Pirate Stories

Ahoy there, me hearties! Arrrrrgh! Perhaps you visited a preschool storytime recently where pirates stories were featured and are looking for more swashbuckling fun? AADL has a slew of picture books featuring pirates on grand adventures. Here are a few to set sail with:

Pirate Nap by Danna Smith
Shiver Me Letters by June Sobel
Pirates Don’t Take Baths by John Segal

Juicy Eighteenth Century Biographies

Gossip about the rich and famous was just as popular in the 18th century as it is now. The library has a great collection of biographies and movies about this period and the fascinating people who lived in it. In Aristocrats: Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, 1740-1832 author Stella Tillyard carefully documents the lives of four sisters via the thousands of letters they left to posterity. Descended from royalty, one sister almost became queen when she attracted the love of then Prince of Wales, while three sisters defied convention and married for love. You’ll be impressed by how modern excerpts of their letters sound! There is also a BBC miniseries based on the books.

In The Lady in Red: An Eighteenth-century Tale of Sex, Scandal, and Divorce covers the divorce trial of Lady Worsley, who ruined her husband’s reputation as well as her own by exposing the scandalous details of her married life to the public.

You’ve probably heard about Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, a contemporary of the Lennox sisters and ancestor of the late Princess Diana and whose biography sparked the 2008 film The Duchess. But did you know that she had a sister? Harriet Spencer lived just as glamorous and scandalous a life as her more famous sibling, having affairs and even kissing voters on the campaign trail to help her favorite Whig candidates win elections!

Even kings and queens had shocking secrets that they would have liked to have kept hidden. A Royal Affair: George III and His Scandalous Siblings discusses the lives of the British monarch’s younger siblings, including Prince William who married secretly for love, and Princess Caroline, who married the mad Danish King Christian and ruled Denmark for a time with her lover, a German physician. Her story has been fictionalized in both the 2012 film A Royal Affair and the 2001 book The Royal Physician’s Visit.

Not even the king's children were free from controversy. In Princesses: The Six Daughters of George III author Flora Fraser recounts the lives of the king's beloved daughters who were kept hidden away during the American Revolution and the the turbulent years of the king's madness in the 1780s.

Parent’s Corner: Ready To Read

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

There are some great books in the collection that focus on books and reading, including choosing what to read and help with encouraging children to read. To get you going, check out these titles:

*Book love: developing depth, stamina, and passion in adolescent readers
*Get those guys reading!: fiction and series books that boys will love
*Picture books for children: fiction, folktales, and poetry
*Read with me: best books for preschoolers

And for more see this great list of related titles.

The Long, Long Line, by Tomoko Ohmura

The Long, Long Line is such a charming picture book! Fifty animals line up for an adventure, literally. You’ve got a line that includes a frog, a rabbit, a sloth, a beaver, a hyena, and even a skunk. These fifty impatient critters wait and wait and wait in line. And complain. And get bored. “It stinks,” says one. Another asks “what’s the line for?,” while another furry creature decides to start a word game they can all can play. What are they in line for?! Something giant and fantastic. This cute story features colorful illustrations and a whopper of an ending. It’s a great lap book that teaches the art of waiting.

2013 Young People’s Literature NBA Winner Announced

NBA winner medalNBA winner medal

The Thing About Luck has received the 2013 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature.

Twelve-year-old Summer knows that kouun means “good luck” in Japanese, and this year her family has none of it. Just when she thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong, an emergency whisks her parents away to Japan—right before harvest season. Summer and her little brother, Jaz, are left in the care of their grandparents, who come out of retirement in order to harvest wheat and help pay the bills.

The thing about Obaachan and Jiichan is that they are old-fashioned and demanding, and between helping Obaachan cook for the workers, covering for her when her back pain worsens, and worrying about her lonely little brother, Summer just barely has time to notice the attentions of their boss’s cute son. But notice she does, and what begins as a welcome distraction from the hard work soon turns into a mess of its own.

Having thoroughly disappointed her grandmother, Summer figures the bad luck must be finished—but then it gets worse. And when that happens, Summer has to figure out how to change it herself, even if it means further displeasing Obaachan. Because it might be the only way to save her family.

Author Cynthia Kadohata won the 2005 Newbery Medal for the book Kira-Kira, the Jane Addams Peace Award and Pen USA Award winner for Weedflower, Cracker!, Outside Beauty, A Million Shades of Gray, and several critically acclaimed adult novels. She lives with her son and dog in West Covina, California.

Welcome To Mamoko

Welcome to Mamoko! There is trouble in town! Follow each character through this wordless picture book and discover a new tale on each page. The pages are full of colorful, detailed illustrations of critters and characters in a bustling town, similar to the style of Richard Scarry’s beloved Busytown. The first pages of the book give you clues to some of the characters to follow through Mamoko. If you have a little one that likes to hunt for things on pages of books, this one’s for you! With its large cardboard pages, it’s great for even the youngest of hands.

Take a Picture Book JOURNEY with Aaron Becker

If you love HAROLD And The PURPLE CRAYON and the Imagination... of Crockett Johnson, you will love JOURNEY... in which "a young girl draws a door on her bedroom wall and ..."

In JOURNEY, Becker uses all illustrations, and no text, to tell an enchanting fantastical adventure of sophisticated beauty.
Did you like it? Then try the following links for more artistic adventure:
The Public List called "Thoughtful Picture Books for Kids"
HOW TO by Julie Morstad
ISH by Peter Reynolds
SCRIBBLE by Deborah Freedman
BEACH TAIL by Karen Lynn Williams
You may just need to get out the pens, pencils, markers and crayons after all this inspiration and make your own TALE!

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, by Peter Brown

Mr. Tiger is bored with being proper. He wants to have more fun. So he decides to go wild, which is just what this suit and tie wearing tiger does! He goes a little bit too wild and ends up confusing his fellow proper animal friends. They tell him he should go to to the wilderness where he belongs! And he does go away, but he gets lonely and misses his city and his friends. When he gets back to town he is so surprised and happy by what he sees.

Peter Brown is a Caldecott Honor illustrator and the images in Mr. Tiger Goes Wild were made with India ink, watercolor, gouache, and pencil on paper, then digitally composited and colored. They are simply amazing in this picture book.

The book was recently listed on Publishers Weekly's Best Picture Books of 2013.

National Homemade Bread Day is November 17th!

I was surprised to learn that on November 17th, in two weeks, we get to celebrate National Homemade Bread Day! This special day is a great excuse to learn about baking bread, discover information about its history, and experience the many delicious breads that the local bakeries in Ann Arbor have to offer.

The AADL has tons of great books to help you create delicious homebaked breads in your own kitchen. Check out The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Bread Baking and Flour Water Salt Yeast: the Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza for tips on how to get started. We also have Gluten-free and Vegan Bread: Artisanal Recipes to Make at Home and many other vegan and gluten-free oriented bread and baking books for those who have dietary restrictions. Beard on Bread has been a favorite of bread bakers since the 1970s and has more than 100 recipes in it, along with illustrations that kids (and adults!) may enjoy.

Of course, “homemade” doesn’t have to mean made in your own home. National Homemade Bread Day can be celebrated with other people’s homemade bread too! Try out Jefferson Market and Cakery for some delectable baked goods and swing by Angelo’s for a slice of their thick homemade raisin bread along with your brunch.

Enjoy your homemade feasting!

Pete the Cat: The Wheels on the Bus

Pete the Cat is one groovy cat, and he and his picture books are popular among the preschool crowd. Sure, he loves his white shoes. But he also rocks in his school shoes, saves Christmas, has four buttons, and sports a pair of magic sunglasses. Did you know he is also a bus driver and is into Thanksgiving? Yes, this Pete the Cat is into everything.

Some of the new books, including the beginning reader books, are nice to read if you want to read more books about Pete, but they don’t really compare to the original Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes. But no fear, it’s all good.

What is your favorite Pete book?! Here’s a handy list to see if you've missed any.

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