Parent Magazine Update -- Inspiration Information

Eureka!Eureka!

I hope you feel rested and refreshed at the end of this holiday season. On the other hand, if you feel like you used up all your creative energy picking gifts and planning activities, January's parent magazines have tools to inspire and inform you.

The Horn Book Magazine is a great guide to the best inspirational tools on the planet -- books! This issue contains an interview with children's author Margaret Mahy, an article in defense of fanfiction (an under-appreciated genre in my opinion), and of course, abundant book reviews. The editors' book picks this issue include Imogene's Last Stand, wordless picture book The Lion and the Mouse,Crossing Stones - a teen novel about World War 1, and graphic novel The Storm in the Barn.

Working Mother Magazine features some inspiring portraits of successful career women, with a bio of White House deputy chief of staff Mona Sutphen and an article by Lynn Blum, the founder of resale shops Once Upon a Child, Plato's Closet and Clothes Mentor. On the more serious side of things, Working Mother also covers recent changes in custody settlements brought on by an increase in stay-at-home dads, with suggestions to minimize the effects of divorce on children.This issue also contains tips on keeping track of your teenager, and some tasty-looking one-dish recipes. I think that "Vegetarian Paella" and "Chicken Olive Tagine" sound pretty inspiring, don't you?

Happy Birthday Jerry Pinkney!

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Jerry Pinkney (born December 22, 1939) is an African American illustrator of children’s books. Even if you are not familiar with his name, it is likely that you have seen the work of this prolific artist. Jerry Pinkney has illustrated over one hundred children's books since 1964. He has been the recipient of numerous awards including five Caldecott Honor Medals, five Coretta Scott King Awards, four Coretta Scott King Honor Awards, four New York Times Best Illustrated Book awards, and, in 2006, the Original Art’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Illustrators, New York, NY. His books have been translated into eleven languages, and published in fourteen different countries. For more information about this beloved illustrator including his current projects, exhibitions and contact information, visit his website http://www.jerrypinkneystudio.com or check out one of his books from us here at the AADL.

Youth Nonfiction Finds -- Guide to the Good Life

The Good LifeThe Good Life

Increased homework? Video-game violence? Whatever the cause, recent studies show that kids today are more stressed and anxious than they were fifty years ago, or even last year. Fortunately, with a little help, stress and anxiety can be managed, and the youth department has plenty of books with suggestions to combat stress and live the good life.

Dr. Thomas McIntyre's book, The Behavioral Survival Guide for Kids, provides detailed, comprehensive information on a variety of issues -- building self-esteem, getting along with teachers, managing feelings, making friends, running for President...ok, that last one wasn't included. But other than that, this book has everything.

For those who like more specific advice, Patti Kelley Criswell's books offer excellent suggestions for managing all the ups and downs of friendship -- from making friends and having fun with friends, to making up after fights with friends. Younger readers may enjoy Peaceful Piggy Meditation, a simple guide to the practice and benefits of centering meditation.

Breathe deep, read good books and have a relaxing holiday season. Namaste!

Winter Solstice Craft Program

December 21st is the shortest day of the year and the first day of winter vacation for Ann Arbor's schoolchildren. It's also a good day to finish up making your holiday decorations.

Come to the Traverwood Branch on Monday, December 21st from 2 - 3 p.m. We will be making some festive winter crafts to brighten up this otherwise gray and gloomy day.
For ages preschool through 5th grade. All supplies will be provided.

Youth Music Notes -- Lullabies

Sleeping ChildSleeping Child

Lullbies are truly a universal form of music, existing all over the world in every language. My own mother was fond of the Gartan Mother's Lullaby, and I still hum it to myself in the evening, even though I have forgotten all the words. For those of you who would like to expand your own lullaby repertoire, the Youth Department has plenty of CD's for every taste.

Priscilla Herdman's Star Dreamer provides both "nightsongs" and lullabies, with soothing guitar accompaniments. Interestingly, many of her songs involve bears.

Lullabies of Latin America by Maria Del Rey provides traditional lullabies from all over the Spanish-speaking world. In the second half of the CD, the songs are all sung again, in English. A bilingual bonus!

Prolific children's musician Susie Tallman brings us another CD for fans of multicultural music. Lullabies For Sleepy Eyes includes Irish, French, German and American lullabies -- as well as the enigmatic Aussie favorite "Waltzing Matilda".

Live from Ann Arbor, It's . . . Santa Claus!

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That's right, Santa himself will be taking questions and wishes LIVE from the North Pole on CTN Channel 17 on Thursday, Dec. 10, 6 - 8 p.m. He'll be ready for your questions and your wish lists, so set you speed dial to 734.794.6155 and talk directly to Mr. Claus. Ho! Ho! Ho!

Give a Gift of Reading

It's that gift giving time of year. Books make great gifts for children. They are inexpensive, they are very wrappable and portable, they don't require batteries, and there's a perfect one for every child on your list. Youth Services has come up with a list of titles that are good for gift giving. There are five categories: babies, picture books, children's non-fiction, J Fiction and Y Fiction. All the titles have been tagged in our catalog. To get the titles all in one list, click here.

Winter Adventures -- Youth Magazine Update

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There's no denying it, winter has definitely arrived -- and with snow predicted for some time this week, it's time to plan how to keep yourself entertained when the weather turns icy.

If you're an outdoorsy type, Boy's Life Magazine has all the information you will ever need, with articles on ice fishing, making emergency shelters out of snow, and ice climbing -- on frozen grain silos. (Strange, but true.)

For those of us who prefer to stay indoors with a hot cup of cocoa, Nintendo Power Magazine provides the latest information on the best new games -- like Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks, the first Legend of Zelda game where Zelda gets to go adventuring herself! My personal favorite, for the name alone, is Zombie Panic in Wonderland in which your favorite fairy tale characters fight...you guessed it ...zombies.

Bridging the gap between outdoor adventure and vegging out is National Geographic Kids, with an article on the return of the lynx to Colorado, and a review of upcoming Disney original The Princess and the Frog.Owl Magazine and its sister publication ChickaDee get in on the act with articles on arctic animals, gifts you can make yourself, and, in ChickaDee, an up-close look at Quebec's Hotel de Glace, a hotel made entirely of ice.

Youth Music Notes -- Wizard Rock

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The Ann Arbor District Library has been fortunate enough to host wizard rock bands Tonks and the Aurors and The Remus Lupins, but did you know that we also have a collection of wizard rock on CD -- that fans of all things Harry Potter can listen to whenever we want?

Harry and the Potters bring us the "good" side of wizard rock, their several CD's chock full of inspiring music to fight the Dark Lord by. Exactly what we expect from the co-founders of the Harry Potter Alliance. Have I mentioned that they also have a special Christmas CD? How...seasonally appropriate.

Representing the often overlooked Slytherin perspective, we have evil wizard rock band Draco and the Malfoys, with a collection of twelve heart-wrenching tunes to remind us that evil wizards are people too.

And, of course, for purists, we also have many authorized CD's of the Harry Potter movie soundtracks.

In the words of Harry and the Potters, "It's never too loud to read," so turn up the CD player and get ready to sing along to some quality wizard rock.

Looking For a Bedtime Story?


If you are in search of a good bedtime story with a thoughtful message and dreamy illustrations, be sure to check out Go to Sleep, Gecko! A Balinese Folktale by Margaret Read MacDonald. This twist on a traditional Balinese tale tells of Gecko and how the fireflies outside his window keep him awake with their blinking. When this grumpy gecko goes to complain to the the head of the village, Elephant, he sets off a chain reaction that teaches him a lesson about the natural cycle of life. The humor in this tale (including buffalo poop!) will appeal to the young listener, and the luminescent night scenes help make this an extra special read-aloud.

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