The Play Ground

The Play Ground

Who needs the Westminster Kennel Club?
The Detroit Kennel Club Dog Show is back and it returns to Cobo on March 18th & 19th. Visitors will have up-close and personal time with breeders, owners, handlers and over 150 different breeds of dogs. Show highlights include conformation competition, terrier racing, demonstrations by the Michigan Technical Rescue Operations Team, American Kennel Club Agility Trials, specialty retail booths and more. More than 2,000 dogs from nearly 167 different breeds are expected to compete for honors at each show. You can check out all the breeds ahead of time in the The Complete Dog Book, an official publication of The American Kennel Club but, The Play Ground is rooting for the West Highland Terrier to win.

New Fiction Titles on the New York Times Best Sellers List (3/5/06)

I'm not a huge fan of James Patterson's thrillers but millions are and he enters the list at #1. On the other hand I loved The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant and couldn't wait to read her latest book of historical fiction. For something completely different, check out her contemporary mysteries especially those featuring Hannah Wolfe.

At #1 is The Fifth Horseman by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro: the Women's Murder Club and Det. Boxer investigate suspicious deaths at a San Francisco hospital.

At #6 is In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant: in this "moody and bristling" historical novel a courtesan and her household fight for survival in Renaissance Italy.

My Name is Bilal by Asma Mobin-Uddin

On his first day at a new school Bilal sees a bully pull the scarf on his sister's head. He does nothing. In class he tells the teacher his name is Bill not Bilal. His teacher gives him the biography of Bilal ibn Rabah, one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He reads about the strength and courage of Bilal Ibn Rabah when he faced religious persecution by the Meccan's. Bilal learns through this book that it takes courage and strength to be who you are. This is one of the first books written about the struggles of an American Muslim child.

Norman Mailer receives France's highest honor

Norman mailer

In a ceremony at the French cultural Embassy on New York's Upper East Side, H.E. Jean-David Levitte, the French ambassador to the United States, awarded Norman Mailer, 83, France's Legion of Honor medal.

M. Levitte said the medal, which has only been bestowed on a handful of foreigners, was given to Mr. Mailer who is " American hero with a fierce love of freedom and an intellectual who has taken a stand in all the great struggles for his time."

During World War II, Mr. Mailer lived in Paris, studying at the Sorbonne. From that experience came The Naked and the Dead.

This is not the first time that the French have bestowed honor on Mr. Mailer. He adds France's 1983 insignia of Commander of the French Order of Arts and Letters to his two Pulitzer Prizes (The Armies of the Night, 1969, and The Executioner's Song, 1980).

Listen to Leonardo, Contento, Pietro, and Nunzio

Talk about an engaging book on CD! Replay by Sharon Creech stars 12-year-old Leonardo (Sardino), who feels squashed in his big Italian family between his older sister, Contento, and two younger brothers, Pietro and Nunzio. As Leonardo prepares to act in a school play, he discovers a diary his father wrote at age 13. Gradually, Leo begins to understand how people and families change through time. This book on CD offers three hours and 45 minutes of literate entertainment for listeners age 8 and up.

FolkTale Bits - Arab

Arab children's literature continues to emerge. Notable titles to look for are The Three Princes: A Tale From The Middle East and Goha The Wise Fool, a collection of fourteen tales about the folk hero Nasreddin Hoca, also known as Goha. Goha is a man with a reputation for being able to answer difficult questions in a clever way ... a middle east trickster.
For further links try, click on "Web Connections" down the left-side menu, then choose "January 2006" issue. Scroll down to "Arab Children's Literatu

History Bits - 19th Century Libya

At the end of the nineteenth century in Libya, eleven-year-old Malika simultaneously enjoys and feels constricted by the narrow world of women. This slim piece of historical fiction draws a picture of Malika's daily Muslim life, which includes generous and understanding parents, well-drawn family and cultural roles, and a compelling story to keep the pages turning. Shadows Of Ghadames is a timeless glimpse into a traditional Muslim village.

Gordon Parks: 1912-2006

Gordon Parks

Writer, photographer, composer and director Gordon Parks died yesterday at 93. As a photographer for Life from 1948 to 1968, Parks captured poverty in the United States and abroad and chronicled the struggles of black America through the civil rights movement. In 1969, Parks became the first major American black filmmaker as writer, director and composer of The Learning Tree, based on his 1963 autobiography and one of the first 25 American films entered into the National Film Registry. Parks also helmed Shaft, Leadbelly, and Solomon Northrup's Odyssey. The Library also owns Gordon Parks' "Visions": The Images, Words, and Music of Gordon Parks. Last year, Parks published Eyes With Winged Thoughts, a book of poetry and images to accompany his fourth prose memoir, A Hungry Heart.

Wayne Greenhaw wins the 2006 Harper Lee Award

Wayne Greenhaw

Wayne Greenhaw, author of this year's The Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People Who Broke the Back of Jim Crow was named the 2006 Harper Lee Award winner.

The intensely private Harper Lee is one of Alabama's most revered citizens following the publication of her classic To Kill a Mockingbird.

Born in 1940, Greenhaw's extensive bibliography includes contributions
to The New York Times and the Alabama section for Fodor's Guide to the South.

The Harper Lee Award was established in 1998 to "... recognize the lifetime achievement of a writer who was born in Alabama or who spent his or her formative years living and writing in the state."

Bee-Bim Bop Fun!

Would you ever think of going to the picture book section for a recipe? Well, no. But the picture book section is full of surprises.
Bee-Bim Bop by Linda Sue Park with illustrations by Ho Baek Lee is a lively story about a child and parent cooking the the traditional Korean dish of the title.
The recipe for Ms. Park's family version is included in the back of the book. The step-by-step directions are divided into tasks that kids can do, followed by the those that need to be done by an adult. What fun in the kitchen for a parent and child!
Linda Sue Park won the 2002 Newbery Medal for her book A Single Shard. She will be coming to the Library for National Children's Book Week in November.

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