Hello! Hello!

Hello! Hello! by Matthew Cordell is a smart little picture book. And if you’re a parent with cell phone and a child both calling for your attention, this one’s a hoot. With few words the books tells the story of a girl saying hello to those around her, and everyone’s too busy with their phone, their iPad, their laptop, etc. The little girl then ventures outside and says HELLO to all things outdoors, and then she has a great idea! It’s a cute little story that’s appropriate for children growing up in device-filled times.

March 8 is International Women's Day

International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. Now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother's Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

Amelia to Zora: 26 Women who Changed the World tells the stories of 26 diverse, 20th-century women who have made a difference in such varied fields as the arts, sports, journalism, science, and entertainment. The entries include Dolores Huerta, Frida Kahlo, Lena Horne, Maya Lin, and Patricia Schroeder. Determination, imagination, perseverance, and strength are what bind them together.

African Princess: the Amazing Lives of Africa's Royal Women The captivating stories of six of Africa's most remarkable royal women and the eras in which they lived - from 1473 B.C. to the present. Some lived in great luxury as the wives and advisers of the supreme rulers; others lived in exile as freedom fighters. The rise of the slave trade and the arrival of European colonists unsettled the entire continent and forced rulers to find ways to govern and protect their kingdoms. Consequently, many of these royal women ruled in extremely difficult times, marked by palace intrigue, foreign invasion, and harrowing adventure.

Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women In kitchens and living rooms, in garages and labs and basements, even in converted chicken coops, women and girls have invented ingenious innovations that have made our lives simpler and better. Their creations are some of the most enduring (the windshield wiper) and best loved (the chocolate chip cookie). What inspired these women, and just how did they turn their ideas into realities?

Rabble Rousers: 20 Women who Made a Difference Short, spirited profiles of 20 women who impacted life in America by speaking out against injustice and fighting for social improvements. The folksy, friendly narrative introduces such fascinating figures as Sojourner Truth, abolitionist preacher; Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, a Civil War physician; Margaret Sanger, birth control pioneer; and Doris Haddock, a 92 year-old champion of campaign-finance reform. The book spans over two hundred years of American history and includes time lines for such important social movements as abolition, woman suffrage, labor, and civil rights. Readers inspired by these fiery women can use the civil action tips and resources in the back of the book to do some of their own rabble-rousing.

Here are more books to inspire and entertain you.

Red Cat Blue Cat

Red Cat Blue Cat by Jenni Desmond is the story of two cats. Blue Cat stayed upstairs, and Red Cat stayed downstairs, and when they crossed paths they always hissed at each other. Blue Cat didn’t know that Red Cat secretly wished he were as smart as Blue Cat, and little did Red Cat know that Blue Cat wished he was fast and bouncy like Red Cat. One day they both come up with the best idea! Blue Cat will dress up as Red Cat and Red Cat will dress up as Blue Cat. Well, it doesn’t quite go as planned and in the end they find out that they like being themselves more than anyone else, and surprisingly, after all that ruckus, the two cats end up friends. It’s a super cute picture book with wonderful illustrations and a surprise ending that both small children and grown-ups will enjoy reading together.

A Timeless Audiobook For Kids

The Melendys are ready for adventure! Are you?

In The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright, siblings Mona, Rush, Randy (short for Miranda) and Oliver decide to pool their allowances so one sibling at a time can go on an adventure each Saturday – and so the Independent Saturday Afternoon Adventure Club (I.S.A.A.C.) is born. You’ll be swept right along with Melendys to art museums, circuses, tea parties and more. Pamela Dillman’s excellent narration, complete with some fantastic accents, really brings the Melendys’ world to life.

The series continues with The Four-Story Mistake, Then There Were Five and Spiderweb For Two: A Melendy Maze.

Dragons Love Tacos

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin is one funny picture book. I recently read this to my small relations and we were all cracking up. The book features a crew of taco-loving dragons. They LOVE tacos! (I mean, who doesn’t?) They love all kinds of tacos. They also love parties. Especially taco parties. BUT! Dragons do not like spicy salsa of any kind, ever. Of course the dragons end up at a taco party serving spicy salsa! If you want to know how it ends you’ll have to grab this funny book off the shelf and give it a read. Grown-ups, you'll have as much fun as the kids.

For more picture books about dragons check out this list, and for more funny picture books check out this list.

Spunky Girl Stories from Around the World

There’s nothing like tales of girls with gumption, to make us laugh and gasp and celebrate the female spirit. The Girl Scouts are cruising Ann Arbor’s cultural events this Saturday for their 100th birthday and we are a stop on the fun train. At 3 pm on March 2, all children in Kindergarten and up are invited to join us for stories about magical nesting dolls, jungle adventures and more with the Girl Scouts.

Seusstastical Puppets!

Saturday, March 2 | 1-2:00pm | Downtown Multi-Purpose Room | Grades K-5 with an adult

March 1 is Read Across America Day! "Now in its 16th year, this year-round program focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources." It's no coincidence that this special day happens around March 2 each year... Because that day is author Dr. Seuss' birthday!

We'll be celebrating the magic of reading by making Seuss character puppets. We've got all the supplies for the kids to make Cat in the Hat and/or Thing 1 and Thing 2 puppets. As always, it's a great idea to catch silly spirit by curling up with some of your favorite Dr. Seuss stories.

Play Connection for Children on the Autism Spectrum

If you are a parent with a child on the autism spectrum, here is an opportunity to explore the possibilities on Saturday, February 23 at 1:00 pm. Dr. Rick Solomon, from the Play Project, will be there to chat with parents and children. Kids will have an open space, or quiet space to play with construction toys, puppets and much more. Let the kids try out combinations of soothing scents with expert Michelle Krell Kydd, who recently interviewed
Temple Grandin about her sense of smell.

Another Big Winner from Jon Klassen

This is Not My Hat is a clever, gorgeous picture book, a 2013 Caldecott Medal book, and a must-read for anyone connected with children in preschool through first grade and beyond. Jon Klassen repeats the theme from his 2011 bestseller I Want My Hat Back and adds a smart twist. The story opens with the memorable lines "This hat is not mine. I just stole it," spoken by a brave little fish who has lifted a blue bowler hat from a big sleeping fish. Little fish swims quietly to a hiding place, not knowing -- but we know -- that the big fish is chasing him. When the two fish vanish into seaweed, the words stop, and big fish reemerges with the blue hat on his head. The story is simple and works beautifully.

A six-year-old Amazon reviewer echoes what many people, young and older, are saying about this gem of a book: "I liked the story and I liked the big fish. The bubbles create movement. The little fish was bad and the big fish was just a big fish. You don't steal from a big fish."

Here Come the Kerfuffles!

This is the first time we are hosting the Kerfuffles at the AADL and you are all invited to snap along, tap along, sing along to this jazzy A2/YPSI kid's band. We discovered Trent Collier strumming in the lovely Kerrytown garden one Farmer's Market Saturday morning and now we will get to hear Five Bananas and much more on Sunday, February 24 at 2 pm at Pittsfield!

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