A Picture Book Perfect for the Season

There's a new picture book in our collection that is just the thing for cozy family reading or a nice gift for a family with young children. That book is Winter Is the Warmest Season, written and illustrated by Lauren Stringer.
Maybe you're thinking this title doesn't work here in Michigan, but the book's large brilliant illustrations and clever text will convince you otherwise. "Cold jelly sandwiches turn into grilled cheeses" and pajamas "grow big warm feet."

For more books about the joys of winter, click here.

Whimsical Nutcrackers

Stop in to see the small collection of wonderful Nutcrackers in the youth department glass display at the downtown library. A friendly elf was kind enough to share these colorful characters for the holiday season. There is a bohemian artist, a pirate and other surprises!

Tournament Weekend: Monkey Ball, DDR, and the Grand Championships!

AADL-GT Pad Logo

This weekend, we'll have three videogame tournaments at the Downtown Library, with something for everyone, including food and prizes. First, we'll have an All-Ages Super Monkey Ball Tournament, Friday Night, 12/15, from 6-8:30 PM. Come play Super Monkey Ball, Monkey Target, Monkey Bowling, Monkey Dogfight, and even try your hand at Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz on the one and only Nintendo Wii! Read on for full details about the Monkey Ball event.

Then, on Saturday, 12/16, it's the biggest gaming event in town; the 2006 AADL-GT Super Smash Double Dash Grand Championships! The event starts at noon, with the Clan Cup for the top 8 clans from the regular season. Then we'll have the Wildcard Tournament for players in grades 6-12 who are new or didn't finish the season in the top 64. 8 wildcards will join the top players in the Grand Championship itself, with First Prize: a Nintendo Wii, Second Prize: a 2gb iPod Nano, and Third Prize: A Nintendo DS! It all comes down to this, have you got what it takes? This event will be broadcast live on CTN Channel 18, so a signed release form is required. Preregister before you come, and you can use self checkin and skip the line!

Finally, we'll wrap up the weekend with an All-Ages Dance Dance Revolution Tournament, Sunday, 12/17, from 1-4 PM. Prizes for the two best standard/heavy players, and for the best adult/child team! All events in the Multipurpose Room at the Downtown Library. Plus, stay tuned for Pokémon and DS Fest events during Winter Break!

Eureka! Land in sight.

This week is the anniversary of the discoveries of two significant land masses. On December 13, 1642, Captain Abel Tasman of the Dutch East India Company first sighted New Zealand. In 1769, Captain James Cook landed and took possession for Great Britain. To read more on New Zealand, try Traveller's History of New Zealand and the South Pacific Islands by John H. Chambers.

On December 14, 1911, the South Pole was located and visited by Roald Amundsen. Although more has been written about Ernest Shackleton, his expedition to Antarctica was in 1914, a few years after Amundsen's discovery. Last Place on Earth is a book by Roland Huntford and then a film based on the rivalry between Amundsen and Scott who came one year apart to the Pole.

American Born Chinese & The Monkey King

Cleverly interweaving stories tell the tales of Jin Wang, a teen who meets with ridicule and social isolation when his family moves from San Francisco's Chinatown to an exclusively white suburb; Danny, a popular blond, blue-eyed high school jock whose social status is jeopardized when his goofy, embarrassing Chinese cousin, Chin-Kee, enrolls at his high school; and the Monkey King who, unsatisfied with his current sovereign, desperately longs to be elevated to the status of a god. Exploring issues of self-image, cultural identity, transformation, and self-acceptance American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang is a rare treat.

Give the gift of a good read!

Are you stumped on what to get your family members for the holidays? Try giving someone a book! NPR's All Things Considered has several recommendations here in the article "Book Selections to Nourish the Mind at the Holidays."

And while you're on NPR's website, check out their page of holiday recipes too!

The Rouge: Photographs by Michael Kenna at UMMA

This past weekend The Rouge: Photographs by Michael Kenna opened at the University of Michigan Museum of Art Off/Site, its temporary home while the museum is under renovations.

“English landscape photographer Michael Kenna first toured the Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan, in 1992 and returned to the site over a number of years. The resulting photographs capture the smoky atmosphere, the dramatic structures, and the bold silhouettes that give this early twentieth-century technical marvel at the center of modern American industry its character.”

Kenna is not the first photographer to take an interest in the Rouge Plant. While Charles Sheeler’s famous Rouge Plant images were admittedly Kenna’s inspiration, others like Diego Rivera have taken a more painterly approach to this subject in his mural at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Check time/date for scheduled docent guided tours of the exhibition and read up on Michael Kenna in the library's collection.

Buy Local Week, December 4-10

NickelNickel

Organized by Think Local First of Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti will celebrate Buy Local Week, December 4-10 along with many other communities across the country. Click here for a list of events.

During Buy Local Week,, you'll have a chance to win a $250 gift certificate to ANY of the independent, locally-owned businesses in Washtenaw County, as well 10 runner-up prizes.

Why buy local? Here are seven reasons to Think Local First.

While you are shopping at one of our wonderful independent, locally owned bookstores, don't forget our local authors. Happy Shopping!

Bone (in color!)

If you missed out on the first run of this great comic series (originally released from 1994-2004 by Cartoon Books) you won’t want to miss Scholastic’s re-release. The writer/illustrator, Jeff Smith, is currently working with colorist Steve Hamaker to color all nine volumes, which were previously released in black and white.

The story follows the adventures of three cousins, Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone as they are run out of their hometown of Boneville and find themselves in a mysterious valley. There they encounter giant rat creatures, swarms of locusts, dragons, princesses, and racing cows. It’s a fantasy saga that doesn’t take itself too seriously all the time. Take Smith's humor, throw in a little adventure, romance, and suspense, and you have a comic that appeals to all audiences.

Visit Jeff Smith's website to learn more about Bone.

You will find the new Scholastic color versions through volume four in our collection (volume 5 is due out next February):
1.Out from Boneville
2.The Great Cow Race
3.Eyes of the Storm
4.The Dragonslayer

AADL also has some of the black and white Cartoon Books releases:
1.Out from Boneville
3.Eyes of the Storm
4.The Dragonslayer
6.Old Man’s Cave
8.Treasure Hunters

Nate the Great

Nate the GreatNate the Great

Remember Nate the Great? His pancake breakfasts? Rosamond? Anne and her dog Fang?

If so (or if not and your curious,) check out the Nate the Great series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat.

I think it's time to reintroduce the pint-size detective.
Forget Columbo, hire Nate to get to the bottom of things...

And I bet you didn't know that there's a Nate the Great website, did ya?

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