Dawn Farm Ride for Recovery!

The 6th Annual Dawn Farm Ride for Recovery is Sunday, April 27 with early registration happening now through April 1st! This is a family-fun-filled fitness event & a fundraiser for Dawn Farm, sponsored by Team MANA. There many ways to participate at any fitness level; with 10-100 K bike rides; 5K and 10K walks or runs. There will also be food & tours of the working farm. In addition to a fun event that the entire family can enjoy, the Ride for Recovery is officially endorsed by the Michigan Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports and provides an opportunity to support a critical community service. Dawn Farm is committed to helping people find recovery from addiction, regardless of their ability to pay. Community support for events like the Ride for Recovery helps to keep these vital services available for those who need them most! For more information call: 734-485-8725.

Library Lists: 10 Great Animal Books for Kids

Are you looking for cool facts about animals? Are you interested in seeing amazing, detailed pictures of animals and how they swim, run, climb, and eat? Here’s ten of the best designed, researched and illustrated books on animals for kids in grades K-8.

1. Bone collection: Animals: This book has detailed pictures and drawings of the skeletons of some of the world’s most fascinating animals! Study their bones to find out how they move and survive.

2. Extreme Animals: The Toughest Creatures on Earth: Many animals can survive in conditions that humans could never tolerate. Learn about these animals and their special adaptations that allow them to brave the driest deserts, the coldest poles, and other amazing locations.

3. Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World: Animals have eyes of all different shapes, colors, and seeing-capabilities. Learn why different animals have such unique eyes and how they use them to gain information about what’s around them.

4. Amazing Giant Wild Animals: This awesome book features fold out pages of some of the longest, widest, tallest and heaviest creatures on Earth, allowing you to get a feel for their true size!

5. Actual Size: Steve Jenkins’ amazing paper-cut illustrations make this amazing book even more wonderful. Each page features part of an animal or a whole animal presented in its real-life size. You can see how animal shapes and sizes compare to your own body parts and to other animals!

6. Nocturne: Creatures of the Night: Amazing photographs of nocturnal animals take readers on a journey through the animal kingdom at night. Learn about the habits and habitats of forty different night-dwelling creatures.

7. Creature Features: Some animals have strange features! In this beautiful book, the animals themselves explain why they look the way they do, and why their seemingly unusual traits actually help them survive in the wild.

8. National Wildlife Federation’s World of Birds: This colorful almanac for beginning bird watchers is filled with over a hundred species, arranged by habitat. A must-have guide for those interested in learning about the birds we see in our backyards!

9. Animalium: Take a journey to the museum with this stunning book! Invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals are all featured in gorgeous illustrations in this virtual museum with exhibits open 365 days a year!

10. The Animal Book: This “collection of the fastest, fiercest, toughest, cleverest, shyest--and most surprising--animals on Earth” features over 300 types of animals and offers an easily comprehensible history of life on Earth. My personal favorite animal book for kids!

Still want more? Check out this more extensive list of great, kid-friendly books on animals!

Read Across America Day & National Reading Month

Today is Read Across America Day!

Read Across America Day was founded in 1997 “to promote the joy and importance of reading and to celebrate the birthday of beloved author Dr. Seuss.” It has become a nationwide event celebrated by schools, libraries and bookstores across the country. You just mind find an elementary school principal dressed up like Thing 1 or Thing 2, and some students may end up eating green eggs and ham for lunch. How wacky! How Seussy!

Did you know that there will be a NEW Dr. Seuss book coming out in July? The manuscript for Which Pet Should I get was recently found by his widow.

Be sure to check out your favorite Dr. Seuss titles and get some reading done! Hooray for reading! It's not just today, the entire month of March is National Reading Month.

New and Unusual Animal Books

If you or your little one loves animals, we have some great new books in that will teach you all about them in a whole new way! You’ll want to look at all of these beautiful, bright, and fascinating books.

First up, check out Bone Collection: Animals, which offers realistic drawings of animals’ skeletons with explanations of how the bones fit together and what purpose they all serve. Mixed in with the skeleton drawings are photographs of the animals and lots of facts. I learned so much from this book! Did you know that kangaroos’ tails are heavy to support their weight during fights, or that even though fruit bats are only 15 inches long, their wingspan can be longer than 5½ feet? That’s taller than I am! Learn all about this and more in this beautiful book.

For an amazing look at how wildlife adapts, take a look at Chernobyl’s Wild Kingdom: Life in the Dead Zone. This brilliant book explains the disastrous 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion and explores the aftermath. This book details the recovery of plants and animals in the area, which was initially assumed to be impossible. The effects of radiation are explained in clear, detailed language, and photographs highlight the difference between animals living within the “dead zone” and without.

If you’re after beautiful illustrations and simple, informative text, look at illustrator Steve Jenkins’s new books, Creature Features: 25 Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do, and Eye to Eye: How Animals See the World. With a combination of true facts and big pictures, these books are perfect for younger readers.

Draw Paint Print like the Great Artists

With Draw Paint Print like the Great Artists, you can learn different art styles alongside your favorite artists throughout history! In this beautiful and fascinating book, the reader is introduced to more than 30 different famous artists and their works. From there, the book introduces each artist's favorite art techniques, and provides creative projects designed by the author in order to hone your newfound art skills. All of the activities include easy instructions and the activities themselves are both inspiring and a lot of fun!

With aesthetically pleasing content and formatting, Draw Paint Print like the Great Artists encourages artists of all ages and skill sets while leaving enough room for creativity and growth. For more information on these famous artists, look for An Eye for Art: Focusing on Great Artists and Their Work and Look Closer: Art Masterpieces Through the Ages.

Blind Date with a Book at your library!

Looking for a good book to read?

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, why not go on a blind date with a book?! Over the next three weeks, you’ll see displays at all the AADL locations (usually near the NEW teen and adult books) featuring unknown books wrapped in butcher paper, with a short hint description written on each one.

You won’t know the ‘identity’ of your date until you get home: it could be fiction or non-fiction, funny, informative, a mystery… but all of these books were recommended by one or more AADL staff members who personally enjoyed them. We hope we’ll introduce you to a book you’ll love!

Happy Valentine’s Day, and enjoy your “date!”

(And, if a book is too much “commitment” for you, we have blind date movies too!)

We also have “surprise” books and movies for kids, located where you find NEW kids books!

Stop by your nearest AADL location and check out these fun displays!

Let Freedom Ring: Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Music

On Monday, January 19, AADL will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy in music, with two very special performances at the Downtown Library.

All ages are invited at 1 p.m for acclaimed percussion group Biakuye presenting a cross-cultural experience rooted in American innovation and African tradition.

In Akan languages, biakuye means unity, and their style unites percussionists from varied backgrounds, traditional instruments and found objects, and West African musical traditions and American jazz concepts.The group's members come from both Africa and the United States, and have a local connection. Mark Stone and Roger Braun attended the University of Michigan together, studying percussion. Mark spent a year in Ghana while at U of M, where he met master drummer Kofi Ameyaw. The three later formed Biakuye, and have since added and rotated members, but their unique and energetic sound remains, celebrating cultural unity and collaboration. Biakuye will perform in the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room.

In the evening, Baritone Emery Stephens and accompanist Alvin Waddles will give an interactive lecture and concert highlighting the musical legacy and achievements of African-American composers and arrangers.

They will discuss such recognizable tunes as “This Little Light of Mine,” “It’s Me, O Lord,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” and composers such as Harry T. Burleigh, John Work, and Margaret Bonds. Both Emory Stephens and Alvin Waddles have performed, studied, and taught throughout the area and around the country and will join us for an entertaining and informative performance at 7 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room.

Can’t make it? Use these lists of books on Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement for children, teens, adults, graphic novels, and picture books to mark the day.

NPR’s Books to Read, Books to Give

It’s that time of year when all the “best of” lists start popping up. NPR always puts together a nice, categorized list of recommended books called the Book Concierge. This year is no exception.

The site features NPR staff and critics guide to 2014’s great reads, and is easily filtered into categories for easy browsing, and you can choose more than one category. Want adult fiction AND a love story AND a short read – you can easily pluck it out using the filters! The lists include adult, young adult and children’s books. Give it a whirl and see what books you missed this year. Choosing new books was never so easy!

Herman and Rosie

The new book Herman and Rosie brought tears to my eyes when I opened it earlier this week. At once a celebration of individuality and a story of finding someone who truly understands you, this uniquely illustrated book is a story for all ages. It is obvious to readers from the beginning that Herman, an oboe-playing crocodile and Rosie, a jazz-singing doe, are meant to be together. Living in New York City, both enjoy the hustle and bustle of their busy lives, but sometimes find themselves lonely amidst the crowds. Ultimately, their lives must go through many twists and turns before their paths finally cross.

Author Gus Gordon does an amazing job of making this children’s book applicable to the young people it is geared towards but also engaging and adorable for older readers. I loved Herman and Rosie so much that I immediately bought a copy… and it’s not too late for you to add this to your holiday wish list, too!

Newbery News

The Newbery Medal is given to the most distinguished work of children's literature every year, and is announced in January. Though the real candidates are kept secret, here are some books that are getting lots of Newbery buzz on a few different mock Newbery blogs. Will one of them be the big winner? Do you have any recent books you've read that you would love to see get the Newbery medal?

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (who also wrote After Tupac and D Foster) is a lovely autobiographical book of poems chronicling her early life.

The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza is the last of five books about Joey Pigza (of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key fame) by author Jack Gantos. Will Joey win the hearts and minds of the Newbery committee?

For nonfiction, people are talking about The family Romanov : murder, rebellion & the fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming. A nonfiction book hasn't won the Newbery in a long time- could this be the year?

Last, but certainly not least, is The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis. Curtis already won the Newbery Honor for 2007's Elijah of Buxton. This book is a companion to Elijah of Buxton, and tells the story of two boys who encounter a mysterious man in the woods.

Happy reading!

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