April Showers Bring May Fairies!

There is only one place that you can discover Library Rachel’s one-of-a-kind fairy babies. They are not for sale. You cannot find these unique fairies on Amazon. Disney cannot claim them. They could have chosen any fairy garden or fairy door in Ann Arbor. They appeared yesterday, out of the blue, and began to frolic on the Tot Table at the Downtown Library. They are so soft and funny and magical, with their chubby tummies and colorful wings, that we decided to adopt them and love them forever!

Jumbled Fairytales for Young Readers

This is a darling series for beginning readers! There are several books in the series and they are all jumbled fairytales!

In Rapunzel and the Billy Goats you’ve got the troll climbing up Rapunzel’s hair. And in Cinderella and the Beanstalk you’ve got Jack driving Cinderella in the pumpkin-turned-stagecoach and her ugly stepsisters are climbing up the beanstalk!

They are funny and a great way to explore a variety of fairytales. It’s also fun for readers to figure out which parts of the story came from what fairytale. Check out these mixed-up titles:

Three Pigs and a Gingerbread Man
Beauty and the Pea
Goldilocks and the Wolf
The Elves and the Emperor
Hansel, Gretel, and the Ugly Duckling
Snow White and the Enormous Turnip

And for a quick list see here.

Socktastic stories!

This week Ms. Amanda featured stories about socks at preschool storytime! Socks?! Yep, socks. And we brought out Pete the Cat’s white shoes, too. We listened to some fun stories. Here are some titles to settle your socks into:

Have You Seen My New Blue Socks? Duck cannot find them! Where are they? Does Fox know? A super fun rhyming story.

New Socks Author Bob Shea writes some funny picture books. The book features the coolest pair of orange socks that just might change your world.

Lizette’s Green Sock Here we have a duck that’s so excited about her green sock, until she learns that socks come in pairs and she gets made fun of.

Duck Sock Hop Who knows what will happen when ducks pull socks from a box. Duck sock hop comes once a week – get ready to rock with your sock!

Sally and the Purple Socks Sally gets a pair of fabulous purple socks in the mail. But when they get wet something odd starts to happen, and it’s quite a silly thing!

For more sock stories check out this book list.

Audiobook for Broadway Lovers: Better Nate Than Ever

Read by the author (who happens to have been on Broadway himself), Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle offers an insider’s look into the world of Broadway auditions from a kid’s point of view. Thirteen-year-old Nate Foster is tired of being bullied and misunderstood in his hometown so, with the help of his best friend Libby, this Broadway-musical lover concocts a plan to run away to New York City and audition for E.T the Musical (inspired by Steven Spielberg’s E.T., of course). The adventure that follows is both hilarious and heartbreaking, and the narration is spot on through every emotional twist and turn.

The audiobook was a 2014 Odyssey Award Honor, an award given to the best audiobooks for children and teens.

Its sequel Five, Six, Seven, Nate! is also available in print.

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing

In the Newbery Honor winning Three Times Lucky author Sheila Turnage introduced us to the Desperado Detectives, two sixth graders who became famous after solving a murder.

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing is the new companion book, though I would call it a sequel. In this novel the spunky Mo LoBeau is back at it again! She and her best pal Dale open up a paranormal division of their detective agency to solve the mystery of a ghost in the old Tupelo Inn, which Mo’s guardian Miss Lana accidentally wins in the town auction. So between helping Miss Lana run the local café, solving the mystery of a ghost, crushing on Dale's older brother Lavender, dealing with the new kid in town, and trying to survive 6th grade history class, Mo has her hands full but she doesn’t blink twice at all the fuss.

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, just like Three Times Lucky, is full of charming and witty dialog and unforgettable characters bursting with personality. Mo LoBeau is one sixth grader you want to meet!

Youth Biographies by Brad Meltzer

Author Brad Meltzer is known for his best-selling mystery novels, including The Book of Lies and The Inner Circle.

His latest books are for children! And they’re cool! It’s a series called Ordinary People Change the World and features biographies on some extraordinary folks that started out as ordinary, just like me and you. Check out the wonderfully illustrated I Am Abraham Lincoln and I Am Amelia Earhart. In these books young readers get to see famous faces from history doing fun things as children.

Once Upon A Northern Night

Once Upon A Northern Night is a beautiful NEW picture book written by Jean E. Pendziwol with pictures by Isabelle Arsenault.

Once upon a northern night
While you lay sleeping,
Wrapped in a downy blanket,
I painted you a picture.

Using lyrical and poetic language the narrator describes the wintry landscape outside a sleeping child’s window, creating a narrative that makes way for a picture painted with words and imagery full of magic and wonder. The illustrations are reminiscent of older storybooks like the Caldecott honor book Blueberries For Sal. This would make a wonderfully calm and enchanting bedtime story.

Art Table: Pop Art!

The next time you’re at the Downtown Library, pop into the Youth Department and check out the new art project at the art table. This month you’ll have the chance to create some POP ART!

Pop art is the art of every day things. This art form works off things in pop culture and mass media. We’ve got crayons, paper and samples to get you started in your own artistic endeavors. And for some books as inspiration, check out these youth titles about pop art.

Youth Nonfiction: The Mad Potter

A new book found on the Art Shelf in the Youth Department downtown is The Mad Potter: George E Ohr, Eccentric Genius. Part of the Ladies Library Collection, The Mad Potter is also an ALA Notable Book, 2014 Sibert Honor, 2014 Best Book of the Year via Booklist, 2014 Best Book of the Year via School Library Journal.

Who was this eccentric genius? He crafted thousands of ceramic sculptures and took them to art fairs and shows but nobody was buying any of this oddly shaped pieces. After his death over 5,000 pots were discovered, and he had boasted that no two were alike. The authors of the award-winning Ballet For Martha have brought us a curious biography about a curious artist. Be sure to also check out their other artist biographies!

A Modern Fairy Tale

Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” had inspired many fantastic works in the last few years, including Disney’s Frozen and Anne Ursu’s Breadcrumbs. Fans of the latter will definitely want to check out the latest Snow Queen-inspired novel, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee.

The story takes place in a magical, labyrinth-like museum in a country where the snow never stops. While exploring the museum one day, Ophelia discovers the prison of the Marvelous Boy, a boy who never ages and who is destined to give the sword to the hero who will slay the Snow Queen. Though still grieving the death of her mother, Ophelia agrees to team up with the Marvelous Boy to help him defeat the Snow Queen and end the endless winter.

What I loved most about this novel was its careful balance of fantasy and reality. While much of the plot and the tone of the story feel like a dreamy or sometimes nightmarish fairy tale, Ophelia’s grief and its effect upon her family keep the heart of the story incredible real.

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