New Youth Magazines: LEGO Club & LEGO Club Jr.

LEGOs! Will we ever have enough of LEGOs? Probably not. There’s always another set coming out that we just HAVE to have. And with the LEGO Movie recently released, well, some of us are extra LEGO-minded. AADL now has subscriptions for two LEGO magazines for kids.

LEGO Club Magazine (formerly called Bricks Kicks and later LEGO Magazine) features different bits in each issue, such as Lord of the Rings, Lego Castle, Lego Atlantis, Lego City, Lego Legends of Chima. It addition to feature articles the magazine also includes comics, building ideas, cool creations, and games.

LEGO Club Jr. Magazine is aimed at children six and under and features activities, cool creations,and building ideas.

And of course be sure to check out some of the oodles of great LEGO books the library has to offer.

Audiobook for Kids: Malcolm at Midnight

Many favorite children’s books feature heroic mice, but what about heroic rats?

In Malcolm at Midnight by W. H. Beck, we meet Malcolm, a rat who becomes a class pet when fifth-grade teacher Mr. Binney mistakes him for a mouse. When Malcolm learns about rats’ bad reputation, he decides it might be best to let everyone continue thinking he’s a a mouse, especially after he joins the Midnight Academy, a secret society of class pets that has vowed to keep the school safe. But when the leader of the Midnight Academy goes missing and everyone discovers Malcolm is really a rat, he will have to set off alone to save the school from real evil of McKenna School.

Reminiscent of Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux but with a familiar classroom setting, this book would be a good choice for animal lovers and children with classroom pets.

For more books featuring heroic rodents, check out this list.

Family Science Workshop

Join us on Saturday, February 15th from 10 - 11 AM at the Pittsfield branch for our second Family Science Workshop, brought to us by the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. This workshop will be Meals with Megafauna: Sabertooth Cats, Dire Wolves, Mastodons & Man. Come learn about the strategies used by predators and prey to stay alive during the ice age. The workshop is intended for children in grades K-5, accompanied by an adult.

We also have plenty of ice age items in our collection, and don't forget to check out our Sabertooth Cat kit from our Science Tools collection.

The Bear’s Song

The Bear’s Song is a charming picture book written and illustrated by Benjamin Chaud. The beautiful, large and detailed illustrations help tell the story of a bear and his cub. Little Bear darts off after a bee, because honey is where the bees are! Papa Bear is left to run after Little Bear. He searches for him in the forest, in the big, busy city, and eventually an opera house—where things get a little silly for Papa Bear.

It is a darling story that is great for lap reading. Kids will enjoy searching for Little Bear and the bee on each of the pages as the story unfolds.

Highly acclaimed, the book has been on many top lists, including New York Times Notable Children's Books of 2013 and Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books of 2013, which both feature some amazing children’s books!

The Candymakers

Since February is a traditional time for candy, it also seems like a perfect opportunity to sample this sweet story, The Candymakers by Wendy Mass.

Reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this book introduced readers to four twelve-year-olds competing in the Confectionery Association’s annual Best New Candy contest. Alternating between the perspectives of contestants Logan, Miles, Daisy and Philip, the story unfolds in truly surprising and delightful ways. Through these alternating perspectives, we come to learn that each contest is carrying a secret, but they will have to trust the others enough to reveal all in order to ensure a happy ending.

The audiobook, narrated by Mark Turetsky, is also worth checking out.

Perfect for fans of Trenton Lee Stewart’s The Mysterious Benedict Society or Pseudonymous Bosch’s The Name of This Book is Secret.

Best New Music At AADL

AADL is constantly adding to its diverse selection of new CDs. If you're seeking some great new tunes, consider the following must-hear material.

"You Were Right," Brendan Benson: You may already know Royal Oak native Brendan Benson from his work alongside Jack White in the Raconteurs. But Benson has been churning out terrific, twangy power-pop of his own since 1996, and his sixth solo full-length is another fine addition to his catalog. The record includes jammy earworms like "It's Your Choice" and "Long Term Goal," but Benson also proves his maturity as a songwriter. The bittersweet ballad "Oh My Love," describing a loving relationship that just doesn't have a future, is an affecting standout.

"Are We There Yet?," The Verve Pipe: Brendan Benson isn't the only Michigan star with a new record in the AADL catalog. East Lansing alt-rockers the Verve Pipe have returned with their second foray into the world of children's music. You may know them for radio hits like "The Freshmen," but their kids' tunes are just as listenable (if not more so). Parents are quite likely to find just as much entertainment and humor in tunes like "When Grandma Says No" and "My Principal Rocks" as the kids do. And catchy pop melodies recalling the hooky bombast of Weezer make this one of those rare children's albums that parents won't mind playing for the millionth time.

"Wig Out At Jagbags," Stephen Malkmus: Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus has had a robust solo career since Pavement parted ways in 1999, and his latest release is among his best. Clocking in at around 40 minutes, it's one of Malkmus' more focused sets of songs; there's more hooks, clearer songwriting, and less psychedelia here than anything he's done in a while. And while Malkmus may now be a dad pushing 50, he's got a great sense of humor about his aging hipsterdom; check out the tuneful and hilarious "Rumble At the Rainbo," where he cracks wise about "slam dancing with some ancient dudes."

Find more great new CDs here.

Family Affair

Whether families want to kick-off a new storytelling tradition or discover various ways to spark memories and ideas, Donna Washington is the perfect workshop leader for all ages! Join us and our partners, the Ann Arbor Storytellers’Guild, for true family fun for ages five and up on Saturday, February 15 at 10 am. Donna will head over to the Ark’s Storytelling Festival that same night for the adult crowd and you are in for a big treat if you follow here there!. Donna WashingtonDonna Washington

A Hilarious Pirate Adventure – With Magic!

I am so excited about this new pirate adventure, Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson. Two years ago, I had the chance to hear an excerpt read from the pre-published manuscript and have been looking forward to its release ever since. After reading it, all I can say is this book completely lived up to my expectations. I loved it!

Hilary Westfield wants nothing more than to be a pirate, but when she submits an application to the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, things don’t go quite as planned. After discovering that Hilary is a girl, the league decides to forward her application to Miss Pimm’s Finishing School for Delicate Ladies. Soon Hilary and her pet gargoyle are packed off to finishing school, but you can bet it isn’t long before they escape to the high seas and join in the hunt for a magical treasure.

Fans of Diana Wynne Jones or Patricia C. Wrede will definitely want to check out this first book in a planned trilogy.

You can find out more about this debut author by visiting her website: http://carolinecarlsonbooks.com/

Mo’s Mustache

What a cute picture book! Ben Clanton’s beautiful illustrations introduce us to Mr. Mo Joe in Mo’s Mustache. Mo has just received the most fabulous, wonderful, dapper mustache in the mail. But soon all of his monster friends are wearing dapper mustaches too. Why is everyone copying him? Is it because he’s the coolest guy around? Maybe. Check out this book featuring some friendly funny monsters with big, beautiful, squiggly, long mustaches with a nice little lesson in the end. For more mustache fun, check out these picture books.

Preschool Expo

Are you searching for a preschool for your child? Join us this Sunday for the 5th annual Preschool Expo. Hosted by AADL, the Expo brings representatives from area preschools to one location, on one date. This year we will have 35 schools from Washtenaw County ready to discuss their programs and features in order to help you decide what suits the needs of your family.

Sunday, January 26 | 1-4pm | Palmer Commons on the UM campus (100 Washtenaw Avenue) | Free parking across the street in the parking structure

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