Kay Lyn Pace: Country Acoustic Performance

The Ann Arbor Senior Center is invites you to attend a live country music performance by Kay Lyn Pace on Sunday, April 21 at 1:00 pm. Kay Lyn is from Dexter, and has been showing off her singing, songwriting and musicianship locally and at the Songwriters Festival in Nashville. Please call to register at 734-794-6250, as seating is limited and there is a small charge, except for senior center members and kids 12 and under accompanied by an adult.

Take a Hike @ Bird Hills

Thursday, May 2 | 7:00-8:30 PM | Bird Hills Natural Area | All Ages

The Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation staff will lead a nature walk in one of Ann Arbor's most beloved parks, Bird Hills. Covering 147 acres, it is the largest park in Ann Arbor.

Learn about ecological restoration and responsible use of public lands. Opportunities for wildlife viewing are plentiful. If we’re lucky, we may get to view some early spring bloomers like trillium, jack-in-the pulpit, and more. Black, red, and fox squirrels, ground squirrels, deer, and butterflies are very common in Bird Hills. Dress comfortably to walk and enjoy nature.

We'll meet in the parking lot off Newport Road, just north of M-14. This event is for all ages.

Happy Birthday, "Little Prince"!

On April 6, The Little Prince celebrates 70 years in print. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry first published The Little Prince in 1943, only a year before his Lockheed P-38 vanished over the Mediterranean. Born in Lyons, France, Saint-Exupéry wrote The Little Prince while living in the U.S. during a two-year, self-imposed exile from the Nazi occupation of his home country. A year after the book’s publication, the author disappeared over the Mediterranean while flying a reconnaissance mission for his French air squadron.

This enduring fable of love and loneliness has lost none of its power. The narrator is a downed pilot in the Sahara Desert, frantically trying to repair his wrecked plane. His efforts are interrupted one day by the apparition of a young boy (the little prince), who asks him to draw a sheep. "In the face of an overpowering mystery, you don't dare disobey," the narrator recalls. "Absurd as it seemed, a thousand miles from all inhabited regions and in danger of death, I took a scrap of paper and a pen out of my pocket." And so begins their dialogue, which stretches the narrator's imagination in all sorts of surprising, childlike directions.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s fable about the wise, humble boy from Asteroid B-612 who befriends the stranded pilot has touched the lives of multiple generations of readers worldwide, with more than 150 million copies in print, in 260 languages and dialects. There are graphic novel versions of the story, and a DVD opera version. There is even a Little Prince Facebook page,which has acquired more than 1.1 million fans since its July 2011 debut, a testament to The Little Prince’s enduring popularity.

Get Your Craft On!


I love crafting with my kids, no really, I do! I love coming up with new ideas, picking out the materials and rolling up my sleeves to dig into something fun and creative. I spend a lot of time in the crafting section of the AADL looking for new and unique ideas. (Take a walk in the area of 745.5 of the non-fiction section to browse this topic.) I was delighted when I ran across the book D.I.Y Kids written by Ellen and Julia Lupton. It is divided into four section-graphics, toys, home and fashion and is jam-packed with cool ideas for making logos, stickers, party supplies and kites, to name a few. Each project is explained with step-by-step instructions and rated by project difficulty, time, mess and cost. It is intended for children seven through twelve, but many of the projects can easily be modified to suit all ages. Included in the book are projects that do not require any adult supervision or help from an adult. I love this aspect for the times when little ones want to make a surprise for a special occasion like Mother's or Father's Day! Check it out and get your craft on!

2013 Hugo Award Nominees Announced

Nominees for the 2013 Hugo Awards, the most prestigious prize in science fiction, were announced Saturday afternoon via livestream. The announcement was also made simultaneously at four major science fiction conventions across the country.

The Hugos have been awarded since 1953, and are given to both written and dramatic works in over a dozen categories. Well-known previous winners include Frank Herbert's Dune, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, and the Pixar film Wall-E. Check out all the great the nominated works in the AADL collection before this year's winners are announced on September 1st!

Nominees for best novel:

2312, Kim Stanley Robinson
Blackout, Mira Grant
Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, Lois McMaster Bujold
Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas, John Scalzi
Throne of the Crescent Moon, Saladin Ahmed

Nominees for best film:

The Avengers, Screenplay & Directed by Joss Whedon
The Cabin in the Woods, Screenplay by Drew Goddard & Joss Whedon; Directed by Drew Goddard
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro, Directed by Peter Jackson
The Hunger Games, Screenplay by Gary Ross & Suzanne Collins, Directed by Gary Ross
Looper, Screenplay and Directed by Rian Johnson

Episodes of Doctor Who, Fringe, and Game of Thrones were also nominated for awards in short-form dramatic presentation.

Click over to the Hugo Awards official site for a complete list of nominees, including graphic novels, short fiction, and fan authors and artists.

Come Play Games at International Table Top Day!


This Saturday, March 30th, from Noon-10pm The Vault of Midnight will be hosting International Table Top Day based on the popular Geek & Sundry YouTube channel's show, TableTop. The goal is to encourage everyone to play more games.

From the International TableTop Day website, "International TableTop Day is a reminder to spend more time and strengthen the bonds with the people who matter most, our friends and family, by playing games together. Tabletop gaming promotes many positive social and cognitive benefits like increased communication, team work, planning, and is an excellent stress relieving activity for all ages."

Yurt Living

It always happens, when life gets hectic and deadlines are knocking on my door I start thinking how wonderful it would be to escape and live in a Yurt somewhere in the the woods.

I became fascinated with yurts after watching the PBS Nature program Wild Horses of Mongolia with Julia Roberts. In this show Julia Roberts lives with a Mongolian family, experiencing life as a nomad while developing a special relationship with her hosts who live amongst wild horses. (One of their main staples is fermented mare’s milk that Julia describes as, “A fizzy warm…yogurt”.) While not a huge Julia fan, I find her to be captivating in this series. She's strikingly beautiful without any make-up or hair dresser to glam her up. Her happiness fills the screen!

A traditional yurt is a circular shelter used by nomads in Central Asia. They have been around for centuries and are designed to be dismantled and the parts carried compactly on camels or yaks and rebuilt on another site. Complete construction takes around 2 hours! Incidentally, the structures shown in this documentary are not yurts proper. Mongolians live in what is known as a Ger. It is a one-room transportable abode that often does not have a bathroom, running water or heat.

However, I’m not interested in nomadic yurt or ger living. I want a relaxing designer-style yurt complete with hardwood floors, running water and top of the line appliances. Yurts have become very popular in the United States as low cost, eco-friendly abodes. This form of micro-architecture has optimized the original yurt concept to create a shelter that is unwavering, easy to install, light-weight and leaves no residual damage to the ground because no permanent foundation is used. That’s the kind of yurt I’m talking about! Throw in a wall of books, Wi-fi connection and a nearby grocery store and I’d be all set!

If you’re ambitious and want to attempt the construction on your own, check out this book Tipis & yurts : authentic designs for circular shelters.

Festifoolery!

It looks like Spring is just waiting for Festifools this year! The library gang of Robots always invades the foolery on Main Street and, thanks to our friends at 826michigan, the Scrap Box, and our library patron penchant for joy, we should be well equipped! Come to the Downtown Library at 2:00ish on Sunday, April 7 and get all gussied up in gear for the Robot Invasion on Main Street!

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Baffling Bill Magic Show

Spring Break! Time away from school and daily routines. Time to do fun things! Come to the Pittsfield Branch Library at 2:00 p.m on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 for a magic show by Baffling Bill. This Michigan-based artist will be returning to Ann Arbor for an amazing performance. What a great way to spend an afternoon!

Then try a few magic tricks of your own by checking out some of these books.

Thrice as nice!

When I was teaching I always had to giggle (to myself) when a student mistakenly thought a book was based on a movie, instead of the other way around. Many of my students got a whole lot more screen time than they did book time, so it was an understandable mistake.
If it was available, I often showed the movie version of a book after we completed reading it. It served as a treat for a job well done and also as a way to stretch out a lesson. After watching the movie I had my students write a paper on the differences they observed. Often children are so much more observant than adults and I was amazed at some of the differences my students, and my own children, came up with. (In my home I don’t make my children write a paper, but we do have great conversations on their findings!)
At the Ann Arbor District Library we have a many titles that allow for this type of interaction. One of my all time favorites is Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. The story is about a wily fox that uses his impressive cunning to outsmart three feeble-minded farmers, who resort to extreme measures to protect their chickens. (The book is 81 pages long and can be read in the time it would take to watch the movie.) The movie, directed by Wes Anderson, stars the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray and William Defoe, to name a few. It is great family flick that can be enjoyed by all, young and old. The soundtrack (also available at the AADL) features some fun Burl Ives classics, 60s pop and rock tunes and a few other quirky ditties that are fit for family listening.

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