Children don't generally have clear ideas of national boundaries, but they often have intense, nuanced understandings of community, family, and home. That's why any kid's questions about identity deserve good answers.
At "New Asian Voices," three titles from the bilingual and bicultural Children's Book Press take on these concepts and more. Uma Krishnaswami's Chachaji's Cup looks at the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan, and Krishnaswami hopes the book will get young readers thinking about this important historical event. Anthony Robles, who wrote Lakas and the Manilatown Fish/Si Lakas at ang Isdang Manilatown, says his fish character takes readers on "a journey into our community ... back to who we are," and poet Truong Tran's story Going Home, Coming Home/Ve Nha, Tham Que Huong is based on the author's own experiences returning to Vietnam. The writers read and discuss their new publications at 2 p.m. at Eastwind Books, 2066 University (at Shattuck), Berkeley. Admission is free; call (510) 548-2350 or visit www.childrensbookpress.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Wintry Fun in S.F.
Get your figure eights and axels ready: The Kristi Yamaguchi Holiday Ice Rink is open once more at the Embarcadero Center, for another season of gliding blades, adroit leaps, and graceless tumbles. It's a good thing, too; given Northern California's lack of colorful fall foliage, drifting snowflakes, and other seasonal harbingers, the annual creation of a frozen rink is one of the few things that remind us the holiday season is here. The glissades begin at 10 a.m. at Justin Herman Plaza, Market & Steuart, S.F. Admission is $4-7.50 (plus skate rentals); call 956-2688 or visit www.embarcaderocenter.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
Parents have all kinds of crackpot ideas about how to keep their children healthy: Witness the evil of carob, a "chocolate substitute" popular with adults who wished to torture innocent youngsters during the 1970s. (I forgive you, Mom.) Here's a better idea: Attend a class called "Pediatric Herbalism," which helps mothers and fathers focus on eating habits that can promote long-term health. ADD and ADHD -- two disorders that throw parents into quandaries such as "Do I really want to give brain medicine to a 10-year-old?" and "What did people do with their kids before these acronyms were invented?" -- are among the subjects carefully considered, along with the role of medicinal herbs in kids' wellness. Teacher and nutritionist Michael Altman dishes out advice starting at 4:30 p.m. at Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, 925 Cole (at Carl), S.F. Admission is free; call 661-1216 or visit www.pharmaca.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser