New Picture Books With a Twist!

Sometimes new picture books come out that are presented in a nontraditional format. Here are three great examples of books that feature a messy story with interruptions, a story that’s read backwards and upside down, and story with two endings.

A Perfectly Messed-Up Story
In this classically cute story by Patrick McDonnell, Louie becomes angry when the story in which he appears is ruined by messes from jelly, peanut butter, finger prints, and other things that do not belong in books. It’s quite funny! In the end he realizes that it’s still a good story – messes and all.

The Story Starts Here:
Little Wolf decides to do things his way, including starting his story at the back of the book instead of the front, wearing pants on his head, and playing piano with his toes. But at some point the book has to turn upside down in order to turn things right side up.

Milo and the Mysterious Island:
Milo wishes to see what’s beyond the horizon and he and the other mice build a raft and set off on a voyage. The book reads as normal, then you get to a point where there are split pages. One set of pages finishes the story with a happy ending, and the other set of pages finishes the story with a sad ending – you get to decide which one you want to read! Or of course you can read both. Written by Marcus Pfister, author of Rainbow Fish.

Waiting for More Mistborn

As followers of Brandon Sanderson may know, his second book in the Wax and Wayne series, entitled Mistborn: Shadows of Self, is due to be released on October 6. Sanderson's original Mistborn series started with a trilogy, including The Final Empire, The Well of Ascension, and The Hero of Ages. 300 years after that trilogy had ended, Sanderson has set his next trilogy in the same world, starting with The Alloy of Law.

For those of you waiting eagerly, Sanderson has part of the novel posted on his website: Shadows of Self.

For those of you who can't wait for his next book, check out some of Brandon Sanderson's other stand-alone novels that won't have you committing to a whole new series.

Elantris
The Emperor's Soul
Warbreaker

New and Unusual Animal Books

If you or your little one loves animals, we have some great new books in that will teach you all about them in a whole new way! You’ll want to look at all of these beautiful, bright, and fascinating books.

First up, check out Bone Collection: Animals, which offers realistic drawings of animals’ skeletons with explanations of how the bones fit together and what purpose they all serve. Mixed in with the skeleton drawings are photographs of the animals and lots of facts. I learned so much from this book! Did you know that kangaroos’ tails are heavy to support their weight during fights, or that even though fruit bats are only 15 inches long, their wingspan can be longer than 5½ feet? That’s taller than I am! Learn all about this and more in this beautiful book.

For an amazing look at how wildlife adapts, take a look at Chernobyl’s Wild Kingdom: Life in the Dead Zone. This brilliant book explains the disastrous 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion and explores the aftermath. This book details the recovery of plants and animals in the area, which was initially assumed to be impossible. The effects of radiation are explained in clear, detailed language, and photographs highlight the difference between animals living within the “dead zone” and without.

If you’re after beautiful illustrations and simple, informative text, look at illustrator Steve Jenkins’s new books, Creature Features: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do, and Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World. With a combination of true facts and big pictures, these books are perfect for younger readers.

Draw Paint Print like the Great Artists

With Draw Paint Print like the Great Artists, you can learn different art styles alongside your favorite artists throughout history! In this beautiful and fascinating book, the reader is introduced to more than 30 different famous artists and their works. From there, the book introduces each artist's favorite art techniques, and provides creative projects designed by the author in order to hone your newfound art skills. All of the activities include easy instructions and the activities themselves are both inspiring and a lot of fun!

With aesthetically pleasing content and formatting, Draw Paint Print like the Great Artists encourages artists of all ages and skill sets while leaving enough room for creativity and growth. For more information on these famous artists, look for An Eye for Art: Focusing on Great Artists and Their Work and Look Closer: Art Masterpieces Through the Ages.

New Non-Fiction for Kids: Inventions that could have changed the world... but didn't!

Over the course of history, a lot of people have changed the world. Of course, even more people have also WANTED to change the world… but it hasn’t quite worked out. The brand new book Inventions That Could Have Changed the World… But Didn’t! describes some of the toys, games, household and office aids, and general contraptions that have been thought up but didn’t quite succeed in actuality. From a combination pogo stick/helicopter to Toaster Bacon, this fun book is filled with goofy and fascinating inventions from the ages. Inventions That Could Have Changed the World also has interesting and easy-to-understand information about patents and tips for getting your OWN invention to succeed.

Interested in other books about inventions and inventing? Try 100 Inventions That Made History, The Story of Inventions, or Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women.

Sports talk-show host pens rich fiction

If you’re familiar with Mike Greenberg then you probably know him as the less athletic half of ESPN’s top-rated radio program Mike & Mike. What you may not know is that Greeny has forayed into the world of fiction, last month releasing his second novel.

My Father’s Wives follows Jonathan Sweetwater, an accomplished Wall Street banker, through two tumultuous weeks of disappointment and discovery. When Jon has reason to believe that his wife is having an affair, he hastily sets out to learn why his seemingly perfect life is falling apart. Central to this search is Jon’s father, the late US Senator Percival Sweetwater III whom Jon has not seen since his own ninth birthday party.

Since the Senator is not available for comment, Jon treks the globe in search of his father’s six wives, hoping that they will reveal some long-hidden truth about his father and himself.

Ultimately Greenberg’s book is about the nature of family and relationships. The well-developed characters feel real, and the use of sports as metaphor is well-done. The book is fast-paced and Jon’s globe-trekking search for answers adds a sense of mystery and suspense to the novel. And at just over two hundred pages placing it on hold is an easy commitment to make. Unless, that is, you’re afraid of that sort of thing.

You can check out Greenbergs other books here and a New York Times review of My Father's Wives here.

PreK Bits - "W" is for WHALES

Ms. Rachel took a trip to the Arctic for tales of whales, igloos and Inuit people.
“A Whale Of A Tale” from The STORY VINE is an “oral tradition” tale about an Inuit boy who went for a walk.
"Okki Tokki Unga" is an Inuit rhythmic phrase we chanted while paddling kayaks “across the bay.”
Here ... The WIGGLES do their version of "Okki Tokki Unga"
KUMAK’s FISH is an original Inuit folk tale by Michael Bania.

If the list from Storytime is not long enough to satisfy your need for whale blubber, try more whale Tales:
KUMAK'S HOUSE by Michael Bania.
BURT DOW: Deep-Water Man by Robert McCloskey.
Also the recorded kit version BURT DOW: Deep-Water Man
This story was a family favorite when my sons were young. Every boat was the “Tidely-Idely” and we could always find “the pink of Ginny Poor’s pantry.”
BABY BELUGA in book format by Raffi. The song is on recorded CD BABY BELUGA and [|more songs by Raffi] .
DOWN To The SEA With MR MAGEE another wacky tale!
COMMOTION In The OCEAN by Andreae Giles.
BREATHE by Scott Magoon.
FOLLOWING PAPA’s SONG by Gianna Marino.
LOOK INSIDE An IGLOO by Mari C. Schuh.
IGLOOS by Jack Manning.

LISTEN!! Digital Music News: Spy Movie Tunes, Old/New Chopin, Relaxation

YOU can access over 1,000 digital music albums directly through our AADL.org catalog. Stream or download as much as you like, DRM free, on any device you choose. No waiting for a copy. No due dates. Hooray!

FUNK / JAZZ
Made of Wood: Groove Laden Chillout Funk
Narcotherapy Hypnosis is an instrumental album steeped in nostalgia for a time that never quite existed. The album is the soundtrack to a fictional 60s/70s spy movie (you'll have to supply the visuals) that fuses both older and more modern sounds into new but familiar grooves. The music ranges from instrumental funky jams with Wurlitzers, clavinet and horns, to more trippy retro-synth space sounds - with a whole lot of exploration in between.

CLASSICAL / PIANO
Chad Lawson: Multi-Award Winning Pianist and Composer
Steinway artist, Chad Lawson, decided Chopin needed a new introduction. Along with violinist Judy Kang (Lady Gaga, Ryuichi Sakamoto) and cellist Rubin Kodheli (Kanye West, Courtney Love), Lawson has arranged ten Chopin works into a modern day interpretation. It's a risk editing the "poet of the piano", but one that Chopin would be proud of.

AMBIENT / NEW AGE / ELECTRONIC
Julian Blackmore: Downbeat Ambient Electronica With a Twist
Deeply hypnotic pads and pulsing textures ebb and flow to create a soothing soundscape, reminiscent of Tangerine Dream or Brian Eno's ambient work. Each 20 minute track is carefully structured to take the listener into a deeper state of relaxation before returning to the surface. Essence Vol.1 is a 40 minute sound journey in two parts, ideal for use during meditation or yoga, guided hypnosis, or simply for relaxation.

Friday 2/27 - Last day to submit stories for the "Write On!" Short Story Contest for 3rd to 5th Grade!

Don’t worry - there’s still time! You can submit a story at the Downtown Library Youth Desk (343 S. Fifth Ave) or email it to youngwrite@aadl.org through February 27th! Check out the contest guidelines for details.

Remember, the top three stories will be chosen from each grade and every writer will receive a certificate of participation! Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony held on Sunday April 19th, 2015 from 2 - 3 pm in the Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room.

Still working on your story? Try some of these writing resources if you need help!

My Weird Writing Tips by Dan Gutman. The author of the “My Weird School” series gives advice on writing, finding your big idea, and provides a checklist to help young writers develop all the important parts of their story!

Just Write: Here’s How by award winning author Walter Dean Myers. Get suggestions for story ideas, characters and plot as well as advice for dealing with helpful criticism.

826michigan
Ann Arbor’s own center for great creative writing workshops. All workshops are free, some require registration. Ages 8 to 18.

Brainfuse Writing Lab
Get live online help from writing tutors 2-11pm, seven days a week. No appointments necessary. Log in to an aadl.org online account and go to http://www.aadl.org/research/browse/studentpapers to use this service for free!

Taco Tuesday: Let's Dip

It’s Taco Tuesday! What are you making for dinner? Pizza? Oh, well, that’s okay. BUT! If you’re thinking about tacos… today is apparently National Tortilla Chip Day. (Yes, there seems to be a “day” for everything.) What’s Taco Tuesday? It’s pretty much just making it a point to dine on tacos on a Tuesday.

Along with the tortilla chip comes something yummy to dip it in! The cookbook Frontera: Margaritas, Guacamoles and Snacks features just that. All the scrumptious fixings to top your tortillas with delicious. Yes there are drink recipes, but the book also provides a guacamole recipe for each month of the year. Did you know there were that many ways to make guac?

And to fancy up those tacos with things beside the usual, check out Mexican flavors: Contemporary recipes from Camp San Miguel for Some Tasty Inspiration. Happy taco Tuesday to you! (Even if you choose to eat pizza.)

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