PreK Bits - Stories-To-Go Kits


Recently Launched!
10 new STORIES-TO-GO themes have just been launched.
These pre-selected kits are especially for families, childcare centers, preschools, classrooms, home schools with kids ages 2-7 years old.

The new themes are as follows:
FRIENDS How do you know you have a friend?
FAMILIES Who’s in your family?
OCCUPATIONS What do people do all day?
WORLD CULTURES A variety of world cultures are represented.
SAFETY TOWN Safe behaviors start young.
MAPS Maps and mapping activities are fun and interesting.
GRIEF When a pet or a person dies, how do you work out the grief?
DIVORCE When families separate, how do things work out?
POTTY TIME When it is time to consider using the potty.
HUMAN BODY What makes your body work?
The complete Stories-To-Go collection can be browsed here.

I Smell a Good Book Series

Looking for a fun and pretty way to explore the world around you? I See…, I Hear…, and I Smell… are books in the same picture book series by PatrickGeorge. With bold, colorful illustrations and simple text the books are a great way to get little ones thinking about the world around them by exploring through their senses. There are even some funny finds.

For more fun with senses, check out these other titles as well.

The Story of Lewis the Downtown Cat

Lewis the Downtown Cat is a picture book written by Beth Johnson and tells the story of Lewis – the “famous” cat that resided at Downtown Home & Garden in Ann Arbor and was a recognizable and familiar site at the store until he passed away at the end of 2014. It’s a cute little book and kids will get a kick out of seeing a glimpse into how Lewis spent his days at the store and surrounding areas – chasing chipmunks, sleeping, popping into Mark’s Carts and snooping around the Fleetwood Diner. The book rhymes and is written from the POV of Lewis!

For more of Lewis' story you can read about his death here, and read about Downtown Home & Garden’s new cat, Wallace, here!

Library Lists: Introducing Fine Art to Kids!

We know that kids love to create their own art, and children can recognize and be influenced by different artistic styles from a very young age. Learning about fine art can seem dry, but there are lots of great books geared towards younger ages that introduce famous artists and their work in fun and unique ways. Here are a few suggestions:

In the family-oriented An Eye For Art, children are introduced to over 50 famous artists and their work representing a huge range of styles and techniques. Related activities ranging from focused looking to creative writing and the child’s own artistic development accompany the information and images about each artist.

Learning Through Art, published by the Guggenheim Museum, offers art and art appreciation exercises based on well-known 20th century paintings and pieces from the Guggenheim.

Art Up Close: From Ancient to Modern is a beautiful book that emphasizes the finer points of various masterpieces by turning them into an “I Spy”-like game. In the same series, and just as well-done, are the Louvre Up Close and Masterpieces Up Close.

In Modern Art Adventures, kids are introduced to the fresh and unusual artistic styles of the past three centuries, then let loose to create their own art inspired by the techniques they’ve learned. Over 35 hands-on projects make sure that there’s something for everyone in this book.

Linnea in Monet’s Garden is an adorable introduction to Monet, his family, his garden at Giverny and his work. Readers will join a young girl as she visits the home and garden of Monet, and the illustrations include photographs from the painter’s life and of his work.

Ooh! Matisse is the most basic of introductions to fine art for the youngest readers. Portions of Matisse’s cut-out paper art are splashed brightly across the pages, and young readers will learn to recognize both the art and the words that describe it (“flower,” “square,” “figure,” etc.)

The Collins Big Book of Art opens with a useful timeline of the history of art: when different styles were developed and where, and what artists were doing around the world at different points in time. This collection is great for kids interested in artistic variety: from cave art to pop art, it has it all.

If you’re interested in other cool fine art books for children, check out the suggestions on this list.

Artist Appreciation: Matisse

Kids in grades 3-8 are encouraged to join us at the downtown library Thursday afternoon, June 25, at 2:00pm for a Henri Matisse program! A short presentation will discuss the artist's life and style of work and then attendees will have the chance to create their own art in the style of Matisse.

This is a great way to learn about and create your own fine art!

Summer Reading - It's Elementary

Maggi Idzikowski, School Media Specialist with Bryant Elementary School and Pittsfield Elementary School has published an excellent packet for elementary summer reading

Of course, Ann Arbor District Library and Ann Arbor Public Schools support reading all year 'round.
When school is out for summer, there's lots of time to enjoy.
Get 'em reading and keep on reading.

Pick up your AADL Summer Reading Cards at any Library Location after June 12, 2015.
Find kid-centered Library events at the official AADL JUMP children's website
Join AADL concerts during Summer Festival. The first Kids Rock @ Top will be the TRUMMYTONES.
Continue exciting web activities at the official AADL Summer Games website.

Try it.
You'll ALL like it!

Teens! Come volunteer at the AADL this summer!

Hey teens! Come volunteer at the AADL this summer! It’s a great way to meet people, see some cool behind-the-scenes stuff at the library, and earn volunteer hours! If you're between the ages of 14 and 18, all you need to do is fill out the form at www.aadl.org/teenvolunteer, have a parent or guardian sign the permission slip that you’ll link to via that page, and then come to any of the five orientations taking place throughout the summer. At these orientations, you’ll learn about what volunteering entails and have the chance to sign up for the opportunities you want to help with, including program prep work, stocking summer game orders, and assisting with a variety of programs themselves. If you’d like more information or have questions, email teenvolunteer@aadl.org. Hope to see you this summer!

Psst! It's also a great way to get lots and lots of summer game codes, since every program you help with will have its own code!

Transportation: Past, Present, and Future

If you’ve got a little one who loves planes, buses, trucks, cars, and more, check out some of our new transportation books, featuring images from the past, present, and future!

French illustrator Alain Grée’s wonderful illustrations from the late 1960’s have been bundled into the fabulous book Transportation, which will satisfy any young readers with an interest in cars, buses, planes, trains, and more. Simple illustrations and facts will help children learn about transportation. The plane illustration may make adults jealous of the early travelers pictured reclining in great comfort! Because this book originated in 1968, adults reading it to little ones may want to explain some anomalies, such as why almost everyone in the book is white, that Native Americans don’t actually travel by canoe anymore, and that spaceships look somewhat different than they used to.

If you want to learn about futuristic machines, we’ve got lots of new youth books that will help you out! Check out the books Hovercraft and Drones. For military machines, look at Denny Von Finn’s military planes series, or Ryan Nagelhout’s books Air Force One and Fighter Planes.

Finally, for older readers looking for a history of flight, you can’t do much better than Tim Grove’s colorful and detailed book First Flight Around the World: The Adventures of the American Fliers Who Won the Race. Published with the help of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, this book contains a plethora of pictures, maps, and primary source material. Readers will love this exciting story.

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel

As a beautifully illustrated picture book, Mr. Ferris and His Wheel is the true story of how mechanical engineer George Ferris invented and constructed the amazing spinning wheel, coined the Ferris Wheel after him, to debut at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It’s a great story of perseverance and determination after Ferris was doubted as to whether or not his "contraption" would work or be safe. But during the nineteen weeks the World’s Fair ran in Chicago over 1.5 million people rode the wheel, which revolved more than 10,000 times total, and did not need one single repair.

Library Lists: Best Board Books!

Language learning and picture recognition both begin at a very young age, an age so young, in fact, that often babies can’t yet handle the delicate pages and covers of real books! This, of course, is where board books come in. The AADL has a great collection of board books that we replenish regularly and keep at all of our locations. Here are some favorites, from alphabet books, to shortened versions of classic children’s stories, all available at the library!

Rhymoceros: In this adorable book, a bright blue rhinoceros demonstrates pairs of rhyming words by attempting various feats and experiments.

In Small, Smaller, Smallest, flaps and tabs help demonstrate different sizes of colorful objects and creatures to curious young readers.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: A Colors Primer introduces babies to colors, using the familiar figures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. Also in this adorable series are Frankenstein: An Anatomy Primer, Anna Karenina: A Fashion Primer, and tons of others, all by author Jennifer Adams.

Little fans of trucks, trains, planes and other vehicles will enjoy Steve Light’s board books such as Planes Go, Trains Go, and Diggers Go, where they can see, sound out, and recreate the noises of lots of different moving machines!

Sandra Boynton’s board books are hilarious classics that are not only fun for kids, but are amusing for adults too. Try Blue Hat Green Hat, which features a turkey who can’t quite seem to get dressed properly or The Going to Bed Book to start.

Little Pear Tree is a beautifully illustrated book with flaps to lift and unique words to learn and creatures to discover. Readers will enjoy seeing a pear tree and its surroundings change throughout the seasons.

Yusuke Yonezu’s fun board books about fruits and vegetables are fascinating for the littlest readers: pairings of different foods morph into animals when a page is shifted or a flap is lifted! Try Guess What?-Food and Guess What?-Fruit.

Alphablock is a fantastic first alphabet book for babies. With thick pages cut into the shape of each letter, young hands can really FEEL how a letter might be written or drawn. And of course, there are lots of items and creatures that begin with each letter on the pages so kids can begin to learn what words are associated with them.

If you’re looking for more fun and interesting board books, check out this list!

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