You know they don't want to talk about it but it's just around the corner...

Whenever I think of back-to-school time, I am reminded of the Staples commercial that played several years ago. To the tune of "It's the most wonderful time of the year" it showed two children slowly walking through the aisles of the store staring at the floor with hunched shoulders. Meanwhile we see Dad joyously pushing a cart of school supplies behind them and kicking up his heels with excitement.

Going to school doesn't have to be a cause for distress. One way to help kids, especially the youngest students, get excited about school is to read stories that help them understand what to expect on their first day. For the youngest children there are stories such as Back to school is cool by Jim Jinkins, Brand-new pencils, brand-new books by Diane De Groat and Countdown to kindergarten by Alison McGhee.

For older children we have an assortment of books about middle school and high school experiences. So pick up a book and get your kids excited about Fall and going back to school!

LEGO Contest Winners!

Lego

Our 1st Annual contest was a smash success! We had close to 70 entries - from the parent/child category all the way up to high school. From a "Peace Enforcing" ship, to a replica of an ancestral castle the projects were creative, unique and awesome. Thank you to our judges - Eli Neiburger, AADL IAS Manager, Duane Collicott from Bricks for Brains and Philip Proefrock, an architect at Luckenbach Ziegelman Architects. Close to 200 people attended the event last night. The 1st Place, Runner-Up and Honorable Mention winners received Toys R Us gift certificates for $30, $20 and $10 respectively. Several of the winning projects are on display at the Downtown Youth Desk - be sure to stop by!

Lego Contest Image 1
Lego Contest Image 2
Lego Contest Image 3
Lego Contest Image 4

Click "read more" for a list of winners.

Celebrating American Women

Friday, July 21 is the 27th anniversary of the the founding of The National Women's Hall of Fame. The hall was founded to honor women who have been the most influential in the development of the United States. Located in Seneca Falls, N.Y., "the birthplace of women's rights," the Hall of Fame stands where the first Women's Suffrage Movement Convention was held in 1848.

Some recently acquired biographies of American women are:

Mary Evans Walker:Above and Beyond by Dale L. Walker. Walker was a physician during the Civil War.

Mistress Bradstreet:The Untold Life of America's First Poet by Charlotte Gordon.

Go Berserk!

We want you and your children to "Go Berserk!" over the Sandra Boynton books we have at our libraries. Sandra Boynton writes and illustrates hilarious children's books that are enjoyed by all ages. Check out some of the great titles we have, such as ...
Hippos Go Berserk!
Moo, baa, la la la!
Opposites
Barnyard dance!
...just to name a few!

Eat Your Peas

Eat Your Peas by Kes Gray
It starts off pretty normal. You don't have to go to bed early. You don't have to take a bath. There is a point midway through this book however where the mother offers her daughter 100 desserts, 10 new bikes, 2 elephants, 3 zebras, a penguin and a chocolate factory if she will only please eat her peas. You know it is only going to get more ridiculous from there. That's the point I realized I really liked this picture book.

LEGO Contest Guidelines RELEASED!

Lego

AADL's 1st Annual LEGO Contest launches on Wed. August 9 - the guidelines have been released and can be picked up at ANY location. Prizes will be given in 3 categories:
Grades 3-5; Grades 6-8; Grades 9-12 and the special Parent/Child category. Ribbons will be given out in each category for the following: Best Motorized project, Best Architectural/Engineering project, Coolest Robot, Best Vehicle, Most Creative, Most Sophisticated and the ultimate AADL's Lego Master Builder! Winners will get gift certificates for Toys R Us! Get your copy of the guidelines today!

Elephants and clowns in a tree...what more do you need?

Tree Ring Circus
by Adam Rex

Beautiful, lush ilustrations bring out the imagery of a circus gone haywire. Animals of all types somehow get stuck precariously in a tree. Have fun picking them out from page to page as the scene gets more crazy and impossible. The illustrations really are amazing; each animal, whether tiny or huge, is a wonder to just stare at, let alone play the game of hide and seek with. Very captivating. A fun little picture book for all ages.

How To Be

by Lisa Brown.

How to be a snake. How to be a bear. How to be a dog. These are important things, people. When reading this book I could not help thinking to myself, "yes! Oh my goodness! That's exactly how I would be a spider!" This cute book is all about creative pretending (with a little bit about learning about yourself thrown in), and they nail it perfectly...

Cool Mystery Series for the Grade School Set

You may know all about Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, but have you ever heard of The Stink Files? Here is a list of some great mystery books for grade school readers.

For the kids who like Magic Tree House:
Cam Jansen Mysteries: Cam Jansen is a 10 year old girl with a photographic memory.
A to Z Mysteries: Help Dink, Josh and Ruth Rose solve crimes and misdemeaners.
Jigsaw Jones Mystery: Jigsaws puzzles are like mysteries: you've got to look at all the peices to solve the case!

Unusual Adoption

Remember the fascinating story of the baby hippo who was rescued from the sea after the tsunami? He was taken to a sanctuary where he discovered a new mother, a 130-year-old giant tortoise. Two new children's books present this story in unique and heart warming ways. Owen and Mzee by Isabella Hatkoff is filled with fabulous photos of Owen as he wins over his unlikely companion. Jeanette Winter's picture book adaption Mama:a true story shows the harrowing journey through rich illustrations and a one word mantra that says it all - "Mama!"

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