Liked Ida B? Try Emma-Jean

Need a good book to read? Try Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis. This is the author's first book.
Emma-Jean is in the seventh grade. Her beloved father died about two years ago and she's still dealing with that. She doesn't fit in well with her classmates. But Emma-Jean is soft-hearted. She tries to fix everyone's problems. A girl has best friend problems. One classmate has a big issue with a teacher. Emma-Jean's mother might be starting to date. All problems can be solved! Well, maybe.
Emma-Jean is very smart and wise beyond her years. (She brings to mind another great character who tried to be a problem-solver. Check out Ida B and her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster and Possibly Save the World.) But even smart kids need a little help sometimes.
Emma-Jean learns to take responsibility for her actions, both good and bad, as she moves through her seventh grade year. And yes, she literally falls out of a tree.

Picture Book Best Seller List

When you think of best seller lists you think of John Grisham's new title or the South Beach Diet. But there are lists for all kinds of books. Here is the list of the current best selling children's picture books according to this coming Sunday's New York Times.

1. Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy by Jane O'Connor. Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. This sequel is as good as the original. See #6.
2. Someday by Alison McGhee. Illustrated by Peter Reynolds. A Mother's Day favorite.
3. Thanks to You by Julie Andrews Edwards and Emma Walton Hamilton.
4. Bad Dog, Marley! by John Grogan. Illustrated by Richard Cowdrey. Children's version of the author's Marley and Me.
5. On the Night You Were Born written and illustrated by Nancy Tillman. This is a celebration of a child's birth.
6. Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor.Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. This has been on the best seller list for 69 weeks.
7. Flotsam by David Wiesner. 2007 Caldecott Medal winner.
8. Ghost Ship by Mary Higgins Clark. Illustrated by Wendell Minor. A writer of mysteries for adults is trying her hand at a children's book.
9. Pirates Don't Change Diapers by Melinda Long. Illustrated by David Shannon. A crew of pirates try their hand at babysitting.
10. The Longest Season by Cal Ripken Jr. Illustrated by Ron Mazellan. This title is being ordered but is not yet in the system.

He was an advocate for babies and peace

Today, May 2 is the birthday of Dr. Benjamin Spock, pediatrician and crusader in the field of child care, later active in the peace movement during the Vietnam War. Spock was born in 1906, the eldest of six children and so from an early age had taken care of young children. After the publication of the first aedition of what was to become Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, Spock was surprised at its success, being the second largest selling book in the world after the Bible. His philosophy of child care revolutionized the way parents thought about their children, giving them permission to use their instincts, not always adhere to a strict feeding schedule, to comfort crying babies and to actually enjoy parenting. His love and concern for children was also manifested in his work in the peace movement as he watched young men risking their lives in what he considered an unnecessary war. Spock died in 1998 at the age of 94.

Kids InfoBits is Big Help to Parents

Our family trip to California was planned way before our son chose Walt Disney for his school report. Secretly, though, I was hoping we might get some good information about Walt, or Disneyland, or both, at the park. HA! The "In Walt's Footsteps" tour cost $59 and my husband declared this ridiculous. So we gathered a little “free” historical information and came home to finish the report. Who knew I would find just the right article in a library database Kids InfoBits. From reading this article, both my son and I had new ideas on how to improve his report. Lesson for Mom: When reports are due, Kids InfoBits is a parent’s paradise. It's designed for kids in kindergarten through about fifth grade.

The Escape of Oney Judge by Emily Arnold McCully

Oney Judge is Martha Washington’s ten-year-old slave. When she is asked to learn to sew in the Washington’s house she is thrilled that she will work side by side with her mother. After George Washington is elected president, Oney moves to New York City with the Washington’s away from her mother. Martha Washington tells Oney that when she dies she will become the slave of her granddaughter, Eliza. Oney fears that Eliza’s husband will sell her to a stranger. She realizes that her only chance for freedom is to escape. Through the story of Oney Judge, Caldecott Medalist Emily Arnold McCully reveals another side of America’s first family as slave owners.

2007 Michigan Reads Title Announced!

The 2007 Michigan Reads winner was announced last week. Michigan Reads is a program designed to showcase the importance of early childhood literacy. Each year a picture book by a Michigan author is honored and read throughout the state. This year's winner is Big Chickens by Leslie Helakoski, illustrated by Henry Cole.

This funny book tells the story of a group of chickens who are . . well, chicken. They're afraid of everything. Large, brightly colored illustrations help the narration. This one is sure to tickle everyone's funny bone!

Grandparents, Kids & Pets!

Wed. April 18 6:30-7:30 pm, Malletts Creek Branch Library

If this sounds like a purrfectly heehaw event, then bring your grandchildren and a photo of a favorite pet, and let's have a horse laugh together! Everyone will get the chance to tell a story about a pet you have now or one from long ago, we'll sing pet songs, and kids can color pictures of many different animals. Before you go, there will be a snack and a chance to borrow a nice picture book to read together, or something about the joys and challanges of being a grandparent.

He's always prepared and has 122 merit badges to prove it!

Eagle Scout James CalderwoodEagle Scout James Calderwood

As a Boy Scout you may have earned a lot of badges, but James Calderwood of Chevy Chase, Maryland probably has a couple more than you. He's earned all 122 Merit Badges! Read & hear more about this enthusiastic Eagle Scout on NPR. To learn more about the Boy Scouts check out these books on the Boy Scouts of America or visit the National Council's website.

22 Hours and Counting

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NASA Astronaut Sunita L. Williams set a record Sunday for most total time spacewalking by a woman. Her record is 22 hours and 27 minutes but she has another spacewalk scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 8th. Future woman astronauts can launch their career by attending a Sally Ride Science Festival. Details of the University of Michigan festival are still in the works but plan on one for Fall, 2007.

Mush!

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Kids can have a day of winter fun at “Chillin’ at the Mills” on Saturday, January 27 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Hudson Mills Metropark. Pull a dog sled, cross-country ski, learn about winter camping and then head over to the shelter building for hot cocoa and Girl Scout cookies courtesy of the Girl Scouts of Huron Valley Council.

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