Fun Youth Novel: True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt

For raccoon lovers -- think Raccoon Tune by Nancy Shaw and Rascal by Sterling North -- this book is a rare find indeed. The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, by Kathi Appelt, stars raccoon brothers Bingo and J'miah, the latest recruits to the Official Sugar Man Swamp Scouts. The chance to serve the Sugar Man -- who rules the swamp and loves sugarcane -- is an honor and a huge responsibility. The story unfolds as wild feral hogs and developers threaten the swamp, yet Sugar Man can't seem to wake up. The raccoon brothers are particularly memorable, as are a host of other characters including 12-year-old Chap Brayburn and Gertrude the rattlesnake. This highly imaginative, fast-paced book was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Kathi Appelt has won many other awards and may be best known for her book The Underneath.

Art Table: Pop Art!

The next time you’re at the Downtown Library, pop into the Youth Department and check out the new art project at the art table. This month you’ll have the chance to create some POP ART!

Pop art is the art of every day things. This art form works off things in pop culture and mass media. We’ve got crayons, paper and samples to get you started in your own artistic endeavors. And for some books as inspiration, check out these youth titles about pop art.

Kid SPOTlight - NEW Fiction March 2014

SPOTTED in NEW books today... of likely interest to 3rd - 4th Grade kids.

MESMER MENACE ... a dachsund, an evil menace, and automotons, oh my!
If you like gadgets and gears and adventure, try this public list for more titles Elementary Kids - Robot Stories
The BOWLING LANE WITHOUT ANY STRIKES ... a new title in the "Field Trip Mysteries" series.
If you like Mystery series, try this public list for more titles Elementary Kids - Mystery
CATS Of TANGLEWOOD FOREST ... cats and forest creatures meet Lillian Kindred in the Tanglewood Forest. Is there magic?
If you like this type of book, explore the titles on this public list Elementary Kids - Fantasy
The SITTIN' UP ... Bean gets a lesson in how family and friends in a poor rural community deal with death.
If you are looking for more youth titles that address this important issue, explore the titles in this public list Elementary Kids - Dealing With Grief
CHARLIE BUMPERS vs. The TEACHER Of The YEAR finds it's a chore to be neat and well-behaved all the time.... or ...
FISH FINELLI: Seagulls Don't Eat Pickles ... Fish Finelli and friends set out for buried treasure ... and the Librarian gets in the mix.
If you like books about other kids, try this public list for more titles Elementary Kids - Friends and Family.

... so much Reading ... so many kids!

Amazon Teen Bestsellers: Rush Revere and the First Patriots

Apparently radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh is trying to make American history come to life for young people, in a series of books about "time-travel adventures with exceptional Americans." The first book in the series is Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, in which Limbaugh created the character of a middle-school teacher named Rush Revere. In the second book, "Rush Revere and First Patriots," the character is transported back to the time leading up to the American Revolution. The second book currently is #9 on Amazon's list of Best Sellers in Teen and Young Adult Books.

Secret Pizza Party

Remember how funny and adorable and hilarious Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri is? Well, they’ve got another picture book out, made just for you fans of silly!

Secret Pizza Party features a raccoon that LOVES pizza. “Pizza smell” gives him the “happy screams.” But the poor raccoon in this book is always being chased off by someone with a broom. All he wants in life is some pizza! Eventually a plan is hatched for a secret pizza party. One that involves avoiding the broom factory and the raccoon-sniffing broom-bots. Will this raccoon ever get some pizza?! Read the book and find out.

You might also want to read Dragons Love Tacos, if you haven’t already. And for more funny picture books check out this nice list we've created!

Game Start Festival: Saturday, March 1st at Menlo Innovations

Curious about making games? Know any kids or teens who aspire to be future game-makers?

Local organization GameStart is throwing a party at Menlo Innovations (505 East Liberty LL500, Ann Arbor, MI 48104) on Saturday, March 1st, 10am-2pm and everyone is invited! GameStart is an organization that offers classes using games to inspire interest in art, math, science, and programming.

For their event on March 1st, they'll have games to play and give a preview of their upcoming classes for this year, including: Game Mechanics and Design, Minecraft Programming, Computer Animation, and Video Editing. Although there is a fee for many of their classes, this event is free and open to all (and particularly recommended for students in grades 3-8).

AADL will be there with a table of fun stuff, along with other guests from the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Maker Works, Backyard Brains, AHA! and the Youth Arts Alliance. Stop in to check things out and celebrate the power of interactive learning!

Later that day, 3-5pm, the GameStart staff will also be offering a no-fee class on Storytelling with Computer Animation at the downtown AADL!

Parent’s Corner: Behavior Management

With parenthood comes a child that is a unique individual with their own way of behaving and viewing the world. One may ask: Is my child supposed to be behaving this way? They are out of control, what can I do? Why won’t my willful child listen to me? Why do they behave fine at home but act out in public? Maybe there are no correct answers to these questions, but boy do they get asked.

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 behavior and everything from language to potty training to safety to bullying. These books are available for checkout and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf.”

The Parent Shelf has an assortment of books on the topic of child behavior. Here are a few to think about:

* Calm mama, happy baby: the simple, intuitive way to tame tears, improve sleep, and help your family thrive

* You can't make me (but I can be persuaded) : strategies for bringing out the best in your strong-willed child

* No more meltdowns : positive strategies for managing and preventing out-of-control behavior

The Bear’s Song

The Bear’s Song is a charming picture book written and illustrated by Benjamin Chaud. The beautiful, large and detailed illustrations help tell the story of a bear and his cub. Little Bear darts off after a bee, because honey is where the bees are! Papa Bear is left to run after Little Bear. He searches for him in the forest, in the big, busy city, and eventually an opera house—where things get a little silly for Papa Bear.

It is a darling story that is great for lap reading. Kids will enjoy searching for Little Bear and the bee on each of the pages as the story unfolds.

Highly acclaimed, the book has been on many top lists, including New York Times Notable Children's Books of 2013 and Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books of 2013, which both feature some amazing children’s books!

Kid Bits - African American History

February is African American History month. It reminds us to explore stories from African-American experiences.
You can find many real stories on the Picture Book History - African-American Stories Public List.

Stories continue to emerge.
Celebrate the history by reading something NEW:
SEARCHING For SARAH RECTOR: The Richest Black Girl In America a true story of 11 year old Sarah Rector in 1914.
AS FAST AS WORDS COULD FLY historical fiction episode of a 13 year old boy in 1960 during the Civil Rights movement.
The COLORED CAR a historical fiction episode of a 12 year old girl in 1937 Detroit during the great depression.
DISCOVERING BLACK AMERICA: From The Age Of Exploration To The Twenty-First Century ... new historical overview ranging from the Colonial period, slavery, Civil War and the Civil Rights era.
HAND IN HAND: Ten Black Men Who Changed America
HEART And SOUL: The Story Of America And African-Americans
ONWARD: A Photobiography Of African-American Explorer Matthew Henson

Best New Music At AADL

AADL is constantly adding to its diverse selection of new CDs. If you're seeking some great new tunes, consider the following must-hear material.

"You Were Right," Brendan Benson: You may already know Royal Oak native Brendan Benson from his work alongside Jack White in the Raconteurs. But Benson has been churning out terrific, twangy power-pop of his own since 1996, and his sixth solo full-length is another fine addition to his catalog. The record includes jammy earworms like "It's Your Choice" and "Long Term Goal," but Benson also proves his maturity as a songwriter. The bittersweet ballad "Oh My Love," describing a loving relationship that just doesn't have a future, is an affecting standout.

"Are We There Yet?," The Verve Pipe: Brendan Benson isn't the only Michigan star with a new record in the AADL catalog. East Lansing alt-rockers the Verve Pipe have returned with their second foray into the world of children's music. You may know them for radio hits like "The Freshmen," but their kids' tunes are just as listenable (if not more so). Parents are quite likely to find just as much entertainment and humor in tunes like "When Grandma Says No" and "My Principal Rocks" as the kids do. And catchy pop melodies recalling the hooky bombast of Weezer make this one of those rare children's albums that parents won't mind playing for the millionth time.

"Wig Out At Jagbags," Stephen Malkmus: Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus has had a robust solo career since Pavement parted ways in 1999, and his latest release is among his best. Clocking in at around 40 minutes, it's one of Malkmus' more focused sets of songs; there's more hooks, clearer songwriting, and less psychedelia here than anything he's done in a while. And while Malkmus may now be a dad pushing 50, he's got a great sense of humor about his aging hipsterdom; check out the tuneful and hilarious "Rumble At the Rainbo," where he cracks wise about "slam dancing with some ancient dudes."

Find more great new CDs here.

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