Ages 5-11

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!

María Had A Little Llama / María Tenía Una Llamita

María Had A Little Llama is a beautiful picture book by Angela Dominguez that narrates the traditional song of Mary Had A Little Lamb, but... It’s not Mary! It’s not a lamb! The book features beautiful full color illustrations, and both english and spanish text on each page. The book would be great for those who like nursery rhymes or for those looking to add some dual language reading in their day.

LEGO Lovers Take Note! Build the Change Call for Designs!

If you have entered our famous LEGO contest or are just a LEGO enthusiast who has made a project that conveys sustainable design there's a contest just for you! Connect4Climate recently partnered with LEGO® to launch the Build the Change Call for Designs. The Build the Change Call for Designs invites individuals and groups from all over the world to showcase their talents and create LEGO® brick sustainable cities.To participate, participants post a photo or video of their LEGO® brick creation to the Connect4Climate Facebook Page and include a brief description of their creation, the hashtag #BuildTheChange, the name of the LEGO® brick creator and, optionally, their city of residence and age. The deadline is September 28, 2013.

Selected photos and videos will be featured at the LEGO® Build the Change Workshop at the EcoCity World Summit in Nantes, France.

Show the WORLD that Ann Arbor has the biggest and best LEGO fans!

The Animals are Out!

As you check out the farm party at the red barn on the tot table Downtown, don’t forget that the real McCoy can be found within a few miles in any direction. You can stroll through a corn maze, treat yourself to cold cider and warm donuts and even shop the farmer’s market with your favorite cows, sheep and chickens at the beautiful farms nearby. For us city folk there is sometimes nothing more soothing than a big red barn!

Letters about Literature National Contest

Have you ever read a book that changed you or your outlook on life? Do you ever wish that you could tell the author of that book how much they influenced you? The Library of Michigan has just announced that it is taking submissions for the statewide and national Letters about Literature contest for grades 4 through 12. Readers should write a letter to a favorite author explaining how a book changed them.

The Library of Michigan will be accepting submissions until December 10 for grades 9-12, and January 10 for grades 4-8.

To submit your letter, you will need to attach a Literature Entry Coupon, found here on the Library of Michigan website.

Want some inspiration? Check out the award-winning letters from last year’s contest and AADL's books for kids on writing.

A Musical Fairy-Tale Audiobook for Kids

If you enjoy music with your audiobooks, then try Fairest by Gail Carson Levine (author of the Newbery-Honor-winning Ella Enchanted).

In this loose adaptation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, pale-skinned Aza feels like she will never fit in, not at home in her adopted parent’s inn nor at the royal court. Her unusual coloring and ungainly size make her stand out wherever she goes. Fortunately, Aza is also gifted with a beautiful singing voice, but when the new queen asks Aza to use her voice to help her deceive the kingdom, Aza learns important lessons about loyalty, love and beauty.

What makes this audiobook experience unique, however, is its music. Every song is set to an original tune, and lots of dialogue is sung as well, so the whole listening experience is rather like listening to a full-cast musical. Musical fans and fairy-tale fans alike will want to check out this audiobook.

Chesstastic Returns on September 15

Sunday, September 15 | 1-4 PM | Traverwood Branch | Gr. K-Adult

Join us for one of the world's most popular games with players of all ages and abilities! Chess sets are provided. Challenge old friends and meet new ones!

Check out some of our newer titles to hone your skills. These include Chess: 5334 Problems, Combinations and Games, and Fighting chess with Magnus Carlsen. While you’re at Traverwood take a look at Chess Life for Kids located just outside the program room. It is filled with all star players, strategies, and tips. Chess sets are provided.

The Boy Who Could Fly

In 1986, the film The Boy Who Could Fly came out to decent reviews, although it didn’t make much of a splash. But over the years, it has become one of those movies that people remember and want to see again.

Milly and her family move next door to Eric after the recent, tragic suicide of her father. She quickly notices something unusual next door, from something flying by her window to Eric spending lots of time on the roof. Milly becomes intrigued and eventually befriends Eric, who is autistic and lives with his alcoholic uncle. Eric’s parents died in a plane crash, and Eric as been obsessed with flying since the tragedy.

The actors who play Milly and Eric give nuanced and effecting performances. Fred Savage is delightful as a kid whose strategy for coping with his father's death is both grim and comically engaging. The adults in The Boy Who Could Fly add breadth and depth to the story: Bonnie Bedelia as the frazzled mother; Colleen Dewhurst as the understanding Mrs. Sherman; and Fred Gwynne as Uncle Hugo, a loving guardian who is battling his own demons.

Whether Eric can really fly is open to discussion, but this heartwarming and delightful film tells a great story.

Introducing a Charming New Youth Heroine

Anna Branford has created a wonderful heroine in seven-year-old Violet Mackerel. This clever little girl is quieter than another popular youth protagonist, Junie B. Jones, but every bit as fun and engaging.

As Violet Mackerel's Brilliant Plot begins, we learn that "Violet Mackerel is quite a small girl, but she has a theory . . . Her theory is that when you are having a very important and brilliant idea, what generally happens is that you find something small and special on the ground." Who can resist this out-of-the-box thinker?

Violet's skills are challenged on a weekly trip to the market with her mother, sister, and brother, where her mother displays knitted wares. Violet is strongly drawn to a blue china bird figurine that she would love to own but doesn't have money to buy. The story that unfolds is gentle, thoughtful, and entirely entertaining.

Branford wrote this book for children in grades 1-3. A good choice for independent readers, It also would work well read aloud. To learn more, check out the author's website.

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