Art Table: Pop Art!

The next time you’re at the Downtown Library, pop into the Youth Department and check out the new art project at the art table. This month you’ll have the chance to create some POP ART!

Pop art is the art of every day things. This art form works off things in pop culture and mass media. We’ve got crayons, paper and samples to get you started in your own artistic endeavors. And for some books as inspiration, check out these youth titles about pop art.

A Modern Fairy Tale

Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” had inspired many fantastic works in the last few years, including Disney’s Frozen and Anne Ursu’s Breadcrumbs. Fans of the latter will definitely want to check out the latest Snow Queen-inspired novel, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee.

The story takes place in a magical, labyrinth-like museum in a country where the snow never stops. While exploring the museum one day, Ophelia discovers the prison of the Marvelous Boy, a boy who never ages and who is destined to give the sword to the hero who will slay the Snow Queen. Though still grieving the death of her mother, Ophelia agrees to team up with the Marvelous Boy to help him defeat the Snow Queen and end the endless winter.

What I loved most about this novel was its careful balance of fantasy and reality. While much of the plot and the tone of the story feel like a dreamy or sometimes nightmarish fairy tale, Ophelia’s grief and its effect upon her family keep the heart of the story incredible real.

Click Magazine: At the Library

The new February issue of Click Magazine for kids has a ton of fascinating information about libraries and books! Read the text of an interview with David Shannon, author of No, David! and Alice the Fairy, learn about the history of books and making paper, and how to ask a librarian for help. You can also see photos of different libraries around the world, including biblioburros, bookmobiles, portable libraries on elephants and trailers, and even libraries hidden inside telephone booths. You can learn how to make your own book (even one with flaps and pockets!) and photocopy and use the story starter game in the back. Feeling too snowed in to come to the library?

Visit the Click Magazine website to hear audio recordings of magazine features, watch a video on block printing, or play a Sort the Books game.

Click here to find more magazines for kids at AADL!

Amazon Teen Bestsellers: Rush Revere and the First Patriots

Apparently radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh is trying to make American history come to life for young people, in a series of books about "time-travel adventures with exceptional Americans." The first book in the series is Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, in which Limbaugh created the character of a middle-school teacher named Rush Revere. In the second book, "Rush Revere and First Patriots," the character is transported back to the time leading up to the American Revolution. The second book currently is #9 on Amazon's list of Best Sellers in Teen and Young Adult Books.

Secret Pizza Party

Remember how funny and adorable and hilarious Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri is? Well, they’ve got another picture book out, made just for you fans of silly!

Secret Pizza Party features a raccoon that LOVES pizza. “Pizza smell” gives him the “happy screams.” But the poor raccoon in this book is always being chased off by someone with a broom. All he wants in life is some pizza! Eventually a plan is hatched for a secret pizza party. One that involves avoiding the broom factory and the raccoon-sniffing broom-bots. Will this raccoon ever get some pizza?! Read the book and find out.

You might also want to read Dragons Love Tacos, if you haven’t already. And for more funny picture books check out this nice list we've created!

New Youth Magazines: LEGO Club & LEGO Club Jr.

LEGOs! Will we ever have enough of LEGOs? Probably not. There’s always another set coming out that we just HAVE to have. And with the LEGO Movie recently released, well, some of us are extra LEGO-minded. AADL now has subscriptions for two LEGO magazines for kids.

LEGO Club Magazine (formerly called Bricks Kicks and later LEGO Magazine) features different bits in each issue, such as Lord of the Rings, Lego Castle, Lego Atlantis, Lego City, Lego Legends of Chima. It addition to feature articles the magazine also includes comics, building ideas, cool creations, and games.

LEGO Club Jr. Magazine is aimed at children six and under and features activities, cool creations,and building ideas.

And of course be sure to check out some of the oodles of great LEGO books the library has to offer.

Audiobook for Kids: Malcolm at Midnight

Many favorite children’s books feature heroic mice, but what about heroic rats?

In Malcolm at Midnight by W. H. Beck, we meet Malcolm, a rat who becomes a class pet when fifth-grade teacher Mr. Binney mistakes him for a mouse. When Malcolm learns about rats’ bad reputation, he decides it might be best to let everyone continue thinking he’s a a mouse, especially after he joins the Midnight Academy, a secret society of class pets that has vowed to keep the school safe. But when the leader of the Midnight Academy goes missing and everyone discovers Malcolm is really a rat, he will have to set off alone to save the school from real evil of McKenna School.

Reminiscent of Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux but with a familiar classroom setting, this book would be a good choice for animal lovers and children with classroom pets.

For more books featuring heroic rodents, check out this list.

Winter magic! Jeff Wawrzaszek is doing two shows

With Ann Arbor schools on break next week, you may want to check out two magic shows with magician Jeff Wawrzaszek on Tuesday Feb. 18. An afternoon show is at 2 pm at the Downtown Library and an evening show is at 7 pm at the Pittsfield Branch. This event is for preschool - 5th grade. You can check out Wawrzaszek's website here. At AADL we have lots of books on performing magic.

Game Start Festival: Saturday, March 1st at Menlo Innovations

Curious about making games? Know any kids or teens who aspire to be future game-makers?

Local organization GameStart is throwing a party at Menlo Innovations (505 East Liberty LL500, Ann Arbor, MI 48104) on Saturday, March 1st, 10am-2pm and everyone is invited! GameStart is an organization that offers classes using games to inspire interest in art, math, science, and programming.

For their event on March 1st, they'll have games to play and give a preview of their upcoming classes for this year, including: Game Mechanics and Design, Minecraft Programming, Computer Animation, and Video Editing. Although there is a fee for many of their classes, this event is free and open to all (and particularly recommended for students in grades 3-8).

AADL will be there with a table of fun stuff, along with other guests from the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Maker Works, Backyard Brains, AHA! and the Youth Arts Alliance. Stop in to check things out and celebrate the power of interactive learning!

Later that day, 3-5pm, the GameStart staff will also be offering a no-fee class on Storytelling with Computer Animation at the downtown AADL!

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.

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