Camp Scholarships Still Available!

Do you know a young person who would be interested in having a camp experience this summer? If so, now is the time to complete a campership application on behalf of a child who has dreamed of the opportunity to go away to camp. The Washtenaw County Camp Placement Association believes that attending a summer resident camp is a unique life experience that provides children an opportunity for growth in social, emotional and physical well-being. Their mission is to connect at-risk youth to camps through community support. WCPA is the only camping program that accepts referrals from teachers and counselors in all Washtenaw county schools, as well as human service agencies throughout the county. Applicants must be entering Grades 5 through 12 in the fall following camp. WCPA takes referrals and applications throughout the summer-please keep this opportunity in mind for kids who could use it.

Spot, the Cat

Can you spot the cat in Spot, the Cat? In this charming and wordless new picture book by Henry Cole Spot the cat weaves his way through busy cityscapes. When Spot is off exploring his young owner is busy looking for him. While Spot is exploring the city the reader gets an inside look at what’s going on around town, and we are invited to search the detailed black and white pen and ink illustrations for the cat named Spot, the white cat with a big black spot on his back. We venture to the farmer’s market, the museum, the park, and busy streets, stretching our eyes and minds to spot Spot. The tender book helps demonstrates the bond that exists between a cat, his home and his young boy caregiver. There's so much to say without words and this book does it well.

Family Time Thrive Parenting Classes

If you are parenting a child or children from 0-6 years old, you know that it can feel like an overwhelming challenge. For support & resources, income-eligible families may qualify to attend Thrive Parenting classes. This course begins May 24, 2016 and runs for 6 weeks. Mandatory registration takes place Tuesday, May 17 at 5:30 PM at Catholic Social Services. The objective of these sessions are to build a stronger, healthier relationship with your child, learn parenting strategies that really work and network with other parents. For more information call 734-926-0158. Catholic Social Services offers child care and food during these classes, too.

Teens! Volunteer at the AADL this summer!

Hey, teens! Are you interested in volunteering at the library this summer? If you’re between the ages of 14 and 18, you can! We need your help with program prep, filling summer game prize shop orders, and with hosting the tons of great programs that take place over the summer including the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival and the Detroit Circus’ performance at the AADL!

Visit www.aadl.org/teenvolunteer to fill out the application form and find out information about orientation dates and times. You’ll also find a link there to the permission slip, which needs to be printed out and signed by a parent or guardian and brought to one of 6 orientations taking place over the course of the summer. At these orientations, you’ll learn about volunteering at the library and have the chance to sign up for the volunteer shifts you’re interested in, so bring your calendar!

At the end of the summer, you’ll get a letter from the AADL emailed to you that states the number of hours you volunteered helping us out.

Questions? Email teenvolunteer@aadl.org or call (734) 327-8326. See you this summer!

The 25th and Final Elephant & Piggie Book

Released this week, The Thank You Book marks the 25th and final book in children’s book author Mo Willems’ beloved Elephant & Piggie series.

The series follows the two best friends in many silly scenarios. In the books Gerald worries so that Piggie doesn’t have to. These popular books are written comic book style with dialog between the two characters to tell the story. The books are funny, silly, and sweet – just what you want in a children’s book.

With so many great books, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but lately I’ve really been loving on I am Invited to a Party!, Elephants Cannot Dance!, and the beautiful Waiting is Not Easy!.

This does not mean that Mo is done writing, and hey, maybe we’ll spot Piggie in a future Pigeon book?

Thank you, Mo!

Teens Using Drugs: Education Series

The Dawn Farms Education Series, "Teens Using Drugs: What To Know and What To Do" continues next month. This is a free, two-part series that will be presented from 7:30-9:00 pm Tuesday, May 3rd (part one, "What to Know"), and Tuesday, May 10th, (part two, "What to Do"). The programs will be held in the "Exhibition Room" on the first floor of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Education Center at 5305 Elliott Drive, Ypsilanti. The sessions are presented by the Dawn Farm Youth & Family Services team. This program is targeted primarily to parents/caretakers of teens & young adults but is inclusive of other family members, teens, professionals, students, people who sponsor or support teens, and others interested. Please contact 734-485-8725 or info@dawnfarm.org or see the link to Dawn Farm for further information.

Asked and Answered Tips for Feeding Baby

If you have a little one, infant through toddler, AADL has an awesome new resource for you to check out! The Pediatrician's Guide To Feeding Babies & Toddlers is hip, comprehensive, and super approachable. Breaking your child's age into three month segments, each chapter addresses developmental milestones, nutrition guidelines, expected growth, and medical concerns in an easy to follow Q & A format. It answers all the questions you never thought to ask.

Topics are as diverse as how to raise your baby as a vegetarian, and spend time addressing numerous allergies. For the do-it-from-scratch mom, there are tips on preparing your own baby food. On debatable topics (such as when to introduce solids) multiple sides are presented, giving you all the facts you need to make your own decision. With easy to follow charts, and "Real Life Parenting" stories about the struggles all moms share, this read is not only informational, but fun. My favorite part is the age-appropriate recipes at the end of each chapter that will pass the bar for the most health-conscious mother, and the most taste-conscious little one. Dairy Free Sweet Potato Pudding anyone?

Click here for more great AADL resources on feeding baby.

Happy 100th Birthday, Beverly Cleary!

Beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary turns 100 years old today! Her books have been adored by many for decades and she has left quite a mark on children’s literature. Her first book was published in 1950, and her first book about the Quimbys, Beezus and Ramona, was published in 1955.

Popular books include Henry and Ribsy, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Ramona the Pest, and Dear Mr. Henshaw, which won Cleary a Newbery Medal in 1984. I remember devouring these books as a child, and they definitely boosted my interest in reading.

What are you or your child’s favorites?

Matisse’s Garden

This gorgeous picture book features reproductions of artworks by French artist Henri Matisse. Matisse’s Garden tells how he began cutting paper shapes and how his process evolved into large scale works of art that are so recognizable today. It beautifully captures the essence of the color, pattern, and shapes in his work. It’s a beautiful book for art admirers of all ages. I also recommend Henri’s Scissors, and if you want more perhaps you’ll enjoy these other books on Matisse.

Witty New Picture Books!

Readers of all ages will enjoy the brand new book A Hungry Lion, Or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals, by Lucy Cummins. The book opens with a depiction of a hungry lion surrounded by various other animals, including but not limited to a penguin, a little calico kitten, a bunny with floppy ears and a bunny with non-floppy ears, a koala, a pig, and a slightly bigger pig. As readers turn the pages, more and more animals disappear until only the hungry lion and the turtle remain. Who’s stealing all the animals?! Or could the answer to their departure be a little closer to home…? This absolutely charming book allows young problem solvers to begin to guess what’s going on, then delights all with a lovely twist at the end.

In Skunk on a String, by Thao Lam, readers are introduced to skunk who has been tied to the string of a bright pink balloon. This wordless picture book shows the skunk passing through various city scenes, including a bustling parade, a construction site, and a traffic jam, and then ultimately landing on top of a Ferris wheel. Try as he might, Skunk cannot seem to find anyone to untie him… but when he’s finally able to free himself from the balloon he finds that he misses life in the air and devises a unique plan to be able to fly again. The art in this book is created through paper collage in whimsical colors and patterns, capturing urban life in the exact right way. Readers will delight in the new vantage point offered by Skunk while he is on his balloon voyage!

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