Fri, 02/02/2018 - 11:40am
Stop by any of the AADL locations for a sweet February surprise!
Adults and teens will find Blind Date with a Book displays, where one can hopefully find the mysterious item of their dreams! Books (and movies!) are wrapped in butcher paper and decorated with hearts in red, pink and purple. They have a short description of what the material inside contains… but you’ll have to check out the item and take it home to unwrap to find out if it’s really meant for you!
Kids aren’t left out either! There are Surprise displays at every location too, where kids will find mystery items decorated with stars and question marks in bright rainbow colors, and wrapped up with only hints written on them to imply what’s inside.
Fri, 12/08/2017 - 4:55pm
Alright folks! We are officially one week away from the biggest film release this year: Star Wars: The Last Jedi! To help you prepare for this monumental event, we've pulled together a list of just some of the hundreds of awesome Star Wars items in our collection.
To start with, we have all of the previous movies on DVD: the original trilogy (consisting of A New Hope, The Empire Strike Back and Return of the Jedi), the prequel trilogy (consisting of The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith), The Force Awakens, and Rogue One. All of these movies are also available on Blu-Ray.
Kids have lots of movie options as well. First on the list is the Clone Wars television series and the Clone Wars Lost Missions, as well as the stand-alone movie The Clone Wars. We also have multiple seasons of the television series Star Wars Rebels, as well as the stand-alone movie Rebels: Spark of Rebellion. The LEGO Star Wars movies are also popular, consisting of The Empire Strikes Out, the New Yoda Chronicles, Padawan Menace, and Droid Tales. LEGO Star Wars has a television series as well, called The Freemaker Adventures.
We have many of the soundtracks from the Star Wars films and television shows, including those for A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Clone Wars. A soundtrack of the original trilogy is available here, and a CD of instrumental solos is available here.
We have tons of kids books about Star Wars. For babies, we have board books such as Epic Yarns: A New Hope and Return of the Jedi. Picture books include BB-8 on the Run and Han and Chewie Return!. For children just learning to read, we have Readers such as Are Ewoks Scared of Stormtroopers?, Death Star Battle, R2-D2 and Friends, and Jedi Heroes. Chapter books for kids include Darth Maul: Shadow Conspiracy, Rise of the Rebels, and Before the Awakening. Star Wars comic books are very popular, and include The Original Trilogy, Crash Course, Jedi Academy, and Star Wars Adventures. Nonfiction reads include The Amazing Book of Star Wars, 5 Minute Star Wars Stories, Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Ultimate Star Wars, The Star Wars Craft Book, and Incredible Cross-Sections. We even have Star Wars books for kids in languages other than English, such as the Spanish language book La Guerra de los Clones Aventuras.
For a full list of Star Wars children's books, see these public lists: Star Wars Readers, Star Wars Chapter Books, Star Wars Graphic Novels for Kids, Star Wars Nonfiction for Kids, and Star Wars Kids Books in World Languages.
Teens have plenty to choose from too. Most take the form of graphic novels, including The Clone Wars series, Knights of the Old Republic, Empire,Invasion, Kanan, and Legacy, although there are novels like Ahsoka and Rebel Rising as well. For a full list, see the public list Star Wars Books for Teens.
The adult collection is where you'll find many of the extended universe novels, both new and old. These include novels such as Bloodline, Dark Disciple, Jedi Trial, Honor Among Thieves, and the Legacy of the Force series. The adult collections are where you're likely to find film adaptations, such as The Phantom Menace and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. There are a ton of adult graphic novels, such as From the Ruins of Alderaan and Heroes for a New Hope. Adults also have interesting Star Wars nonfiction to choose from, in books such as Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy, Where Science Meets Imagination, The Making of Star Wars and Year by Year: A Visual History. For a full list of adult Star Wars materials, see the public lists Star Wars Books for Adults and Star Wars Nonfiction for Adults.
Fri, 12/08/2017 - 10:09am
In celebration of this year's [t:First snow, magic snow] here are some books to get you into the snowy spirit that don't necessarily end with you singing along to the [t:Frozen : soundtrack]!
[t:Into the snow], [t:Snow! Snow! Snow!], [t:Splat the Cat : blow, snow, blow], [t:Skippyjon Jones. Snow what], and [t:Pete the Cat : snow daze] are cute books about kids and animals playing in the snow. In case you're looking for more of a classic story, here's a few more children's titles you might be interested in: [t:Clifford's first snow day] where Clifford the puppy, before he grow's up to be The Big Red Dog, encounters snow for the first time; take a trip with Mrs. Frizzle in [t:The Magic school bus lost in the snow]; and who can forget this wonderful classic of a kid enjoying snow in [t:The snowy day].
For Teens, we have [t:After the snow], a futuristic tale about a boy in search of his missing family during a new ice age. There is a retelling of the classic fairytale, [t:Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen], in [t:Winter's child]. Finally, in [t:Snow-walker], we see a group rebelling against an evil ruler trying to control their land.
We even have a couple of cozy books for adults to, so you can warm up by the fires in the branches, or maybe with coffee or hot chocolate from Sweetwaters. First up, [t:Wagging through the snow], a cute mystery where some adorable dogs are discovered at an abandoned house, right next to a dead body! Next we have another mystery, [t:The Snow White Christmas cookie], this time involving a small town and a big cover-up. And finally, [t:Dashing through the snow], a funny love story about a couple who get caught up in some strange scenarios during the holiday season.
Hope you enjoy the snow, because they say there's more to come this weekend! Cozy up in the library, or your favorite chair, with some of these books to warm you up!
Thu, 11/16/2017 - 6:38pm
Do you enjoy a good documentary?
Search no further!
Ken Burns has directed a number of outstanding documentaries that are perfect for the transition into these cold winter months.
These documentaries have multiple DVDs, so get ready to snuggle under a big blanket with some hot tea and enjoy!
Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:12am
St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Ann Arbor will serve its daily hot breakfast on Thanksgiving from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. as it does every day of the year. The Original Cottage Inn will offer its annual Thanksgiving meal for the needy and homeless, a tradition that dates back more than 30 years. The dinner is served on Thanksgiving between 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Vineyard Church is also providing a Thanksgiving Meal, November 23rd from 11:15 AM-5:00 PM. 2275 Platt Road, Ann Arbor. They are also in need of volunteers; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brown Chapel AME Church,1043 W. Michigan Avenue in Ypsilanti, is serving a Thanksgiving Meal on Wednesday, November 22nd from 12-2 PM, and they also need volunteers: 734-482-7050. Dexter Senior Center will be serving a festive holiday meal on Friday, November 24th from 11:30-2:00 PM, 7720 Ann Arbor Street, Dexter, 48130. They, too, need volunteers, if you're looking for a way to help out this season!
Fri, 11/03/2017 - 2:55pm
Thor: Ragnarok arrives in theaters today, making now the perfect time to revisit your favorite Thor materials! The movie is already generating quite a buzz and has received rave reviews (with a 93% rating, it's currently Rotten Tomatoes' best reviewed comic book film ever!).
A great place to start are the previous Thor movies, including Thor and Thor: The Dark World, as well as his appearances in The Avengers and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. For younger kids who aren't quite ready for the Marvel movies, Thor is featured in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (there are multiple volumes of this series, including Vol. 5 and Vol. 6).
For adult readers, some of the original Thor comics are included in the anthology series The Essential Thor Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3 and Vol. 4. Many of these original stories also appear in The Mighty Thor: Omnibus collection. More recent additions to the Thor universe include God of Thunder Vol. 1 (Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 are also available), Lord of Asgard, Bringers of the Storm, Godstorm, and Thor Vol. 1 (Vol. 3 is also available). Currently, a woman has taken on the title of Thor in The Mighty Thor: Thunder in her Veins.
There are awesome Thor graphic novels in the Teen section, including Wolves of the North and The Lost Gods. A mysterious female Thor has also taken the lead in The Goddess of Thunder and Who Holds the Hammer?.
Kids have a variety of Thor books to choose from as well. Younger children will like gentler Readers such as The Trouble with Thor and These are the Avengers. Older kids can enjoy comic books like Thor: The Mighty Avenger Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, and Mini Marvels: The Complete Collection. Books for kids about the Avengers include The Avengers: The Ultimate Guide and The Avengers: The Movie Storybook. We also have several comic books based on Norse mythology, such as Thor and the Giants and Thor and Loki (also available in Spanish).
Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:44am
The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) is an iconic collective of musicians based in Chicago. Founded in 1965 through the vision of composer Muhal Richard Abrams, they have spent over five decades pushing the boundaries of jazz and music as an art form, incorporating theatrical performance, costuming, visual art, and unusual instruments into their work. AACM members are active around the country and abroad as performers, teachers, and activists.
In honor of Muhal Richard Abrams' passing this week, here are some AACM-related books and recordings from the AADL collection.
[b:1312299|A Power Stronger Than Itself], scholar and trombonist George Lewis' incredible and readable history of the AACM.
[b:1247342|Urban Bushmen] by the Art Ensemble of Chicago
[b:1150518|Coming Home Jamaica] by the Art Ensemble of Chicago
[b:1251371|Sound] by Roscoe Mitchell
[b:1478310|Sonic Rivers] by Wadada Leo Smith
[b:1494319|In for a Penny, In for a Pound] by Henry Threadgill
Sat, 10/14/2017 - 11:33am
E.E. Cummings, (Edward Estlin, for those wondering) beloved American poet, was born on this day in 1894. Cummings is most well known for his unique style of poetry, recognizable by his sparing use of words, and his experimentation with form, grammar, and spelling. Often he wrote about love, and arguably his most well known poem is i carry your heart with me. Cummings started writing at a young age, and was quite prolific, having written thousands of poems. For a quick intro, here are 100 selected poems to give you a taste of his distinguished work. For a deeper dive, be sure to check out a copy of the Complete Collected poems. In addition to writing poetry, Cummings wrote multiple non-fiction books including The Enormous Room and Fairytales, as well as a handful of plays, which are available for check out here.
Tue, 10/10/2017 - 4:27pm
As presented in delightfully rendered, craftily composed biographies of wordsmiths for children (of all ages).
Edward Estlin Cummings was born on October 14, 1894 and was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts by two supportive and creative parents, who introduced Estlin to the wonderful world of words and provided him with the space to use them magically. Estlin’s love of words was illuminated by his passion for drawing and painting, so that the poems he created used words for language and illustration. This very unique style of poetry is well known to any who are familiar with the works of e.e. cummings. In enormous smallness : a story of e.e. cummings, Matthew Burgess details cummings’ childhood and his journey to becoming a poetry pioneer. Kris Di Giamomo’s illustrations are the perfect match to both Burgess’s and cummings’ words. Words appear as pictorial representations of leaves on trees, clouds, the night sky.
cummings was greatly inspired by the outside world that he noticed as a child. So was William Carlos Williams, born in 1883 in Rutherford, New Jersey. Jen Bryant gives us Williams’ story in A river of words: the story of William Carlos Williams. As Williams grew older and had less time for outdoor pursuits, he realized that poetry instilled in him the same feeling as the sounds of the natural world. Unlike cummings, Williams did not find the poetry bursting out of him. He first tried his hand at writing like the famous English poets he had read in school, but found that this style could not convey the images he was seeing in his mind. He put aside rhyme and rhythm and “let each poem find its own special shape on the page.” Williams became a doctor to pay the bills, but often used his prescription pads for jotting down the lines in his head. After each day of work, he wrote to create the poems that are so well known and well loved today, poems about plums and wheelbarrows. Like Di Giamomo, illustrator Melissa Sweet demonstrates that pictures can be made with words.
Bryant and Sweet team up again in The right word : Roget and his thesaurus to give us the story of another great wordsmith. Born in London in 1779, Peter Mark Roget was a collector of words, and because of his accumulation, we have one of the most amazing, breathtaking books there is. The Greek translation of thesaurus is “treasure house,” and there is not a better word within it to describe it. As a child, Roget didn’t have many friends, but he had books, and reading them inspired him to make his own. He organized his words differently from cummings and Williams: he created lists. As he grew older he realized that there was always an ideal word to describe anything and that if those perfect words could all be found in one place, a book sure to provide the best word, than the world would be improved for it. Like Williams, Roget also became a doctor, but it was ultimately his wondrous compendium of words, the “Collections of English Synonyms Classified and Arranged,” that created his legacy. Bryant tells Roget's story in way that exhibits her own admiration for the thesaurus, and Sweet has once again used words as active, cheerful illustrations to show how letters can convey meaning on many levels.
The stories of these three scribes will appeal to word-lovers of any age, even help to create some new ones. And yes, I used a thesaurus to write this. I always do, regularly, repeatedly, and evermore.
Wed, 10/04/2017 - 12:27pm
It’s that most wonderful time of the year: Halloween! As an avid lover of all things fall and Halloween, this is by far my favorite time of the year. I love costumes and being able to dress up as some of my favorite characters. This year I’m planning to cosplay as Roadhog, from Overwatch. If you’re as into costumes as me, come check out some of our books to help you take your costume to the next level!
New this year, [t:The hero's closet : sewing for cosplay and costuming], is a great intro book to cosplay and costume making. It has a lot of helpful beginner steps if you’ve never tried to make your costume before.
[t:Epic cosplay costumes : a step-by-step guide to making and sewing your own costume designs] is another great reference for all of the parts of costume making. With cute advice notes from the author, this book is a great start to becoming your favorite character.
For a more basic guide that you can use with items around your house, check out: [t:Halloween : a grown-up's guide to creative costumes, devilish decor & fabulous festivities]. This book centers more on simple designs and standard Halloween costumes. It also includes some tips for spooky home décor!
Here's a cute costuming book for the younger costumers among us: [t:Creating Halloween crafts]. It has fun craft ideas for decoration and costumes that might be fun for the whole family!
These next two books are probably the best for my costume. If you’re into characters with fancy and elaborate weapons, these two will help you learn how to design your own, much lighter, versions.
[t:Make : props and costume armor : create realistic science fiction and fantasy weapons, armor, and accessories] is written by a master prop maker, and goes into details for both armor and weaponry. It is a very in-depth collection of ideas using everything from simple foam to 3D printing.
In another recent release, [t:The costume making guide : creating armor & props for cosplay], you’ll find all of the steps to take your idea and turn it into a full costume. The author guides you through each part of costume making whether you need armor, weaponry, or other outfit parts.
Looking forward to seeing all of the ideas everyone reading this comes up with! Hopefully I’ve given you a bit of inspiration. Now to get back to making my hook…