An Old-Fashioned Audiobook for Kids

Fans of audiobooks like Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess or Joan Aiken’s The Wolves of Willoughby Chase may want to check out The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson, narrated by Patricia Conelly.

Abandoned by her mother as a baby, Annika grows up as a “kitchen child” in the home of three eccentric professors, and even though she loves her guardians – the professors’ cook Ellie and housemaid Sigrid – she cannot help dreaming of her long-lost mother. When an elegant mother finally does arrive and sweeps her away to a crumbling German castle, Annika’s dream-come-true is plagued by homesickness for her warm Viennese kitchen and troubling hints that all is not right with her newfound family.

Ibbotson herself grew up in early 20th-century Vienna, and her descriptions of life in the city – the aging emperor, performances of the Lipizzaner stallions, rides on the giant ferris wheel – make the world of the story truly come to life. If you love stories of the vivid past, love old-fashioned tales of kind heroines and dastardly villains, then give this audiobook a listen.

Anything Goes! Craft program for all ages.

It's a little late for spring cleaning but we dug up some cool items for recycling into outrageous crafts on Wednesday, June 26th at 2:00 pm. Join us at the Downtown Library to dig through bins of paper scraps, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, fabric and more to make your own unique creation to take home!

Did You Know Reading is a Physical Skill?

Paul SikorskiPaul SikorskiParents interested in learning about Interactive Metronome with Paul Sikorski from Michigan Peak Performance are invited to bring their Kindergarteners and older children for a program of learning and fun on Tuesday, June 25th at 11 am at the Downtown Library. Paul will discuss his concentration improving technique with the grown-ups while Steve Osburn of Oz Music fame will play rhythm games with the children in the same room. Get ready for a happy, noisy and stimulating experience!

Make a Father's Day Card

Make a Father's Day CardMake a Father's Day Card

This Sunday is the day we honor dads, grandpas, and uncles.
Come to the Pittsfield Branch on Saturday, June 15 at 11:00 a.m. and make a card
for those special people in your life. This is for preschoolers through 5th graders but
everyone is welcome. All supplies will be provided.

For books on this summer holiday, click here.

LEGO Connection

Sunday June 9, 2013: 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Drop in and get connected with other LEGO-minded people! All LEGOs will be provided, so you can make things and make friends!

If desired, your LEGO creation will be photographed for AADL's LEGO Look Book before it's time to clean up. Get some early ideas for the AADL annual LEGO Contest on August 8!

This event is for grades K - 5, with an adult.

Yarn Bomb the Library: Freestyle

Saturday, June 8 | 3pm-5pm | Pittsfield Branch | Grades K-Adult

June 8 is International Yarn Bomb Day! We have two yarn bomb programs at Pittsfield to celebrate.

Grades kindergarten through adult are invited to create fiber arts pieces to help complete the yarn bomb exhibit at Pittsfield. What is yarn bombing? It’s a form of knit graffiti and public art.

We’ll have a variety of yarn and supplies on hand for you to make unique fiber pieces, including pom poms! No experience required. After we make our pieces we’ll head outside and hang up our creation.

There will be NO knitting instruction at this event, but if you do knit or crochet, you’re welcome to bring needles and come stitch with us! Or if you have a piece already made, bring it to the program and we’ll direct you our yarn bomb zones!

For more info on yarn bombing see this great website, and check out the book Yarn bombing: The art of crochet and knit graffiti. For better visuals, visit the Downtown library garden, which was yarn bombed in May!

New at your Library: Kids Book Clubs to Go!

As the school year winds down, you may be looking for ways to keep your young thoughtful readers engaged over the summer. Why not check out one of our new Kids Book Clubs To Go bags?

The Library provides 12 copies of the featured book, one copy of a movie DVD (if available), and a resource guide that includes information about the book, author biography, book reviews, discussion questions, suggested read-alikes, and book group tips.

There are 21 different book titles to choose from. Each Kids Book Clubs to Go kit circulates for six weeks and may be renewed if there are no outstanding requests. Kits are checked out to one library cardholder representing the book club and can be requested through the online catalog or by calling Material Requests and Renewals at (734) 327-4219.

In the Mood for Magic? Try Magyk!

If you enjoy children's fantasies with ghosts, princesses, evil wizards and plenty of good wizards too, then give Magyk by Angie Sage a listen. It will take you to a magical world where young wizards’ eyes turn green when they learn magic and where magic spells may be written on a piece of breakfast toast!

Excellently narrated by Allan Corduner, this story begins on the day that the wizard Silas Heap discovers a baby girl in the snow and his own newborn son, Septimus Heap, is supposed to have died. But ten years later, the Heaps learn that everything is not as it appeared. Their daughter is really a princess who must now outwit the assassins who killed her mother, the queen, a decade before, and their son…well, you’ll just have to check out the audiobook to learn what happened to him.

The series continues with Flyte, Physik, Queste, Syren, Darke and Fyre.

When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky by Lauren Stringer

In 1913 Paris, two Russians, Igor Stravinsky the composer and Vaslav Nijinsky the dancer/choreographer, took the western European art world by storm when the Ballet Russes premiered The Rite of Spring on May 29th. This book, composed with much alliterative, musical language, and onomatopoeia, tells the story of the friendship and collaboration between composer and dancer. Focusing on the changes to their work and personal styles that resulted from their meeting to the culmination of their efforts, the ballet The Rite of Spring, the story conveys their composition process in a lively, upbeat fashion, with a percussive vocabulary. Children may be surprised to learn about the commotion the composition caused, and the riotous ballet is sure to catch their attention. Vibrantly colored illustrations, inspired by Matisse and Picasso, of the musical notes, instruments, and dancers depicted, enhance the tone of the story and complement the text well. Stringer trusts readers with a challenging and exciting account of the transformative power of visionary, risk-taking art.

If you're feeling inspired after reading the book, try making up your own dance to the music. NPR Music is inviting "professionals and the public alike to take the last minute of Stravinsky's inimitable score — in an exceptional performance by conductor Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra — and create a new video to go along with this music." Follow this link for more information, or to see some of the submitted videos. Happy Dancing! Happy Spring!

Bernard Waber, creator of the beloved Lyle the Crocodile picture books, has died

Bernard Waber, who turned his commercial graphic arts training into a successful career as a children's book author and illustrator, died May 16th.

Waber, a World War II veteran and devoted movie buff, first introduced Lyle the lovable crocodile in his 1962 book, The House on East 88th Street. In this fanciful, gentle, funny story, the Primm family discovers Lyle hanging out in the bathtub of their Upper East Side brownstone. Lyle made several more appearances, including in Lyle Finds His Mother (1974) and Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (1965). His final Lyle book, Lyle Walks the Dog: A Counting Book (2010), was a collaboration with his daughter Paulis Waber.

While most of Waber's books involved whimsical illustrations of animals -- The Mouse that Snored and the delightful A Lion Named Shirley Williamson (1996) -- Waber also had a gift for using human subjects to zero in on and allay common childhood anxieties. In Ira Sleeps Over (1972), little Ira frets about whether or not he can bring his teddy bear to a sleepover. In 2002, Waber published Courage in response to September 11th. He had started it before the attacks, but added firemen and police officers to his examples of people, both ordinary and extraordinary, who exhibit courage every day.

Waber forever endeared himself to book and movie lovers when he said that the way he endured frequent relocations as a child was to seek reassurance from his parents that wherever they moved, a library and movie theater would be close by. "...The Library and cinema were life-giving urgencies, a survival kit for any new neighborhood."

Waber, who was 91, died at his home in Long Island.

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