Magazine Update -- Lil Wayne, Edible Bugs, and Books about Sports

image by kevinzim, Flickr.comimage by kevinzim, Flickr.com
This month's magazines will stun and amaze you! Take a look...

For the young 'uns:
Creative Kids -- Featuring an interview with Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia!
Dig Magazine -- When is a hole in your head a good thing?
Ranger Rick -- Do you know that dolphins live in the Amazon River? And that people all over the world eat bugs? It's a strange world out there...

For the teens:
ESPN Magazine -- What's it like to be Jadeveon Clowney, who has been called the nation's number one high school football player? Read to find out!
Rolling Stone -- the Global Warming Hall of Shame and what Lil Wayne is up to these days.

For the parents:
American Baby -- baby traditions from all over the world, and a guide to scary symptoms that are really no big deal.
Horn Book -- What is 'YA Fatphobia'? Plus the favorite picture books of 2010, and a guide to good sports books for kids.
The Old Schoolhouse -- Tips for teaching technology, foreign language and writing skills at home.

I don't know about you, but I think these magazines sound fascinating. Especially that 'hole in the head' one. I'm already stunned and amazed!

Fun With Bugs!

During these cold winter months, that young insect enthusiast in your family may be craving the sight of those creepy, crawly bugs. Never fear! The library has many great ideas to keep that curiosity alive and, well, buzzing!

Lakeshore Learning Material's Giant Bug Collection is a new addition to our line-up of fun and educational toys for children's use during their visit to the Ann Arbor District Library. Enjoy some hands-on fun with these over-sized beetles, grasshoppers, ants, scorpion, and tarantula!

There are many ways to explore the insect world at home with books, movies, music, and websites:

The Red Balloon/ Le Ballon Rouge

The Red BalloonThe Red Balloon

I recently had the pleasure of showing a group of students (kindergarten-6th grade) the classic short film The Red Balloon. Filmed in 1956, it is the only short film ever to win an Oscar for best original screenplay. French director Albert Lamorisse's delightful film tells the story of a young boy who becomes friends with a large red balloon and the two become inseparable. (Incidentally, the young actor who played the boy is Lamorisse's son.) The two explore the streets of Paris together that paints a dazzling picture on screen.

I had my concerns about whether to show the film to the younger students, my thought was they would have a hard time sticking with it and understanding the story. Much to my surprise, the older students had the problem with the movie. It was as if they were unable to see the film from the perspective of a child. They spent so much time trying to figure out what the deal was with the balloon. Was it possessed? Was the boy dreaming? What was the point of the movie? However, the younger students were very taken by the film. They sat mesmerized at the beautiful landscape, the cute boy and, of course, the red balloon. They completely accepted the fact that the boy and the balloon were best friends and were filled with rage when the gang of bullies tried to come between them.

It is a short film, with a running time of 34 minutes. In this short window of time a beautiful story is told that is more than a joy to watch. My advice is to take it for what it is, don’t question it too much and try to watch it with childlike eyes.

Kids Kicking Cancer

KidsKickingCancer logoKidsKickingCancer logo

Kids Kicking Cancer is a weekly program provided by the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor. It consists of martial arts, breathing, meditation and focus techniques that teach children tools to reduce pain, fear & anger. With their mantra 'Power, Peace, Purpose', participants learn how to de-stress themselves & teach others to do the same! The program is open to children with cancer, children of a parent with cancer and all siblings. To register or for more information call the Kids Kicking Cancer office at (313) 557-0021, contact cindy@kidskickingcancer.net, or Cancer Support Community at (734) 975-2500.

Guys Read

Need help finding books for male reluctant readers? Try the Guys Read website! The brainchild of beloved children's writer Jon Scieszka, author of The Stinky Cheese Man And Other Fairly Stupid Tales and the Time Warp Trio series, the website includes a list of books proven to catch the interest of boys. Also part of this innovative literacy program are a series of anthologies edited by Scieszka himself, including Guys Write For Guys Read and Guys Read: Funny Business.

Author Birthdays: Hecht, Sontag, Nabb

January 16th marks the birthday of authors Anthony Hecht, Susan Sontag, and Magdalen Nabb.

Anthony Hecht was an American poet. An award was established in his name the year after his death. He became a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1968 for his work The Hard Hours, as well as the 2004 National Medal of Arts winner, which was given posthumously.

Hecht's other collections include The Darkness and the Light, which uses translations of ancient, medieval, and modern poets, and The Transparent Man, which Library Journal said "delivers elegies, lyrics, and dramatic monologs with equal grace and wit".

Susan Sontag was an American novelist, screenwriter, director, playwright, essayist, and activist. Among her awards are the National Book Award for In America and the National Book Critics Circle Award for On Photography.

Sontag's other works include the dramatic play Alice in Bed, the novel I, Etcetera, a collection of essays called AIDS and Its Metaphors, and the comedic film Zelig.

Magdalen Nabb was an English author of both adult and children's fiction. Her most popular works may be those of the Guarnaccia series, which center around the character Marshal Guarnaccia. The books of the series are set in Tuscany and usually center around crimes.

Nabb's children's books include The Enchanted Horse, whose royalties, as her website says, "go to the Brooke Hospital for Animals"; and the Josie Smith series.

An Epic Magazine Update -- Tigers, Fashion, and Valentine's Crafts

by belgianchocolate, Flickr.comby belgianchocolate, Flickr.com
This magazine update is truly epic, folks. Our magazine "in" box is swamped -- and I mean completely flooded -- with new magazines for all.

For the kiddos:
Zoobies -- This one's all about tigers. Adorable and fierce!
Iguana -- Cuentos, poemas, leyendas, y articulos. En Espanol, claro.
Scholastic Math -- The boys of Big Time Rush lead you through some painless problems.

For the teens:
Cicada -- Creative writing for teens, by teens.
WWE Magazine -- Wrestler Kaval tells all. Or at least some.
Lucky -- Going shopping? Find out what's in now! Before you perpetrate some serious fashion crimes on your friends.

And for the parental units:
Family Fun -- Valentine's Day crafts!
Book Links -- Multicultural literature. Hey, that sounds familiar.

With so many new magazines it's almost hard to know where to start. Dive in!

Subtraction in Action!

Lakeshore Learning Material's Subtraction Machine is a new addition to our line-up of fun and educational toys for children's use during their visit to the Ann Arbor District Library! The subtraction machine gives kids a hands-on way to practice their math skills with immediate feedback on their answers. The toy features a grid of 81 subtraction problems; when you press on the equation button, the answer pops up! The equations reinforce whole-number, single-digit subtraction. The library provides a variety of toys and manipulatives at each location. These tools aren't just fun, they help young people learn.

For more ideas about having math experiences with young people you might visit PBS Kids, Online Schools which has compiled a list of math resources, or this site which is dedicated to math games.Subtraction ToySubtraction Toy

Exercise Your Creativity at the AADL Kid-i-Cotts!

by Marc Davis, Flickr.comby Marc Davis, Flickr.com
The Caldecott Winners and Honor Books have been proclaimed, including A Sick Day for Amos McGee, illustrated by Ann Arbor's own Erin Stead! Now it's time for you to get in on the action. Stop by the Downtown Library Multipurpose Room this Saturday from 1 to 2:30 to hear a storytime presentation of one of these fine books, followed by a creative craft. Let your imagination take flight!

Youth and Teen Magazine Update -- Mars, Manga and the World's Greatest Drummers

by Nadya Pekk, Flickr.comby Nadya Pekk, Flickr.com
Want to jump into January 2011? Try these magazines -- with awesome new issues for the New Year!

For kids:
Ask Magazine: Giant dinosaurs, an island of tiny humans, and the reason giants don't exist.
Muse Magazine: Women Astronauts, Space-Sickness and Martians, oh my!

For teens:
Drum! Magazine: The Ultimate Readers' Choice Awards -- The World's Greatest Drummers!
Otaku USA Magazine: News, reviews and, of course manga! This month Otaku USA features sneak peeks at Lychee Light Club and Street Fighter Gaiden, with reviews of FLCL, Gravitation, Xam'd: Lost Memories.

Read 'em while they're new, people!

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