Ages 5-11

Barbara Park, creator of the beloved Junie B. Jones children's books, has died

Barbara Park, who combined her inner six-year-old self with a fantastic sense of humor to create the popular Junie B. Jones chapbooks, has died.

Ms. Park discovered her love of reading in high school and her writing gifts in the 70s when, as a military wife, she put to paper the antics of her young boys. Her first books were stand-alones that spoke to children about tough subjects with her uniquely child-oriented perspective, such as The Kid in the Red Jacket (1987) which covers the stress of moving and being the 'new kid' in school.

In 1992, Park found her popularity soar with the publication of the first of her 28 Junie B. Jones chapter books. First up, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. The eponymous five -year-old hates her first bus ride to school so much that she refuses to go home at the end of the day.

Through 16 more entries in the series, Junie B. Jones stayed in kindergarten. Finally, in 2001, Junie B. Jones graduates. In Junie B., First Grader (at Last!), Junie B. faces the twin traumas of losing her best friend to TWINS and of having to get her first pair of glasses.

The last Junie B. Jones title, #28, Junie B., First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff), was published last year.

Ms. Park had battled ovarian cancer for several years. She was co-founder and CEO of Sisters in Survival, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women navigate the many challenges of a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Barbara Park, a longtime resident of Scottsdale, AZ, and winner of multiple children's literature awards, was 66 years old.

We've Got Community!

Playing at the Downtown Library tot table with the garages, cars and traffic signs, provides a great opportunity to talk to your little one about our community, neighborhoods and incredible C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. Watch out for that stop sign!

Madeline and the Bad Hat

On Sunday, November 10, 2013, the Michigan Theatre is going to be presenting the musical version of the classic children's book Madeline and the Bad Hat by Ludwig Bemelmans. This title was originally published in 1956, and deals with bullying, a timely topic even today. The term "bad hat" is not used to describe a head covering, it is a term for a person who deliberately causes trouble.

Before you take the kids to see this show, take them to the Malletts Creek Branch
on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. We'll read the original book and then
do some special crafts. You'll be able to make Madeline's famous yellow and blue hat or construct the Eiffel Tower out of craft sticks. Parents must stay with their children as we will be using hot glue for these projects.

This is for kids in grades kindergarten and up.

Too Tall Houses, by Gianna Marino

Too Tall Houses is a beautiful new picture book by Gianna Marino. In the story, Rabbit and Owl live in two small houses on top of a hill. They were good neighbors and friends… until Rabbit’s garden got too tall and Owl couldn’t’ see the forest. So Owl decided to build his house taller, which blocked the sun from reaching rabbit’s garden. Oh my! These two friends have found themselves in a pickle of a house mess. Will they stop competing to make the tallest house and make up and enjoy being neighbors again? Check out this beautifully illustrated picture book to see how it all ends.

Audiobook: Arctic Creature Adventure for Kids

Enter the world of auks and owls in Barry Wolverton’s Neversink. This animal fantasy introduces readers to the rich, complex society of birds who sip tea and start revolutions.

When a possible plague threatens the food supply on the island of Tytonia, power-hunger pygmy owl Rozbell decides now is the time to seize control of the Owl Parliament and of the nearby colony of auks on the island of Neversink. As Rozbell imposes an increasingly heavy “fish tax” on the creatures of Neversink, three unlikely heroes emerge to stop him: misfit puffin Lockley, spirited hummingbird Ruby and scholarly walrus Egbert. (You will never meet a more charming walrus than Egbert, I assure you.)

Fans of Kathryn Lasky’s Guardians of Ga’Hoole, Richard Adams’ Watership Down or Brian Jacques’ Redwall series will likely enjoy the complex animal society while American history lovers will enjoy seeing the parallels between the birds’ plight and the American Revolution.

Bill Harley Back by Popular Demand on November 10!

There is always a buzz when Bill Harley is coming to town. It’s like we all start chuckling to ourselves just thinking about his songs and stories! The first in his new series of books is going to be a hit with the 2nd-4th grade crowd. Charlie Bumpers is in big trouble! How will he survive a year with his new teacher when he already accidentally bopped her in the head with a flying shoe? Surely Bill will sign your book or CD at his AADL show on Sunday, November 10 at 2:00 pm at The Ark! Can’t wait to crack up!

Recipe for Fun at the Tot Table Downtown

One pretend apple pie
Multi-flavored scoops of ice cream
Colorful plates for serving
Very young chefs
Grown Ups who love to sample apple pie
And...while you are here, check out some of the apple pie books and children’s cookbooks.

Wild Swan Fundraiser

For decades now The Wild Swan Theater has graced the library with performances of Frog and Toad, Pooh Stories,Owl’s Winter and more. This Sunday at 1:00 pm at The Ark, the whole community is turning out for a fundraiser to support Wild Swan. What could be a better recipe for fun than Gemini, Joe Reilly, David Mosher and the Chenille Sisters in the pot? Wow! Check out The Ark’s schedule for all the details!

Chesstastic Sunday, October 20 at Traverwood

Chesstastic | Sunday, October 20 | 1:00-4:00 p.m. | Traverwood Branch | Kindergarten-Adult

“Chess is life” – Bobby Fischer

Come and play one of the world's most popular games with players of all ages! Chess sets are provided.

Beyond Picture Books

The transition from picture books to chapter books can be tricky for kids (and the big people reading with them!). Finding chapter books that are short enough, fun enough, still have enough pictures, and have simpler plots is a challenge. Here are a couple ideas for kids who are beyond picture books and early readers or for littler ones who are still reading aloud with adults…

My Father's Dragon is loaded with adventure and has lovely black and white illustrations (from the original award winning 1948 edition) on most page spreads. There’s enough action to keep little ones interested in what happens next, too, as we follow the adventures of a young boy on a mission to save a baby dragon from his captors. Using his wits and a few handy items stashed in his backpack, the boy manages to overcome a number of animal obstacles in his path to the dragon. A charming story in which kindness and quick-thinking triumph over the bad guys. Try Elmer and the Dragon and The Dragons of Blueland, too.

The Wizard of Oz, or “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” is more than a movie! The book is a little longer than My Father’s Dragon, but is available in a number of beautifully illustrated editions with each chapter nicely rounded out to introduce a new character or problem for Dorothy and her friends to solve. The story is written with quirky giggle-inducing humor that parents will also appreciate if reading-aloud. If you like this first tale of Oz, you’re in luck – there over 10 books in the Oz series that Baum wrote later!

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