New Knits on the Block

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Let me make a confession: I don’t know how to knit. And working at the library with a slew of fabulous, fun and new knitting books, well, I feel a bit guilty. I was recently searching for the movie The Goonies in our catalog and a wonderful book came up in the search instead: New Knits on the Block. A book that features knitting projects inspired by costumes, toys and decorations. What does that have to do with The Goonies, you ask? There is a knitting project called Goonie’s Treasure Bath Set, Which consists of a Jolly Roger wash cloth, a stuffed parrot, eye patch, and head scarf- all stitched up for bath time play. The fun doesn’t stop there. The book also has directions to knit the following: a St. Elmo’s Fire firefighter hat, Labyrinth felted wizard and princess hats, a Schneider tool set and pouch (my personal fave), The Tooth is Out There alien tooth fairy pillows, a Benetar guitar pillow, and even The Last Unicorn dress up headpiece. I could go on and on with the pop culture titled, magically adorable crafty projects. If I could knit I would make these treats for every kid I know, and possibly a few for myself.

The author, Vicki Howell, is the host of DIY’s Knitty Gritty, and is well respected in the knitting world for her funky, hip edgy designs. (I know it’s summer and folks don’t want to knit scarves in the summer, but these are toys! And toys are needed year round.)

Preschool Storytime at the Ann Arbor District Library

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Preschool Story Time kicked off for the summer today and was it ever entertaining. The audience loved every minute of it.
Despite a rainy day, lots of children appeared in really cute raingear to watch Meaghan, the Storytime Librarian, perform her outstanding repertoire.
The Pig’s Picnic by Keiko Kasza was a hit as was the "Ants Go Marching" song. The concluding activity was Jim Gill's song "Crazy Dance Freeze" available on his cd Jim Gill Sings the Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes. The crowd went wild as everyone had so much fun freezing in crazy positions. What a great free event to bring your little ones to!!! Check out the schedule here: Storytimes at the AADL

Benny and Penny: Just Pretend

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Benny and Penny: Just Pretend, by best-selling children's book author Geoffrey Hayes, is an adorably illustrated graphic novel that features a day in the life of a sister and brother mouse duo. Benny is having fun playing pirates and Penny wants to join the fun. But big brother Benny will not be found playing with his pesky little sister. He tries to make her hide so good in hide and seek that she won’t find him again and then he’ll get to play all by himself. He soon finds out that maybe playing with someone, even your annoying crybaby little sister, is more fun than playing pretend by yourself. Hayes learned a similar lesson in his youth thanks to his tag-along little brother.

Send Me to Summer Camp

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It's FREE! Really, mom. Washtenaw County's Summer Camp for Kids has camps in Football, Track, Golf, Wrestling, Basketball, Cheerleading and Tennis for kids ages 8 to 15. The camps are offered this summer from June 16 through July 31. Just print off the Registration Flyer and send it back to Washtenaw County Trial Court - Juvenile Division 2270 Platt Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48104. Need more info? Call (734) 222-6900.

Edible Architecture

Can you build a skyscraper out of lasagna noodles? A house out of marshmallow cereal treats? What about the Taj Mahal out of graham crackers? Come hang out at Mallets Creek Friday, April 11 from 2-3 pm for Edible Architecture.

Poetic Picture Books

The Childrens Picture book The Wizard can only be described as "An illustrated, rhyming tale of a wicked wizard and his evil deeds, as he uses 'elemental sorcery' to change a bullfrog into a series of objects, from a flea to a flame." The author of the the book, Jack Prelutsky, was named the first Children's Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation in 2006. His verse along with the enchanting illustrations by Brandon Dorman, make The Wizard a truly delightful find. Other interesting books of his include Dragons are Singing Tonight, Gargoyle on the Roof, and Wild Witches Ball.

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle

Oh! A new Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle book is out, Happy Birthday Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle from Betty MacDonald, who died in 1958, and her daughter Anne MacDonald Canham, who apparently found an unpublished Mrs. PW story and notes among her mother's things. This release is particularly exciting for those of us who grew up hearing and reading Mrs. PW stories of modifying children’s behavior in highly imaginative, sometimes very creepy ways, such as The Radish Cure in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. The new book is the first new Mrs. PW book in 50 years.

Hats off to reading!

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Today is Read Across America Day! What's that, you ask? Read Across America Day was first celebrated in 1998 as a way to bring awareness to the magic of reading and to motivate children to read. This celebration of reading happens annually on (or around) March 2, purposely on Dr. Seuss' birthday! Students and teachers across the country participate in reading events and festivities. Some have been seen enjoying green eggs and ham, some principals have been known to dress up as Thing One or Thing Two, there have been times when kids across the country have read the same book at the same time, and there are definitely a lot of striped cat hats worn everywhere! It is a very fun time in schools. But let's not forget that every day is a good day to celebrate reading! If you haven't already done so, why not check out what Dr. Seuss is up to.

Concerned about lead in toys?

Have the reports about the lead content in toys been scaring the daylights out of you? It turns out that there are do-it-yourself lead testing kits that you can buy to test the lead content on the surface of a toy. NPR reported on these tests today, describing recent evaluation of these tests by Consumer Union to determine the accuracy of the tests. If you are are interested in testing your child's toys for surface lead, check out this NPR report and the evaluations.

No Parent Left Behind

Ever feel like your child is speaking a different language? Are you so far behind on the tech lingo that you don't understand how they are using technology in their lives? Check out E-Parenting by Sharon Miller Cindrich to learn more about digital technologies, how kids are using them, and how you can make the most of these technologies to bring your family closer together. Cindrich defines terms such a "wiki", "vlog", etc., and provides Tech Tips for parents on how to approach tech-related topics with their child. In addition, you'll find specific instructions for family projects that highlight the family-friendly capabilities of multimedia technology.

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