Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat: Ella Fitzgerald by Roxane Orgill

Ella Fitzgerald was a “Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat” in other words poor, unkempt and wore raggedy clothes. This is the story of how she persevered amidst hardship and found her beautiful swinging, melodic voice and went from a “Raggedy Cat” to “High Hat Baby.” Rich red and blue illustrations add rhythm and beat to the prose.

Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, and Don’t You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge

The right to vote for African Americans was met with opposition. Marching for Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge tells the story of how children helped win the right to vote for African Americans in spite of being beaten, attacked with tear gas, and going to jail. Powerful black and white photos add an emotional and historical context.

Thomas and the Dragon Queen

Local author and storyteller Shutta Crum has given a gift to librarians and children (and librarians who are still children!): a book filled with magic, scary sea monsters, baby dragons, knights, adventure, fantasy and a loving family. Thomas and the Dragon Queen is a book that you can hand to the early elementary reader with great confidence because it will happily hold their attention, but won't keep them up at night. Crum gives us a hero who is as big as a minute and as brave as a tiny squire can be. As Thomas journeys to rescue a princess, he discovers his unique strengths and encounters delightful surprises on the dragon queen’s island. Illustrator Lee Wildish enhances the tale with stark images of barren isles and playful pictures of loping dragonlets. Thomas and the Dragon Queen will make a rich and memorable read-aloud on a cozy winter night.

I Want to be Free by Joseph Slate

I Want to be Free by Joseph Slate is a retelling of a story from the Buddhist tradition that takes the reader on a poetic journey of a young slave boy who wants to be free, to the man who finally reaches freedom. Along the way he takes care of an orphaned child who remarkably is able to loose the shackle around his new father’s ankle that has remained with him since boyhood. E.B. Lewis captures the solemn wish of the young boy to be free with water colored pictures amidst a backdrop of nighttime shadows and fields.

Take Part in Art -- Art that Tells a Story

by "T" altered art, Flickr.comby "T" altered art,

People have been using pictures to tell stories since…well, forever! Cave paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and the Bayeux Tapestry are all ancestors of modern picture books and graphic novels. To explore the relationship between art and storytelling, you could always come visit the Youth Art Table downtown, or enjoy our abundant and awesome resources at home.

Some excellent artists – modern and historical – have focused on using art to tell stories. To learn more about these artists try reading:
Brueghel: A Gift for Telling Stories – about the life of Dutch artist Pieter Brueghel.
En mi Familia and Family Pictures by Mexican-American artist Carmen Lomas Garza.
Pretty much anything about Norman Rockwell.

To explore how artists tell stories using pictures, try these books.
Telling Stories in Art by Joy Richardson provides examples readers can use to create their own story in art!
Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud describes how graphic novelists use pictures to tell their stories, and Drawing Words and Writing Pictures by Jessica Abel guides readers in creating their own graphic novels!
Read a wordless picture book to see how amazing a story without words can be.

If you have children ages 4-7, you can also attend one of the University of Michigan Museum of Art’s Storytime in the Museum programs starting January 8. University of Michigan students read stories related to the art on display at the museum to bring art to life!

Finally, to see how art can tell different stories to different people try Twice Told -- a collection of short stories based on paintings. The twist? Each painting inspires two stories by different authors. See how different stories based on the same picture can be! What story would you tell?

Mo Willems Strikes Again!

Are you a Knuffle Bunny lover? Did you know that Mo Willems has a bunch of great easy reader books that will crack you up? His newest Elephant & Piggie title has the two friends giggling when they discover they are actually characters in a book. Put a hold on We Are In A Book! and you might be the first to get your hands on a brand new copy and bring the whole family in on the joke!

Silly Stories!

Here’s a cozy AADL tradition for the whole family. Join us on Wednesday, December 29 at 10:00 am at the Pittsfield Branch for silly stories. Betsy Beckerman will lead us in goofy songs, StoryLaura will tell a couple of ridiculous tales, and we will put notes and narration together for Pete Seeger’s classic, Abiyoyo!

Kali and the Rat Snake by Zai Whitatker

Kali wants to make friends in school, but who wants to be friends with a boy whose father catches snakes until one day the class is visited by a six-foot-long Rat Snake and Kali comes to the rescue. Zai Whitaker deftly handles the topics of bullying and prejudice in this interesting and entertaining book. A good read to show how cultural differences are what make the world so wonderful and interesting.

Baby Bits - Dancing Babies on Sunday Dec 19 !

1:00 to 1:40 pm, Robin Robinson of RobinSongs for Kids is leading Dancing Babies at the
SUNDAY December 19, 2010.
This program is full of music and rhythm activities that Parents and children under 5 years can do together.
Join us and JUMP!

Youth/Teen Magazine Update -- Kid Wrestlers, Tall Men and Carnivorous Teddy Bears

by Doug L., Flickr.comby Doug L.,
Hello young magazine fans of AADL! A new crop of mags is upon us, so hurry on down to take a look.

For the kids we have:
*Turtle -- Valentine Crowns, "Three Little Kittens," and Pinwheel Bagels...yum.
*Zoobooks -- One word "Gorillas." Ok, four more words: "Stronger than six men!"
*WWE Kids -- featuring your favorite wrestlers' childhood pictures, and an interview with R-Truth.

Teens shouldn't miss:
*Us Magazine -- Royal Wedding Secrets!!!
*Slam -- This issue features John Wall, Evan Turner, and a look back at the life of "one of the greatest shot blockers in NBA history," Manute Bol. (A ridiculously tall man -- 7'7"!)
*Giant Robot -- Interviews with, among others, Artist Luke Chueh, who makes disturbing paintings of teddy bears, and Takayuki Higashino, freestyle motocross star.

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