Chu’s Day, by Neil Gaiman

Best-selling author Neil Gaiman brings us a delightfully silly picture book! Chu's Day is his first book for smaller kids, and it delivers. A little panda bear named Chu spends the day holding onto a big sneeze that just won’t come out. And as we learn, when Chu sneezes, bad things happen. He visits places around town half sneezing, when eventually, we find out what his sneezes can really do. It’s a cute story, and kids will enjoy ACHOO-ing along with little Chu.

Hello! Hello!

Hello! Hello! by Matthew Cordell is a smart little picture book. And if you’re a parent with cell phone and a child both calling for your attention, this one’s a hoot. With few words the books tells the story of a girl saying hello to those around her, and everyone’s too busy with their phone, their iPad, their laptop, etc. The little girl then ventures outside and says HELLO to all things outdoors, and then she has a great idea! It’s a cute little story that’s appropriate for children growing up in device-filled times.

Red Cat Blue Cat

Red Cat Blue Cat by Jenni Desmond is the story of two cats. Blue Cat stayed upstairs, and Red Cat stayed downstairs, and when they crossed paths they always hissed at each other. Blue Cat didn’t know that Red Cat secretly wished he were as smart as Blue Cat, and little did Red Cat know that Blue Cat wished he was fast and bouncy like Red Cat. One day they both come up with the best idea! Blue Cat will dress up as Red Cat and Red Cat will dress up as Blue Cat. Well, it doesn’t quite go as planned and in the end they find out that they like being themselves more than anyone else, and surprisingly, after all that ruckus, the two cats end up friends. It’s a super cute picture book with wonderful illustrations and a surprise ending that both small children and grown-ups will enjoy reading together.

A Timeless Audiobook For Kids

The Melendys are ready for adventure! Are you?

In The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright, siblings Mona, Rush, Randy (short for Miranda) and Oliver decide to pool their allowances so one sibling at a time can go on an adventure each Saturday – and so the Independent Saturday Afternoon Adventure Club (I.S.A.A.C.) is born. You’ll be swept right along with Melendys to art museums, circuses, tea parties and more. Pamela Dillman’s excellent narration, complete with some fantastic accents, really brings the Melendys’ world to life.

The series continues with The Four-Story Mistake, Then There Were Five and Spiderweb For Two: A Melendy Maze.

Dexter's Laboratory

Created in the 90's for Cartoon Network, Dexter's Laboratory is a children's cartoon series about the eponymous Dexter, a boy genius with a secret laboratory from which he conducts elaborate experiments, schemes to defeat his nemesis Mandark, and puts up with annoyingly perky sister Dee Dee. The series is funny and clever, with plenty gross-out jokes for children to enjoy and high-brow references that'll have parents laughing, too.

The first season is now available on DVD from the library. Check it out!

Liar & Spy Audiobook: Give It a Listen

In Liar & Spy, Georges’ best friend has left him to join the popular kids, and now Georges is alone and bullied at school. When his family moves into a new apartment building, he finds a note advertising a spy club and soon finds himself joining to spy on mysterious neighbor Mr. X with his new best friend Safer. But not all is as it appears to be in this funny, tense, beautifully-layered novel.

After listening to it myself, I can say that translates into an excellent audiobook, especially during those edge-of-your-seat moments, which really did have me on the edge of my seat.

Liar & Spy is written by Rebecca Stead, whose previous novel, When You Reach Me, won the Newbery Medal in 2010.

Book Journals

Do you keep track of all the books you read? When you get that book report assignment, do you have several titles to choose from? Do you remember what each book was about?
A book journal is a good way to keep track of the books that you read.
Come to the Pittsfield Branch on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. and make
a journal that you can use to track your reading history.
We'll show you how to make paper journals as well as online ones.
This is for kids in grades K - 5. All supplies will be provided.

For some ideas, look here.

Dragons Love Tacos

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin is one funny picture book. I recently read this to my small relations and we were all cracking up. The book features a crew of taco-loving dragons. They LOVE tacos! (I mean, who doesn’t?) They love all kinds of tacos. They also love parties. Especially taco parties. BUT! Dragons do not like spicy salsa of any kind, ever. Of course the dragons end up at a taco party serving spicy salsa! If you want to know how it ends you’ll have to grab this funny book off the shelf and give it a read. Grown-ups, you'll have as much fun as the kids.

For more picture books about dragons check out this list, and for more funny picture books check out this list.

Another Big Winner from Jon Klassen

This is Not My Hat is a clever, gorgeous picture book, a 2013 Caldecott Medal book, and a must-read for anyone connected with children in preschool through first grade and beyond. Jon Klassen repeats the theme from his 2011 bestseller I Want My Hat Back and adds a smart twist. The story opens with the memorable lines "This hat is not mine. I just stole it," spoken by a brave little fish who has lifted a blue bowler hat from a big sleeping fish. Little fish swims quietly to a hiding place, not knowing -- but we know -- that the big fish is chasing him. When the two fish vanish into seaweed, the words stop, and big fish reemerges with the blue hat on his head. The story is simple and works beautifully.

A six-year-old Amazon reviewer echoes what many people, young and older, are saying about this gem of a book: "I liked the story and I liked the big fish. The bubbles create movement. The little fish was bad and the big fish was just a big fish. You don't steal from a big fish."

Preschool Expo

Are you in the market for a preschool? Are you looking for a good place to start your search? Then you should come to the Preschool Expo on January 27th! What is the Preschool Expo? It’s an event that brings representatives from many area preschools to one location, on one date. That way, it’s easy to gather information on preschools and talk with schools in order to find a good fit for your child! This free event is co-sponsored by the Ann Arbor District Library, Washtenaw Success by Six Great Start Collaborative, Child Care Network, and U-M Work/Life Resource Center. Come explore your options at the Preschool Expo!

Date: Sunday, January 27th
Time: 1:00 – 4:00p.m.
Place: Palmer Commons on the U-M Campus
100 Washtenaw Ave.
(Located at the intersection of Central and Medical Campuses)
Parking: Free parking available in the structure across the street from Palmer Commons

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