"Oldies but Goodies!"

There are so many fun kids’ books out there from recent years that sometimes we forget about the great older books that are still fantastic reads today! If you or your children are looking for something new to read, why not try something “old?”

Newbery Medal winner The Westing Game, first published in 1978, is a wonderfully mind-twisting tale of a group of people—all potential heirs to the inheritance of an eccentric millionaire—who must race one another to solve the mystery of his death before one of them can claim the money. The fun quirks of the different characters keep the book interesting and funny, and make this a great story for older elementary readers.

A Long Way From Chicago, published in 1998, and its companion, A Year Down Yonder (2000), both by Richard Peck, are fantastic read-aloud stories and audio books. The Newbery Medal-winning A Long Way From Chicago is really a series of short stories, told from the perspective of a young boy who visits his wild grandmother with his sister during the Great Depression. Their visits produce all sorts of experiences and memories and make for a wonderful, heart-warming story that has stuck with me since I first had the book read to me in, well, 1998.

The Phantom Tollbooth (1961) opens with a terribly bored boy who can never find anything to do that amuses him. Arriving home from school one day to find a mysterious gift in his bedroom, he is ultimately transported to a magical land where he has grand adventures and even goes on a quest to save two princesses trapped in a castle in the air! Reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, this is an endlessly entertaining story with lots of great puns and wordplay.

Other lovely “older” reads are: All-of-a-Kind Family (1951), From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1967), Our Only May Amelia (1999), Harriet the Spy (1964), The Borrowers (1953), and Bud Not Buddy (1999).

Kid Bits - I CAN PLAY IT SAFE

Ann Arbor Rec & Ed is running SAFETY TOWN CAMP 2014 for all children entering Kindergarten in the Fall.

Here is a LIBRARY LIST of titles to teach safety with elementary school children.
The following topics are especially included:
BICYCLE SAFETY
Stranger Safety SAY NO And GO: Stranger Safety
Animal Safety MAY I PET YOUR DOG?
Getting Lost I LOST MY DAD
Fire Safety IF THERE IS A FIRE
Personal Boundaries BECAUSE IT'S MY BODY

Roar said Dragon!

This week in Ms. Amanda’s preschool storytimes we read books about dragons! Dragons who breathe fire and eat castles in The Paper Bag Princess, dragons who are looking for a friend in A Friend For Dragon, and dragons who count and make way too much noise in One Drowsy Dragon. Which shows you that not all dragons are as fierce as Smaug.

For more picture books featuring dragons check out this nice list. And to see what else we've been reading at storytimes this summer check out this list of books.

Mo’s Mustache

The world needs mo mustaches and Mo’s Mustache by Ben Clanton is a charming and funny new picture book that brings us MANY stylish and silly ‘staches. The awesome Mo is a trendsetter and his ‘stache styles are copied by many and Mo worries that he won’t stand out anymore. Can you be unique and still have the same mustache as those around you?!

Does YOUR ‘stache stand out?! For Mo and other mustache picture books here’s a handy dandy list for you.

Parent’s Corner: Just Playin'

School’s out for summer! Okay, now how to keep the kids occupied all summer?! There are many books on play and engaging children, and several are located on the Parent Shelf. The Parent Shelf is located in the downtown youth area, and on this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including 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.” Here are a few on children and playtime.

* The unplugged play book: No batteries, no plugs, pure fun
* Fifty dangerous things (you should let your children do)
* The art of roughhousing: Good old-fashioned horseplay and why every kid needs it
* The preschooler's busy book

For more, check these items out.

Michigan Activity Pass - Fun for the Family!

Spending time with my grandkids is something I enjoy regardless of the activity or season. I try to make it a point to expose them to as many cultural activities that I can over summer vacation. Whether it is visiting a museum, attending live music performances, or seeing a historical site, summer seems like the perfect opportunity to broaden their learning experiences in a fun, organic way.

This is why the Michigan Activity Pass (MAP) is one of my favorite services offered by AADL. MAP allows cardholders complimentary/reduced admission, or entitles them to other exclusive offers for over 70 participating cultural facilities all across Michigan. The AADL has five passes per week for every participating organization. Library cardholders can print a pass from the AADL website either from home or the library. From the website, click on the "Services" tab, and then click on "Michigan Activity Pass" on the list of "Unusual Stuff to Borrow".

I always to suggest to patrons who are going on vacation to see if there are any venues listed in MAP either on their route, or near their destination to add to their itinerary. MAP is great tool to get more acquainted with our great state! You can search for the participating attractions here.

 

Lights, Camera, Action: Talk Up Your Favorite Library Item

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Do you have a favorite picture book, novel, BOCD, movie, magazine, graphic novel, or science tool you want to share with others? Tell us what you think! Talk up your favorite library items on screen Saturday, June 28th anytime between 11am-4pm on the 4th floor of the Downtown Library. Don’t miss the chance to have your video posted on jump.aadl.org!

Kids, parents, teenagers, grandparents, and friends are all encouraged to stop by during any point of the program. Please either bring the item, provide the title/name, or bring the link to your favorite library item from the catalog at aadl.org.

In the meantime, watch one of our own staff members talk up their favorite picture book, I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. This could be you!

Rights Held By: 
Ann Arbor District Library

The LEGO Movie on DVD & Blu-ray

Everything is awesome! The LEGO Movie is released today! It was an absolute thrill to see this on the big screen and I can’t wait to watch it again and again. All of the adults I know who saw the film liked it way more than they thought they would. It’s not just a kids movie! It is full of adventure with kind-hearted, funny and amazing characters to build with.

Be sure to also check out the awesome LEGO Movie books we now have in the collection! Here's a list of all the awesome LEGO Movie stuff at your library.

And for the LEGO super fans, mark your calendars for AADL’s 9th annual LEGO Contest on August 7th! Folks of all ages can enter amazing creations for cool prizes. Even if you don’t plan to enter a project, is it an absolute treat to walk into a large room with hundreds of amazing LEGO creations.

Bawk Bawk!

Think CHICKENS!

Last week Ms. Amanda told CHICKEN stories during her storytimes.
We heard about a hen with a surprise in Bumpety Bump, a hen searching for the best place to lay an egg in Mama Hen’s Big Day, and a little book that featured the littlest Little Chick.

Here’s a wonderful, new CHICKEN book to roost with, Peggy: A Brave Chicken on a Big Adventure. The beautiful illustrations tell the story of a chicken named Peggy who was happy living in countryside and one day she gets swooped off and lands in the big city! It’s a darling story about getting out of the nest once in a while and enjoying new things, while yet still enjoying that special place you call home.

If you still have chickens on the brain like I do, and are playing the SUMMER GAME, don’t forget to visit Director Josie Parker’s office downtown and look for the CHICKENS– it’s a CODE worth 1,000 points!

Bibliocraft - A Crafter/Library Lover's Dream

An honest question here: Do you love your library? If you're here, on this page, reading this, then I can pretty much guess that you do. I'm not surprised; your library has so much to offer! Books, and games, and science-y things--and now, for all of you library-loving crafters out there, a book that can help you combine your crafting talents and your undying love of all things LIBRARY.

Bibliocraft. How perfect is that? A book that tells its reader all about how to harvest crafting inspiration from the endless potential on the library shelves. It starts you out slow and steady, walking you through some library basics, like how to find what you want in a library catalog and some important points about copyright in library books.

And then it gets real. Part 2: THE CRAFTS.

The rest of the book is a smorgasbord of amazing projects inspired by library resources like, oh, perhaps, the ones you might find here. Historic watermarks transformed into pillows, Japanese family crests turned into coasters, votive holders, pendants made from quilled paper, and, my personal favorite, instructions for making a pocketed kitty-kat apron. With...wait for it...additional instructions for making actual knitted kittens to put in those pockets. Because why not?

You had me at "kitties", Bibliocraft.

And don't forget, along with this biblio-gem, the library has dozens of other awesome craft books and crafting programs, so make sure to check them out! (...see what I did there?)

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