Say Zoop! Or oh or ah.

If you're a fan of Herve Tullet's book Press Here, and other interactive picture books, here's a new one for you! Author and illustrator Tullet's newest, Say Zoop!, invites the reader to press along with words that coincide with each spot. It ends up being a hilarious adventure of colors and sounds as you go from page to page pressing and saying silly sounds louder and softer as you go.

If this sounds great, check out more Press Here readalikes and interactive books that are similar! This style of interactive books are really great to read together with the little ones.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #650, The Innocents Abroad

Ian Bassingthwaighte (UM, MFA, Helen Zell Writers' Program) won the Hopwood Novel Award in 2015 for Live from Cairo * *. This debut novel, set during the turbulent days after the January 25, 2011 uprising in Egypt, commonly referred to as The Arab Spring, is supported by Fulbright Program grant.

Cairo, 2011. President Mubarak is ousted from power, but for many people, Cairo is still a volatile, dangerous place. Dalia, an Iraqi refugee finds herself trapped in Egypt when her petition to join her husband Omran in the U.S. is denied. Hana, an Iraqi-American working at the U.N. Refugee Resettlement Office is assigned her case, and is desperate to help her. Neither one is unaware that Dalia's impulsive American attorney Charlie, is in love with his client, and is about to forge a not entirely legal plan to get her out. Meanwhile, Aos, Charlie’s translator and only friend, spends his days trying to help people through the system and his nights in Tahrir Square protesting against it.

As these well-meaning but ill-equipped individuals come together to help Dalia, laws are broken, friendships and marriages are tested, and lives are risked.

"The author paints a deep and empathetic picture of the inner struggles of his courageous, flawed characters, who in the midst of mortal danger and insurmountable odds, grapple with the most fundamental questions of right and wrong. The answers follow neither rules nor laws, making the climax to this novel breathtaking and heartrending." (Publishers Weekly)

Siobhan Fallon follows up her prizewinning short story collection with a debut novel - The Confusion of Languages *. While her stories focused on military spouses stateside, this novel is from the perspective of two wives of U.S. Embassy staff in Jordan as the Arab Spring unfolds.

After two years in Amman, Cassie Hugo considers herself a worthy mentor to Margaret Brickshaw, a new arrival to the Middle East. But the sight of Margaret sends Cassie into a fit of jealousy, especially her toddler Mather, having tried for years to start a family. Desperate for a friend among the expat families, Cassie shows Margaret around town, and tries to impart upon her the wisdom and safeguards of embassy rules. However, Margaret yearns for adventure, to learn Arabic, and to connect with the locals.

With their husbands deployed, Cassie is asked to mind Mather while Margaret insists on venturing out alone to settle a fender-bender incident. When Margaret fails to return, Cassie panics and looks through Margaret's journal for clues. What she finds among her friend's many secrets is her own possible role in Margaret's disappearance.

"For all that these women appear designed for a morality play, they are honest and well-formed characters, and Fallon strenuously avoids pat answers to the central question of how a woman should behave in a foreign land."(Kirkus Reviews)

* * = 2 starred reviews
* = starred review

Badge Drop #10: *STARSTRUCK*


Summer Game 2017 may have put STARS in your EYES, but stay tuned for some excitement from the STARS in the SKIES!

There's some AWESOME ASTRONOMY afoot on Monday, 8/21! The only thing that can eclipse the AWESOMENESS of the Summer Game is AN ACTUAL ECLIPSE!!! Join us at the Downtown Library on Monday, 8/21 from 1-3 pm for our SOLAR ECLIPSE VIEWING PARTY. There will be solar eclipse viewing glasses (the must-have accessory of the summer) available to share!

But BEFORE you look up, LOOK BELOW! Hey! BADGES!!!!

2017 Badge Drop #10


Now think of a number. NO, another number. Did you think of 13? Well, think of it now. THIRTEEN!!!!!! It's important because....

THAT'S HOW MANY DAYS OF SUMMER GAME REMAIN! Just 13 more days of CODE HUNTING and POINT GATHERING, SG hunter-gatherers! Gotta get out there and FORAGE for FUN while there's still FUN to FORAGE!

Time's a-tickin'! Collect those codes! Create those comments! Procure those points! BADGE THOSE BADGES!

As always, THANKS FOR PLAYING!!!

The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower series (one of author Stephen King's crowning achievements) tells the story of gunslinger Roland Deschain and his quest to find and protect the fabled Dark Tower, said to be the link between all universes. Roland's world is a post-apocalyptic desolate wasteland where time no longer moves chronologically and reality is fraying. The eight book series combines elements of fantasy, science fiction, horror and classic Western into a brand new epic story. The movie adaptation of the Dark Tower series opened on August 4th to mixed reviews (to put it lightly). Even if fans were not quite satisfied with the adaptation, they have devoured the Dark Tower series since the beginning of its publication in the early 1980's. Now is the perfect time to catch up on this epic series!

The series consists of The Gunslinger, The Drawing of the Three, The Waste Lands, Wizard and Glass, The Wind Through the Keyhole, Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, and The Dark Tower. These novels also have Book on CD (BOCD) counterparts, available here. King's collection of short stories entitled Everything's Eventual also includes Dark Tower related stories, specifically "The Little Sisters of Eluria" and "Everything's Eventual".

Drawing on the popularity of the novels, a series of prequel graphic novels was published after the novels were completed. The prequels begin with The Gunslinger Born and continue with The Long Road Home (available through MeLCat), Treachery (also only available through MeLCat), The Fall of Gilead and Battle of Jericho Hill.

The first two novels themselves have also been adapted into graphic novels, all available through MeLCat. The Gunslinger series consists of The Gunslinger: The Journey Begins,
The Battle of Tull, The Way Station, The Man in Black, and Last Shots. The Little Sisters of Eluria was also adapted into comic book form. The comics continue with The Drawing of the Three series, consisting of The Prisoner, House of Cards, Lady of Shadows, Bitter Medicine, and The Sailor.

There have been several nonfiction works detailing the intricacies of the Dark Tower universe. Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Complete Concordance, Revised and Updated is an encyclopedia of Dark Tower-related information, originally written by Robin Furth for Stephen King's exclusive personal use while he was still writing the series in order to prevent continuity errors. It was later published once King realized how valuable it would be to his "Constant Readers". There's also The Dark Tower Companion: A Guide to Stephen King's Epic Fantasy.

Additionally, there are many other Stephen King works that reference or are related to the Dark Tower series. A partial list includes Salem's Lot, Eyes of the Dragon, Bag of Bones, Black House, Insomnia, Desperation and its companion novel The Regulators, From a Buick 8, Cell, Rose Madder, Hearts in Atlantis, and The Stand.

The novel It also has ties to the Dark Tower series and has a widely anticipated movie adaptation coming out on September 8th. The trailer is available to watch here (if you dare!) and an interactive VR experience was released yesterday for the bravest of heart. You can also catch up with the 1990 made-for-TV movie, available here.

Solar Eclipse for the Visually Impaired

Solar Eclipse for the Visually ImpairedSolar Eclipse for the Visually ImpairedSolar and lunar eclipses happen everyday, but on Monday, August 21st, for the first time in almost 40 years, the path of the moon's shadow passes directly over the United States! The last time a total solar eclipse was visible across the entire contiguous United States was during the June 8, 1918 eclipse.

Viewing parties similar to the one hosted by AADL are not hard to come by, but what about those that are visually impaired? Here are two options for those that are not able to view the eclipse:

The American Council for the Blind in collaboration with Nashville-based trained audio describer Julia Cawthon, will describe the eclipse as it happens and provide a vivid “translation” of the visual event into words for the benefit of anyone who tunes in. Click here to access the broadcast, or dial 605-475-8130 and select option 4 to listen by phone.

The Eclipse Soundscape Project, from NASA's Heliophysics Education Consortium, will also deliver a multi-sensory experience of this exciting celestial event. The project includes real time audio descriptions of the eclipse, recordings of the changing environmental sounds during the eclipse, and an interactive “rumble map” app will allow users to visualize the eclipse through touch. You can download the iOs app here; an Android app will be available soon.

PreK Bits - "S" is for SLEEPYHEADS

sleepyheads3sleepyheads3This week Ms. Rachel presented stories that needed quiet so the sleepyheads can go to sleep.
The HINKY PINK ... A Hinky Pink came to live in the Tailor's house. She would not go to sleep until she had a perfect bed.
Ms. Betsy played guitar and Ms. Rachel led the action song "Wake Up You Sleepyheads”. Here is a youtube.com clip for demonstration.
OWL At HOME has several stories in the book. We heard about "Strange Bumps" in the night. They were "most unpleasant !".

For more books for and about SLEEPYHEADS try the following favorites:
The SQUEAKY DOOR had a Grandma putting her Grand-daughter to bed ... she needed quiet.
SLEEPYHEADS ... where every quiet creature lays their sleepy head.
QUIET BUNNY'S MANY COLORS ... find them in the garden.
The QUIET BOOK ... very thoughtful, lovely prose, and beautiful gentle illustrations.
SHH! WE HAVE A PLAN ... who needs to be quiet?
TIPTOE JOE ... tiptoe to be quiet.
HANK FINDS AN EGG ... on a quiet walk in the woods. What shall he do?
The FAMILY BEDTIME TREASURY: Tales For Sleepy Times and Sweet Dreams ... a treasure trove in one book!
BEDTIME FOR BEAR ... with a "small but effervescent" overnight guest. Delightful storytelling and illustrations!
Find a cozy space. Read a cozy book.
Good Night!
Sleep Tight.

30th Anniversary Films! Hello 1987!

This summer marks the 30th anniversary of some of your favorite classic films, including such 80s gems as The Lost Boys, Spaceballs, and Dirty Dancing.

In 1987 the hair was still high, as were the waistlines on those acid wash jeans. We were sporting Keds, neon everything, and a little bit of Jane Fonda spandex, as we listened to Whitney Houston, Madonna, and U2. If you really want to go back to 1987, here’s an article with some images that will get you back to the people, places, and events that defined that time.

But onto the films…
In June we were graced with the oddball sci-fi comedy Spaceballs, starring John Candy, Rick Moranis, and Bill Pullman. The film spoofs sci-fi classics like Star Wars and Star Trek. It takes place in a galaxy far away and features a dark lord, a princess, a half-man/half-dog, a rescue mission, and plenty of laughs.

In June we got darker and were raided by vampires in The Lost Boys. In the horror-comedy two brothers move to a new town in California with their single mom and soon encounter vampires. With young Sam and his new friends leading the way, they have to escape the vampires and stay alive. The film stars Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Haim, Corey Feldman (THE COREYS!), and Dianne Wiest, in a most glorious display of brooding 80s music and fashion. Any film with Kiefer as a bad guy is good by me!

Last but not least, in August of 1987 things got dirty, thanks to Patrick Swayze and Dirty Dancing. "Baby" spends the summer in the Catskills at a resort with her parents, where she soon meets and falls for a dance instructor. It’s a campy romantic comedy featuring an iconic dance scene, and Patrick Swayze doing his thing. Also starring Jennifer Gray.

And there we go -- three of many that came out in 1987. Which one do you gravitate to the most? For me it’s definitely The Lost Boys.

Badge Drop #9: Copious Commentary!


WHOOOOOEEEEEE, Summer Gamers! Now that we're DEEP into SG Season, things are getting INTENSE!

This week we've got badges that will send you to the HIGHEST HEIGHTS — flying with noted night bombers, rooting out records in the final frontier, and even shimmying up a (bean)stalk for EPIC ADVENTURE!

But OF COURSE, that's not all! We wouldn't leave you hanging ALL THE WAY UP THERE, so we've balanced all of that out by GETTING DOWN (in a DEEP GEOLOGICAL sense) with one badge that is TOTALLY THE PITS!

2017 Badge Drop #9


BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! We reassured you last week that WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! But we really really DO, and often your fellow gamers and library users do TOO (ESPECIALLY when you might be helping your fellow gamers DECIPHER TRICKY BUSINESS and earn MORE BADGES)!

So UP THAT CHATTER! Ramp up the remarks! Hit REPLY to add your voice to this thread, or the MANY, MANY others all about Summer Game and all the BEST STUFF happening at YOUR LIBRARY, and you will be richly rewarded with the COMMENT MASTER badges!

And... speaking of REWARDS... STAY TUNED for a shop drop later tonight!

As always, THANKS FOR PLAYING!!!

"Bonnie and Clyde" Turns 50

This week marks the 50th anniversary of “Bonnie and Clyde,” a film that introduced a new generation's sensibility to Hollywood and influenced generations of filmmakers to come. “Bonnie and Clyde,” based on a real life couple, follows waitress Bonnie and ex-con Clyde as they road trip across America robbing banks. The film’s success, including a nomination for Best Picture, helped pivot Hollywood from musicals and more family friendly fare, to increasingly experimental and French New Wave inspired filmmaking that captured the tension of the time period.

You can check out Bonnie and Clyde on DVD, or Blu-Ray.

If you want to learn about the making of the film and how it changed American cinema you can read Mark Harris’ ”Pictures at a revolution : five movies and the birth of the new Hollywood.”

Or if you want to know more about the real life Bonnie and Clyde you can check out “Go down together : the true, untold story of Bonnie and Clyde,” “Bonnie and Clyde : the lives behind the legend,” or “The strange history of Bonnie and Clyde.”

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