PreK Bits - "K" is for kangaroos and Katy

Ms. Rachel brought baby kangaroos to Storytime.
POUCH! has two baby kangaroos who are uncertain whether ‘tis better to be inside or outside mama's pouch.
Mr. Beau DeLoach played guitar while Ms. Rachel led the music & motion to "Walk, walk, walk ... until we stop!".
You can do this song with Raffi from the CD RISE And SHINE
KATY NO-POCKET was born without a pouch. Her baby Freddy keeps getting left behind. Katy sets out to solve the problem.

For more famous kangaroo stories try these favorites:
Boing ... boing ... boing ... boing.

Focus on Folktales: Jessica Souhami

London born author Jessica Souhami studied at the Central School of Art and Design. In 1980 she formed Mme Souhamiand Co, a travelling puppet company using colorful shadow puppets with a musical accompaniment and storyteller. By the early 1990s she stopped touring, but still wanted to tell stories, yet through books. Her first was The Leopard’s Drum.

She has adapted and illustrated numerous folktales for children, and her books are absolutely delightful! You might recognize some of the stories from attending preschool storytimes at the library.

Here are more of Souhami’s books that AADL owns that are worth taking a look at – the illustrations are wonderful, and with her cut-out illustration style with characters leaping across pages, you can absolutely visualize her work done in shadow puppet form.

Mrs. McCool and the Giant Cuhullin


The Little, Little House


No dinner!: The Story of the Old Woman and the Pumpkin

Rama and the Demon King: An Ancient Tale from India

Her newest, Honk Honk! Hold Tight!, is coming out soon!

Animals in Disguise!

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a picture book where animals dress up in disguise! On that note, I have three books to recommend.

First up, take a look at the new David J. Plant book Hungry Roscoe. Poor Roscoe the raccoon only wants a tasty treat that isn’t rotten food out of the garbage. He hears about the wonderful food and the zoo and decides to try to sneak in, wearing a variety of homemade animal costumes. His less than convincing disguises get him nowhere and all seems lost until the tricky zoo monkeys hatch a plan. Hilarious, and with great drawings, this book is a winner!

Author Adam Rubin may be best known for the popular title Dragons Love Tacos, but my favorite of his titles is Secret Pizza Party, which features another sneaky raccoon. The raccoon in this book only wants to eat his favorite food, pizza, but he is not very good at getting it without encountering perilous circumstances. Raccoon comes up with a clever plan to crash a pizza party disguised as a regular pizza loving human, but things go awry when he goes a little too pizza crazy.

Finally, the beautifully illustrated Animal Masquerade is a simple story in which each animal dresses up like the preceding it. This book is great for younger readers, who will get a kick out of identifying both the original animal and what costume it’s wearing. Despite the repetition, adults shouldn’t dread reading this to their kids- there are plenty of sly jokes to amuse everyone.


I purchased the adorable picture book Sparky!, by Jenny Offill, for a friend last Christmas and I am so glad that the library now has it in our collection, too! Winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award for best picture book text, this book is a true gem for readers of all ages, especially those who consider themselves animal lovers. A young girl wants a pet, but her mom keeps saying ‘no’ to every pet she suggests. Finally, her mother says that she can have any pet she wants… “as long as it doesn't need to be walked or bathed or fed." Of course, like the girl’s mom, most of us believe that description leaves few viable pet options. But, with the help of her school librarian, the girl finds a pet that fits the bill… a sluggish, yet strangely lovable sloth. Readers will grow to adore Sparky along with his owner as this too-cute book progresses.

Offill is the author of 17 Things I’m Not Allowed To Do Anymore, 11 Experiments That Failed and While You Were Napping, all for children, and the deeply moving Dept. of Speculation, for adults.

Americanine: A Haute Dog in New York

Enchanted Lion Books never ceases to enchant with its delighful picture books. Americanine is hilarious!

In Americanine a dog comes back from New York City with all sorts of stories to tell his doggy friends. They tell him he’s changed. He says “Yup, I’ve become total Americanine." Throughout the book the red, white and blue clad pup gives the scoop about how chic and hilarious New York is. He visits many familiar sites including the Statue of Liberty, Coney Island, Grand Central Station, Broadway, Central Park, The Guggenheim, and bridges, the subway, and even restaurants that give out doggy bags! It is one wild adventure for this dog and his friends are just pawing at him for more stories. With funny doggy banter and colorful illustrations, this one‘s a winner.

For more New York City themed picture books, check these out.

PreK Bits - "J" is for Jungle stories

“We Were In Deepest Africa” and Ms. Rachel rumbled with jungle stories in Storytime.

HEAD, BODY, LEGS: A Story From Liberia by the story team Won-Ldy Paye & Margaret Lippert is a story of how the final body design came to be.
We did a rousing rendition of "Head Shoulders Knees and Toes" ... a version can be heard on the CD SINGIN' and GROOVIN'.
Ms. Sara sang "The Rainbow Song" while Ms. Rachel led the motions.
LEOPARD’S DRUM: An Asanti Tale From West Africa is a story of jealousy, sharing and problem-solving ... in the jungle.

Keep on rumbling in the jungle with more of Ms. Rachel’s favorite tales (and music) from Africa:
The HATSELLER And The MONKEYS with wonderful illustrations by Baba Wague Diakite.
ANANSI And The TALKING MELON and more by Janet Stevens.
WHY MOSQUITOES BUZZ IN PEOPLE’S EARS in book format. Here is the same story on DVD narrated by James Earl Jones.
MUFARO’S BEAUTIFUL DAUGHTERS in book format. Here is the same story on DVD by Reading Rainbow.
Putumayo recordings like the CD KID’S WORLD PARTY add wonderful African soundtracks to listen and dance.
The CD GIFT Of The TORTOISE offers more wonderful African music by Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

New Books on World War I and World War II

Want to learn more about World War I or World War II? Take a look at a few of our new books!

Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics and Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue tell the true stories of remarkable women in war times. With profiles of many different women, these books will keep the attention of readers as they learn about spying techniques, wartime resistance, and even primitive surgery methods!

The Great War: Stories Inspired by Items from the First World War is a unique take on World War I. Featuring the work of multiple authors, the short stories in this book each stem from an object recovered from World War I, be it a helmet, a toy solider, or a compass. This is a great book for children and adults to enjoy together.

From the new series History's Greatest Rivals comes the book Adolf Hitler vs. Winston Churchill: Foes of World War II. Featuring great graphics and short intriguing text, this is a winner for kids who want a shorter book on World War II.

For even more youth books on World War I, check out these recommendations! For books on World War II, look here!

PreK Bits - "I" is for ice cream

Ms. Rachel brought ice cream and cake stories to Storytime .... because she likes ice cream and cake so much !!
“15 Flavors” is a story by Rob Reid. AADL staff created the felt pieces.
“Five Plum Buns” is a nursery rhyme.
WEMBERLY’S ICE CREAM STAR is a board book story by Kevin Henkes.

If you want more stories on this theme try the following favorites:
SHOULD I SHARE MY ICE CREAM? ... another ice cream dilemma.
ICE CREAM CONES FOR SALE and who invented the cone.
BECAUSE YOUR DADDY LOVES YOU. Yup! There's ice cream in this one too.
MAX’S DRAGON SHIRT a story of where ice cream sometimes ends up.
BACKWARDS BIRTHDAY PARTY which definitely has ice cream in it!
ICE CREAM a story of how ice cream is made.
The SUNDAE SCOOP, a book of ice cream math.
And Laurie Berkner sings "Ice Cream Cone" on her BUZZ BUZZ recording. She also sings, "I'm A Mess" for whenever it may be appropriate.
This should be enough inspiration for singing all the way to the ice cream shop... and back again.

New Poetic Picture Books!

Look at these new books
All with poetry inside
Check them out for fun!

AADL recently added several fantastic poetry books to its youth collection! Check out these delightful titles:

Sweep Up the Sun by Helen Frost and Rick Lieder presents poetic text accompanied by exquisite photographs of North American birds. Count the feathers of a cardinal in flight and trace the white specks of a European starling. The back of the book shares even more information about each bird, including what they eat and where they live. Try pairing this one with AADL's Audubon BirdCam or Birdsong Scanning Wand!

Orangutanka, written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Renée Kurilla, follows the Japanese tanka poetry style. A family of orangutans happily interacts with its jungle surroundings and humans. Vibrant colors and flowing illustrations give the story movement and energy. The back of the book also offers facts about orangutans and resources for further exploration.

When the Wind Blows written by Stacy Clark and illustrated by Brad Sneed integrates science, nature, and art! Every page introduces high vocabulary that is also incorporated into the textured illustrations. This book is great for readers who frequently entertain the question of "Why?" and is sure to generate curiosity about magnetism, physics, and power sources!

Looking for even more poetry for young readers? Check out this list of Poetic Picture Books!

The AADL Staff Awesome LEGO Exhibit

Now through August 30, 2015 -- Downtown Library: Lower Level Display Cases

Summer 2015 is all about LEGO at AADL!

Thursday, August 6 is our 10th Annual LEGO Contest, hosted at Kensington Court in Ann Arbor for kids, teens and adults! Every year a few children of Library Staff enter the LEGO contest and sadly, no matter how awesome their project is, they can't WIN. To rectify this and to show off the awesome creativity and LEGO enthusiasm of AADL staff, we're filling the Downtown Library display cases with lots of LEGO awesome projects!

AADL staff, family, and friends of staff worked hard to show off their work with unique LEGO structures, built with pieces from favorite sets and everything in between!

This special LEGO display is also part of AADL’s Summer Game 2015! Game codes and other clues will be hidden in the display and LOTS of points will be earned! Go to for more information about the Summer Game and to learn about earning LEGO badges!

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