Ann Arbor Observed: The Stories Behind the Ann Arbor Observer Covers

Ann Arbor Observed: The Stories Behind the Ann Arbor Observer Covers contains a mini collection of paintings that have graced the cover of the Ann Arbor Observer over the years, these ones all done by artist Katherine Larson. The paintings are a glimpse into the town and covers areas such as the parks, neighborhoods, University of Michigan, special events, and daily life in Ann Arbor. Each illustration is also accompanied by a decription of the artist’s motivation for that specific piece, as well as a few insights on her work process for it.

Katherine Larson’s artwork has appeared on the front of the Ann Arbor Observer more than any other artist. She has also painted murals, book covers, magazine covers, and children’s book illustrations.

If you’ve ever taken a look at the cover of the Observer after it arrives in your mailbox and wondered how the artist came up with that specific image, here you go!

AADL Talks to the Child Author of "Me, With Wings"

Some people spend their entire lives aspiring to be writers. Others, like Genna Rice, put the pen to the page and make those dreams a reality. Me, With Wings is Genna's first novel, completed before she's old enough to get a driver's license. Here we talk to Genna about her book, her writing process, her inspiration and what it's like to hold a book that she wrote in her very own hands.

Music for this episode was Sete pur Fastidioso, by Barbara Stozzi, which can be found in the AADL Catalog by going to AADL.org/Magnatune.

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AADL_Talks_To-Child_Author.mp3 12.6 MB

Parenting Lecture: Why It's OK Not to Share

Are you ready to rethink long-standing parenting practices? Author Heather Shumaker has defined 29 "renegade rules" for parenting young children, drawing on her own experience raising two young children as well as the work of child psychologists, educators, and neuroscientists.

Heather Shumaker is the author of It’s OK Not to Share…And Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids, which was named a Best Parenting Book of 2012 by Parents magazine, and is a northern Michigan bestseller. Salon.com called it "an insightful, sensible and compassionate book full of downright revolutionary ideas."

She is a speaker, journalist, blogger and advocate for free play and no homework for young children. She’s been featured on Fox & Friends TV, Huffington Post, New York Post, Parenting, Parents.com, USA Weekend, Wisconsin Public Radio and other media.

Join us at the Pittsfield Branch at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, May 21 for Heather Shumaker's talk, and be prepared to change your mind! This event includes a book signing, and copies of It’s OK Not to Share…And Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids will be available for purchase.

The picture book Woolbur has won the 2013 Michigan Reads! Award

The 2013 Michigan Reads! title has been announced! The award goes to the picture book Woolbur, written by Leslie Helakoski and illustrated by Lee Harper.

Woolbur is a unique story about a young sheep who is not afraid to be himself! Some of his antics include running with the dogs and dying his wool blue! His mom and dad are worried about him at first, but his grandparents tell them not to worry. In the end, the other sheep start to see the beauty in Woolbur’s creative ways and realize it is not so bad to live outside the box of a “normal” sheep life.

Helakoski, originally from Louisiana, is a graduate of Northern Michigan University and currently resides in southwest Michigan near Kalamazoo. Her picture book Big Chickens also won the Michigan Reads! Award for 2007.

The Michigan Reads! One State, One Children's Book program “focuses on the importance of reading and sharing books with children, especially toddlers through early elementary, and the vital role libraries play in providing access to the quality books, programs and services that lay the foundation for reading and school success.”

Another Stead Picture Book Collaboration

Bear Has a Story to Tell, written by Philip Stead and illustrated by Erin Stead, is a warm, wonderful story about patience and friendship that will delight young children and people of all ages who may want to read it aloud or over a young person's shoulder. The Steads are the Michigan duo that created A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. The books are companions in tone and style.

The lovely pencil and watercolor illustrations Bear Has a Story to Tell depict the changing natural landscape, as Bear tries to remember the tale he wants to tell his animal friends and they try to jog his memory. There are warm acts of kindness, giving the book, a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2012, the feel of a classic likely to be read and shared by many future generations.

Meet the the Author & Illustrator of the “Vordak” books!

Friday, April 26 | 7:00-8:00pm | Pittsfield Branch | K-8th Grade | Adults

Author Scott Seegert and illustrator John Martin, both from Michigan, are responsible for the wildly funny and silly Vordak the Incomprehensible book series. They’ll both be at the Pittsfield branch on Friday, April 26 talking about their books, leading a drawing exercise, and will perhaps be bringing a little surprise! If you’re into funny books, drawing, and super villains, then this event is for you.

The Vordak books, including How to Grow Up and Rule the World, Rule the School, and Double Trouble, are most appropriate for kids in grades 3rd – 8th, but this library program will be enjoyed by those grades in K-8th, as well as adults! It’s always fun to hear an author talk about their work and then get to meet them, and here we’re lucky to meet the author AND the illustrator!! Be sure to also check out the Vordak website, with all sorts of fun things to do.

Books will be for sale after the program, and there will be a book signing.

Ann Arbor Observer: Meet Jacqui Robbins

The March issue of the Ann Arbor Observer has a particularly good article about Jacqui Robbins, who is a writer, director and teacher in Ann Arbor. This article profiles Robbins, author of the children's books The New Girl. . . .And Me, and Two of a Kind. She also has a piece in the new book Dare to Dream - Change the World, a poetry collection inspired by coverage of the 2011 uprising in Egypt. Around Ann Arbor, Robbins is active in many community organizations including 826 Michigan, where she is president of the board.

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Wild Swan Theater: “Shipwrecked!”

Wild Swan Theater presents "Shipwrecked!" March 14-16 in Towsley Auditorium in the WCC Morris Lawrence Building. This original play, appropriate for kids in about grades 3-8, was written by accomplished local playwright Jeff Duncan. The story is a coming-of-age drama set during a fierce storm on Lake Huron in 1893. Twelve year-old Aaron Buchanan is sailing with his parents on their small schooner loaded with Christmas trees. Aaron's mettle is tested when a fierce gale hits "Shipwreck Alley," and he helps rescue his family. The play is based on historical accounts of the time and should give young people a good chance to learn some of the history, geography, music and maritime heritage of Michigan and the Great Lakes. For those families who may want to learn more about shipwrecks before going to the play, AADL has some great resources.

Ann Arbor Resident's Story of Survival

A current resident of Ann Arbor has a story to tell about her remarkable survival during a period of tremendous upheaval and bloodshed a lifetime ago and an ocean away. Miriam Garvil's autobiography I Have To Survive: Miriam Garvil's Story is the culmination of twenty years' worth of work. Ninety-two year old Garvil, who resides in an assisted living facility in Ann Arbor, began writing with the encouragement of social worker Ruth Campbell, who continued to assist Garvil's work even after retiring herself.

"I Have To Survive" reveals the author's past growing up in Poland before the outbreak of the Second World War, and recounts her memories of the concentration camps Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. She lost her mother, father and sister in the camps, and recalls her promise to her father: "If you don't survive, I will survive for you".

You can find more information on Miriam Garvil and her story in this month's issue of the Ann Arbor Observer.

Author Karen Simpson Discusses The Process Of Writing, Ann Arbor History, And Her Book "Act Of Grace"

Sunday March 17, 2013: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room AB

Join us as the Library welcomes local author Karen Simpson for this afternoon event!

Simpson's 2011 novel "Act of Grace" novel is inspired by an incident that happened almost 15 years ago at a Klan rally in Ann Arbor. She will discuss the process of writing, as well as the Ann Arbor incident that resulted in her creation of her award-winning first novel.

Listen to Karen’s recent interview with AADL!

This event includes a book signing and books will be for sale.

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