Wonderful Youth Poetry Books

The summer may be starting to wind down, but there's still plenty of time to read! One often-forgotten genre in the world of kid's books is poetry. There is a ton of great youth poetry out there beyond Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky (beloved as they are) and it's often short, sweet, and funny. Poetry can sometimes seem intimidating to get into, but the books below are anything but! With the summertime left to us, why not try out some of this awesome genre?

Mirror Mirror: A book of reversible verse and Follow Follow: a book of reverso verse, both by Marilyn Singer, are retellings of fairy tales with a twist: they tell one point of view read top to bottom, and another point of view when read bottom to top. Figuring out which fairy tale each story is telling is a lot of fun, plus the illustrations are gorgeous.

Following up the fairy tale theme, Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: false apology poems by Gail Carson Levine is full of fairy tale characters who aren't REALLY sorry for their misbehavior and use poems to falsely apologize a la William Carlo William's poem "This is Just to Say."

Last, but not least, we have This Is Just to Say: poems of apology and forgiveness by Joyce Sidman. This book features a (fictional) class of sixth graders writing poems asking for forgiveness for various infractions, both serious and less so, with a corresponding second half in which the poem recipients write their own poems in response. If you like your poetry to have a little narrative to it, this one is for you.

Go forth and explore poetry!

Parent’s Corner: What’s New

There are some new titles over on the Parent Shelf!

The Parent Shelf is located in the downtown youth area, and on this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including 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.”

Here are a few new titles to look for:

* Reading in the wild: The book whisperer's keys to cultivating lifelong reading habits

* Redefining girly: How parents can fight the stereotyping and sexualizing of girlhood, from birth to tween

* Parentology: Everything you wanted to know about the science of raising children but were too exhausted to ask

* Mothering & daughtering: Keeping your bond strong through the teen years

Library resources to help with the college application process

If you are a high school senior (or anyone!) who will be working on applying to colleges this fall, the library has some wonderful resources that can help you excel at the application process. Fiske real college essays that work outlines how to write an excellent college application essay and provides real examples of successful essays. It also emphasizes common mistakes in college application essays, so that you can know what to avoid during the writing process.

In the Scholarship handbook (2015 edition), the College Board provides information on awards, scholarships, and loans that may be available to you. This book offers tips on how to go about applying for student aid, and is extremely helpful if you are wondering about the various options that may be available to you to help pay for college. Along this same vein is Peterson’s scholarships, grants and prizes, 2015, which is useful for those applying to graduate school as well.

If you’re not even sure yet where you might want to apply to college, we have resources to help with that too! Try The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges, 2015 and the Fiske guide to colleges, both of which offer profiles and information about a huge range of schools, public and private. And, if you are planning to visit some of the schools that you are interested in, Campus visits and college interviews: a complete guide for college-bound students and their families could also be helpful for you!

Cozy Classics

If you ever get tired of checking out the same board books about shapes and colors, you can round out your board book reading with Cozy Classics. Each of these adorable little books feature classic stories such as Moby Dick, Pride and Prejudice, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Each classic tale is condensed into 12 words that relate to a child’s world such as “friend,” “mean,” or “chase.” On the page opposite each word appears a needle-felted illustration that provides a visual for the plot. These illustrations are gorgeous in their detail and their beauty alone is a good reason to check out these books.

Parents who know the original stories will enjoy these books and may also appreciate the opportunity to introduce their little ones to such great works of literature so early.

“Enchanting… a service to literate families everywhere” ~ The Wall Street Journal
“Capture[s] the imagination of young readers” ~ Reading Rainbow

If you like the concept of introducing your young children to classic literature but the Cozy Classics aren't appealing to you, try a BabyLit book. These books teach concepts such as opposites and the weather with the backdrop of stories such as Sense and Sensibility and Wuthering Heights.

Art Table: Chalk It Up!

Hey kiddos! Next time you’re in the youth area downtown visit the art table and see what’s new! This month we’re working with chalk. We have colorful sidewalk chalk and chalkboards ready for you to create a masterpiece, erase it, and start all over!

Chalk artist Julian Beever uses a technique called anamorphosis in his amazing 3D effect large scale chalk drawings. To read more about his process and see samples, check out the book Pavement chalk artist: the three-dimensional drawings of Julian Beever.

"Oldies but Goodies!"

There are so many fun kids’ books out there from recent years that sometimes we forget about the great older books that are still fantastic reads today! If you or your children are looking for something new to read, why not try something “old?”

Newbery Medal winner The Westing Game, first published in 1978, is a wonderfully mind-twisting tale of a group of people—all potential heirs to the inheritance of an eccentric millionaire—who must race one another to solve the mystery of his death before one of them can claim the money. The fun quirks of the different characters keep the book interesting and funny, and make this a great story for older elementary readers.

A Long Way From Chicago, published in 1998, and its companion, A Year Down Yonder (2000), both by Richard Peck, are fantastic read-aloud stories and audio books. The Newbery Medal-winning A Long Way From Chicago is really a series of short stories, told from the perspective of a young boy who visits his wild grandmother with his sister during the Great Depression. Their visits produce all sorts of experiences and memories and make for a wonderful, heart-warming story that has stuck with me since I first had the book read to me in, well, 1998.

The Phantom Tollbooth (1961) opens with a terribly bored boy who can never find anything to do that amuses him. Arriving home from school one day to find a mysterious gift in his bedroom, he is ultimately transported to a magical land where he has grand adventures and even goes on a quest to save two princesses trapped in a castle in the air! Reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, this is an endlessly entertaining story with lots of great puns and wordplay.

Other lovely “older” reads are: All-of-a-Kind Family (1951), From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1967), Our Only May Amelia (1999), Harriet the Spy (1964), The Borrowers (1953), and Bud Not Buddy (1999).

Kid Bits - I CAN PLAY IT SAFE

Ann Arbor Rec & Ed is running SAFETY TOWN CAMP 2014 for all children entering Kindergarten in the Fall.

Here is a LIBRARY LIST of titles to teach safety with elementary school children.
The following topics are especially included:
BICYCLE SAFETY
Stranger Safety SAY NO And GO: Stranger Safety
Animal Safety MAY I PET YOUR DOG?
Getting Lost I LOST MY DAD
Fire Safety IF THERE IS A FIRE
Personal Boundaries BECAUSE IT'S MY BODY

Roar said Dragon!

This week in Ms. Amanda’s preschool storytimes we read books about dragons! Dragons who breathe fire and eat castles in The Paper Bag Princess, dragons who are looking for a friend in A Friend For Dragon, and dragons who count and make way too much noise in One Drowsy Dragon. Which shows you that not all dragons are as fierce as Smaug.

For more picture books featuring dragons check out this nice list. And to see what else we've been reading at storytimes this summer check out this list of books.

Brainfuse: Live Tutoring & Homework Help

Have you forgotten everything you learned in school already? Don't despair! You can log on to Brainfuse. Their live Homework Help is available from 2:00PM-11:00PM every day, even in summer! The interactive Study Suite is accessible anytime with your AADL account log in information. For more details about the amazing facets of Brainfuse read these FAQs. Using Brainfuse can make learning fun for parents & kids! College students and adult learners can benefit from it, too! Give it a try and you can re-learn the stuff you thought you forgot.

Mo’s Mustache

The world needs mo mustaches and Mo’s Mustache by Ben Clanton is a charming and funny new picture book that brings us MANY stylish and silly ‘staches. The awesome Mo is a trendsetter and his ‘stache styles are copied by many and Mo worries that he won’t stand out anymore. Can you be unique and still have the same mustache as those around you?!

Does YOUR ‘stache stand out?! For Mo and other mustache picture books here’s a handy dandy list for you.

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