Youth Holiday DVDs

The AADL has some great new and classic youth holiday DVDs that are perfect for kids and for the whole family! Check out Disney's Prep and Landing. It's a story about some high tech elves who make sure that all of the houses are ready for Santa's visit on Christmas Eve. One of the elves doesn't get promoted to the head of the Naughty List and instead, ends up working with a newbie elf. How will things turn out in the end? You'll have to check it out or get on the hold list to find out!

We also have Disney's Beauty & The Beast: Enchanted Christmas which tells another classic Beauty & The Beast tale in a special edition holiday DVD!

AADL also has Maccabees: The Story Of Hanukkah, which is an animated youth DVD that goes back in time to the second century BC and details the origins of Hanukkah. Or, take a peek at the newer Sesame Street DVD, Shalom Sesame. Chanukah, The Missing Menorah, which depicts all of the Muppet friends searching for a missing menorah in hopes to find it in time for Chanukah.

If you and your family are interested in learning about different holidays around the world, check out Elmo's World. Happy Holidays. In this special edition of Elmo's World, Elmo is getting ready to celebrate Christmas, but instead he ends up learning all about Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and more!

Or, if you are hoping for a classic, we have A Charlie Brown Christmas on DVD and on Blu-ray too!

Wow, I Wrote That!: Early Story Writing with Young Readers

Children love stories, reading them, hearing them, telling them. Stories help children experiment with language while practicing their ability to both imagine and describe their world.
Before your child is ready to write themselves, but when they are old enough to read and listen to stories, combine their love of your stories with your literacy to help them create their own book. Dictating stories for your child is an excellent way to practice their Vocabulary and Narrative Skills, both identified as Key Early Literacy Skills.
Staple together a couple of pieces of paper with their favorite crayons and markers nearby. Ask your child to tell you a story, which you then write down onto the paper. Don't worry too much about editing, since it is important that the child see that the story is their writing from their words.
After you’ve written down their story, have the child illustrate their story. They may want to have some of their favorite books nearby, so that they can emulate the style of those works. Be ready to read for them bits of their story from each page so that they can more closely match the picture to the part of the story.
After the story has been illustrated, take the time to have one or both of you read the story aloud, giving extra attention to the accompanying artwork and allowing the child to further embellish and explain that artwork and their story.
When finished, make sure to keep your child’s work, to be used as both a reading resource and as a memory of their writing life.

Operation Pedro Pan

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the airlift that eventually brought 14,000 unaccompanied children from Cuba to this country. While Miami celebrates with a Conference and Fiesta, you can read the fictional story, based on the author's own experiences, of 3 brothers who were evacuated from Cuba in 1961. History comes alive through dazzling use of visual imagery and humor, which ranges from light to dark. For younger readers, Kiki: a Cuban Boy's Adventures in America, tells the story of an 8 year old "Pedro Pan" who encounters his first American puzzle, the automatic door; meets new animals, such as the raccoon; and is frightened by a ghost on what he later learns is Halloween.

Here's a link to the Official National Charitable organization founded in 1991 by the former unaccompanied Cuban children. It was created to fulfill the Pledge of Thanksgiving given in 1990, "in which we honor the sacrifice of our parents and this noble nation that welcomed us, and the person that made it all possible, Monsignor Bryan O. Walsh. We felt it was our duty to pay back the kindness by helping today's needy children...."

Young People's Theater: Oliver!

Based on the classic novel Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens, the play Oliver! is always a delight. Young People's Theater will present the play Thursday Nov. 17 through Sunday Nov. 20 at Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. Plan to go and enjoy the pathos, humor, and songs, including "Food, Glorious Food," "I'd Do Anything," "Where is Love?" "Consider Yourself," "As Long As He Needs Me," "Who Will Buy" and "Reviewing the Situation." Ticket information is here.

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories

It's the literary equivalent of buried treasure! Seuss scholar/collector Charles D. Cohen has hunted down seven rarely seen stories by Dr. Seuss. Originally published in magazines between 1950 and 1951, they include "The Bear, the Rabbit, and the Zinniga-Zanniga " (about a rabbit who is saved from a bear with a single eyelash!); "Gustav the Goldfish" (an early, rhymed version of the Beginner Book A Fish Out of Water); "Tadd and Todd" (a tale passed down via photocopy to generations of twins); "Steak for Supper" (about fantastic creatures who follow a boy home in anticipation of a steak dinner); "The Bippolo Seed" (in which a scheming feline leads an innocent duck to make a bad decision); "The Strange Shirt Spot" (the inspiration for the bathtub-ring scene in The Cat in the Hat Comes Back); and "The Great Henry McBride" (about a boy whose far-flung career fantasies are only bested by those of the real Dr. Seuss himself).

You can read the book or listen to Neil Patrick Harris reading the stories on the BOCD.

A Strategy for Reading with Preschoolers: Prompt, Evaluate, Expand, Repeat

Even if you know that reading to your child is most effective if the child and you are both reacting to the book, it can still be difficult to think about how to engage your child. One effective method, explained more fully here, is to use a brief sequence of exchanges to solicit responses of greater depth.

The sequence is called PEER, and stands for Prompt, Evaluate, Expand, and Repeat. In Prompting, the adult asks a child a question about something that they see or have just had read to them. The adult then Evaluates, considering what the child has said. Next, the adult Expands upon the child's statements, adding new information. Repeat the prompt from the beginning to see how the child has adapted the new information.

Through a quick interaction, the child gets to test the edge of their understanding, learn a little bit more, and gain confidence in their abilities. It also gets the adult in the habit of engaging the child in conversation about reading, which is great for the long-term development of the child's reading habits.

Maurice Sendak’s first solo escapade since 1981's Outside Over There

For the past thirty years, Sendak has been collaborating with other writers, illustrating old texts, designing sets and costumes for opera and ballet productions, creating advertisements and book and magazine covers. Now he has created a new picture book, Bumble-Ardy. Its piglet main character is based on an early Sesame Street animated short created by Sendak and his friend Jim Henson. In his new book, Sendak “revisits his long-standing preoccupations with childhood outsider-hood and saving-grace resilience, but with a new twist of extravagance taken straight from the operatic playbook of Giuseppe Verdi.” Read more in Leonard S. Marcus’ interview with the 83 year old living legend.

Save This Date!

On Friday, November 11, 2011 author/illustrator Jan Brett will be visiting Ann Arbor and stopping at The Library for a program from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. She is touring to promote her new book, Home for Christmas. This title will be released on November 1st.

Ms. Brett tours with a big bus decorated with her drawings. The bus will park beside the Library on William St. She'll do a short program in our Multi-Purpose Room and then she'll meet with her fans and sign books. Nicola's Books will be selling Ms. Brett's books that evening.

There will also be the opportunity for kids to have their picture taken with Ms. Brett's character Hedgie the Hedgehog.

Spanish Storytime!

Join us at the Malletts Creek Branch every Saturday afternoon at 1:30, beginning on September 10, 2011. Native Spanish speakers will tell stories and lead songs in Spanish. Participants do not need to understand Spanish to enjoy this event!

As Giddy as a Pig in the Sunshine

When J. Patrick Lewis learned that he had been named Children’s Poet Laureate, he said, “I felt as giddy as a pig in the sunshine. I felt like an otter in a waterfall. It was thrilling!”

Lewis’ two-year term began in May. He will help raise awareness that kids are naturally receptive and appreciate poetry, especially if it is written for them.

The Chicago-based Poetry Foundation has awarded the Laureateship twice before, to Jack Prelutsky and Mary Ann Hoberman.

You can dip into some of our new Children's Poet Laureate's recent collections:
Spot the Plot: a Riddle Book of Book Riddles
The World’s Greatest: Poems
Once Upon a Tomb: Gravely Humorous Verses
Scien-Trickery: Riddles in Science
A World of Wonders: Geographic Travels in Verse and Rhyme
A Burst of Firsts: Doers, Shakers, and Record Breakers

Here is his poem,
Necessary Gardens:

Libraries
Are
Necessary
Gardens,
Unsurpassed
At
Growing
Excitement.

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