Kids News

  • children taking apart computers

    Children explored the insides of computers at a recent Take-Apart Day at the Windsor Library.

STEAM Events Spark Passion for Sciences

STEAM = Science! Technology! Engineering! Art! Math!

When kids and teens explore, create and experiment in an informal learning environment like the library, they learn a lot--and have fun at the same time.
We've assembled a variety of free STEAM-related classes and workshops that will inspire and motivate kids and teens with fun, hands-on learning activities, to bring to all branches of the Sonoma County Library.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) proficiency among youth has been an educational goal in schools since the mid-’80s, when a series of reports indicated that many American children weren’t meeting competencies in these areas. The addition of “Arts” to STEM in the last few years to create “STEAM”, is indicative of a commitment to bring creative, open-ended thinking and innovative problem-solving into STEM activities.

Spend a day with us at the Library being an artist, explorer or researcher. The kids of today are the innovators of tomorrow. Let's spark their passion and creativity for the sciences now!

Library and Regional Parks collaborate on StoryWalk at Crane Creek Park

Sonoma County Library is partnering with the Sonoma County Regional Parks to host a StoryWalkTM at Crane Creek Regional Park, with a special event to kick off the collaboration on Saturday, March 25th. Join us at Crane Creek Park at 10am—at the picnic tables by the parking lot—and get ready for a fun-filled story time outdoors as you meander down a trail while reading the bilingual story Call Me Tree / Llámame Árbol, by Maya Christina Gonzalez.

A StoryWalkTM is an activity that promotes both literacy and physical fitness. Intended for young readers from infants to school age, the StoryWalkTM separates a book into two-page spreads, with activities in English and Spanish that are tailored to each page. The laminated pages are then attached to signposts, which are installed along a path. As participants walk through Crane Creek Regional Park, they will be directed to the next pages in the story, which are stationed around the trail for residents and visitors who want to enjoy the beauty of the park, a good story, and quality time spent together.

Visitors are encouraged to share their StoryWalkTM experience on social media with photos, comments, or any suggestion you may have for the project, using hashtags #SonomaCountyLibrary #StoryWalk.

This StoryWalkTM, first in a series, continues the collaboration between the Library and Sonoma County Regional Parks, which has brought to our communities such partnerships as the Trails Challenge, P is for Parks storytimes, and bilingual recommended reading lists.

Crane Creek Regional Park is full of rolling grasslands and beautiful stands of oaks on 128 acres east of Rohnert Park (5000 Pressley Road, Rohnert Park). If you are unable to attend the StoryWalkTM kickoff event on March 25th, it will also be available to read and enjoy during Crane Creek’s open hours through mid-April.  Please note that there is a parking fee at Crane Creek, where the StoryWalkTM is being hosted.

The StoryWalkTM Project was created by Anne Ferguson on Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg Hubbard Library. StoryWalkTM trails are now in all 50 states as well as 11 countries including Bermuda, Canada, England, Germany, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Russia.

  • Spring Break 2017

    Spring Break 2017

Spring Break at the Library 2017

Looking for something to do with kids over Spring Break? The Sonoma County Library has a variety of activities scheduled for children, tweens and teens during the spring school vacation week.

Beginning Friday, March 17 through Saturday, March 25, the Library will offer free programs ranging from storytimes and Read to a Dog events, to Magical Moonshine Theatre puppet shows, Zumba for kids, STEM programs, paper airplanes, kids' yoga, crafts, makerspaces, and more!

All events are free.

For more information, check the library’s online calendar at, or Ask A Librarian.

FREE SAT Math Refresher Classes (for High School Juniors) (space is limited - see Information Desk to reserve your spot)

  • Sebastopol     Tue. Mar. 21, 1:00-3:00 pm
  • Rincon Valley  Wed. Mar. 22, 5:30-7:30 pm
  • Sonoma Valley   Thu. Mar. 23, 3:30-5:30 pm

ZUMBA FOR KIDS (ages 5 & up)

  • Sebastopol      Fri. Mar. 17, 4:00 pm
  • Cloverdale       Tue. Mar. 21, 1:00 pm
  • Windsor           Wed. Mar. 22, 3:30 pm
  • Guerneville      Fri. Mar. 24, 11:00 am

The HANGOUT café

  • Windsor           Sat. Mar. 18, 2:00 pm (ages 9 & up)  (space is limited - see Information Desk to reserve your spot)


  • Petaluma         Tue. Mar. 21, 11:00 am


  • Central            Fri. Mar. 17, 4:00–5:45 pm
  • Healdsburg      Tue. Mar. 21, 3:00 pm
  • Rohnert Park  Wed. Mar. 22, 6:00 pm (ages 6 & up)


  • Take-Apart Day          Rohnert Park  Tue. Mar. 21, 4:00 pm
  • Take-Apart Day          Windsor           Tue. Mar. 21, 4:00 pm
  • Doodle Bots                Rincon Valley  Wed. Mar. 22, 3:30 pm
  • Take-Apart Day          Guerneville      Thu. Mar. 23, 11:00 am
  • Doodle Bots                Healdsburg      Thu. Mar. 23, 11:00 am -12:00 pm
  • Doodle Bots                Petaluma         Fri. Mar. 24, 3:30 pm


  • CHANTICLEER THE ROOSTER:  Northwest        Wed. Mar. 22, 11:00 am
  • GOLDEN ARMADILLO:  Rohnert Park  Thu. Mar. 23, 11:00 am


  • Rincon Valley  Fri. Mar. 24, 10:00 am (ages 8-12) (space is limited - see Information Desk to reserve your spot)


  • Windsor           Fri. Mar. 24, 4:00 pm (grades K-3)


  • Crane Creek Regional Park (Rohnert Park)  Sat. Mar. 25, 10:00-11:30 am

A Visit with Children's Author/Illustrator Todd Parr!

Todd Parr's visit to the Healdsburg Library originally planned for a date in March has been RESCHEDULED to April 13 at 4pm.  Hurray!


We’re thrilled to mention another upcoming event that children and parents will particularly enjoy. Bestselling and beloved children’s author/illustrator Todd Parr will come to the Healdsburg Library on -- April 13 at 4pm. This event is great for families with children, ages 5-8, or anyone else who loves the work of Todd Parr.

So what happens at an author visit? 

Well, Todd Parr loves interacting with kids! During his presentation, Parr talks about being an author/illustrator, reads from four to five of his books (he has written more than 40), plays a game, does original sketches on an easel and conducts a Q&A with the kids and adults. At the end of his session in the auditorium, Parr will be available to sign copies of his books, which will be offered for sale courtesy of Copperfield's Books. Also, this will be an opportunity for children to learn about helping out — please bring in a new stuffed animal or book to donate. Your donation will be given to children living in shelters in Sonoma County.

Who is Todd Parr, Anyway?

Todd Parr is the bestselling author of more than forty books, including The Goodbye Book, The Family Book, The I Love You Book, and It's Okay to be Different. He grew up in a small Wyoming town. Art was a passion of his in high school. Working at many other things in life, he knew that art was what he wanted to do. He entered into children’s publishing in 1998, and was able to take the messages of his art and “put them in a simple reading about acceptance, differences and empowerment for kids to feel better about themselves.” His books have been published in 14 languages and have won several awards, plus been featured on the “Rosie O’Donnell Show”. He has partnered with Reach Out and Read, People Magazine, and Target to promote reading.  In 2015 Parr traveled to Singapore, and visited the Singapore American School—the largest one-campus international school in the world. In April he traveled to Canada on behalf of Read Aloud 2015. His children’s preschool show, “ToddWorld”, premiered on TLC and Discovery Kids. The show was nominated for an Emmy Award. “ToddWorld” is now airing in almost every country around the world. He lives in Berkeley, California.

This event is free and open to the public. The Visit with Todd Parr is funded by the Friends of the Healdsburg Library.


Library Collaborates with 4-H on Kids' Art & STEM Classes

In March and April, the Library is collaborating with the local 4-H Youth Development Program to present classes on arts, crafts, and STEM topics to children. 4-H is a youth development organization for ages 5-19 that promotes hands-on, experiential learning, and as such, it is a natural partner with the Library's mission and strategic plan initiatives around education.

The upcoming classes will be held at two library locations -- in Rincon Valley and Windsor -- and will focus on topics including Art Exploration, Cartooning, and Roller Coaster Science. Participation is free and open to all in the community.

4-H at the Library: After-School Crafts

The 4-H Youth Development Program presents 6 weeks of art adventures beginning in March. Arts and crafts classes are suited to the 5-9 year old and will be taught by Judy Ludovise, Sonoma County 4-H Program Representative.

    • Thursdays, March 2-April 6, 2017
    • 3:30pm - 4:30pm
    • Rincon Valley | Forum Room, Rincon Valley Library

4-H at the Library: Art Workshop for Kids (Grades K - 3rd)

4-H will present a workshop on Art for children grades K through 3rd. Learn about cartooning and coloring in the workshop. For more information please contact the Windsor Library at 838-1020.

  • Friday, March 24, 2017
  • 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Windsor | Forum Room, Windsor Regional Library

4-H at the Library: Roller Coaster Science

This special event is for children grades K through 3rd. Come to the library and learn about the science of Roller Coasters and make a marble roller coaster! This is a free event presented by the 4-H Club.

  • Friday, April 7, 2017
  • 4:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Windsor | Forum Room, Windsor Regional Library

The California 4-H program is a part of the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR), a statewide network of the University of California.

Central Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The Central Santa Rosa Library building will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in February. The Sonoma County Library is excited to share events happening throughout the month to celebrate this historic building as an integral part of Santa Rosa.

The Central Branch of the Sonoma County Library was the fourteenth public library established in California, and has been providing library services to the citizens of Santa Rosa since 1859. The Santa Rosa Carnegie Library was built in 1904. The stone clad structure was damaged in the 1906 earthquake, but repairs were made and the building stood at the corner of Fourth and E Streets until 1960 when it was closed. Shortly thereafter, the Carnegie building was torn down and replaced by a new building, which was designed to serve as the center of operations and administration for the new city-county library system. Francis Joseph McCarthy was the building architect for what was considered a model of modernity at the time. The new building included vertical and horizontal conveyors to mechanize book-handling and teletype and fax transmission connection to other Bay Area libraries. Unique architectural features include sculptured redwood fences created by Stefan A. Novak, garden walls composed of stone from the 1904 Carnegie building and stained glass clerestory windows designed by artist Donald V. Drury. The building was dedicated on February 19, 1967.

We invite all members of our community to join us for Central Library’s 50th Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, February 26th from 2-4pm in the Library’s Forum Room. Come celebrate this historic building and the impact the Library has made on the residents of Santa Rosa and the Sonoma County community. Listen to local leaders celebrate this significant institution, enjoy light refreshments, walk down memory lane with us, and spend some time with local friend Snoopy!

In addition to the Library’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, the Library will host two talks to commemorate Central Santa Rosa Library’s rich history:

  • Wednesday, February 15th at 6:00pm – Evolution of the Central Library, A Long and Winding Road: from the Carnegie Foundation to Urban Renewal Project presented by Katherine J. Rinehart, historian and manager of the Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library.
  • Wednesday, February 22nd at 6:00pm – The Central Library: Modernists Architecture in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County. Join architectural photographer Darren Bradley as he gives a presentation on the Central Library and the Francis Joseph McCarthy, the building’s architect.

Also, please drop-in at the Central Library’s Children’s Area anytime during the week of February 21st – 25th for a variety of activities celebrating Central Library’s 50th Anniversary.

All events are free and open to the public.

Are You Ready for LumaCon?

Are you ready for LumaCon?

  • Do you like Cosplay, Larping, and Fandoms? 
  • Do you write or draw, and like to share your work with your peers and your community?
  • Are you crafty and like to make things like the teens featured in this Press Democrat article?
  • Do you want to meet and talk to professional artists, illustrators, and other supporters of the comic arts?
  • Do you play MTG, or have you wondered about role playing and card games?

Well, you are in luck! 

Coming this Saturday is the third annual LumaCon-- the comic convention for youth, co-sponsored by the Petaluma branch of the Sonoma County Library and the libraries of Petaluma High School and Casa Grande High School.  Whether you come in costume or not, be prepared to be surrounded by enthusiasts of comic, art, and geek culture of all types and of all ages.

LumaCon is a joint venture of the Sonoma County Library, the Petaluma High School Library, and the Casa Grande High School Library, and it is held this year from 10am-4pm at Lucchesi Center in Petaluma on Saturday, January 28.


Caldecott Award Winners 2017

Well Sonoma County, we voted for our favorite picture books in our Mock Caldecott, but on Monday, January 23 the American Library Association (ALA) announced the official award winners at its Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.         

The winners are:

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:


Radiant child : the story of young artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaca Steptoe

Four Caldecott Honor Books also were named:

Take a look at the Sonoma County Mock Caldecott winners.   



For more information and to find out about all the awards given, visit the American Library Association site.

PAL Heads North to Cloverdale

The Play and Learn Island™ is once again on the move! 

The Play and Learn Island™ (PAL) just finished a 3-month stay at the Windsor Library and is now on its way north, to Cloverdale, for the months of February and March 2017. The Play and Learn Island™ travels periodically around the County to different library branches to host and share with their communities.

Babies and children learn through play and as part of the Sonoma County Library’s mission to promote the value and joy of reading, we offer opportunities for young children to play while building the skills for learning and literacy in all stages of life. One such opportunity is through our Play and Learn Island™. The hands-on activities provided with the Play and Learn Island™ incorporate problem solving, sorting, sharing, early literacy skills, design and testing, and collaboration. Their colorful design, scale and varied activities appeal to a range of ages, encouraging families to play and explore together, while they imagine, discover, create, and bring learning to life.

Come check out the island--at the Cloverdale Regional Library through March, or check the schedule to see when it's coming to a branch near you -- and play and learn with us!

  • The Night Gardener

    The Night Gardener

Mock Caldecott 2017 Results

The votes are in! Sonoma County has chosen the best picture books of the year!

Every year, children’s book illustrators hold their breath as the Caldecott committee members read, examine, and critique the best illustrated children’s books of the year to finally determine which one deserves the highly regarded award.

For the second year in a row you, Sonoma County picture book lovers, let us know which books you thought would win by voting in our Mock Caldecott.

The children's librarians of Sonoma County Library read hundreds of picture books published in 2016, narrowed them down to 10 (not an easy task!), then left it up to you to choose our winner by voting for your favorites either online or at the library. 

Drum roll please . . . The Sonoma County's Mock Caldecott Winner is...

    The Night Gardener by Terry Fan and illustrated by Eric Fan 

Check back on Tuesday, Jan. 24 to see what books win the official contest!

The numbers were close, but the following titles are our three Honor Books for the year.  


by F. Campoy & T. Howell   illus. by R.Lopez