A Fine Dessert: a "treat" of a story!

What a charming and special new book! A Fine Dessert, by Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall, tells the story of four families in four different centuries who are all making the same delicious dessert. The ingredients for the yummy treat, blackberry fool, remain the same over the years, but the methodology for getting the materials and making the dessert changes with the times.

In the 1700s, a girl and her mother collect blackberries and then whip cream by hand from the milk from their cow. In the 1800s, a slave family in Charleston, South Carolina, picks blackberries from the plantation garden and uses a whisk made by the local blacksmith to whip the cream. In Boston in the early 1900s,a girl and her mother buy blackberries from the market and use pasteurized cream delivered by the milkman that morning. And in modern day San Francisco, a boy and his dad buy blackberries and cream at the grocery store, print a recipe from the Internet and use an electric mixer to whip the cream.

The authors do an amazing job of depicting both the similarities and differences between the families and lifestyles over time. They manage to weave in some bigger topics (slavery, gender roles) in a subtle way and provide great historical portraits of each of the time periods. And, the best news is, the recipe for blackberry fool is included at the end of the book!

Yum!

Code Babies Academy

The Code Babies Academy series is written by John C. Vanden-Heuvel and includes computer programming baby board books for the tiniest of hands. The books available in the series are HTML For Babies, CSS For Babies, and Web Design For Babies. Perhaps these baby board books will help turn your toddlers into computer programmers? The books are odd and adorable.

Bo and Co. are winners the second time around

I loved Bo at Ballard Creek last year and was excited to revisit Bo, her papas, her little brother, and the world of post-Gold Rush Alaska in Bo at Iditarod Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill a few weeks ago. But I was also worried: would it live up to the wonderful nature of the first book? I'm pleased to say that it did. With a new cast of characters, an expanding worldview for Bo (she moves from a town of 200 people to 500 people, for example, and learns that there are different Native Alaskan tribes throughout the state), and the same gentle humor as the first it's a worthy follow up.

If you enjoy reading or reading aloud the episodic adventures of The Little House on the Prairie or The Birchbark House series by Louise Erdrich, you might be as charmed by Bo as I am. The book is also a fascinating, if oblique, view into the world of backcountry Alaska in the 1930s, when mail arrived via airplane and amenities available to the rest of the country hadn't caught up yet, so if you enjoy historical fiction you might enjoy Bo and Co. as well.

Teens Using Drugs: Education Series

The Dawn Farms Education Series, "Teens Using Drugs: What To Know and What To Do" is a free, two-part series that will be presented from 7:30-9:00 pm Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 (part one, "What to Know"), and Tuesday, April 14th (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.

New Nonfiction for Kids: Why'd They Wear That?

We’ve all seen pictures and paintings of people wearing some pretty crazy clothing and fashions over the course of history. Why have clothes changed so much over time? What caused different accessories and styles to come into fashion… and to fade back out again? If questions like this pique your interest, National Geographic’s Why’d They Wear That? is the book for you! Filled with amazing fashion facts and the reasons behind some of the more obscure style trends we’ve seen over time, this awesome book is also packed with great pictures of clothes and the people that wore them.

Did you know that in the 1700s in France, women’s hoop skirts were so wide that they had to turn sideways to get through doorways? After the storming of the Bastille, these cumbersome skirts quickly went back out of fashion—women couldn’t hope to escape with their lives if they couldn’t even get through a door!

And, before the 1860s, shoes weren’t mass produced with left and right feet: they were all just straight! So, wearing shoes was often very painful. You could only custom order right and left-footed shoes if you were very wealthy. Finally, it 1865, this problem was remedied when appropriately designed shoes were made widely available.

Why’d They Wear That has information like these crazy facts you just read, and so much more. And, for another cool book on fashion and style over time, try The Fashion Book.

Library Lists: 10 Interactive Books for Kids

Books aren't just for reading! Awesome books like the ones on this list allow you to be inventive and engaged by using and interacting with them!

Kaleidoscope: With a built-in spinning kaleidoscope lens, every page of this book is transformed into a visual delight. Simple rhymes describe the changing seasons, making this lovely and inventive book a unique and colorful journey through a year.

Mythology: the gods, heroes, and monsters of ancient Greece: This fascinating book on Greek mythology uses newspaper clippings, letters, and photographs from the “past” to impart information about famous myths. Other great books in the series include Dinosaurology, Alienology and Pirateology.

Alphablock: What a fun way to learn the alphabet! Thick pages in this book are cut into the shape of each letter, allowing children to peek-through the letters and guess them based on both their form and words associated with them.

Press Here:This creative book encourages kids to perform actions on each page: pressing dots, shaking the book, turning it upside down, and more. The result of each action is demonstrated on the next page. Kids love “influencing” the story and seeing the effects of their actions!

Panorama: a foldout book: Simple text and beautiful illustrations invite readers to view different places around the world. Then, the pages can be folded out to see the same scenes at nighttime.

Book-o-Hats, A Wearable Book: You can become a chef, a firefighter, a pirate, and more in this book that features wearable hats with fun rhyming text. There’s more wearable books in this series too, including Book-o-Teeth, Book-o-Beards, and Book-o-Masks!

What Happens When…: This lovely book allows readers to explore what happens to things that are lost or let go through text and illustrations on fold-out pages. I love how this book—originally published in French—offers simple solutions to some of the most common questions, such as “what happens when I let my balloon go?”

Guess what?—Food: This lift-the-flap book allows young readers to see familiar foods transformed into unexpected animals! Author Yusuke Yonezu is also the author of Guess What?—Fruit, an equally cool lift-the-flap book for young ones.

Small Smaller Smallest is a great way to learn differences in sizes and quantity. Each page has a pull-tab for children to tug on to see phenomenon like a flower growing from tall to taller to tallest and snowflakes falling low… lower… lowest.

Pinwheel allows readers to spin different wheels to create colorful scenes of natural areas. Like in Kaleidoscope, Salina Yoon’s simple poetry reminds readers of the beauty around us every day.

If you want even more great interactive books for children, check out this more extensive list!

Please, Mr. Panda

Here are two super cute picture books that involve manners.

Please Mr. Panda is a new picture book and features a panda with a box of donuts to share, but his friends aren’t asking for them very nicely. It’s a simple book with few words and lively illustrations all about the word please.

Thank You, Octopus offers a hilarious dialog between a boy getting ready for bed and his octopus friend. There is a lot of thank you and no thank you between the two that will enduce much laughter.

If this sparks further dialog with your little one, check out more picture books all about manners.

Art Table: She’s Like a Rainbow

This month at the art center in the youth department downtown we’re making rainbows! This will help to spread spring cheer! What colors make up a rainbow? Why are they always the same color? Explore rainbows and ROYGBIV with art and make your own rainbow.

Here are a few books about rainbows to help get you in the mood.

Lift-the-Flap Board Books!

The library has many baby board books, with thick pages ready for babies and toddlers to handle. But sometimes you’re looking for the books that have peek-a-boo style flaps that the kiddos can lift up and explore! We have several of those.

This past week Ms. Amanda featured Guess What? - Food at storytime, and it’s great if you’re looking for a silly guessing story, even for preschoolers. AADL also has many more lift the flap books to choose from! Check out the list and see what might make your little one's reading time more hands-on.

Read Across America Day & National Reading Month

Today is Read Across America Day!

Read Across America Day was founded in 1997 “to promote the joy and importance of reading and to celebrate the birthday of beloved author Dr. Seuss.” It has become a nationwide event celebrated by schools, libraries and bookstores across the country. You just mind find an elementary school principal dressed up like Thing 1 or Thing 2, and some students may end up eating green eggs and ham for lunch. How wacky! How Seussy!

Did you know that there will be a NEW Dr. Seuss book coming out in July? The manuscript for Which Pet Should I get was recently found by his widow.

Be sure to check out your favorite Dr. Seuss titles and get some reading done! Hooray for reading! It's not just today, the entire month of March is National Reading Month.

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