The Girl's Guide: the handiest new book!

It has always seemed to me like there are a lot of “life guidebooks” out there, especially geared towards women. Some have good info, but are often focused on a single subject: housekeeping, fashion, love and romance, health or careers, but rarely all of the above. Life can be confusing and I’ve often wished for a book that has tips and suggestions about all of that stuff that I can just keep around the house. And now, we’ve got one! The Girl’s Guide, by Melissa Kirsch, covers all these subjects—and more—in a single, simply designed new book and I love it!

Chapters include Health and Body Image, Money and Finance, Careers and Work, Dating, Sex and Romance, Spirituality, Home Ec for Modern Times, and sections on fashion sense, friendship, and getting along with and navigating familial and other close relationships. The format of the book is incredibly handy. There are longer sections, but everything is summarized in short, bolded phrases, too, for those just scanning quickly for info. Particularly relevant or important information (for example, the difference between a credit report and a credit score, or what to do if you feel like you’re going to cry at work) is detailed in cute turquoise boxes throughout the book. There are even a few checklists in The Girl’s Guide, including one for outfitting your kitchen and another for things to make sure you check on before purchasing a home. This book is incredibly useful, comprehensive, and realistic, and is a must-read—and maybe even a must-own!—for women everywhere.

By Mouse & Frog

By Mouse & Frog is a new picture book by Deborah Freedman. It features a nice, quiet mouse who is writing a story. A fantastic story! So many ideas are flowing out of his pencil! But Frog is super duper enthusiastic about the storyline and keeps interrupting Mouse’s writing process with his own ideas.

“Once upon a time Mouse was trying to tell a story, but Frog bounced and bounced without listening to Mouse!”

Will Frog stop interrupting? Will Mouse get to finish writing the story? Will teamwork be involved at all?! This charming book will make you giggle and smile and appreciate the balance that's in every friendship.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #531

A "propulsive" historical set among the world of early 19th c. female pugilists - The Fair Fight * * by first-time author Anna Freeman has been widely compared to The Crimson Petal and the White. It is a "raucous, intoxicating tale of courage, and self-reinvention..."

Ruth Downs was considered too unattractive to serve the clientele of the "the convent", a Bristol brothel where she was born and raised. She was saved from a life of drudgery by a natural scrappiness, witnessed in a cat-fight by George Dryer who became her patron as a professional pugilist.

Scarred by smallpox, manor-born Charlotte Sinclair, trapped in twisted power games with her scoundrel of a brother who married her off to a mean and neglectful husband, was desperate for an escape.

When the two women met, it was Charlotte who presented Ruth with an extraordinary proposition.

Drawn from historical real-life and fictional (see Author's note) "(g)amblers, drinkers, fighters, hookers; the fancy, the rowdy, the rude—Freeman does a wonderful job of spinning this furious yarn, in which the fury of women plays the lead role. Great characters and wild turns of events make this book a knockout."

The New York Times praised that The Fair Fight "breathes, shouts and swears, confident in its form and bold as brass in its execution." A new voice to watch for fans of Sarah Water's.

* * = 2 starred reviews

Suggest A Title For Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Reads 2016

Read a good book lately?

Suggest a good book to the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads planning committees and your suggestion might be selected for the upcoming Read (which will take place in January & February 2016). Committees will be meeting over the summer to consider hundreds of possible titles – and they want your help!

You can suggest a title by visiting the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads website. Suggest a title by June 15 and it will be considered for selection in the Fall.

Launched in 2003, Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads is a community initiative to promote reading and civic dialogue through the shared experience of reading and discussing a common book. Help make the 2016 Read the best ever!

PreK Bits - "A" is for Amphibians (aka Frogs+)

Who let the frogs out ?
Ms. Rachel let the frogs out for storytime!

We learned WHY The FROG HAS BIG EYES by Betsy Franco
Ms Sara and her banjo played with our children's choir to sing and count “Five Green Speckled Frogs” ...who were eating most delicious bugs … "YUMM!".
We also sang an all-action song "She'll Be Coming 'Round The Mountain". You can hear Jewel's version on the CD The MERRY GOES ROUND.
We found who upset the ONE DOG CANOE by Mary Casanova

For more amphibious antics try the following frog tales:
FROG And FLY: six slurpy stories by Jeff Mack
THAT”S MINE! by Michel van Zeveren
A FROG IN The BOG by Karma Wilson
TUESDAY by David Wiesner. Frogs rise on their lily pads, float through the air, and explore the nearby houses while their inhabitants sleep. The 1992 Caldecott winner.
CROAKY POKEY You can read this book and then DO this book all together.
999 TADPOLES and 999 FROGS WAKE UP Ken Mimura. These will tune-up your counting fingers well.

Odyssey Award 2015 Winner- H.O.R.S.E.: A game of basketball and imagination by Christopher Myers

This year the winner of the ALA and YALSA's Odyssey Award is H.O.R.S.E.: A game of basketball and imaginationby Christopher Myers. H.O.R.S.E. is a story about two young children playing a game pick-up basketball and trying to outdo each other with absurd and imaginative plays.

The award is given to audiobooks that have great production values and this book is no exception with sound effects for hoop swishes and even horse whinnies!

If you are interested in the honors audiobooks for this years Odyssey Award check out this list.

Rad American Women A-Z

Wow! I want to shout about this book from the rooftops! Rad American Women A-Z, written by Kate Schatz, and illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, is the best introduction to women’s history in America I’ve ever seen!

Written in the form of an alphabet book, the 25 women in this book (X is for the women we don’t yet know) are an impressive group. Clear thought has been given to diversity of accomplishments, race, time period, and more. My favorite thing about this book is that the women represented in the pages are ones that children may not have heard of- Dolores Huerta, Kate Bornstein, Temple Grandin, Hazel Scott, Wilma Mankiller, and Yuri Kochiyama, just to name a few! Although this book is written for children, the gorgeous art and smart summaries makes this a winner for all ages.

Rad American Women A-Z picked up quite a bit of buzz prior to publication- check out articles about it from The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and more. You can also look at the images made available for download from the publisher.

Now go check out this book!

New Short Stories by the Author of Shotgun Lovesongs

Nickolas Butler, author of the bestselling novel Shotgun Lovesongs, which was published in early 2014, has just written a new book, this time comprised of short stories. Readers loved Shotgun Lovesongs for its stunning portrayal of a place (rural Wisconsin) and the people who live there (four lifelong friends who have reunited for a wedding). In this new book, Beneath the Bonfire, Butler again shows his talents at depicting “a place and its people with such love that you’ll find yourself falling for them, too.” Butler again sets his pieces throughout the rural Midwest, and as a native of rural Wisconsin himself, you can tell that he truly knows these places and their residents.

In one story in Beneath the Bonfire, a group of men spend the weekend hunting for mushrooms in the wilderness where they grew up… and which some still cannot seem to escape. In another, a woman helps a second woman get revenge against a man who had committed crimes not only against her, but against their entire community. The opening story tells of a young couple attending a “chainsaw party” to cut down trees for wood for the upcoming winter. Totaling 10 stories in all, Beneath the Bonfire is a beautiful and surprising collection with, as the book jacket reads, “a landscape that will be instantly recognizable to anyone who has traveled the back roads and blue highways of America.”

Gorgeous New Youth Non-Fiction

If you’re looking for new books with beautiful and interesting images, look no further than our Youth Non-Fiction section!

First up are the companion books Amazing Animals: A Collection of Creatures Great and Small, and Beautiful Beasts: A Collection of Creatures Past and Present. These books are light on text but littered with gorgeous drawings of all kinds of animals, from the cute to the gruesome. The animals are organized by color, but also by more unusual ways, such as speed, tails and even ear size! With some of the most lovely illustrations I’ve ever seen, these books are sure to please everyone.

If the above books leave you wanting more information about animals, check out Information Graphics’ Animal Kingdom. With bright colors, tabs dividing sections, and quick, interesting animal facts, this book wonderfully compliments Amazing Animals and Beautiful Beasts.

Finally, Matthew Burgess’ new biography of E.E. Cummings, Enormous Smallness, will delight even readers who are unfamiliar with the poet. With text that swoops all over the pages, and beautiful illustrations by the always fantastic Kris Di Giacomo, this book captures E.E. Cummings’ unique style. A chronology, selected poems, and author’s note complete this book, providing extra information to curious readers.

Classic Literature for the Littlest Listeners

The Babylit board book series by author/illustrator team Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver introduce concepts like counting, colors, and opposites using adorable designs and eye-catching colors. Adams' simple text and Oliver's sleek and clever designs are a perfect combination. These are books parents will enjoy as much as their little ones, and there are plenty of little details to point out and talk about with your child - counting creatures, naming characters, finding objects, make Babylit books a great interactive reading experience.

The Cozy Classics series by brothers Jack and Holman Wang combines single word storytelling with photographs of elaborately felted object to convey classics like "Les Miserables" or "War and Peace." These wholesome and painstakingly detailed photographs add magic to this very simple retellings.

Check out this list for titles from both series, and start laying the foundation for the future literature lover in your life!

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