KinderConcert this Friday!

Back by popular demand, this Friday, May 10 at 9:30 and 10:30 am at the Downtown Library, KinderConcert will entertain and educate the littlest music appreciators. We’ll sway to the piano music of Kathryn Goodson, KinderConcertKinderConcertwe’ll dance with Gari Stein and we’ll bounce to the horn played by Kurt Civilette.

The picture book Woolbur has won the 2013 Michigan Reads! Award

The 2013 Michigan Reads! title has been announced! The award goes to the picture book Woolbur, written by Leslie Helakoski and illustrated by Lee Harper.

Woolbur is a unique story about a young sheep who is not afraid to be himself! Some of his antics include running with the dogs and dying his wool blue! His mom and dad are worried about him at first, but his grandparents tell them not to worry. In the end, the other sheep start to see the beauty in Woolbur’s creative ways and realize it is not so bad to live outside the box of a “normal” sheep life.

Helakoski, originally from Louisiana, is a graduate of Northern Michigan University and currently resides in southwest Michigan near Kalamazoo. Her picture book Big Chickens also won the Michigan Reads! Award for 2007.

The Michigan Reads! One State, One Children's Book program “focuses on the importance of reading and sharing books with children, especially toddlers through early elementary, and the vital role libraries play in providing access to the quality books, programs and services that lay the foundation for reading and school success.”

E.L. Konigsburg, two-time Newbery Medal winning author and illustrator, has died.

E.L. Konigsburg, author and illustrator of 21 books for children, teens, and adults, has died.

Elaine Konigsburg, born Elaine Lobl in New York City, grew up in small Pennsylvania towns as the middle of three daughters. Though her family would rather she cook or clean, she was a voracious reader. She taught science at a girls' school after graduating college with a chemistry degree and marrying David Konigsburg.

After her third child began attending school, Konigsburg began to write, publishing Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and me, Elizabeth, which received a Newbery Honor, and Newbery Medal winner From the mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler in 1967.

Of her characters, Konigsburg said, "the kids I write about are asking for the same things I wanted. They want two contradictory things. They want to be the same as everyone else, and they want to be different from everyone else.They want acceptance for both."

Konigsburg won another Newbery Medal in 1997 for The view from Saturday, making her one of five authors to win the prestigious award twice.

Her historical novel A proud taste for scarlet and miniver and short story collection Throwing shadows were both National Book Award finalists.

I encourage you to take a look at E.L. Konigsburg's books in the AADL catalog. You may find yourself revisiting an old favorite or trying something new!

Parent's Corner: Shiny Happy Kids

The Downtown library has a shelf in the Youth Department known as the Parent Shelf. On this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from language to tantrums to potty training to homework. These books are available for checkout, and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf,” if you’d like to have one sent to a branch of your choice.

One topic that might be interesting to read about is how to help raise shiny, happy kids. Check out such titles as The bear essentials: Everything today's hard-pressed parent needs to know about bringing up happy, healthy kids, How to parent so children will learn: Strategies for raising happy, achieving children, and The mindful child : how to help your kid manage stress and become happier, kinder, and more compassionate.

For additional titles, see here for a longer list.

Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters

I love picture books that are both bizarre and beautiful, and Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters, written and illustrated by K.G. Campbell, fits the bill. The book has a wonderful sense of language and moody illustrations that float the story along.

When Cousin Clara’s house is consumed by a crocodile, she comes to stay with young Lester’s family, and she brings with her a basket of knitting supplies. After a while she gifts Lester a handmade sweater, which may sound delightful, but the sweater is simply horrendous and Lester is less than thrilled. It turns out that Lester has “curiously bad luck with sweaters,” and each time one gets destroyed, Cousin Clara is there with yet another dreadful sweater, as she is a "curiously speedy knitter.” How will Lester escape a life destined for a million ugly, lopsided, polka dotted, fuzzy, horrible sweaters?!

El Dia Celebration!

Every year we partner with the awesome Ypsilanti District Library to bring you El Dia de los Ninos, a national celebration of children and books for all ages. This year we will have Raices Mexicanas from Detroit, we will make baleros, flags, puppets and have a scavenger hunt! All the fun takes place at the Whittaker Road Library on Sunday, April 28th from 1:30-4:30 pm.

Shadow Puppet Show With Patrick Elkins

Sunday, April 21 | 2-2:45pm | Downtown Multi-Purpose Room | K-5th Grades with an adult

It's National Library Week! Let's celebrate with a live performance!

Join us for a shadow puppet show with master puppeteer Patrick Elkins. Perhaps you saw him wandering and performing downtown a few weeks ago during FoolMoon?! The Ypsilanti-based Elkins will be performing a wonderful shadow puppet show geared towards kids in grades K-5. Adults welcome! See you there!

Happy Birthday, "Little Prince"!

On April 6, The Little Prince celebrates 70 years in print. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry first published The Little Prince in 1943, only a year before his Lockheed P-38 vanished over the Mediterranean. Born in Lyons, France, Saint-Exupéry wrote The Little Prince while living in the U.S. during a two-year, self-imposed exile from the Nazi occupation of his home country. A year after the book’s publication, the author disappeared over the Mediterranean while flying a reconnaissance mission for his French air squadron.

This enduring fable of love and loneliness has lost none of its power. The narrator is a downed pilot in the Sahara Desert, frantically trying to repair his wrecked plane. His efforts are interrupted one day by the apparition of a young boy (the little prince), who asks him to draw a sheep. "In the face of an overpowering mystery, you don't dare disobey," the narrator recalls. "Absurd as it seemed, a thousand miles from all inhabited regions and in danger of death, I took a scrap of paper and a pen out of my pocket." And so begins their dialogue, which stretches the narrator's imagination in all sorts of surprising, childlike directions.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s fable about the wise, humble boy from Asteroid B-612 who befriends the stranded pilot has touched the lives of multiple generations of readers worldwide, with more than 150 million copies in print, in 260 languages and dialects. There are graphic novel versions of the story, and a DVD opera version. There is even a Little Prince Facebook page,which has acquired more than 1.1 million fans since its July 2011 debut, a testament to The Little Prince’s enduring popularity.

The Wanna Bees!

When we first heard the Wanna Bees at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival’s Top of the Park last year, we thought that we should surely have them back for more fun! On April 14th at 4 pm at the Downtown Library we will kick off National Library Week with rock and roll for kids!

Wanna BeesWanna Bees

Only 8 months to wait for Wimpy Kid #8!

Eight’s the magic number (as in Magic 8-Balls) as Abrams Books for Young Readers announced the publication of the eighth title in Jeff Kinney’s bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair on Monday. The book will be published by Abrams’s Amulet Books imprint in the U.S. in November, with near-simultaneous publication taking place in seven additional countries: the U.K., Australia, Germany, Greece, Japan, Korea, and Norway.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think that Greg Heffley’s stories would be enjoyed by this many kids around the world,” said Kinney in a statement. While the title and exact release date of the new book have yet to be revealed, Abrams did release some teaser art (seen here), which suggests that—as usual—luck may not be on Greg’s side in the new book.

More than 85 million Diary of a Wimpy Kid books are in print in more than 44 territories; the three Wimpy Kid movies, based on the first three books in Kinney’s series, have grossed more than $250 million worldwide.

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