DVD Top sellers on Amazon.com

Here are the latest Amazon.com Top Sellers available in our collection. The cast of The Departed looks pretty impressive, although a role for Robert DeNiro would have been icing on the cake. But I guess he can't be in every Martin Scorsese film. Drat! Speaking of which, maybe Scorsese will finally take the Oscar for Best Director home this year at the 2007 Academy Awards, which are scheduled to air next Sunday, February 25th. Who are you rooting for?

The Departed
Flags of our Fathers
An Inconvenient Truth
Little Miss Sunshine
The Illusionist
Marie Antoinette
Babel
The Guardian
The Prestige

Circus and theater combine in this production of "Alice in Wonderland"

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One Chicago theater company, Lookingglass Theater, is setting out to combine theater, dance, music and circus into a production of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The play, called "Lookingglass Alice," is currently playing at New York's New Victory Theater. The next stop of the tour is in Philadelphia's Arden Theatre in May and then the troup returns home to Chicago in June. For more information you can read an article on NPR that discusses the acrobatics in the play, or check the Lookingglass Theater's website for images, video and tour dates.

2nd Annual AADL Staff Art Exhibit

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Exhibit Showing through February 27
Be sure to stop by and see the talent of the 18 AADL staff members currently on display in the lower level exhibit cases at the Downtown Library. This year's show features a wide mix of media, including cell phone photos, painted kimonos, blown glass, welded scrap metal (shown here: "Kelper no. 2", by Anne Drozd), graphic novel illustrations, mixed media assemblage and digitally manipulated photographs.

Sancho's Scene: Community Events that Wander off the Path

Little miss…Washtenaw? Fans of the super-popular film, Little Miss Sunshine, and pageants alike can check out the real thing this weekend. Tweens and teens will compete for the Little Miss Washtenaw title this Saturday in a performance open to the public. Winners go on to compete in the state pageant, a part of the Miss America competition. Pick up a Zoom Lends copy of the film and make a day of it!

An Author's Recommendation . . . See the Movie!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of hearing a speech given by author Katherine Paterson. She's the author of The Bridge to Terabithia. This was the 1978 Newbery Award winner. The movie of that story is opening this week. Ms. Paterson said to ignore the movie trailers . . . they make it look like a fantasy. The story is not a fantasy. But she said she has seen the movie three times and likes it a lot. The screenplay was written by her son. She urged her audience to read the book and then go see the movie. Have you read the book yet?

So whether you read it or go see it . . . pack the tissues. It's a beautiful but sad story.

Celebratory chocolate stories and recipes

To celebrate Valentine's Day, check out this delicious story on NPR. In this week's edition of "Kitchen Window" Krishna Brown recounts stories of childhood Valentine's Days and provides two scrumptious recipes as well.

For other fantastic chocolate recipes check out these books at the library:
Chocolate from the cake mix doctor (my favorite for dressing up cake mix)
Pure chocolate
The art of chocolate
Celebrate with chocolate
The Chocolate Bible
...and more!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be released on July 21st!!

J.K. Rowling announced today that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the final installment of this fantastic series) will be published this summer on July 21st. Amazon is already allowing pre-orders for the book. Harry Potter fans are certain to be planning those midnight release parties already! Check out the BBC article and J.K. Rowling's website for more details and let the count down begin!!

UPDATE: You can now add your name to the hold list for the copies the library plans to purchase! (Log in to "My Account," click on this link to the title and then select "Request This Title" at the bottom of the page.)

Let's rocket!

Osamu Tezuka is often called the father of manga, and we can also thank him for much of what we find in anime today. He was one of the first Japanese artists to use the distinctive “big eyes” style that’s in so much anime and manga, and the original Astro Boy was the first Japanese animation to be shown on American television. Several versions of Astro Boy—the tale of a robot boy who becomes a superhero who fights for justice and peace—have been produced since then. This state of the art update from 2003 (Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, Vol. 4, Vol. 5) uses computer animation while still preserving Tezuka’s original drawing style.

Moomin!

Join Moomin, the beautiful Snorkmaiden, and their friends as they send bad language (with legs) to Aunt Jane, encounter exploding pancakes, and introduce pirates to gardening. Tove Jansson has created a rare treasure that speaks to all generations and all ages. Moomin sums up Jansson's philosophy best when he tells his friend Sniff:

"I only want to live in peace, plant potatoes, and dream!"

Jansson first introduced the Moomins (Scandinavian troll-creatures that resemble white hippopotami) in books that she wrote and illustrated, beginning in 1945 with the book The Moomins and the Great Flood. More Moomintroll books followed, including Comet in Moominland, Finn Family Moomintroll, and Moominpappa's memoirs. These were so popular that she was approached by the London Evening News to do a daily comic strip featuring the Moomin characters. Drawn and Quarterly has released (for the first time in North America) a collection of these strips. This first volume includes four adventures: Brigands, Family Life, Moomin on the Riviera and Moomin's Desert Island.

Happiness In! Demon Out!

We will be tossing beans to keep those demons away and celebrate Setsubun, at our Japanese Family Cultural Celebration this Sunday at 2:00 pm at the Downtown Library. We will begin the festivities with a story and a demon mask craft upstairs, then parade downstairs for music with Miyabi and pocky treats. Families with children of all ages are invited to attend and while you are here, check out Japanese Children’s Favorite Stories and other folktale collections.

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