Colorful Behind-the-Scenes Peek at Illustrating Children’s Books

Lois Ehlert, the well-known children’s book author and illustrator, has recently released The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life, an illustrated autobiography giving us a sneak peek into her creative process. Ehlert, whose picture books include Growing Vegetable Soup, Eating the Alphabet, and Planting a Rainbow, is known for her collage style, which mixes colored paper with everyday objects like leaves, plastic lids and even vegetables! Fans of Ehlert’s books will enjoy not only learning the stories behind some of her well-known illustrations but also hearing stories of Ehlert’s childhood and her encouraging words to future artists.

Looking for more fantastic picture-book biographies? Also check out these titles:

Balloons Over Broadway chronicles the life of Tony Sarg, the man who created the first balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

What to do about Alice? offers an energetic and insightful story about Teddy Roosevelt's oldest daughter Alice Roosevelt Longworth.

The Tree Lady tells the story of Kate Sessions, a turn-of-the-century schoolteacher who started a movement to plant trees throughout San Diego.

GameStart: Board Game Maker Workshop

Saturday February 28, 2015: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Downtown Library: aadlfreespace

This event is intended for Grades 1 - 12

Design your own board game! From concept to creation, you'll have a chance to learn about various Maker techniques, including 3D printing and laser etching, and take home your very own board game.

NEW Picture Book: Mix It Up!

As a fan of Hervé Tullet’s fantastic interactive picture book Press Here, I was excited to take a peek at the author’s latest interactive picture book, Mix It Up! The premise behind the book is simple but so much fun! Children are directed to mix colorful patches of paint (really just pictures of paint) in a variety of ways – from mixing it with their fingers to squishing the patches of paint together – and then turn the page to reveal the new color their mixing has created. Far less messy than traditional fingerpainting, this innovative picture book is great for young children learning all about colors.

Fans of the author may also want to check out his other brand-new picture book, 10 Times 10, a counting book coming soon to our shelves!

New Youth BOCDs @ AADL

If there is a family road trip in your future, consider taking along a few New Youth Books on CD. Recorded stories can keep a family entertained for hours. Our newest selections include Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue, an Origami Yoda book by Tom Angleberger. In this book, state tests are coming up as the Origami Rebel Alliance finds powerful allies in their fight against the "FunTime test preparation program". Another new selection is Absolutely Almost, by Lisa Graff, in which a new nanny named Calista makes a big difference in the confidence of Albie, a ten-year-old boy. Enjoy!

Hook's Revenge!

New to the shelves is Heidi Schulz's Hook's Revenge! This rousing adventure book features thirteen-year old Jocelyn, better know as Captain Hook's only daughter! After Hook meets his untimely end, Jocelyn must track down the fearsome crocodile that killed him in order to avenge her famous father. Along the way, Jocelyn meets a few familiar faces, including pirates, mermaids, fairies, and even Smee, Peter Pan, and the Lost Boys themselves. Especially hilarious is the narrator, who tends to be a bit.... snarky. Over the course of the novel, Jocelyn finds her calling behind the helm of her ship and leads her swashbuckling friends through dangerous adventures. Hook's Revenge is a funny and touching book about a young girl struggling to find her place in the world.

Looking for other popular pirate books? Try Magic Marks the Spot and it's sequel: The Terror of the Southlands. Both novels are a part of The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates series by Caroline Carlson, and follow main character Hilary Westfield, a girl who escapes finishing school to join a group of buccaneers on their pirate adventures.

Once Upon An Alphabet

If words make up stories, and letters make up words, then stories are made of letters.
In this menagerie we have stories, made of words, made FOR all the letters.

Once Upon An Alphabet: Short Stories For All the Letters is written and illustrated by the amazing Oliver Jeffers. The picture book has a (cute or charming or funny or silly or weird or dark) short story for each letter of the alphabet, accompanied by quirky and beautiful illustrations. The stories feature some great vocabulary that dances off the page. This book is a real treat for both adults and children who aren't afraid of dark humor. (All the letters have great stories, but I recommend W. Since W is for Whiraffe!)

Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster!

Little Puppy is looking for someone to play with. When Little Puppy runs into the terrifying Big Green Monster, he knows that this new friend will play with him! However, all the Big Green Monster wants is to be left alone. What will happen when these two very different personalities interact? Will Little Puppy ever find someone to play with?

In this charming and funny tale by Mike Wohnoutka, Little Puppy and the Big Green Monster interact and become unlikely (and unusual) friends. This sweet story of friendship is told primarily through hilarious illustrations, which showcase the differences between the energetic Little Puppy and the ferocious Big Green Monster.

Looking for a similar story? Give A Visitor for Bear a try! This fun picture book by Bonny Becker is sure to delight fans of Little Puppy. Also try A Splendid Friend, Indeed by Suzanne Bloom for another story involving patience and learning to accept differences.

Fall fun!

This week at storytime Ms Amanda featured fall themed picture books and stories! Not Halloween, but FALL! We saw some animals swapping items in The Scarecrow’s Hat, we shook our heads at Anansi the spider as he played tricks on the animals in Anansi and the Talking Melon (I turned it into a talking PUMPKIN for this story!). We also had fun checking out GIANT pumpkins in How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow. And for the cuteness factor we met up with Penguin and Pumpkin on a fall adventure.

The library has all sorts of fun and beautiful fall picture books to suit your fancy. They sure are fun to share with little ones this time of year!

New Youth CDs @ the Library

The library has lots of new youth CDs, including the soundtrack of Disney Maleficent. Composed by James Newton Howard, the CD also credits Lana Del Rey. Other new youth CDs at the library include the soundtrack to Muppets Most Wanted and Kidz Bop: Party Pop!. Check them out!

Audiobook for Kids: The Fourteenth Goldfish

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm offers a fresh, funny, and surprisingly thoughtful take on a classic science fiction premise: a potion to make you young again.

Sixth-grader Ellie’s life with her colorful drama-teacher mom is turned upside-down when her old-fashioned, opinionated grandfather moves in with them. The twist? Her grandfather is a scientist who has uncovered the secret to anti-aging and is now a thirteen-year-old boy! While trying to help her grandfather recover the anti-aging potion from his lab, Ellie finds new friends, develops a growing love for science and a greater understanding of her unconventional family.

I found the audiobook to be a particular treat, with a narrator who not only sounds like a middle-school girl but also delivers lines with such perfect comic timing that I found myself laughing out loud again and again.

Fans of The Water Castle or other science-centered books for girls will definitely want to check it out.

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