Ann Arbor Observed: The Stories Behind the Ann Arbor Observer Covers

Ann Arbor Observed: The Stories Behind the Ann Arbor Observer Covers contains a mini collection of paintings that have graced the cover of the Ann Arbor Observer over the years, these ones all done by artist Katherine Larson. The paintings are a glimpse into the town and covers areas such as the parks, neighborhoods, University of Michigan, special events, and daily life in Ann Arbor. Each illustration is also accompanied by a decription of the artist’s motivation for that specific piece, as well as a few insights on her work process for it.

Katherine Larson’s artwork has appeared on the front of the Ann Arbor Observer more than any other artist. She has also painted murals, book covers, magazine covers, and children’s book illustrations.

If you’ve ever taken a look at the cover of the Observer after it arrives in your mailbox and wondered how the artist came up with that specific image, here you go!

AADL Talks to the Child Author of "Me, With Wings"

Some people spend their entire lives aspiring to be writers. Others, like Genna Rice, put the pen to the page and make those dreams a reality. Me, With Wings is Genna's first novel, completed before she's old enough to get a driver's license. Here we talk to Genna about her book, her writing process, her inspiration and what it's like to hold a book that she wrote in her very own hands.

Music for this episode was Sete pur Fastidioso, by Barbara Stozzi, which can be found in the AADL Catalog by going to AADL.org/Magnatune.

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AADL_Talks_To-Child_Author.mp3 12.6 MB

Meet the the Author & Illustrator of the “Vordak” books!

Friday, April 26 | 7:00-8:00pm | Pittsfield Branch | K-8th Grade | Adults

Author Scott Seegert and illustrator John Martin, both from Michigan, are responsible for the wildly funny and silly Vordak the Incomprehensible book series. They’ll both be at the Pittsfield branch on Friday, April 26 talking about their books, leading a drawing exercise, and will perhaps be bringing a little surprise! If you’re into funny books, drawing, and super villains, then this event is for you.

The Vordak books, including How to Grow Up and Rule the World, Rule the School, and Double Trouble, are most appropriate for kids in grades 3rd – 8th, but this library program will be enjoyed by those grades in K-8th, as well as adults! It’s always fun to hear an author talk about their work and then get to meet them, and here we’re lucky to meet the author AND the illustrator!! Be sure to also check out the Vordak website, with all sorts of fun things to do.

Books will be for sale after the program, and there will be a book signing.

Ann Arbor Observer: Meet Jacqui Robbins

The March issue of the Ann Arbor Observer has a particularly good article about Jacqui Robbins, who is a writer, director and teacher in Ann Arbor. This article profiles Robbins, author of the children's books The New Girl. . . .And Me, and Two of a Kind. She also has a piece in the new book Dare to Dream - Change the World, a poetry collection inspired by coverage of the 2011 uprising in Egypt. Around Ann Arbor, Robbins is active in many community organizations including 826 Michigan, where she is president of the board.

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Wild Swan Theater: “Shipwrecked!”

Wild Swan Theater presents "Shipwrecked!" March 14-16 in Towsley Auditorium in the WCC Morris Lawrence Building. This original play, appropriate for kids in about grades 3-8, was written by accomplished local playwright Jeff Duncan. The story is a coming-of-age drama set during a fierce storm on Lake Huron in 1893. Twelve year-old Aaron Buchanan is sailing with his parents on their small schooner loaded with Christmas trees. Aaron's mettle is tested when a fierce gale hits "Shipwreck Alley," and he helps rescue his family. The play is based on historical accounts of the time and should give young people a good chance to learn some of the history, geography, music and maritime heritage of Michigan and the Great Lakes. For those families who may want to learn more about shipwrecks before going to the play, AADL has some great resources.

Happy Birthday, Michigan!

Today Michigan celebrates its 176th birthday! On January 26, 1837 Michigan became the 26th state in the union. How will you be celebrating?

To feel the local love, check out AADL's local creators lists, which include a list of movies made in Michigan, and books set in Michigan, among others. Or perhaps read up on Michigan history or plan a trip in this fine Mitten State.

Whether you’re a native or a transplant, it’s a great wintery day to be in the Great Lakes State.

Made in Detroit

It may (or may not) surprise you to learn that the last time a comprehensive travel guide covering the city of Detroit was published was sometime in the 1970s. The city had at least 800,000 more residents and Coleman A. Young was still in the earliest phase of his mayoral tenure. Fast forward to 2012 when 3 Detroit residents (and University of Michigan grads) put the finishing touches on their newest endeavor and publish Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider’s Guide to Detroit. Andy, Emily and Rob Linn take us to every corner of the 139 square miles which make up the city of Detroit, introducing readers to the well-known, as well as the unknown.

Belle Isle to 8 Mile will be a great resource for everyone – from first-time visitors to regulars (and even some long-time residents). Grab a copy and plan your next Detroit adventure!

Maker Music for Teens and Adults: Atari Punk Circuit

Friday January 4, 2013: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This Friday, January 4, we'll be making an electronic instrument out of commonly available pieces and parts.

For this Maker Music event, the Ann Arbor Hacker-Makers of All Hands Active will be teaching people how use basic circuitry to create their own musical instrument, the Atari Punk Circuit. What's that? An Atari Punk Circuit uses an assortment of basic electronics and two knobs to allow people to create basic two-tone electronic sounds, kind of like those that used to be the soundtrack to the first video games on the Atari video game console.

Do you need to know electronics to come to this event? No, that's why we're having it! Come learn a bit about electricity, circuits, and have some fun trying out making different sounds. After you're finished, take a look at our Music Tools collection, too!

This event is for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

You Wrote a Novel Now What? Revising and Submitting Your Work

Saturday, December 8 | 2:00-4:00 PM | Traverwood Program Room | Grades 6-Adults

Writers: here's your chance to get tips on revision and submitting your work for publication. Dan Wickett, co-founder and executive director of Dzanc Books, discusses what he looks for in submissions; what things automatically put a writer in a hole; and things he's learned about revisions from books that Dzanc has published.

Author, poet, and Pioneer and EMU creative writing teacher Jeff Kass will discuss revisions and what he's learned about submitting work. In April 2011 Dzanc books published Jeff’s book Knuckleheads. There will be plenty of time for Q & A with Dan and Jeff so bring your questions -- whether you are a writer, an aspiring writer, or just curious about the writing process!

This event is held in conjunction with November's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).

Found and Read


Brothers Davy and Peter Rothbart visit their hometown of Ann Arbor tomorrow night at The Last Word as part of FOUND Magazine’s epic 10th Anniversary tour, which brings them to 37 states this fall. (The Ann Arbor stop benefits 826Michigan.) The tour also celebrates the release of Davy’s new book My Heart is an Idiot. MHIAI is a collection of personal essays, many regarding his search for love in all the wrong places. See here for info on the tour, and here for FOUND books at AADL.

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