Family Science Workshop

Join us on Saturday, February 15th from 10 - 11 AM at the Pittsfield branch for our second Family Science Workshop, brought to us by the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. This workshop will be Meals with Megafauna: Sabertooth Cats, Dire Wolves, Mastodons & Man. Come learn about the strategies used by predators and prey to stay alive during the ice age. The workshop is intended for children in grades K-5, accompanied by an adult.

We also have plenty of ice age items in our collection, and don't forget to check out our Sabertooth Cat kit from our Science Tools collection.

Shirley Temple Black, America's Favorite Child Star, Dies at 85

Shirley Temple, Curly Girl

Shirley Temple sang and danced her precocious heart off for America in the 1930s and 40’s and is the single most popular child-star in film history. Shirley made 23 films during the Great Depression and made Americans smile through some very dark times.

She rose to international fame in 1934’s Bright Eyes and charmed the pants off audiences in a series of films where she was often an orphan with a plucky, “can-do” attitude about life. Shirley’s characters were always precocious with more common sense than any of the adults. Her most successful collaboration was with legendary African-American actor Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. They starred in four films together: The Little Colonel, The Littlest Rebel, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and Just Around the Corner. Their staircase dance number in “The Little Colonel” stands out as a classic musical moment in film history.

Parent’s Corner: Behavior Management

With parenthood comes a child that is a unique individual with their own way of behaving and viewing the world. One may ask: Is my child supposed to be behaving this way? They are out of control, what can I do? Why won’t my willful child listen to me? Why do they behave fine at home but act out in public? Maybe there are no correct answers to these questions, but boy do they get asked.

The Downtown library has a shelf in the Youth Department known as the Parent Shelf. On this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including behavior and everything from language to potty training to safety to bullying. These books are available for checkout and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf.”

The Parent Shelf has an assortment of books on the topic of child behavior. Here are a few to think about:

* Calm mama, happy baby: the simple, intuitive way to tame tears, improve sleep, and help your family thrive

* You can't make me (but I can be persuaded) : strategies for bringing out the best in your strong-willed child

* No more meltdowns : positive strategies for managing and preventing out-of-control behavior

The Bear’s Song

The Bear’s Song is a charming picture book written and illustrated by Benjamin Chaud. The beautiful, large and detailed illustrations help tell the story of a bear and his cub. Little Bear darts off after a bee, because honey is where the bees are! Papa Bear is left to run after Little Bear. He searches for him in the forest, in the big, busy city, and eventually an opera house—where things get a little silly for Papa Bear.

It is a darling story that is great for lap reading. Kids will enjoy searching for Little Bear and the bee on each of the pages as the story unfolds.

Highly acclaimed, the book has been on many top lists, including New York Times Notable Children's Books of 2013 and Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books of 2013, which both feature some amazing children’s books!

Kid Bits - African American History

February is African American History month. It reminds us to explore stories from African-American experiences.
You can find many real stories on the Picture Book History - African-American Stories Public List.

Stories continue to emerge.
Celebrate the history by reading something NEW:
SEARCHING For SARAH RECTOR: The Richest Black Girl In America a true story of 11 year old Sarah Rector in 1914.
AS FAST AS WORDS COULD FLY historical fiction episode of a 13 year old boy in 1960 during the Civil Rights movement.
The COLORED CAR a historical fiction episode of a 12 year old girl in 1937 Detroit during the great depression.
DISCOVERING BLACK AMERICA: From The Age Of Exploration To The Twenty-First Century ... new historical overview ranging from the Colonial period, slavery, Civil War and the Civil Rights era.
HAND IN HAND: Ten Black Men Who Changed America
HEART And SOUL: The Story Of America And African-Americans
ONWARD: A Photobiography Of African-American Explorer Matthew Henson

Meet the OP-1 from Teenage Engineering

Now available for checkout is the OP-1 synthesizer from Teenage Engineering. This is one of the coolest little synths we've played with in a long time. It comes loaded with 24 voices, 8 synth engines, a super neat sequencer and a 4 track virtual tape machine, all topped off with a superbly designed user interface that is amazingly fun to interact with. Visit the Downtown Stuff Shelf to borrow one today, and while you're there check out our other Music Tools, Science Tools and Home Tools.

Performance Network: Venus in Fur

Performance Netowrk Theatre -- in downtown Ann Arbor at 120 E. Huron -- will show Venus in Fur, a sex comedy by David Ives Feb. 27 - April 6. The Performance Network website describes the play as "A Sexy New Play from Broadway . . . Thomas, a beleaguered playwright/director, is desperate to find an actress to play Vanda, the female lead in his adaptation of the classic sadomasochist tale Venus in Fur. Into the audition room walks a vulgar and distraught actress—oddly enough, named Vanda. Though utterly wrong for the part, Vanda exhibits a strange command of the material. As the two work through the script, the lines between play and reality blur, entering into an increasingly serious battle of submission and domination that only one of them can win." Previews are February 27 – March 6. Opening Night: is March 7. Ticket information is here.

The Candymakers

Since February is a traditional time for candy, it also seems like a perfect opportunity to sample this sweet story, The Candymakers by Wendy Mass.

Reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this book introduced readers to four twelve-year-olds competing in the Confectionery Association’s annual Best New Candy contest. Alternating between the perspectives of contestants Logan, Miles, Daisy and Philip, the story unfolds in truly surprising and delightful ways. Through these alternating perspectives, we come to learn that each contest is carrying a secret, but they will have to trust the others enough to reveal all in order to ensure a happy ending.

The audiobook, narrated by Mark Turetsky, is also worth checking out.

Perfect for fans of Trenton Lee Stewart’s The Mysterious Benedict Society or Pseudonymous Bosch’s The Name of This Book is Secret.

Meet “It’s All Write!” Judge #2: Rebecca Donovan

Rebecca Donovan started writing when she was trapped inside during a blizzard, and is still loving it years later. She is best known for writing the bestselling “Breathing” series, including Reason to Breathe, which she originally self-published online. Donovan is not only #15 Most Popular Teen Author, but also #81 Most Popular Author overall on Amazon.com. She has a massive online fanbase and contributes regularly to her personal blog.

Before becoming an author, Donovan majored in psychology with a minor in sociology. She’s a devoted optimist and loves attending concerts whenever she can. To find out more about Rebecca Donovan, check out her website.

Stay tuned for the rest of the “It’s All Write!” judges in forthcoming blog posts!

Best New Music At AADL

AADL is constantly adding to its diverse selection of new CDs. If you're seeking some great new tunes, consider the following must-hear material.

"You Were Right," Brendan Benson: You may already know Royal Oak native Brendan Benson from his work alongside Jack White in the Raconteurs. But Benson has been churning out terrific, twangy power-pop of his own since 1996, and his sixth solo full-length is another fine addition to his catalog. The record includes jammy earworms like "It's Your Choice" and "Long Term Goal," but Benson also proves his maturity as a songwriter. The bittersweet ballad "Oh My Love," describing a loving relationship that just doesn't have a future, is an affecting standout.

"Are We There Yet?," The Verve Pipe: Brendan Benson isn't the only Michigan star with a new record in the AADL catalog. East Lansing alt-rockers the Verve Pipe have returned with their second foray into the world of children's music. You may know them for radio hits like "The Freshmen," but their kids' tunes are just as listenable (if not more so). Parents are quite likely to find just as much entertainment and humor in tunes like "When Grandma Says No" and "My Principal Rocks" as the kids do. And catchy pop melodies recalling the hooky bombast of Weezer make this one of those rare children's albums that parents won't mind playing for the millionth time.

"Wig Out At Jagbags," Stephen Malkmus: Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus has had a robust solo career since Pavement parted ways in 1999, and his latest release is among his best. Clocking in at around 40 minutes, it's one of Malkmus' more focused sets of songs; there's more hooks, clearer songwriting, and less psychedelia here than anything he's done in a while. And while Malkmus may now be a dad pushing 50, he's got a great sense of humor about his aging hipsterdom; check out the tuneful and hilarious "Rumble At the Rainbo," where he cracks wise about "slam dancing with some ancient dudes."

Find more great new CDs here.

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