American Girl goes way back to the 70's!

In the midst of a caucus cacophony, even young people may be in the mood for an election story. Meet Julie, one of the newest American Girls (who makes me feel old). In 1974 she runs for president of the student body when something unfair happens to her at school. Just like today's presidential candidates, Julie needs diligence and creative campaigning to pull off a win.

Chesstastic, Sunday, December 30

Come and play one of the world’s most popular sports with players of all ages. Sets provided but feel free to bring your own. Join us 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Pittsfield Branch.

A Harvard Education in Your Future?

HarvardHarvard

Sending your kid to Harvard may be more realistic than you think. The school has expanded aid to middle and low-income families. This comprehensive guide can also point you in the right direction if you’re trying to wend your way through the minefield of college applications and financial aid. Of course, the kid has to stay on top of things in school. If that isn’t working refer to I Wanna be Sedated, a collection of essays written by parents of teens. Seriously—this book will help you realize people do get through this.

Do you know Zooglobble?

ZooglobbleZooglobble

Zooglobble is the blog brainchild of Stefan Shepherd, children's music enthusiast--"Kids and family music news and reviews - Kids music worth sharing." It contains reviews of new releases in the children's music industry, help selecting age-appropriate music for your child, information about trends in children's music, and blog entries about specific musicians.

Mr. Shepherd can be heard occasionally on NPR's All Things Considered, and he is a regular contributor to Wired magazine.

If you are looking for your next family foot-tappin', hand-clappin' selection, check out Zooglobble!

Listening Bits - Tall Tales

Road Trip! Need good stuff for the family? Books on CD produced by Rabbit Ears Productions are great for family listens! Try World Tales volume 5 with Catherine O'Hara and Whoopi Goldberg's voices; American Tall Tales volume 4 with Keith Carradine doing the voice of Pecos Bill; or my personal favorite ... Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories with Jack Nicholson and Danny Glover's voices. Buckle Up and listen !

Listening Bits - Mystery !

Road Trip!! Do your kids need more challenge than Magic Tree House and A to Z mysteries now? Try Chasing Vermeer and then hope Wright 3 will be recorded soon. The author, Blue Balliett, has taught at the University Of Chicago Lab School. The story details are accurate, both historically and geographically. You might explore the game Pentominoes after you've enjoyed the books. Buckle Up and Ponder!

Listening Bits - Funny Stuff

Road Trip! Need funny stuff for the family to hear? Here are some recommends that are published books, as well as recorded on CD. Bill Harley creates songs in his stories and Blah, Blah, Blah includes 4 funny stories of clams, pirates, swamp monsters (not too scary) and more. Fun "chapter book" listens are Betty MacDonald's Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series; and Kate DiCamillo's series with the pig named Mercy Watson. Hee, Hee, hee .... Buckle Up and Chuckle !

Kid Bits - more TOOTH stories

Who stole my tooth?! "I'm gonna send them Airmail To The Moon." This is what Ora Mae Cotton is going to do to the person who stole her tooth. She was saving it for the tooth fairy of course!
Dear Tooth Fairy: A Harry & Emily Adventure is Emily's letter to the tooth fairy in anticipation of a tooth falling out. Throw Your Tooth On The Roof tells tooth tales/traditions from around the world. AND then there's Mabel The Tooth Fairy And How She Got Her Job... another view all together...

Unique Gift of Story with a Local Flavor

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I think the best part about the CD Time Warp Tales is that it will spark memories and get the family telling stories together. These growing up tales from members of the Ann Arbor Storyteller's Guild are clever, warm and funny. How can you go wrong with stories entitled The Worm with a Face Like a Cat, Grandpa's Claim to Fame or The Search for Laughing Sal? I was especially moved by the last tale written by Sunnie Tait, beloved Ann Arbor school librarian and teller, who lives on through her stories. You will find the CD for sale at Nicola's Books, Sixteen Hands or Peaceable Kingdom.

Great NEW Teen Books for Girls...

Girls looking for something new to read over the school break (finally!) will be excited by some of the new titles that have just arrived! First there’s Poison Apples by Lily Archer a hilarious tale of revenge about three girls who meet at boarding school – only to discover that each was sent there by their wicked stepmother… Then there’s Indie Girl by Kavita Daswani the story of 15 year old Indie who desperately wants to make it in the world of fashion – even if it means babysitting a famous magazine publisher’s child for the rest of her life. Lastly try My Lost and Found Life by Melodie Bowsher - the story of Ashley whose life goes from perfect to perfectly awful in a matter of hours when her mother is accused of embezzling a million dollars and disappears. Completely on her own Ashley ends up homeless living in a camper behind a gas station. When she gets a job at San Francisco coffee shop her life changes – this time for the better.

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