Miss Spitfire

I was not the only Helen Keller obsessed girl in my 1963 classroom. We read everything about Helen and Annie that we could get our hands on and we would have eaten this book alive! This dramatic tale, told through the suffering eyes of Annie Sullivan, will create a whole new generation of Helen and Annie fans and remind older children that words are filled with power.

Edible Architecture

Can you build a skyscraper out of lasagna noodles? A house out of marshmallow cereal treats? What about the Taj Mahal out of graham crackers? Come hang out at Mallets Creek Friday, April 11 from 2-3 pm for Edible Architecture.

The Golden Compass Series: Audiobooks

Golden CompassGolden Compass

Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass) follows the story of Lyra Belacqua, the secrets surrounding her birth and future, and travel between the worlds.

With the recent film and a revival of the controversy that has always surrounded the Golden Compass series, these books are once more in the public eye. I've been told that even people who like them find the books difficult, but I throughly enjoyed listening to them on audio. This is possibly because they're performed by a full cast complete with sound effects and narration from Philip Pullman himself, making the whole experience more like an old fashioned radio drama than your average audio book. I highly recommend the entire series.

ABC Mania

Study your ABC’s in a book, a movie or a video online. Put on your cape for the Superhero ABC, or ride your firetruck to the Alphabet Rescue. Join a band of pirates on the quest to capture the rest of the alphabet besides R in Shiver Me Letters: a Pirate ABC, or party at the Alphabet Fiesta and learn your letters in English and Spanish.

For your viewing pleasure, learn your ABC’s with the Sesame Street crew in Sesame Street: All-Star Alphabet or Winnie the Pooh: ABC’s.

The Tiffany Aching Series: Audiobooks

In Terry Pratchett’s The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, and Wintersmith we meet Tiffany Aching, a young girl learning to be a witch and helped along the way by the formidable Granny Weatherwax, the Discworld’s most renowned witch and an entire colony of tiny little blue men….

Stephen Briggs, does a hilarious rendition of the tiny Scots men known as the Wee Free men in the audio versions of the Tiffany Aching series, the story of a young girl learning to be a witch. Briggs also does an amazing Tiffany as well as all the other voices. Briggs has been in many Discworld plays and reads many of the other audiobooks in the Discworld series.

Positive Parenting and Play Play Play!

Put parent panic in your pocket and bring any questions on Saturday, March 22 at 10:00 a.m. at the Downtown Library. We are pulling out the toys for the children to play, while Dr. Jamie Plunkett from the University of Michigan Center for the Child and Family gives a brief talk on the importance of play and positive parenting, then hangs around to chat with parents.

Ella Enchanted: Audiobook

I have loved the story of Ella Enchanted before it even won the Newberry Honor and I was vastly disappointed in the movie. But being a fan of audiobooks I had hope that this would be a good listen since, as an unabridged version, at least nothing would be changed. Unfortunately, this was probably the first audiobook where the voice of the reader bothered me. Nothing against Eden Riegel, who did an excellent job as young Miriam in the Prince of Egypt, but she made her voice sound too juvenile. Ella is supposed to age over the course of the book and an apparent romance between the prince and what sounded like an eight year old made me slightly uncomfortable. I would have been all right with her starting out sounding young and then sounding older over time, but her voice did not really change. I was able to get through the recording by imagining that it was a child reading me the story and not the character herself.

There was also music in places, which I didn't mind but I know it can annoy some people. I at least felt the music was generally roughly medieval sounding and thus appropriate to the story. Still, if you've not already read the book, then you might not have a set idea of what the character would sound like and not be bothered by the voice.

Story Bits - Snow

Warm-up winter with these snowy stories. Kumak's House; All You Need For A Snowman; Ezra Jack Keats' classic Snowy Day; and Stranger In The Woods ... perhaps as satisfying as hot cocoa with marshmallows.

Join the Ann Arbor Family Day Fun!

In conjunction with Ann Arbor Family Days, Pornrat Damrhung, Professor of Dramatic Arts at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, and Charley Sullivan of the UM Center for Southeast Asian Studies, will lead simple Cambodian and Thai classical dance for the whole family. We will also be coloring dramatic masks. Keep an eye out for the Lunar New Year's Lion Dance! Follow the Lion as it dances along the sidewalk from AADL to the Main St. area.
Join the fun this Saturday, March 8 from 10-11 a.m.

Hats off to reading!

catcat

Today is Read Across America Day! What's that, you ask? Read Across America Day was first celebrated in 1998 as a way to bring awareness to the magic of reading and to motivate children to read. This celebration of reading happens annually on (or around) March 2, purposely on Dr. Seuss' birthday! Students and teachers across the country participate in reading events and festivities. Some have been seen enjoying green eggs and ham, some principals have been known to dress up as Thing One or Thing Two, there have been times when kids across the country have read the same book at the same time, and there are definitely a lot of striped cat hats worn everywhere! It is a very fun time in schools. But let's not forget that every day is a good day to celebrate reading! If you haven't already done so, why not check out what Dr. Seuss is up to.

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