The Bear…

Benjamin Chaud has written and illustrated some lovely picture books for children! I really enjoyed The Bear’s Song, and the next adventures for bear in these new ones in the series are sweet as well.

They are large format with small nearly full-page illustrations, which is perfect for little ones to play “I Spy,” like in Where's Waldo, to follow along in the pictures while the words are read aloud to them. In The Bear’s Sea Escape Papa bear is looking for a place to hibernate and follows Baby Bear to a cruise ship, and winds up on a tropical island. In The Bear’s Surprise Little Bear searches for his father along a forest path that leads him to a mysterious cave, an exciting circus, and a family surprise.

They are all fun little adventure stories that keeps young readers entertained.

Teens Using Drugs: Education Series

The Dawn Farms Education Series, "Teens Using Drugs: What To Know and What To Do" continues in February, 2016. This is a free, two-part series that will be presented from 7:30-9:00 pm Tuesday, February 2nd (part one, "What to Know"), and Tuesday, February 9th, (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.

Caldecott and Newbery Youth Book Awards Announced!

Every year librarians, book lovers, publishers and book sellers look forward to the youth and teen book awards announced at the annual American Library Association conference. This year the awards were announced from Boston in a room filled with hundreds of insanely excited librarians - who gasp, groan and scream throughout the entire ceremony. The two oldest awards, and the most widely known are the Newbery and Caldecott awards.

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. Awarded annually since 1938 by the Association for Library Service to Children to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

The 2016 Caldecott winner is Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, written by Lindsay Mattick. Finding Winnie is an incredible account of the friendship and love shared between a soldier and the real bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh. Blackall beautifully interprets this multi-dimensional family story through her distinctive Chinese ink and watercolor art, capturing intimate and historical details perfect for a child’s eye.

Four books were chosen as Caldecott Honor titles:

Waiting, illustrated and written by Kevin Henkes. Waiting delivers an intimate story of five figurines, each anticipating the wonder of everyday moments. Using rich brown lines and a soft pastel palette, Henkes invites young readers to slow down and explore a range of emotions in a world on a windowsill.

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, written by Carole Boston Weatherford. In this biography in verse, Ekua Holmes’ illustrations provide children with an intensely visual encounter with Civil Rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer. The repetition of colors and motifs within the richly layered collage create complex images that capture Hamer’s power and bravery.

Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson and written by Matt de la Peña. Readers are transported, along with a young boy and his grandmother, on a journey through the city. Robinson’s illustrations, a colorful mix of acrylic paint and collage, feel both vintage and fresh. The diversity, vibrancy, and beauty of the urban setting are celebrated as CJ and Nana share meaningful moments together.

The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

The 2016 Newbery Medal Winner is Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson. CJ’s journey with his Nana is not just a simple bus ride; it is a multi-sensory experience through which he discovers that beautiful music, nature and people surround him. CJ’s questions are familiar, and Nana answers him with gentle wisdom. Right up until their arrival at the last stop on Market Street, Nana guides CJ to become “a better witness for what’s beautiful.”

Three books were chosen as Newbery Honor titles:

The War that Saved my Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Bradley’s powerful plot, remarkably drawn characters and sparse language are outstanding components of this novel about courage, community and conviction.

Roller Girl, written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson. Astrid falls in love with roller derby and learns how to be tougher, stronger and fearless. Jamieson perfectly captures the highs and lows of growing up in this dynamic graphic novel.

Echo, by Pam Muñoz Ryan. This original fairytale intertwines with historical fiction to explore music and its power to save, heal and set free.

New Year, New Kids' Music at the AADL!

The AADL has an extensive music collection that we’re always adding to. Most recently, we’ve acquired tons of new music for kids! Here are some of our newest CDs:

Sundrops, by The Harmonica Pocket, features upbeat songs about nature and the outdoors. From singing in the sun to playing in puddles and chasing butterflies, this is a fun album to listen to during the winter when sun and butterflies are nowhere to be found! A particularly cool thing about Sundrops is that The Harmonica Pocket play lots of different instruments, so kids will get to hear ukulele, harmonica, glockenspiel, and the sounds of other unique instruments along with the standard guitar, bass and drums.

I know I didn’t think that I needed any assistance in singing Disney tunes when I was younger, but for little ones who love singing Disney songs, Disney Karaoke Favorites is a cool CD to have. It features instrumental tracks of the most popular Disney songs so kids can sing along in their own voices, followed by the vocal version of the track with the movie characters singing the song. On the CD are “Circle of Life,” “Let It Go,” “Part of Your World,” and many other well-known favorites.

Beatles Baby! by popular children’s musician Caspar Babypants is a fun, kid-oriented take on the most popular Beatles songs. Caspar puts his own twist on hits like “Hey Jude,” “With a Little Help From My Friends,” and “Lady Madonna,” making them appropriate and silly. It’s fun for adults who recognize the true version of the songs to hear this CD, too.

Also newly added to our collection: Classics For Bedtime, featuring many lullaby piano sonatas, Smiles Ahead: Cool Music for Cool Families, an album with lots of different children’s artists playing their songs on it, and many new Kidz Bop albums.

Beyond the Birds and Bees

Do you know kids who are ready to learn about the facts of life, from preschoolers who want to know where their new baby sibling came from, to adolescents dealing with puberty and sex? We have two perfect books for you, both written by sex educator Cory Silverberg and beautifully illustrated by Fiona Smyth! With bright, cheerful illustrations, straightforward text, and true diversity, these books blow other sex and puberty books away.

What Makes a Baby is for younger children who are just learning about where babies come from. The book explains that sperm and an egg are needed to make a baby. What Makes a Baby uses precise language but leaves it up to the reader to explain where their little one came from. This leaves the book open for use by any kind of family- a refreshing change for families that are usually relegated to a footnote. The illustrations boast a wealth of different kinds of families and the book emphasizes the joy that a new baby brings.

When your kids start to wonder about puberty and sex, check out Sex is a Funny Word, which is as bright and cheerful as What Makes a Baby, but longer and more advanced. This book describes sex in completely inclusive language that relates to all orientations, genders, and gender identities. It also pulls in concepts like respect, trust, joy, and justice to explain how sex fits into a bigger picture of the world. Sex is a Funny Word explores puberty, body parts, safe and unsafe touch, crushes, and so much more! The text is completely nonjudgmental and incredibly diverse.

Simply put, these books are spectacular! Go check them out!

New Animal Picture Books

Do you like pretty picture books about animals that are filled with illustrations so gorgeous you can't stop staring? Here are two worth a view.

A Tower of Giraffes: Animals in Groups features simple information on different animals and what they are called while in a group. A scurry of squirrels, a mischief of mice, a romp of otters. The book is beyond beautiful and will delight both adults and children.

In The Bear Report a little girl ponders what there is to say about polar bears, and her answer is “nothing.” She is quickly corrected by a polar bear named Olafur who shows her the light, literally. They go off on an adventure North where he teaches her about where they live and how they spend their time. It’s a small, quiet book perfect for lap time with the little ones, and demonstrates how wonderful it is when you look at something up close to admire it.

New Picture Books to Celebrate Friendship

Two new adorable picture books about friendship have showed up in Youth, and I can’t stop talking about them! Buddy and Earl, written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Carey Sookocheff, is a slight and simple story about the friendship between a dog and a hedgehog. When Earl the hedgehog shows up in Buddy’s life, Buddy doesn’t know what to make of him. Earl tells Buddy that he is a race car, a hairbrush and a giraffe, among other things. Buddy is wonderfully naive and sweet, and Earl is clever and loyal. Fergus’ text is witty and unexpected, and Sookocheff’s illustrations capture their unusual friendship beautifully.

Written by Lisa Mantchev and lavishly illustrated by Taeeun Yoo, Strictly No Elephants is about a little boy who is devastated to find that his tiny elephant is not allowed at the local Pet Club. Rather than wallowing, he teams up with a girl and her pet skunk to start a new club that welcomes everyone. The variety of animals that come to this new club is astonishing, and each one is drawn with beautiful care. Throughout the book, readers are reminded of the kind things that friends do. Never didactic, this book is absolutely adorable and highly recommended!

Parent’s Corner: What’s New?

Many great new books have hit the Parent Shelf! The Parent Shelf is located in the downtown youth area, where you’ll find all sorts of books on hot parenting topics like behavior, potty training, divorce, and picky eaters.

There are new books on discipline such as Positive Discipline: The First Three Years, When Kids Call the Shots, and for the teen years there’s The Angst of Adolescence: How to Parent Your Teen and Live to Laugh About It.

Or maybe you’re looking for books on how to help your kids succeed. If so, check out Raising kids to Thrive: Balancing Love With Expectations and Protection with Trust and The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed.

Perhaps you're looking for guidance working with children with special needs. Parenting Children With ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach is full of helpful tips. And Autistic Logistics: A Parent's Guide to Tackling Bedtime, Toilet Training, Tantrums, Hitting, and Other Everyday Challenges focuses on many aspects of autism and how to help your child in every day life.

Michigan Alliance for Families' Webinar Series

If you missed the session presented at AADL about Individualized Education Programs (IEP's), you can find that and an array of other topics available at the Michigan Alliance for Families Webinar Series site. There are a number of pertinent topics for families who have children (or teens transitioning to adulthood) available on demand by going to their You Tube channel. The Michigan Alliance for Families provides information, support, and education for families who have children (birth through 26 years of age) who receive or may be eligible to receive special education services. Their website can help you find information about special education issues as well as disability specific information.

An Overview of Special Education and Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) - NEW LOCATION

Monday October 19, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Pittsfield Branch: Program Room

Due to a malfunction in the lighting system at Malletts Creek, this event has been moved to Pittsfield Branch.

This discussion, presented by the Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy (Washtenaw ACA) and the Michigan Alliance for Families (MAF), is designed for parents of children who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) or who may be eligible for special education, as well as interested community members including school staff, college students studying education or related programs, and anyone who works with or cares about children who have disabilities.

This session will be presented by Kristen Columbus, M.S. and Sandee Koski, M.A. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers.

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