Game Start Festival: Saturday, March 1st at Menlo Innovations

Curious about making games? Know any kids or teens who aspire to be future game-makers?

Local organization GameStart is throwing a party at Menlo Innovations (505 East Liberty LL500, Ann Arbor, MI 48104) on Saturday, March 1st, 10am-2pm and everyone is invited! GameStart is an organization that offers classes using games to inspire interest in art, math, science, and programming.

For their event on March 1st, they'll have games to play and give a preview of their upcoming classes for this year, including: Game Mechanics and Design, Minecraft Programming, Computer Animation, and Video Editing. Although there is a fee for many of their classes, this event is free and open to all (and particularly recommended for students in grades 3-8).

AADL will be there with a table of fun stuff, along with other guests from the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Maker Works, Backyard Brains, AHA! and the Youth Arts Alliance. Stop in to check things out and celebrate the power of interactive learning!

Later that day, 3-5pm, the GameStart staff will also be offering a no-fee class on Storytelling with Computer Animation at the downtown AADL!

The Candymakers

Since February is a traditional time for candy, it also seems like a perfect opportunity to sample this sweet story, The Candymakers by Wendy Mass.

Reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this book introduced readers to four twelve-year-olds competing in the Confectionery Association’s annual Best New Candy contest. Alternating between the perspectives of contestants Logan, Miles, Daisy and Philip, the story unfolds in truly surprising and delightful ways. Through these alternating perspectives, we come to learn that each contest is carrying a secret, but they will have to trust the others enough to reveal all in order to ensure a happy ending.

The audiobook, narrated by Mark Turetsky, is also worth checking out.

Perfect for fans of Trenton Lee Stewart’s The Mysterious Benedict Society or Pseudonymous Bosch’s The Name of This Book is Secret.

A Hilarious Pirate Adventure – With Magic!

I am so excited about this new pirate adventure, Magic Marks the Spot by Caroline Carlson. Two years ago, I had the chance to hear an excerpt read from the pre-published manuscript and have been looking forward to its release ever since. After reading it, all I can say is this book completely lived up to my expectations. I loved it!

Hilary Westfield wants nothing more than to be a pirate, but when she submits an application to the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, things don’t go quite as planned. After discovering that Hilary is a girl, the league decides to forward her application to Miss Pimm’s Finishing School for Delicate Ladies. Soon Hilary and her pet gargoyle are packed off to finishing school, but you can bet it isn’t long before they escape to the high seas and join in the hunt for a magical treasure.

Fans of Diana Wynne Jones or Patricia C. Wrede will definitely want to check out this first book in a planned trilogy.

You can find out more about this debut author by visiting her website: http://carolinecarlsonbooks.com/

Rubber Band Bracelets!

It seems like kids everywhere are making and wearing jewelry out of colorful rubber bands. Perhaps a Rainbow Loom made its way to your house in December? Rubber band bracelet fun is a book that offers more designs to create with the loom, including the triple rainbow bracelet, the beaded bonanza and the flower bracelet. There’s also Totally awesome rubber band jewelry, which offers tips, tricks and more designs to create. If you’ve got a stash of tiny rubber bands on hand and are waiting for the next project, give them a whirl!

Felt Peeps Bunnies

Tuesday April 8, 2014: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room

This event is intended for adults and teens grade 6 and up

Peeps bunnies are cute, colorful and delicious, and they are super abundant this time of year!

Come to the Library for a crafty night of creating your own little Peep using colorful felt and hand-sewing techniques. We’ll show you how!

Let it Snow!

Snow is on its way, and with it comes plenty of cold-whether fun. From building snowmen to sledding down giant hills, there are lots of great winter activities that can only be done while snow is on the ground. Since the season of snow is almost upon us, I was very excited to stumble upon this book, Snow Play: How to Make Forts & Slides & Winter Campfires, Plus the Coolest Loch Ness Monster and 23 Other Brrrilliant Projects in the Snow by Birgitta Ralston.

If you’re looking for some creative new ways to play in the snow this winter, then this is the book for you. Learn how to make snow ghosts with glowing eyes, marble runs made out of snow, glisten ice charms, and much more. While some of the projects will work great with young children, others require lots of time and special techniques to complete. Fortunately, each project comes with a description of the project’s time frame, difficulty, the type of snow required (fresh, sticky, deep, compressed), the types of tools required, and the number of people needed to complete it.

Block Printing Workshop

Wednesday, December 4 | Malletts Creek | Grades 6-Adult

In this workshop you will create a design, carve the design into a soft linoleum block with the proper tools, and then print the image onto paper or note cards. This is your chance to create something to hang on your wall, or perhaps design a holiday card.

We will supply all the tools necessary, you supply the creativity! If you have a design in mind, or something you’d like to print on, or have your own tools, feel free to bring them.

Check out some of AADL’s books on block printing for a spark of ideas.

This DIY event is for Grades 6- Adult, and takes place at the Malletts Creek Branch on Wednesday, December 4, from 6:30-8:30pm. See you there!

Fantastic Family Audiobook: Peter and the Starcatchers

What happened before Peter met Wendy? Find out in Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, an exciting prequel to J. M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan.

Peter and the Starcatchers introduces readers to Peter and his orphan friends as they board a ship to the faraway land of Rundoon. Before they arrive, however, they uncover a magical treasure with amazing powers, which they must keep safe from a band of pirates, led by the wicked Black Stache. Expertly narrated by Jim Dale, most well-known as the narrator of the Harry Potter audiobooks, this audiobook adventure makes for a great family listen. Listeners familiar with Barrie’s novel will enjoy seeing how well-known features of the story began. The series continues with Peter and the Shadow Thief and Peter and the Secret of Rundoon.

Fans of the series should also know that it was adapted into a Tony-award-winning musical, and a film adaption is currently in development.

Check out more fantastic family audiobooks here.

Audiobook: Arctic Creature Adventure for Kids

Enter the world of auks and owls in Barry Wolverton’s Neversink. This animal fantasy introduces readers to the rich, complex society of birds who sip tea and start revolutions.

When a possible plague threatens the food supply on the island of Tytonia, power-hunger pygmy owl Rozbell decides now is the time to seize control of the Owl Parliament and of the nearby colony of auks on the island of Neversink. As Rozbell imposes an increasingly heavy “fish tax” on the creatures of Neversink, three unlikely heroes emerge to stop him: misfit puffin Lockley, spirited hummingbird Ruby and scholarly walrus Egbert. (You will never meet a more charming walrus than Egbert, I assure you.)

Fans of Kathryn Lasky’s Guardians of Ga’Hoole, Richard Adams’ Watership Down or Brian Jacques’ Redwall series will likely enjoy the complex animal society while American history lovers will enjoy seeing the parallels between the birds’ plight and the American Revolution.

World Hobbit Day Celebration!

Saturday, September 21 | 2:00-3:30pm | DTN-MPR | All Ages

September 22 is the birthday of Frodo and Bilbo, hobbits from J.R.R. Tolkein’s famous fantasies The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. World Hobbit Day has been celebrated by fans all over the world since 1978, and this year AADL is getting in on the game, and we’re celebrating a day early.

Join us for a wonderful celebration of these fantastic books and movies. (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is in theaters on December 13th!) In our Shire-for-a-day there will be Hobbit-themed games such as a Lord of the Ring toss, craft projects such as dragons and beards, and special snacks such as lembas bread.

Feel free to dress up as your favorite Middle Earth character to get into the spirit of things! (Note: Even hobbits have to wear shoes while in the library.)

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