Last week we had great new readers show up for a special, cozy reading time with a R.E.A.D dog. All beginning readers can have this opportunity on every Saturday at 10:00 am at the Traverwood Branch during the whole month of April! This week our friend Jared will be volunteering with his awesome dog Bella.TherapawsTherapawsBellaBella

Odetta, the Queen of Folk by Stephen Alcorn

Referring to the words “burning-ham” for Birmingham and “knee-grow” for Negro are just a few of the twists of phrases Stephen Alcorn uses to tell the story of Odetta Holmes. Odetta loved music since childhood but didn’t find harmony until one day “the birdcage in her throat grew too small for her bird, and its door unhinged,” from then on Odetta sang. Stephen Alcorn’s brightly colored illustrations blend with segments of poetic text, bringing Odetta, the Queen of Folk into harmony.

Diana Wynne Jones, fantasy writer for children and teens, has died

Diana Wynne Jones, fantasy writer for children and teens, has diedDiana Wynne Jones, fantasy writer for children and teens, has died

Diana Wynne Jones, beloved author of fantasy for children and teens, died Saturday, March 26, in Bristol, England at the age of 76.

Librarians championed her magical books for young readers who had devoured the Harry Potter series and wanted more, more, more fantasy. Jones' Chrestomanci series was particularly popular. Its first entry, Charmed Life (1977), introduced readers to Gwendolyn Chant and her brother, Cat, who are called to Chrestomanci Castle which is chockful of necromancers. In the final entry in the series, Pinhoe Egg (2006), Cat, who is now living in Chrestomanci Castle, befriends Marianne, a young villager destined to head her clan but who is currently thwarted by her deranged grandmother.

Another hot Jones title, Howl's Moving Castle (1986), was turned into a successful animated film by the same name in 2004.

Ms. Jones' final book, Earwig and the Witch, is scheduled for publication in 2012.

Storytime! At the UMMA?!


On Saturday, March 26th and again on Saturday, April 16th, children ages 4-7 are invited to hear a story at the University of Michigan Museum of Art! Student guides from the University will read stories related to the art in the gallery, with kids welcome to participate and respond! Storytimes start at 11am. Parents must accompany children, and older siblings may accompany the group. Meet at the museum information desk! For the UMMA event listing and contact information, click here.

Magazine Update -- Giraffes, Plays and Magical Neurology

by stevendepolo, Flickr.comby stevendepolo,

You may have noticed that Ann Arbor is steadily sinking into the ground. Shocking news! But as you await the inevitable plunge towards the center of the Earth, at least you can read these cool new magazines.

For the kids:
Zootles is all about Giraffes, the tallest animals on Earth!

Plays Magazine gives you seven all new scripts for aspiring thespians, including "The Adventure of the Norwood Builder" inspired by the classic Sherlock Holmes story!

Dig magazine digs into the Aztecs (get it?), and Muse magazine tells you about the weird brain glitches that make magic tricks work.

For the parents:
American Baby is ready to tell you all about decoding your baby's mood signals, dealing with kid-caused embarrassment, and going on baby-friendly vacations.

Have fun!

Before There Was Mozart: The Story of Joseph Boulonge, Chevalier de Saint-George by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Joseph Boulonge the child of a slave and master, is told in movements like a classical piece of music in Before There Was Mozart. He inspired none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who attended one of his violin concerts. He also met the King and Queen of France. James Ransome brings the story to life with water colored illustrations. The final illustration is of a brightly lit Joseph Boulonge, Chevalier de Saint-George standing with his violin under his arm as he takes a bow.

For Beginning Readers One and All!

Do you remember how it felt to learn to read? I can still remember that struggle and then the magic that ensued. I loved to read to my dog. He was such a patient and understanding listener! Now every child has that opportunity. Beginning Saturday, April 2 at 10 am at the Traverwood Branch, any child can drop in to read to a pooch! And these R.E.A.D canines really know how to listen!

She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story by Audrey Vernick

Effa Manley is an unsung hero of baseball. From the first time she saw Babe Ruth swing she fell in love with the game. She later went on to own a team in the Negro Leagues, and fought to have Negro League players inducted into the hall of fame. She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story by Audrey Vernick is an uplifting book about a woman who dedicated her life to baseball.

La'Ron Williams This Saturday!

You know you are going to laugh, sing and learn something new when our old friend La'Ron returns for more stories, beats and fun on |Saturday, March 19th at the Downtown Library at 2:00 pm. La'Ron is one of Ann Arbor's treasures even as he travels the country sharing his unique tales. Children grades K and up are invited to this classy, cozy event!


Family Time at the Ann Arbor Film Festival

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Looking for some family fun at the Ann Arbor Film Festival? We have a discount code set up for the AADL community to receive $2 off advance online tickets for the Safe As Milk (Ages 6+) program for Saturday, March 26 at 11:15am at the Michigan Theater. Order advance tickets and use the discount code AAFF49AADL.

This program features short films exploring the sensory side of cinema and engaging audience-goers of all generations.

Families will also get a sneak preview of a handful of FestiFools puppets before the show.

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