Ages 18+.

Now Available Through AADL: 20 Knitting Patterns to Make Your Favorite Mochimochi Land pals!

Mochimochi Land was launched in 2007 as a place where knitted toys and people can live together in a spirit of tolerance. Now, thanks to a partnership between Mochimochi Land and AADL you can access a collection of delightful knitting patterns to create your own friends!

AADL is overjoyed to partner with Anna Hrachovec, to offer 20 DRM-free Downloads of Mochimochi Land Knitting Patterns to all AADL Cardholders. All you need is to have an AADL library card. Then, login with your linked AADL online account, and all of these patterns are yours for the knitting!

The characters that inhabit Mochimochi Land are original designs by Anna Hrachovec, a knitter who lives in Chicago. Anna finds inspiration in Hello Kitty, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, and illustrators like Dr. Seuss and Mary Blair. Anna’s knitted toys have been featured on The Martha Stewart Show, all around the web, and in print.

Controlled Burns in Ann Arbor's Natural Areas

Tuesday Feb. 25th | Traverwood | 7:00-8:30 PM | adults and teens (grade 6 and up)

Forest fires are usually a bad thing -- when they aren't meant to happen! However, many Natural Area Preservation organizations around the country use a method called controlled burning to actually help the land. Prescribed or controlled burning is sometimes used in forest management, farming, or prairie restoration and stimulates the germination of some desirable forest trees, thus renewing the forest.

The Natural Area Preservation of Ann Arbor will visit the Traverwood branch of the AADL to further explain what controlled burns are and why they are used in natural areas. This event is for anyone interested in helping with the burns or those who just want to learn more about them.

To learn more about the forests of Michigan, check out these great books in the AADL collection:
- Trees of Michigan: field guide
- Roadside guide to Michigan plants, trees, and flowers: an ecological approach
- Trees of Michigan, including tall shrubs
- Trees of Michigan and the Upper Great Lakes
- Michigan trees: a guide to the trees of the Great Lakes Region

Teen Stuff: Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

Far Far Away is “the strange and fateful tale of a boy, a girl, and a ghost.” Jeremy Johnson Johnson is a quiet teen who keeps to himself in his bookshop home in the town of Never Better. For he is the boy who hears voices, namely one voice: that of the ghost of Jacob Grimm, of Grimm’s fairy tales. Jacob is there to guide Jeremy and protect him from the Keeper Of Occasions – whose identity and evil intentions are unknown. Jacob is the narrator of the story, which leaves for an amazing viewpoint of our main character Jeremy and all that happens in town.

One exciting thing that happens in the sleepy town of Never Better is over at Green Oven Bakery. When green smoke exits the chimney the community knows that the famous prince cakes have been baked! One bite of this delicious cake makes you fall in love with the first person you lay eyes on. Rumor has it this is what happened to Jeremy’s mother, who went to the bakery and then ran off for good with another man, leaving Jeremy’s father in a bed of depression for years. One dark thing that happens in the town of Never Better is that children occasionally go missing and the sheriff doesn’t seem to want to do much about it.

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal is a bit of fairy tale and a bit of a mystery – an original and quick read that surely will take you far far away. The book is currently an Edgar Award Finalist and was recently listed as a Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults.

Mary and Max

When I read the news of Philp Seymour Hoffman’s passing I did a quick mental inventory of the movies I’ve seen that he is in, there are so many. The one that sticks out the most, and that I think he got the least amount of credit for, is the animated film Mary and Max. The film takes place from 1976 to 1998 and tells the story of the unlikely pen-pal friendship that lasts for 22 years between Mary (Toni Collette), a lonely 8-year-old girl who lives in Australia, and Max (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a 44-year-old, severely obese, secular Jew atheist with Asperger syndrome who lives in New York City. The central focus of the movie is the letters shared between Mary and Max and the stories behind their life and the lives of people around them. This dark comedy deals with very mature themes, such as death/suicide, mental health, and dark depictions of childhood innocence. It also deals with the themes of love, friendship and forgivness is a way that will leave you thinking about it long past the 92 minutes it will take to watch it.

Secret Pizza Party

Remember how funny and adorable and hilarious Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri is? Well, they’ve got another picture book out, made just for you fans of silly!

Secret Pizza Party features a raccoon that LOVES pizza. “Pizza smell” gives him the “happy screams.” But the poor raccoon in this book is always being chased off by someone with a broom. All he wants in life is some pizza! Eventually a plan is hatched for a secret pizza party. One that involves avoiding the broom factory and the raccoon-sniffing broom-bots. Will this raccoon ever get some pizza?! Read the book and find out.

You might also want to read Dragons Love Tacos, if you haven’t already. And for more funny picture books check out this nice list we've created!

Book Release: Eric Shonkwiler's Above All Men at Literati, 2/17

This coming Monday, Literati Bookstore hosts a launch party for Eric Shonkwiler's Above All Men, at 7pm. The title is published by Michigan’s own MG Press, a micro-press devoted to publishing a small number of titles each year.

An extension of the literary journal Midwestern Gothic, MG Press retains the same core values: shining a spotlight on Midwest authors by focusing on works that showcase all aspects of life—good, bad, or ugly.

Tom Lutz of the Los Angeles Review of Books declares that "Shonkwiler takes the world on his own terms, and wrestles it to the ground.”

AADL cardholders who are curious about Shonkwiler's writing can download one of his stories, "Gripping the Heel," in Issue #3 of Midwestern Gothic. In fact, Midwestern Gothic's entire back catalog is available electronically for cardholders.

Eric Shonkwiler’s writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, Fiddleblack, [PANK] Magazine, and Midwestern Gothic. He was born and raised in Ohio, received his MFA from The University of California Riverside, and "has lived and worked in every contiguous U.S. time zone."

Nerd Nite Ann Arbor: February 20 & March 27

For the last year, crowds have gathered each month in the early evening - in bars and venues around Ann Arbor. Around 7pm, it begins: three boisterous speakers geek out up front. What is this? Some secret club?

Nope! It's Nerd Nite Ann Arbor! And it's open to anyone and everyone who loves to learn or share what they love.

For the uninitiated, Nerd Nite (NN) has been described as “...like the Discovery Channel™…with beer!” Sounds fun, right? It is! NN is held monthly in 70+ cities, giving several folks the opportunity to give 18-21minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines. Imagine learning about everything from the science of the Simpsons to the genealogy of Godzilla. Fun stuff!

The next Nerd Nite will be next Thursday, February 20, at LIVE (102 S First St.). Doors open at 6:30, and speakers start at 7pm. What topics are on tap? Find out where beer came from, what the inside of your hand looks like, and just who is looking through all the cameras you see everywhere! Cover is just $5 (payable in cash at the door, or in advance).

There's big news about March's Nerd Nite: AADL will be co-presenting the March 27 edition of Nerd Nite (thus making that date free for all to attend). We're still finalizing the speaker line-up, so if you have something you'd love to talk about, submit your talk idea ASAP. There's a chance you could be of the speakers!

Mark your calendars and spread the word! Any and all nerds (and non-nerds!) who love learning and having a great time are welcome!

Reviews of New, Great Books from NPR!

Fans of “All Things Considered” on NPR may have heard reviews of some of the exciting new titles being released this month. Meg Wolitzer, author of the hugely popular The Interestings, reviewed a new collection of short stories by Molly Antopol, called The UnAmericans. These stories cover a wide range of geographic settings and time periods, and “keep going right past the point where you thought they would end,” says Wolitzer. Jumping from New York City, to the Ukraine, to Nazi-invaded Europe, the stories focus mainly on family and the connections we share with other individuals, be they strong or tenuous.

Also on “All Things Considered,” Ellah Alfrey reviewed Penelope Lively’s new book, Dancing Fish and Ammonites. Lively herself has been writing for 44 years and is the beloved author of both children’s books and award-winning novels. She classifies Dancing Fish and Ammonites as a memoir, but Alfrey argues that it is “less a memoir in the conventional sense and more a collection of thoughts, a scattering of advice and a reading list to treasure.” In it, Lively shares excerpts of her life (she was born in Egypt and sent to boarding school in England when she was 12, where she later attended university and raised a family) as well as observations that she has made over the years about the world as a whole. All of this is laced with quiet humor.

On NPR’s website, you can read and listen to the complete reviews of The UnAmericans and Dancing Fish and Ammonites here and here.

Support for Adults with ADHD

Are you or a loved one affected with Adult Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder? If so, you may be interested in joining a local discussion group for information or support. This group meets from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at the WISD Teaching and Learning Center each month. The next meeting is Tuesday, February 18th from 7:00-8:30 pm. The meeting will include resources, an opportunity to share experiences and ideas. The following week, February 25, the group hosts speaker Sally Palaian, Ph.D with a talk titled: "Shame Free Money Management for Individuals with AD/HD". For more information contact: AnnArborADDults@gmail.com.

Parent’s Corner: Behavior Management

With parenthood comes a child that is a unique individual with their own way of behaving and viewing the world. One may ask: Is my child supposed to be behaving this way? They are out of control, what can I do? Why won’t my willful child listen to me? Why do they behave fine at home but act out in public? Maybe there are no correct answers to these questions, but boy do they get asked.

The Downtown library has a shelf in the Youth Department known as the Parent Shelf. On this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including behavior and everything from language to potty training to safety to bullying. These books are available for checkout and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf.”

The Parent Shelf has an assortment of books on the topic of child behavior. Here are a few to think about:

* Calm mama, happy baby: the simple, intuitive way to tame tears, improve sleep, and help your family thrive

* You can't make me (but I can be persuaded) : strategies for bringing out the best in your strong-willed child

* No more meltdowns : positive strategies for managing and preventing out-of-control behavior

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