Upcoming Writing Contests at AADL

If you like to write, then get ready for two upcoming writing contests at the Ann Arbor District Library! We will start accepting submissions for both contests on Monday, January 25. Read on if you're interested in entering this year!

TEENS in Grades 6-12: "It's All Write!" Teen Short Story Contest
Writers may submit a short story Monday, January 25 through Friday, March 4. Check out the contest website for more information. Judges will choose the top three stories from each category (grades 6-8, 9-10, and 11-12) to receive cash prizes totaling $1500!

KIDS in Grades 3-5: "Write On!" Short Story Contest
Writers may submit a short story Monday, January 25 through Friday, February 12. Check out the contest website for more information. Judges will choose the top three stories from each grade to win awesome prizes!

We look forward to reading your story! For inspiration and ideas, check out the writing resource guides for teens and kids!

New Year, New Kids' Music at the AADL!

The AADL has an extensive music collection that we’re always adding to. Most recently, we’ve acquired tons of new music for kids! Here are some of our newest CDs:

Sundrops, by The Harmonica Pocket, features upbeat songs about nature and the outdoors. From singing in the sun to playing in puddles and chasing butterflies, this is a fun album to listen to during the winter when sun and butterflies are nowhere to be found! A particularly cool thing about Sundrops is that The Harmonica Pocket play lots of different instruments, so kids will get to hear ukulele, harmonica, glockenspiel, and the sounds of other unique instruments along with the standard guitar, bass and drums.

I know I didn’t think that I needed any assistance in singing Disney tunes when I was younger, but for little ones who love singing Disney songs, Disney Karaoke Favorites is a cool CD to have. It features instrumental tracks of the most popular Disney songs so kids can sing along in their own voices, followed by the vocal version of the track with the movie characters singing the song. On the CD are “Circle of Life,” “Let It Go,” “Part of Your World,” and many other well-known favorites.

Beatles Baby! by popular children’s musician Caspar Babypants is a fun, kid-oriented take on the most popular Beatles songs. Caspar puts his own twist on hits like “Hey Jude,” “With a Little Help From My Friends,” and “Lady Madonna,” making them appropriate and silly. It’s fun for adults who recognize the true version of the songs to hear this CD, too.

Also newly added to our collection: Classics For Bedtime, featuring many lullaby piano sonatas, Smiles Ahead: Cool Music for Cool Families, an album with lots of different children’s artists playing their songs on it, and many new Kidz Bop albums.

PreK Bits - "4" more

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Ms. Rachel and Banjo Betsy celebrated 4 in Preschool Storytime.
Pete The Cat has FOUR GROOVY BUTTONS ... and one more!
There were "Four Plum Buns In The Bakery Shop" ... a rhythm and counting activity.
There are 4 kittens in A KITTEN TALE by Eric Rohmann ... and four seasons.
Ruff the Retriever finds 4 things ... and turns down 4 bribes ... in a retold tale based on DROP IT ROCKET by Tad Hill.

For more stories of Four:
SHH! WE HAVE A PLAN by Chris Haughton ... with four explorers.
BEARS IN BEDS by Shirley Parenteau ... with four baby bears.
A WONDERFUL YEAR by Nick Bruel ... with four seasons.
The BUNNIES ARE NOT IN THEIR BED by Marisabina Russo ... with four bunnies.
MUNSCHWORKS 4: The Fourth Munsch Treasury
WHEN I WAS LITTLE: A Four-Year-Old’s Memoir of Her Youth by Jamie Lee Curtis

For More counting Books try::
ONE IS A DRUMMER: A Book Of Numbers by Roseanne Thong
Richard Scarry’s BEST COUNTING BOOK EVER
COUNTING ON SNOW by Maxwell Newhouse
THREE LITTLE PIGS COUNT TO 100 by Grace Maccarone

PreK Bits - "3"

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Ms Rachel did stories about "3" in Storytime ...
THREE SILLY GIRLS GRUBB missed the bus and walk to school past Bobby who wants their lunch.
We sang and matched actions to the song “My Hat It Has Three Corners” which is recorded on BARNEY'S MUSICAL SCRAPBOOK.
THREE LITTLE PIGS out-wit the Big Bad Wolf.

For more stories of "Three" try the following favorites:
THREE LITTLE KITTENS – E Galdon, Paul
THREE LI TTLE KITTENS – E Pinkney, Jerry
OWL BABIES – E Waddell, Martin
THREE LITTLE PIGS – E Marshall, James
GOLDILOCKS And The THREE BEARS – E Brett, Jan
THREE LITTLE GHOSTIES – E Goodhart, Pippa
AND TANGO MAKES THREE – E Richardson, Justin

You can practice counting with these books:
COUNTING CROWS by Kathy Appelt.
1-2-3 ZOOBORNS by Andrew Bleiman.
EDIBLE NUMBERS by Jennifer Vogel Bass.
DRIVE: A Look At Roadside Opposites by Helen Hatanaka.
RACE CAR COUNT by Rebecca Kai Dotlich.
Or choose your Counting Books from the webcatalog nid=326580|title=3#|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=100|HERE].

The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea

The newest AMAZING title from Brenda Z. Guiberson and Gennady Spirin is The Most Amazing Creature in the Sea! Sharks and dolphins are pretty great, but take a look deep down into the depths of the ocean where most people have never been. That's where you'll find the strange, incredible, and well-adapted creatures of the deep sea! Find out about the Vampire Squid that can turn itself inside-out, the Mimic Octopus that can make itself look like nearly any other animal, and the Barreleye Fish that has a transparent head! Young scientists will gobble this book up like it's krill.

Check out this list of ocean books for kids for more deep sea fun!

New Snowy Picture Books!

Snow will land in Michigan eventually this year. If you’re missing that blanket of white, here are some cute new picture books full of white fluff and good times.

In No Yeti Yet two young kids see miles of snow and decide it’s the perfect day to go searching for a yeti! Will they find one? Do they really smell like wet dog?! You need to find out. The wonderfully illustrated Bear & Hare: Snow! features a bear and a hare who love snow, so off they go! To play in a winter wonderland! And in Toys Meet Snow we have some toys who meet snow! While a little girl is away some of her toys decide to explore the great outdoors and learn about snow.

If you need more snowy picture books to snuggle up with, we have you covered (in snow) with these additional snowy tales.

ANN ARBOR/ YPSILANTI READS 2016 - Lists for KIDS

COMING SOON to a Library near YOU!
Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads begins in January 2016.

This year's community read is:
The BOOK OF UNKNOWN AMERICANS: A Novel by Christina Henriquez.
The story in a nutshell ... The Rivera family is moving from Mexico to America when their daughter suffers a near-fatal accident.
The Riveras confront cultural barriers, during their daughter's difficult recovery, and her developing relationship with a Panamanian boy.
The story brings out family feelings from different Latin American points of view.

Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Librarians created two reading lists especially for youth readers.
Kids Grades K-8 can read and join family discussions of immigrants and immigration issues.

Ann Arbor/ Ypsilanti Reads 2016 - Grades K-5.

Ann Arbor/ Ypsilanti Reads 2016 - Grades 6-8.

PreK Bits - Tea for "2"

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Ms. Rachel held a "T for 2" party in Preschool Storytime.
In TWO OF EVERYTHING ... there was a magic pot that made a copy of everything that went into it.
Banjo Betsy sang and played "Two For Tea", the Jim Gill version on Jim Gill Presents MUSIC PLAY ... while Ms. Rachel and the kids sang and made the motions.
We marched, hopped, rocked, wiggled to "I'm In The Mood For Dancing" recorded by Raffi on RISE And SHINE.
Bear showed his special things in his suitcase and discovered sharing is JUST RIGHT For TWO.

For more easy counting try these titles:
1,2 BUCKLE MY SHOE by Anna Grossnickle Hines ... for beginning counters and rhymers.
THAT’S (not) MINE by Anna Kang ... about finding and sharing.
BUNNY MONEY by Rosemary Wells ...about two siblings saving and spending.
TWO LITTLE MONKEYS by Mem Fox.
TWO STICKS by Orel Protopopescu.
SUN And MOON by Lindsey Yankey .. can you have both at once?

George

One of my favorite books published this year is George by Alex Gino. In their debut novel, Gino expertly crafts the story of George, a transgender girl coming to terms with her identity.

In this moving and heartwarming novel, we follow George as she attempts to land the lead role of Charlotte in her school play of Charlotte's Web. There's only one problem: the lead role is a "girl's role". George is not a boy who "wants to be a girl", but a girl in a world where no one can see her. George feels that if she were to play the role of Charlotte, the world would see her as she truly is and not as she appears outwardly. The book brilliantly weaves together George's intensely private and public struggles, and the reactions of her family, friends, classmates and the world at large.

Intended for a middle grade audience (fourth to sixth grade), this simple but important story never comes across as a lesson. Instead, George speaks to the difficulties that transgender members of our community face on a regular basis. Gino approaches the subject with a clear and positive outlook on a sometimes tricky topic, and ultimately delivers a profound story of an individual trying to find their place in the world.

Interested in similar stories? Give Gracefully Grayson a try. This book tells the story of Grayson Sender, a sixth-grader coming into her own as a transgender girl. This novel is intended for a slightly older crowd (for sixth grade and older), but is another wonderful story about discovering your identity and staying true to oneself.

Also check out our Gender Variant Books for Children and Teens public list for more picture book, middle grade and teen book recommendations.

Beyond the Birds and Bees

Do you know kids who are ready to learn about the facts of life, from preschoolers who want to know where their new baby sibling came from, to adolescents dealing with puberty and sex? We have two perfect books for you, both written by sex educator Cory Silverberg and beautifully illustrated by Fiona Smyth! With bright, cheerful illustrations, straightforward text, and true diversity, these books blow other sex and puberty books away.

What Makes a Baby is for younger children who are just learning about where babies come from. The book explains that sperm and an egg are needed to make a baby. What Makes a Baby uses precise language but leaves it up to the reader to explain where their little one came from. This leaves the book open for use by any kind of family- a refreshing change for families that are usually relegated to a footnote. The illustrations boast a wealth of different kinds of families and the book emphasizes the joy that a new baby brings.

When your kids start to wonder about puberty and sex, check out Sex is a Funny Word, which is as bright and cheerful as What Makes a Baby, but longer and more advanced. This book describes sex in completely inclusive language that relates to all orientations, genders, and gender identities. It also pulls in concepts like respect, trust, joy, and justice to explain how sex fits into a bigger picture of the world. Sex is a Funny Word explores puberty, body parts, safe and unsafe touch, crushes, and so much more! The text is completely nonjudgmental and incredibly diverse.

Simply put, these books are spectacular! Go check them out!

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