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From Costume Contest to Island Adventure

Sun, 11/12/2017 - 4:14pm

This new book by Peter Sís is another dreamy and beautiful childhood recollection, featuring a fantastical trip to the world of Robinson Crusoe. Sís recalls a touching story of dressing up like the shipwrecked hero, falling sick, and journeying to a deserted island. There, as depicted in page after page of Sís’s detailed illustrations and rich watercolors, young Peter lives a peaceful and quiet life with his animal friends. Did he imagine the whole thing or did he really journey there and discover a new land?

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Stinky Swamp Adventures

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 12:58pm

I Love You More Than the Smell of Swamp Gas by Kevan Atteberry is an adorably creepy story of a parent monster and their kiddo chasing a wild skink through the swamp at midnight. As they chase the critter deeper into the swamp, the pair encounters ominous odors, treacherous terrain, and a hodgepodge of curiously spooky creatures - from blood sucking ducks to toe-biting stones, and moonstruck raccoons. With each encounter the baby monster asks its guardian if they love them as much as they love the new animal they come across, or if they find them as fun as the trouble they’re getting into. The guardian always responds with affirmations of love, using a new ghoulish term of endearment to reassure the child. While the theme of the book has the sweetness of Guess How Much I Love You, it also brings a fun, spooky twist, delighting the reader with its sense of adventure and wild imagination. A must read for ghosts and ghouls this Halloween!

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Fantastic Children's Non-Fiction

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 4:29pm

When Planet Earth Was New - by James Gladstone & Katherine Diemert -
This starkly beautiful picture book introduces very young readers to the geological history of planet Earth. Beginning with the very early development of the solar system, billions and billions of years ago, 'When Planet Earth Was New' shows the earth as it passes through various geological epochs, through the beginnings and the evolution of organic life, and into the human-dominated present. You'll find a great appendix at the end, giving a wealth of additional details. This little gem is a great way to show your child the basics of geological and biological history, years before they will first learn it in the classroom.

Pocket Full of Colors: the magical world of Mary Blair, Disney artist extraordinaire -by Amy Guglielmo & Jacqueline Tourville-
The authors chart the course of the life of Mary Blair, the creative talent behind Disney classics like Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland. Mary's creative instincts and professional ambitions collide with gender discrimination in the highly male-dominated work-spaces of mid-century America. Mary perseveres though, and single-handedly drags the Disney Studios from it's black and white past, and into the lush colors of it's storied golden age.

While there is much to love in this slender book, as and adult, my favorite part of 'A Pocket Full of Colors' is how carefully the illustrator captured the various incarnations of Mary's personal style, from Betty Page bangs, to late 50's June Cleaver pearls, and finally into ultra-trendy 60's Mod. This beautifully illustrated, audaciously colorful picture book is a great way to introduce your little one to biographies.

Yum! MmMm! Qué rico! : Americas' sproutings - by Pat Mora -
Featuring vibrant, warm colors and a playful style, Pat Mora manages to pack an enormous amount of quality content into a tiny little picture book. 'Written as a series of haiku, Yum! MmMm! Qué rico!' teaches kids about the history of many of the great foods that originated in the Americas (chocolate, corn, peanuts, potatoes, and many more). Be sure to check out the fun and informative histories of each food item, always in small print on the left-hand side of every page. Your child will be both educated and entertained.

Poison : deadly deeds, perilous professions, and murderous medicines - by Sarah Albee -
Written for more advanced readers, this book is sure to satisfy kids with a passion for chemistry, history, spy-craft, or maybe just anything morbid. While the author is careful to state that 'Poison' is not an exhaustive index of poisonous materials, at nearly 200 pages, Sarah Albee manages to cover an enormous amount of ground. Your child will learn about how humans have wrangled with chemistry throughout history, focusing on the where, when, and why of how people have come into contact with dangerous chemical compounds. Be sure to check it out!

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Endangered Birds

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 1:00pm

On July 4, 2017 I saw a bald eagle flying over the Huron River! It was the first time I had ever seen a bald eagle in the wild. During the past several decades bald eagles were a very rare sight in the Ann Arbor area. After reductions in the use of dangerous pesticides such as DDT and 40 years on the endangered species list, bald eagle populations have significantly recovered in southeastern Michigan and around the United States.

”Bald Eagle Numbers Soaring in SE Michigan” is a short article in The Daily Telegraph (published in Adrian, MI). It has information on the recovery of bald eagles in southeast Michigan.

You can find out more about both Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology Birds of North America Online database is a very informative resource. You can find it by subject under “Science & Technology”, or you can find it alphabetically by name. For each bird species there are sections covering a variety of interesting topics including “Demography and Populations” and “Conservation and Management”.

12 Birds Back From the Brink by Nancy Furstinger highlights 12 different bird species that have made a comeback after being close to extinction. This book discusses both the reasons why species numbers declined to dangerous levels, and the actions that were taken to save them from extinction. It emphasizes the dramatic differences that human behavior can make in the survival or extinction of a species. Although intended for kids, the information in this book may be interesting to readers of all ages.

Here are some more kids’ books on endangered birds that both kids and adults may enjoy:

Endangered and Extinct Birds by Jennifer Boothroyd introduces both endangered and extinct birds. This book is easy to read and has lots of photographs.

Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot by Sy Montgomery tells the story of how scientists and volunteers are trying to save the unique and fascinating kakapo parrot of New Zealand. Like a number of other bird species in New Zealand, the kakapo parrot cannot fly.

Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf by Olivia Bouler features Olivia’s colorful illustrations of many types of birds. As an 11 year old, Olivia used her artistic talent to raise money for the vast numbers of birds devastated by the catastrophic 2010 Gulf oil spill. This book shows that even young people can make a difference by taking action!

Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore has information on how scientists are trying to save Puerto Rican parrots from extinction. Puerto Rican parrots are the only parrots native to the United States. This book includes fantastic collage artwork and information on the history of Puerto Rico.

A Place for Birds by Melissa Stewart has lots of colorful illustrations, facts about birds, and suggestions for how people can help birds to survive.

If you’d like to try drawing some birds, Draw 50 Birds by Lee J. Ames includes all types of birds: common, rare, recovering, and extinct. There are no written instructions in this book, just drawings.

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New Monster Books!

Wed, 09/27/2017 - 6:00pm

It’s that time of year when requests for spooky and fall books happen! Check out this new batch of monster books for kids. There are such cute monsters out there!

An A to Z of Monsters and Magical Beings offers fascinating facts about some of the most talked about mysterious beings! Everything including an alien, cyclops, dragon, kraken, minotaur, troll, werewolf, and more! Beautiful illustrations!

What Makes a Monster: Discovering the World’s Scariest Creatures is a nonfiction book that explores a variety of real animals that dare to scare. Read facts about the fangtooth moray eel, komodo dragon, and the Portuguese man-of-war, to name a few. Great photographs!

And don’t forget to check for:
If Your Monster Won’t Go To Bed
There’s a Monster in Your Book
I’m Not Little
I Want to be in a Scary Story

If you need even more, here’s a list of monster books, and here’s whole bag of Stories To Go: Monsters that features a stack of some classics.

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Audio Description Track on DVD!

Thu, 08/31/2017 - 10:14am

AADL continues to grow its collection of films that have a Descriptive Video Service or DVS feature. More films are being produced for children and adults that are Described Video Recordings for L Card users to borrow. When you look at this list, sort the items to show the newest DVDs first! Some DVDs are even available by mail to our WLBPD patrons as Free Matter for the Blind. If your vision isn't what it used to be, you may want to try watching a film with described narration. That way you don't have to ask other folks what's happening on the screen and can concentrate on the film.

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Say Zoop! Or oh or ah.

Sat, 08/19/2017 - 3:48pm

If you're a fan of Herve Tullet's book Press Here, and other interactive picture books, here's a new one for you! Author and illustrator Tullet's newest, Say Zoop!, invites the reader to press along with words that coincide with each spot. It ends up being a hilarious adventure of colors and sounds as you go from page to page pressing and saying silly sounds louder and softer as you go.

If this sounds great, check out more Press Here readalikes and interactive books that are similar! This style of interactive books are really great to read together with the little ones.

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Storytimes: G is for Gardening!

Fri, 06/30/2017 - 8:29am

This week at storytimes at Traverwood and Westgate, Elizabeth told stories about gardening! We heard about industrious Rabbit, who tricks lazy Bear in Tops and Bottoms. We also heard the story of the trickster Anansi the spider who doesn’t want to help with the community garden in The Talking Vegetables. We read the classic Planting a Rainbow, by Lois Ehlert and discovered what animals were hiding in our gardens in There’s Something in My Garden.

Preschool storytimes at the AADL are intended for ages 2-5 and are free and open to the public. You can see our full storytime schedule here.

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Endangered Species

Thu, 06/29/2017 - 9:48am

An endangered species is an animal, plant, or other species that is at risk of becoming extinct in the near future. Current scientific evidence indicates that the rate of species extinctions is increasing.

How to Save a Species by Marilyn Baillie, Jonathan Baillie, and Ellen Butcher features endangered species from around the world and the scientists who are trying to save them. It includes species on the brink of extinction, as well as those who have recovered after almost becoming extinct. To find the most current information on the endangered species highlighted in this book, see the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. To learn more about how scientists are trying to save some of the most endangered species on Earth, see the EDGE of Existence website. How to Save a Species is written for kids, but many adults will also find this information interesting.

Here are a few more books about endangered species that both kids and adults may enjoy:

Endangered Animals by Ben Hoare is part of the Eyewitness series. This book also discusses endangered species and the ways humanity can help them survive.

Save the Planet: Helping Endangered Animals by Rebecca E. Hirsch is part of the Cherry Lake Publishing collection. This informative ebook can be downloaded as a PDF when you log in to your AADL web account.

Draw 50 Endangered Animals by Lee J. Ames gives step-by-step illustrations for drawing endangered animals. There are no written instructions in this book, just drawings. This book is part of the Draw 50 series.

The following books about endangered species are geared towards younger kids:

Almost Gone: The World’s Rarest Animals by Steve Jenkins is filled with great illustrations and includes facts about fascinating endangered animals from around the world.

Endangered! by Barbara L. Webb is an informative, easy to read book with lots of photographs. This book is part of the Green Earth Discovery Library series.

Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet by David McLimans is a Caldecott Honor Book. This is a unique picture book that also includes information that may be of interest to older readers.

It Stinks to Be Extinct! by Susan Blackaby is written in an easy to read format and includes nice photographs and valuable information about endangered animals.

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What's On MyPlate?

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 3:33pm

One of my favorite things about summer is the opportunity to eat so many healthy fruits and vegetables! Do you feel the same? Not so much? Or yes, a whole bunch? Well, join us Thursday June 22, 2017: 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm in the Downtown Library: Secret Lab to learn more about having a healthy lifestyle beginning when you're young like you are right now!

PE-Nut (Physical Education and Nutrition) is a program that uses a holistic approach to motivate kids, parents, and families to be physically active and eat healthier.

Join us for this fun session involving games, crafts, and activities to learn about nutrition and healthy eating choices. This program is facilitated by and in partnership with the National Kidney Foundation and is intended for grades K-5.