Sparky!

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.

Teens! It's not too late to volunteer at the library this summer!

Hey there! If you're between the ages of 14 and 18 and looking for something fun to do with the rest of your summer, come volunteer at the AADL! We need help with all of the cool programs taking place throughout the month of August. All you need to do is fill out the information form at www.aadl.org/teenvolunteer and bring the signed permission slip that you'll find on that same page to the orientation taking place Downtown on August 3 from 2-2:30pm. At the orientation you'll get more information about volunteering, and have the chance to sign up for whatever programs you'd like to help with. There are opportunities at all our locations, and at lots of different times of the day!

If you have any questions, email teenvolunteer@aadl.org or call (734) 327-8326.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #543 - "Freedom Is just frosting On somebody else's Cake -- And so must be Till we Learn how to Bake.” ~ Langston Hughes

The Art of Baking Blind, a debut novel by Sarah Vaughan (Oxford, a former news reporter for The Guardian) is a MUST for fans of PBS' Great British Baking Show.

Five amateur bakers are competing to become the New Mrs. Eaden, Mrs. Eaden being Kathleen, the recently deceased wife of the upscale supermarket chain's founder and the author of the 1966 classic, The Art of Baking. The winner not only will take away £50,000 but a baking career is almost a sure thing.

Housewives Vicki, Jenny, and Karen; single dad Mike; and single mom Claire will face off at the Eaden country estate through rounds of cakes, biscuits, breads, pies and pastries, pudding, and "celebratory tea" while dealing with personal challenges and difficult family dynamics. As unlikely alliances are forged and secrets rise to the surface, they will learn, as did Mrs. Eaden before them, that while perfection is possible in the kitchen, it's very much harder in life.

"Delectable 'food porn', as one character puts it."

The Cake Therapist by award-winning cookbook author Judith Fertig brings to mind Aimee Bender's The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.

Claire "Neely" O'Neil, a pastry chef of extraordinary talent has a unique gift. She can "taste" feelings - cinnamon makes you remember; plum is pleased with itself; orange is a wake-up call. She can also customize her creations to help her clients, whether to celebrate love, overcome fear, or mourn a devastating loss.

When she returns home to Millcreek Valley (OH) after a series of personal and business set-backs in the big city, opening her own bakery seems the perfect move, especially now that the town has become a thriving bridal district. Neely's talents for helping people through her pastry palette have always been useful, but a recurring flavor of alarming intensity signals a long-ago story involving a unique piece of jewelry begs to be told. Getting to the end of this story may be just what she needs to help herself.

"Fertig crafts a culinary tale that has as much substance as sweetness and is as pleasingly layered as Neely's signature rainbow cake. "

For readers who enjoyed The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate; The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister; When in Doubt Add Butter by Elizabeth Harbison; and The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee.

Have you wanted to read Proust but were intimidated by Proust? Well here's your chance for a novel introduction to one of his classics.

In Search of Lost Time is arguably one of Proust's greatest novels. Split into 7 volumes it encompasses themes such as memory and the nature of art. The first volume of this great work is Swann's Way and if you want to jump right into the novel go ahead, but if you, like me, have been intimidated by Proust's work then perhaps the new graphic novel of In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way is the way to go.

The artwork is beautiful and at times breathtaking, especially the artists great grasp of the importance of background in graphic novels. It is not a perfect adaptation but it is one worth your time. If you have ever wanted to tackle a work by Proust then here is a perfect chance. If you've never heard of Proust, here's your chance to get to know his works in a manageable manner.

If after reading this you want to read some of Proust's other work 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.

John Hughes: A Life in Film

The book John Hughes: A Life in Film chronicles the film career of writer, director and producer John Hughes (1950-2009).

Hughes, born in Lansing, Michigan, is best known for his hit 80s flicks such as Pretty In Pink, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, National Lampoon's Vacation, Mr. Mom, Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, The Great Outdoors, Home Alone, and many more. His work on numerous films helped launch the careers of many actors.

This new book covers the films that Hughes worked on, features film stills and candid shots from production, as well as stories and blurbs by actors and staff working on the films.It’s really fun to go back through these films chronologically and remember how great they are!

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!

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #542 - "Fiction and poetry are doses, medicines. What they heal is the rupture reality makes on the imagination." ~ Jeanette Winterson

What a joy it is to meander the waterways through the heart of France with The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George, the first English translation for a bestselling German author.

Fifty year-old Monsieur Perdu watches over the other inhabitants of 27 Rue Montagnard. By day, he runs a literary apothecary on a floating barge docked along the Seine, prescribing appropriate books to (mostly willing) customers for the myriad of ailments and hardships of life. His intuition and profound knowledge of books serves him well, mending broken heart and souls, except for his own.

For twenty years he refuses to open the letter left for him by Manon, the love of his life, until the chance encounter with a new tenant stirs up emotions long buried within. Once he reads the letter, the devastating contents compel him to haul anchor, take the bookstore barge on a trip upriver to Avignon, in search of closure and forgiveness - but not before taking on an uninvited guest. His neighbor Max Jordan, a young American author with severe writer's block, is looking for fresh ideas and the perfect story, and is in need of a sanctuary from over-zealous paparazzi and adoring fans.

"The two navigate the canals of France trading books for food (The Enchanted April to a baker's daughter, and the latest John Irving to a lockkeeper's wife), engaging in adventures small and large, all against the backdrop of quaint villages and bittersweet memories."

"A charming novel that believes in the healing properties of fiction, romance, and a summer in the south of France." All aboard.

For those who enjoyed The Storied life of A. J. Fikry by Gabirelle Zevin, and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.

2015 Eisner Award Winners!!!!!

This past weekend the 27th Eisner Awards were handed out, and it was quite a year with lots of artists and works getting multiple wins!

Lumberjanes (which if you've been following the blogs got a mention on here a few weeks ago) took home 2 awards; Best New Series and Best Publication for Teens (13-17)

Saga took home 2 awards as well; Best Continuing Series and Best Penciler/Inker for Fiona Staples

Little Nemo took home 4 awards. 1 for the Complete Little Nemo; Best Archival Collection/ Project. 1 for Little Nemo Return to Slumberland; Best Limited Series. 2 for the collection Little Nemo Dream Another Dream.

The Zoo Box won Best Publication for Early Readers up to 7 years.

Hip Hop Family Tree vol 2 won Best Reality-Based work.

This One Summer won Best Graphic Album- New.

Through the Woods won Best Graphic Album- Reprint

Blacksad: Amarillo won Best US Edition of International Material

Showa: A History of Japan 1939-1944 and Showa: A History of Japan 1944-1953 won Best US Edition of International Material- Asian

Gene Luen Yang won Best Writer

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