture books and translate them into yoga-inspired movement and actions on Saturday at 1 p.m. Bring a yoga mat or blanket and meet under the tree! This is safe and fun for children (and parents) of all ages.
Many of you and your children may have attended last year's Hungry Games at the library. This year promises to be as much fun. This is the "Animal Edition," where participants can pretend they have paws, claws, wings, jaws or tails while testing their speed, coordination and balance. This happens on Tuesday at 1 p.m. for ages 4 to 13.
On July 16 at 3:30 p.m., those from 12 to 18 can learn how to draw cartoons and characters in the popular Japanese style. The class will be taught by the talented Carlos Nieto, who has worked with well-known shows such as "The Simpsons" and "King of the Hill."
On Thursdays, July 17 and 24, read along with the library's volunteer Teen Tellers. Time can be marked in your child's reading log. There are three sessions by age range: At 1 p.m., those in kindergarten and under; at 4 p.m., those in first to third grade, and at 7 p.m., fourth- to sixth-graders. For more information, call (714) 546-5274.
On Tuesday, July 22 at 1 p.m., "Flights of Fantasy" regulars Teresa and Lorrie will delight with their brilliant storytelling style, zany costumes and handy props.
On the last Saturday of every month between 2 and 3 p.m., bring your children to the library so they can practice their reading with specially trained therapy dogs. Sessions are one-on-one, between five and 10 minutes long, and are open to children from around 5 and up.
MARY ELLEN GODDARD produced this column on behalf of the Friends of Costa Mesa Libraries, the Costa Mesa Library Foundation and the three Costa Mesa branches of the OC Public Libraries.