Holiday Handiwork

Wondering what gifts to buy for this gift-giving season? Well, why not make your own gifts like some celebrants of Kwanzaa do. You could make ornaments, dolls, treasure boxes or candle out of old jewelry, marbles, yarn, string or other small pieces you already have around. Here are some craft books to help you along.

All new crafts for Kwanzaa by Kathy Ross; illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm

Chinese New Year crafts by Karen E. Bledsoe

Hanukkah crafts by Karen E. Bledsoe; crafts prepared and illustrated by June Ponte

Christmas crafts by Fay Robinson; crafts prepared and illustrated by Margaret Frase

El Dia de los Muertos

Celebrate Day of the Dead with crafts! Make paper marigolds, a skull mask or an Aztec animal decoration with Paper Crafts for Day of the Dead. Make your own Q-tip skeleton with these instructions. To get you in the holiday spirit, read Clatter Bash!: a Day of the Dead Celebration by Richard Cleminson Keep and Ghost Wings by Barbara M. Joosse.

Fractions

Struggling with fractions? Let our materials help you break those numbers down. We've got everything:

Picture Books

Inchworm and a half by Elinor Pinczes ; illustrated by Randall Enos

The Wishing Club : a story about fractions by Donna Jo Napoli ; pictures by Anna Currey

Readers

Mary Clare likes to share : a math reader by Joy Hulme ; illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell

Nonfiction

Fraction action by written and illustrated by Loreen Leedy

The Hershey's milk chocolate bar fractions book by Jerry Pallotta ; illustrated by Rob Bolster

Green Reads Redux

Looking for more stories about kids working to protect our environment? You might find them in unexpected places. If you are a Fantasy Fiction fan try The Companions Quartet series by Julia Golding. If you like Realistic Fiction, try Night of the Spadefoot Toads by Bill Harley and Operation Redwood by Susannah T. French. If you like adventure, you might find Raining Sardines by Enrique Flores-Galbis exciting and full of suspense. You see, there are lots of possibilities when it comes to "green" reads. Enjoy!

Green Reads

Did you notice that a lot of new books feature stories about the environment? Even some of our favorite characters are "going green". Check out these titles to see what I mean:

SpongeBob goes green!: an earth-friendly adventure by Molly Reisner; illustrated by Stephen Reed

OK go by Carin Berger

Cam Jansen and the green school mystery by David A. Adler; illustrated by Joy Allen

Just Grace goes green by written and illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper

Enter the earth by Lee Welles; illustrated by Ann Hameister

Bedroom Makeover

Does your bedroom need a fresh look for the new school year? Have no fear, we have a interior decorating book just for you. For help with making over your bedroom, check out:

I wanna re-do my room by Clea Hantman; illustrated by Azadeh Houshyar

Bedroom makeover crafts by Kathy Ross; illustrated by Nicole in den Bosch

Room crafts: add some simple style to your space by from the editors of American Girl

For a look that is all your own, experiment with collage. Cut out your favorite images from magazines, zines, old comics or print out images from your Facebook page. Glue them all together to make a monster collage and call it wallpaper.

Adopt a new summer friend

Here is a fun way to welcome summer, adopt a pet! Don't worry about pet care, the library has lots of materials on the subject. If you are ready to get a new pet, visit the Michigan Humane Society in Westland or the Humane Society of Huron Valley on Cherry Hill Road in Ann Arbor. Either place will provide adoption counseling. Get ready for your new pet by making a pet toy with the help of Step-by-Step Crafts for Gifts by Kathy Ross.

Crafts for a Rainy Day

Get crafty with help from these books. These craft projects with They Might Be Giants playing in the background could lead to a very fun rainy day!

Nature's art box: from t-shirts to twig baskets, 65 cool projects for crafty kids to make with natural materials you can find anywhere by written by Laura C. Martin; with drawings by David Cain

Crafty kids: fun projects for you and your toddler by Rosie Hankin

The crafty art book by written by Jane Bull

Chillin' trix for cool chix: fab recipes, crafty fun, mystic magic, and super-cool quizzes by Leanne Warrick; illustrated by Debby Boon

Solar Power: Get it While it's Hot

Now that the sun is shining more and more, why not learn about how you can use the sun's energy to generate electricity and power. Here is a nifty website with more on solar power and below are some books to help you learn more:

Energy from the sun by Allan Fowler

Harnessing power from the sun by Niki Walker

Solar power: a true book by Christine Petersen

Sunpower experiments: solar energy explained by Maggie Spooner