Care for some Lemonade?

Beyoncé surprised the world by dropping her visual album Lemonade, which was available for limited viewing on HBO. The album of the same name was then streaming on Tidal, and now the album and video are available for purchase via the usual channels, and soon available at AADL. Lemonade is once again a carefully orchestrated release by Beyoncé, as she continues to control every detail of all things Bey.

Since Lemonade hit the ice cold glass the world has been buzzing, and not just those in the BeyHive. The visual album is rich with imagery and words of infidelity, betrayal, sorrow, self-empowerment, revenge, and feminism, which has caused critics and fans to ponder the validity of her words and how they pertain to her life and family.

The release includes the 12-song album and the hour-long film. The album does not disappoint, and I recommend watching the film first to get the full effect, so that when you then listen to the album you have striking visuals dancing during subsequent listens.

Now underway, The Formation World Tour was announced after Queen Bey's performance at the Super Bowl halftime show. She heads to Ford Field in Detroit on June 14.

Vinyl Records!

Saturday, April 16 was Record Store Day! On this day we launched AADL’s circulating vinyl collection. Yes, that’s right, you can check out LP records at the library again! You can browse the little collection online to see what we’ve got, or stop into the Downtown Branch to flip through the stacks of wax. Ah, the joy of flipping through a record bin.

There’s a good mix of classics and contemporary. You’ll find artists such as Taylor Swift, The Cure, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, The Beatles, and Fleetwood Mac, to name a fabulous few. Can you dig it?

PreK Bits - "G" is for GO ... but always be ready to stop.

Ms. Rachel did stories about “Go” this week at Malletts Creek Storytime.
A Mouse went on “A Journey” to his Mother's house for a visit … a story from MOUSE TALES by Arnold Lobel.
We rhymed props with the song A-HUNTING WE WILL GO ...
We practiced driving IN The DRIVER’S SEAT. It got pretty crazy at times.

For more stories with “GO” try these favorites:
GO! GO! GO! STOP! … the difference between “go” and “stop”.
DON’T LET The PIGEON DRIVE The BUS … don’t let him “go!”
OK GO … you don’t need a motor to be able to “go”.
MOO! … look who’s driving!
AND AWAY WE GO ... how many ways can you go?
You can choose more titles from the public list Planes And Trains And Things That Go
AND … you can check out 6 stories at once in the Stories To Go set on TRANSPORTATION.
Remember ... some times you need to read the signs ... and sometimes you need to STOP!
Be safe out there.

PreK Bits - "F" is for Foolish FROGGIES

It's time to feature froggy stories! Froggies are funny. They are fun to hear and watch. First-frogs-of-the-season time is near. We will soon hear spring peepers and croakers.

Ms. Rachel introduced GREEN FROGS thru MelCat loan. It is a Korean Folktale that explains why little children in Korea may be called "green frogs". Hint: It has something to do with "unruly".
We sang "5 Green And Speckled Frogs" ... a classic "counting and singing song" you can find on the CD LITTLE PEOPLE: Songs & Games For The Road.
We discovered WHY The FROG HAS BIG EYES ... a "beginning Reader" folktale.
You may be able to read this one yourself if you have learned to read some words already.

For more froggy tales try these favorites:
Arnold Lobel Classic Readers ... with Frog & Toad
I DON'T WANT TO BE A FROG! ... perhaps a complaint?
999 FROGS WAKE UP … in the springtime.
TOO MANY FROGS … at bedtime.
I DON’T WANT TO BE A FROG … being green gets old.
The CROAKY POKEY … dance your froggy parts to Hokey Pokey!
TUESDAY … a frog fantasy that won the Caldecott Award for illustrations in 1992.

A Most Unusual Love Story

The First Bad Man

Author: Miranda July
Narrator: Miranda July

Length: 7.5 Hours

Listening to Miranda July read her unforgettable novel, The First Bad Man, was an engrossing experience that provided me with many laughs, surprises, and moments of reflection. Giving voice to her narrator, 43-year-old, Cheryl Glickman, Miranda July creates a story full of the minutiae and inner-musings of a singular, single woman. This debut novel defies categorization. It is sharp, funny, detailed and challenging. July’s narration is the perfect way to hear this story, so much of which comes to us from inside Cheryl’s head. To hear Cheryl’s thoughts conveyed by their original creator provides the listener with extra layer of nuance and knowledge.

As Lauren Groff said in her New York Times review of The First Bad Man, “Cheryl is ...such an acute observer that her life is never as pathetic to the reader as it appears to the people around her.”

When we meet Cheryl, her existence is one of systems and order, fueled by an obsession with Phillip Bettelheim, who serves on the board at Open Palm, where Cheryl is the manager. Open Palm is an organization that teaches self-defense to women as a way to be fit, but, even as manager, Cheryl works primarily from home, per the request of her employers. They seem to feel a little of Cheryl goes a long way. Due to her solitude, many of Cheryl’s interactions with other people are fantastical or imagined. Her life is suddenly disrupted when she asked to take in the daughter of her employers, Clee. Clee turns out to be a challenging roommate in many ways, as she defies Cheryl’s carefully constructed systems and ultimately breaks down Cheryl’s rigidity. The relationship between Cheryl and Clee evolves many times, and passes through some unexpected territory.

July’s novel is an exploration of violence, both real and imagined, sexuality, and physical expression. The most explicit physical of these interactions take place in Cheryl's imagination. In an interview in The Guardian, July explains that “it is perfectly possible for people who live primarily in their own heads (artists, writers, intellectuals) to hanker after a physical communion.” Through Cheryl, July examines and exposes relationships and intimacies. We meet characters, including Cheryl, who are learning to love on different levels, self-love, mother-love, married love, new love, and we see how powerful and terrifying these attachments can be.

“Sometimes I looked at her sleeping face, the living flesh of it, and was overwhelmed by how precarious it was to love a living thing. She could die simply from lack of water. It hardly seemed safer than falling in love with a plant.”

“We thrust our babies into the air again and again, showing them what it felt like to be a mother, to be terrifyingly in love without the option of getting off.”

Parts of the story seem absurd and here is where listening to July’s telling is helpful. Her tone makes us implicit in her folly. July’s writing, while amusing, is also beautiful, poetic and sad and her reading of it is at times, breathtaking.

“But as the sun rose I crested the mountain of my self-pity and remembered I was always going to die at the end of this life anyway. What did it really matter if I spent it like this—caring for this boy—as opposed to some other way? I would always be earthbound; he hadn’t robbed me of my ability to fly or to live forever. I appreciated nuns now, not the conscripted kind, but modern women who chose it. If you were wise enough to know that this life would consist mostly of letting go of things you wanted, then why not get good at the letting go, rather than the trying to have?"

I found everything about this book to be unique from its absurdities to its breathtaking moments, many of which I rewound to hear again. The First Bad Man will appeal to fans of Lena Dunham, Maggie Nelson, and Carrie Brownstein.

PreK Bits - "C" is for Cookie!

Cookie Monster says, "C is for Cookie!"
That's good enough for Ms. Rachel in Storytime too!
IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE is a cautionary tale that takes you in a circle right back where you started from.
Banjo Betsy and Ms. Rachel led the action song "Gonna Walk, Walk, Walk" ... until we need to "Sit Down."
This action song can be found on the the following recordings ... HONK! HONK! RATTLE! RATTLE! and RISE And SHINE.
The WOLF’S CHICKEN STEW is a Chef's kitchen story. The Wolf is fattening up Ms. Chicken for his stew ... but there is a surprise.
All of his cooking is successful in a new way!

If you like cookies, you may enjoy more favorite "Cookie" stories as follows:
B. BEAR And LOLLY: Catch That Cookie!
The GINGERBREAD MAN LOST IN SCHOOL … and many more versions of the Gingerbread characters.
SUGAR COOKIES: sweet little lessons on love
FABULOUS FOOD … a recorded CD full of songs and rhythm including “Who Stole The Cookies”!
And don't forget to play with Cookie Monster in C Is For COOKIE!

Distortion Pedals! Bzzzzzzzzzz!

The Music Tools collection is one of the largest Unusual Stuff collections at AADL, and it keeps growing in size and use as more and more musicians (and knob twiddlers) find out about all the cool stuff that can be checked out.

Included in this are the many distortion pedals that are ready to give your guitar some extra fuzz. Check out the list of what we have!

And to sweeten the deal, a bunch of them are made in Ann Arbor by King Custom Electronics. Their handmade pedals bring the sounds of tried and true vintage fuzz, paired with modern convenience, reliability and versatility. Creative designs help make these pedals something you can't find on the showroom floor. Made with the highest quality new old stock components, they're guaranteed to put the tone you want in the palm of your hands.

Sounds cool to me!

PreK BITS - “A” is for Art

There were ARTful stories in Preschool Storytime @ Malletts Creek this week.
Ms. Rachel drew “Monkey Face” while telling the story.
The book MONKEY FACE is long out of print but the tale lives on in oral tradition.
Frank Asch is the author and his books are still popular.
The BIG ORANGE SPLOT is a story of Mr. Plumbean and the day a big orange splot lands on his house. What would YOU do?

For more Artful stories try these favorites:
I AIN’T GONNA PAINT NO MORE! … is totally singable as you read the pages and enjoy the pictures.
VINCENT PAINTS HIS HOUSE ... Vincent Van Gogh of course!
LILY BROWN’S PAINTINGS … a young artist growing …
SCRIBBLE … what if you scribbled on your sister’s things?
BEAR’S PICTURE … what if folks don’t think your art is right?
PURPLE GREEN And YELLOW … what if your markers go places they aren’t supposed to go ?
The DAY The CRAYONS CAME HOME … sequel to The DAY The CRAYONS QUIT … stories from the crayon box.
DOG LOVES DRAWING by Louise Yates.
SHAPE SONG SWINGALONG … a song on a CD to go along …
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ANIMAL? … a collection of stories and poems told by a collection of famous children’s book illustrators.

PreK Bits - "10" in the DEN

1010Ms. Rachel told stories that counted to 10 in Preschool Storytime.
Banjo Betsy accompanied and sang too!
TEN In The BED was sung using puppet animals in the doll bed. We sang the version by Peter and Ellen Allard on CD SING IT! Vol. 3 and used their unique refrain …
“Please remember to tie a knot in your pajamas. Single beds were only made for one …”.
We sang the “Finger Family” action song.
We met “10 Animals” … an abridged rendition of Sandra Boynton’s 15 ANIMALS board book.

You can Keep on Counting with the following favorite suggestions:
Stories To Go kits … the one for COUNTING.
The CD 50 SINGALONG CLASSICS by Little People is full of sing-along songs including “Ten In Bed”.
TEN LITTLE FISH by Audrey Wood.
TEN MONSTERS IN The BED by Katy Cotton.
TEN NINE EIGHT by Molly Bang.
TEN LITTLE HOUSES by Helen Musselwhite.
TEN IN The DEN by John Butler.
It's a good thing we have TEN LITTLE FINGERS And TEN LITTLE TOES to practice our counting!

PreK Bits - "5" alive

Ms. Rachel did five stories about "Five" in Preschool Storytime and Banjo Betsy accompanied with music and voice.
TUBBY by Leslie Patricelli included a bunch of "fives" ... 5 fingers ... five toes ... five tugboats ....
We counted toes "Singing All The Way Home" ... a version of "This Little Piggy" found on the CD SINGING ALL THE WAY HOME by Liz Buchanan.
“Five Little Snow People” melted away in this counting rhyme.
FIVE LITTLE MONKEYS JUMPING ON The BED by Eileen Christelow ... and you already know what happened to them!
We sang "One Elephant" using all 5 fingers. You can sing along with Sharon, Lois and Bram on the CD GREAT BIG HITS.

Keep on counting with the following titles:
I FEEL FIVE by Bethany Deeney Marguia
10 TIMES 10 by Herve Tullet
OCEAN COUNTING by Janet Lawler
100 ANIMALS ON PARADE by Sebe Masayuki
ANIMAL 1 2 3 ... is a unique animal counting book by Britta Teckentrup. Can you predict the next number?
High FIVE!

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