Barbara Park, creator of the beloved Junie B. Jones children's books, has died

Barbara Park, who combined her inner six-year-old self with a fantastic sense of humor to create the popular Junie B. Jones chapbooks, has died.

Ms. Park discovered her love of reading in high school and her writing gifts in the 70s when, as a military wife, she put to paper the antics of her young boys. Her first books were stand-alones that spoke to children about tough subjects with her uniquely child-oriented perspective, such as The Kid in the Red Jacket (1987) which covers the stress of moving and being the 'new kid' in school.

In 1992, Park found her popularity soar with the publication of the first of her 28 Junie B. Jones chapter books. First up, Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus. The eponymous five -year-old hates her first bus ride to school so much that she refuses to go home at the end of the day.

Through 16 more entries in the series, Junie B. Jones stayed in kindergarten. Finally, in 2001, Junie B. Jones graduates. In Junie B., First Grader (at Last!), Junie B. faces the twin traumas of losing her best friend to TWINS and of having to get her first pair of glasses.

The last Junie B. Jones title, #28, Junie B., First Grader: Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten (and Other Thankful Stuff), was published last year.

Ms. Park had battled ovarian cancer for several years. She was co-founder and CEO of Sisters in Survival, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women navigate the many challenges of a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

Barbara Park, a longtime resident of Scottsdale, AZ, and winner of multiple children's literature awards, was 66 years old.

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, by Peter Brown

Mr. Tiger is bored with being proper. He wants to have more fun. So he decides to go wild, which is just what this suit and tie wearing tiger does! He goes a little bit too wild and ends up confusing his fellow proper animal friends. They tell him he should go to to the wilderness where he belongs! And he does go away, but he gets lonely and misses his city and his friends. When he gets back to town he is so surprised and happy by what he sees.

Peter Brown is a Caldecott Honor illustrator and the images in Mr. Tiger Goes Wild were made with India ink, watercolor, gouache, and pencil on paper, then digitally composited and colored. They are simply amazing in this picture book.

The book was recently listed on Publishers Weekly's Best Picture Books of 2013.

We've Got Community!

Playing at the Downtown Library tot table with the garages, cars and traffic signs, provides a great opportunity to talk to your little one about our community, neighborhoods and incredible C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. Watch out for that stop sign!

Pete the Cat: The Wheels on the Bus

Pete the Cat is one groovy cat, and he and his picture books are popular among the preschool crowd. Sure, he loves his white shoes. But he also rocks in his school shoes, saves Christmas, has four buttons, and sports a pair of magic sunglasses. Did you know he is also a bus driver and is into Thanksgiving? Yes, this Pete the Cat is into everything.

Some of the new books, including the beginning reader books, are nice to read if you want to read more books about Pete, but they don’t really compare to the original Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes. But no fear, it’s all good.

What is your favorite Pete book?! Here’s a handy list to see if you've missed any.

Halloween celebration @ AADL!

Thursday, October 31 | 9:30-10am & 10:30-11am | DTN Multi-purpose Room | Preschool – Grade 3

Yeehaw! Join us the morning of October 31 for Halloween themed stories and songs! Put on your costume and be ready for fun with fall stories and silly songs to get you in gear before you head over to Main St. to join in on the Halloween treat parade that runs from 11am-5pm. After our special storytime you'll also be able to trick for some treats at the library!

Art Table: Veterans Day Cards!

Next time you’re at the Downtown branch, stop by the art table in the Youth Department and create a Veterans Day card! We've got the supplies needed to make a SUPER STAR card for a Veteran. All cards collected in time will be delivered to the Ann Arbor VA hospital in time for Veterans Day on November 11.

Too Tall Houses, by Gianna Marino

Too Tall Houses is a beautiful new picture book by Gianna Marino. In the story, Rabbit and Owl live in two small houses on top of a hill. They were good neighbors and friends… until Rabbit’s garden got too tall and Owl couldn’t’ see the forest. So Owl decided to build his house taller, which blocked the sun from reaching rabbit’s garden. Oh my! These two friends have found themselves in a pickle of a house mess. Will they stop competing to make the tallest house and make up and enjoy being neighbors again? Check out this beautifully illustrated picture book to see how it all ends.

Harold Finds A Voice

The picture book Harold Finds A Voice is a fantastic debut by author and illustrator Courtney Dicmas. This delightful, sweet and funny story features a parrot named Harold who lives in Paris. Harold could hear just about any sound and mimic it perfectly. He was good at making the alarm clock sound – RING RING! And the washing machine sound – WHOOSH WHOOSH! And even the toilet flushing – FLUSSSSHH! But he was tired of the same old sounds. He longed to find out what other noises were out in the world, and one day he ventured off to explore. Oh! What he did find out there! Read this beautifully illustrated picture book to find out what sounds Harold discovered and what sound he claimed as his own. It’s a great lap book and children will enjoy making the sounds along with Harold.

Audiobook: Arctic Creature Adventure for Kids

Enter the world of auks and owls in Barry Wolverton’s Neversink. This animal fantasy introduces readers to the rich, complex society of birds who sip tea and start revolutions.

When a possible plague threatens the food supply on the island of Tytonia, power-hunger pygmy owl Rozbell decides now is the time to seize control of the Owl Parliament and of the nearby colony of auks on the island of Neversink. As Rozbell imposes an increasingly heavy “fish tax” on the creatures of Neversink, three unlikely heroes emerge to stop him: misfit puffin Lockley, spirited hummingbird Ruby and scholarly walrus Egbert. (You will never meet a more charming walrus than Egbert, I assure you.)

Fans of Kathryn Lasky’s Guardians of Ga’Hoole, Richard Adams’ Watership Down or Brian Jacques’ Redwall series will likely enjoy the complex animal society while American history lovers will enjoy seeing the parallels between the birds’ plight and the American Revolution.

Bill Harley Back by Popular Demand on November 10!

There is always a buzz when Bill Harley is coming to town. It’s like we all start chuckling to ourselves just thinking about his songs and stories! The first in his new series of books is going to be a hit with the 2nd-4th grade crowd. Charlie Bumpers is in big trouble! How will he survive a year with his new teacher when he already accidentally bopped her in the head with a flying shoe? Surely Bill will sign your book or CD at his AADL show on Sunday, November 10 at 2:00 pm at The Ark! Can’t wait to crack up!

Syndicate content