Sophie’s Squash

It’s the season for gardens, planting, and VEGGIES, VEGGIES, VEGGIES. The local farmer's markets have been HOPPING with vendors and shoppers. Though it's not quite squash season... Sophie’s Squash is a darling new picture book that features a young girl who loves her freshly plucked squash. So much so that she names it Bernice and treats it as though it’s a baby doll. Her parents are perplexed and don’t know what to do when Bernice starts to rot. Sophie is determined to love Bernice forever! This is a funny and sweet book that talks about the seed to plant process and goes along with that stack of kids gardening stories you’ve got at home. It has such a cute ending.

School Library Journal lists it as one of the Best Picture Books of 2013.

Moo!

There are a lot of books about mooing at AADL. If you’re a reader of children’s picture books, animals and animal sounds are heavily featured in this area. Moo! by David LaRochelle is one of my favorite new picture books, and it’s told with only one word: MOO!

The gist of the story is that the cow gets ahold of the farmer’s car and takes it for a ride, and well, things don’t go so well for him. The coolest part of the whole book is that the entire is story is told using only the word “moo.” It’s a great opportunity for kids to learn about reading aloud, voice inflection and how the same word sounds differently when said with a “.” or an “!” at the end. Moo. Moo? Moo! Mooooooooooooo. Give it a whirl be ready to laugh!

Unbored: The Essential Field Guide to Serious Fun

Summer and no school is just around the corner, and this giant book is full of ways to keep you busy with a variety of subjects. While the book features "serious fun," it's written more on the funny side. It has a great cover and great illustrations, which totally nudge me to like certain books more.

Unbored gives you big ideas and how to start them, including how to grow a science garden, make your own games, zines, and LED graffiti You can also learn how to perform kitchen experiments, blog, fix your bike, and lots more.

The book also features some fun lists! Including a list of banned books you should read, secret history of young adult novels, best ever sports movies, best ever stop-action movies, best ever animal movies, best ever DIY fiction, and the best ever clean hip hop songs.

There’s also informational bits thrown into the book. Learn some weird facts about condiments, or browse a list of kitchen cures, and learn how to train your grownup to be a ninja.

UNBORED! That’s what you’ll be at the end of the book. Be sure to check out the book preview to see examples of what's inside. And check out the awesome website for the book! There is a TON of great stuff to look at.

Art Table: Bookmarks!

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 we're talking about book art and making bookmarks! Because sometimes it's hard to finish a book in one sitting, and sometimes it's nice to mark your favorite page for easy finding later.

We've got supplies for children to make a dandy bookmark with a pretty ribbon to keep your spot safe.

Audiobook for Kids: Rooftoppers

As a baby, Sophie is found floating in a cello case after a shipwreck and is taken in by the man who found her, eccentric Englishman Charles Maxim who uses books for plates and toast for bookmarks! Sophie and Charles live a quiet, happy life together until Sophie’s twelfth birthday, when the authorities decide that Charles is not a fit guardian. Rather than letting Sophie be taken to an orphanage, Sophie and Charles embark on a quest to find Sophie’s mother with the cello case as their only clue. The pair travels to Paris where Sophie meets the illusive rooftoppers who agree to help her with her search for her missing mother.

The audiobook of Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell has the feel of a classic with its gorgeous writing, gentle humor and determined young heroine, and narrator Nicola Barber gets the accents exactly right. The novel is also reminiscent of Martin Scorsese’s Hugo with its adventures through the secret world of Paris.

Multicultural Chapter Books: The Alvin Ho Collection

Second-grader Alvin Ho loves playing the brave Firecracker Man at home but at school he is too afraid to say a word. In fact, Alvin is afraid of many things but faces fear after fear in the Alvin Ho series by Lenore Look. In the first book, Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things, Alvin worries about making friends at school. In its sequel Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters, Alvin and his family get ready for Alvin’s first camping trip. Not only are these books delightfully funny, but the situations are very relatable. The audiobook is a particular treat, narrated by child actor Everette Plen who brings a fantastic youthful energy to these stories.

I think my favorite thing about the Alvin Ho series,though, is their celebration of multiculturalism. Alvin’s close-knit Chinese-American family includes a father who spouts Shakespearean insults and a grandfather who sews, and Alvin’s growing friendship with classmate Flea offers a wonderful message about accepting friends who are different from us.

The series continues with Alvin Ho: Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects, and Other Man-made Catastrophes; Alvin Ho: Allergic to Dead Bodies, Funerals, and Other Fatal Circumstances; and Alvin Ho: Allergic to Babies, Burglars, and Other Bumps in The Night. More books in the series are also available as audiobooks.

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.

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