The Magic of Hearing a Story Aloud

There is no denying the magic of a story read aloud. If you’re looking for a little extra magic in your audiobooks, then these fairy-tale titles may just do the trick:

The Frog Princess by E. D. Baker; read by Kathleen Kellgren (5 hours, 30 minutes)
After reluctantly kissing a frog, an awkward, fourteen-year-old princess suddenly finds herself turned into a frog, too, and sets off with the prince to seek the means – and self-confidence – to become human again. A hilarious fractured fairy tale.

The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley; read by L. J. Ganser (6 hours,15 minutes)
Orphans Sabrina and Daphne Grimm are sent to live with an eccentric grandmother that they have always believed to be dead. The first in the series of fairy-tale inspired mysteries.

The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale; read by Cynthia Bishop and the Full Cast Family (10 hours)
Princess Anidori, on her way to marry a prince she has never met, is betrayed by her guards and her lady-in-waiting and must become a goose girl to survive until she can reveal her true identity and reclaim the crown that is rightfully hers. Adapted from the Grimms’ fairy tale.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine; read by Eden Riegel (5 hours, 42 minutes)
In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her. Winner of the 1998 Newbery Honor medal.

Jan. 21: Youth Will Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at U-M

Mark your calendar for Monday, Jan. 21, when the MLK 2013 Children and Youth Program at U-M will happen from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the U-M Modern Languages Building, 812 E. Washington Street. The program, which is turning 15, will celebrate and commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. Over the years the program has drawn a total of more than 8,000 K-12 students from schools around southeast Michigan, offering them entertainment, fun, creativity and dialogue through storytelling, discussions, group projects, skits, rap poetry, and music. To register for this year's event, click here.

Wonderful New Picture Book: 'Waking Dragons'

When illustrator-author Derek Anderson visited the Malletts Creek Branch of the AADL in October, I watched as Ann Arbor children and adults fell under his spell. Sketching shapes looked like such fun! Anderson even talked a bit about his life and career. Afterwards I was drawn to buy his book, Waking Dragons and to have it signed for my son. I took the book home, read it, and stole it back for myself.

This picture book, written by master storyteller Jane Yolen, is beautiful and magical, and brought to life by Anderson's gold-washed paintings. After the dragons "bumble" and "tumble" out of bed, the determined boy-knight who is in charge of them prepares a delicious breakfast of waffles -- served from a catapult -- in time for the dragons to fly the boy off to Knight School. As you read the rhymes, don't miss the humor, such as the sign on the fire extinguisher, "In Case of Dragon Breath."

Anderson probably is best known for his Little Quack books, but I'm also a fan of Gladys Goes Out to Lunch. For more good reading for adults, go to Derek's web page, and read "In the Studio: A Creative Journal." Fascinating.

Holiday Films For The Little Ones

This time of year the hold lists grow for certain movies and TV show episodes that many wish to view. The good news is that there are plenty of cheery holiday DVDs on the shelves sure to please the kiddies. Here’s a list of some currently available DVDs, including A Flintstones' Christmas carol, Madeline's Christmas & other wintery tales, Frosty's winter wonderland, Curious George: A very monkey Christmas, Thomas & friends. Merry Christmas Thomas, and Strawberry Shortcake: Berry, merry Christmas. For more titles, here's a larger list of youth and adult holiday DVDs that AADL owns.

Parent's Corner: Kids + Technology

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 everything from language to tantrums to potty training to homework. These books are available for checkout, and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf,” if you’d like to have one sent to a branch of your choice.

The parent shelf features a few helpful books with information on kids and technology, which is a hot topic, as technolgoy is everwhere, with new devices being released constantly. We have a few titles dealing with cyber safety, such as: Cyber-safe kids, cyber-savvy teens: Helping young people learn to use the Internet safely and responsibly. It might also be worth checking out books on social media, such as Talking back to Facebook: A common sense guide to raising kids in the digital age and CyberSafe: Protecting and empowering kids in the digital world of texting, gaming, and social media. See here for additional items on similar topics.

On Demand Tutoring with Brainfuse & MORE!

BrainfuseBrainfuse

The scope of Brainfuse Tutoring available to AADL users has grown since we began subscribing to this service. Brainfuse has on-line learning options that are sure to enhance your study experience. The HelpNow 3.0 upgrade Study Suite offers study tools for an array of Standardized Tests. The interactive Flashbulb will give students access to an extensive library of online flashcard sets in hundreds of subjects. Check out the Test Center for students to practice test themselves in core subjects. Plus there's still the Expert Help you can get from a live tutor from 2:00-11:00 EVERY day except posted holidays. Tutors are available for students from grade school to college. Please take a look at Brainfuse on our website, scroll down & get acquainted with these awesome features!

2012 National Book Award winners have been announced

Last night, the The National Book Award winners for 2012 were announced at a gala event at the posh Cipriani on Wall Street.

The big winners were:

Louise Erdrich, 58, received the fiction award for The Round House. An adult Joe Coutts looks back in time when, as a teenager, he went in search of the man who brutalized his mother on an Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. This winning title is part two of a trilogy. The Coutts family was first introduced in The Plague of Doves (2008). Erdrich's win is especially poignant as, shortly after she started writing The Round House, she was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer, which she has beat.Ms. Erdrich, who is part Ojibwe, delighted last night's audience by addressing some of her remarks in her tribal tongue.

Katherine Boo, 48, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer for the The New Yorker, received the nonfiction award for Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life,Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, a wrenching account of a teenage boy who lives in the slums that are hidden from view by some of India's luxury hotels.

Poet David Ferry, 88, tearfully accepted what he described as "preposterous pre-posthumous award" for his Bewilderment; New Poems and Translations. "We're all in this apart" (From FoundSingle-Line Poems). Ferry has a PhD from Harvard and is the Sophie Chantal Hart Professor Emeritus of English at Wellesley, where he taught for many years.

William Joseph Alexander, 36, is a first-time novelist who captured the Young People's Literature prize for his fantasy, Goblin Secrets. In this steampunk/witch-infested tale, Rownie escapes Graba who 'adopts' orphans to do her bidding, and sets out on a quest to find his missing older brother.

Rounding out the evening, host Faith Salie, a media star on NPR, the BBC and CBS Sunday Morning, bestowed two special awards. Detroit author, Elmore Leonard, 88, accepted the Distinguished Contribution to American Letters prize. New York Times publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., 61, was honored for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. NPR's Fresh Air host, Terry Gross, introduced Mr. Sulzberger and said the New York Times Book Review was like "...a shopping catalog...[for] authors I've overlooked."

Each winner received $10,000.

Magic Carpet Theatre Returns to AADL

The Magic Carpet Theatre returns to AADL for another performance
highlighting classic children's stories.
See Dr. Seuss' popular Horton Hears a Who! and Verna Aardema's African tale Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain
and others come to life as live performances.
They will be at the Downtown Library on Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. The show will be in the multi-purpose room in the lower
level.
Bring the whole family to this special event.

Mossy

Jan Brett’s newest release is Mossy, a delightful story about turtles in love. Brett’s artwork is gorgeous (as always). Each page is packed with detail, almost guaranteeing you’ll spot something new each time you read it. The drawings are on par with The Hat, Town Mouse, Country Mouse, The Three Snow Bears, and The Mitten.

Muzzy Language Learning for Kids


The library has a new children's language learning database called Muzzy. Currently there are 8 different languages to choose from: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Portuguese, and Russian. You can use it at home or at the library. The Muzzy animated story and games are a captivating way for kids to learn another language. It was originally a BBC program so those from Europe may recognize it. Learn more about this database here. We also offer the Muzzy multilingual series (it includes a choice of learning English, French, German, Italian, or Spanish) and the separate traditional Chinese language learning version for checkout.

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