Kindergarten Prep

Starting kindergarten is a major developmental milestone for children and their parents. During spring, many elementary schools host "Kindergarten Round-Up” sessions to help families prepare for this exciting event. Here are some picture books you and your child can read together that deal with the excitement, worries and routine of kindergarten.

Adventure Annie goes to kindergarten by Toni Buzzeo; illustrated by Amy Wummer

The pirate of kindergarten by George Ella Lyon; illustrated by Lynne Avril

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn; illustrations by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak

Is your buffalo ready for kindergarten? by Audrey Vernick; illustrated by Daniel Jennewein

Murder Will Out: Daggers Awards Nominees Announced

The British Crime Writers' Association has announced its shortlists for the 2011 Dagger Awards. This past May, Lindsey Davis was awarded The Diamond Dagger Award for sustained excellence in crime writing. Ms. Davis is the author of an historical mystery series featuring Marcus Didius Falco. She is considered the 'founder' of historical mysteries.

CSAs Gain Momentum

As more folks look for alternatives to factory farmed foods, CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) are growing in popularity. Joining a CSA is a great way to eat healthy and support local farms. To find a CSA near you, you can visit CSAFarms.org. There is also an option for those interested in participating in a CSA this winter. One clever organization, Locavorious, has partnered with several small farms in the communities around Ann Arbor to offer frozen produce subscriptions, similar to shares offered by regular CSAs. During the peak harvest, they prepare and package local produce at its peak freshness, and preserve it in a community freezer. To learn more about the advantages of eating locally, check out what the library has on the topic of local foods.

Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener's Handbook

The week-by-week vegetable gardener's handbook by Ron Kujawski and Jennifer Kujawski — When you're growing vegetables in a variable climate like Michigan's, it can be hard to know exactly when things should be happening and what to plant when. This book outlines those timelines in detail for a variety of vegetables. It also includes many tips and bits of information that any veg gardener will find useful.

Shakespearean Hits

Looking for a good, and not-too-long, book for that historical fiction assignment? Then pick up Gretchen Woefle's All the World's a Stage: a Novel in Five Acts. As you might guess, it is set in England during Shakespeare's time, but it is also a coming-of-age story that revolves around a very interesting event. Twelve-year-old orphan Kit messes up big time as a cutpurse at the Theatre playhouse, but is lucky enough to be offered a chance to work off his offense instead of going to jail. Although Kit is plagued with a volitile temper that often trips him up, he begins to enjoy the on- and offstage dramas of theater life and the work involved in stage productions. When the landlord evicts the Lord Chamberlain's Men from the his land that their playhouse in on, Kit joins the secret plot to dismantle the playhouse and move it to a new location. This clandestine feat must be accomplished while the landlord is away for Christmas and the suspense mounts as they scamble to find skilled workers who are willing to help them. Will they succeed? Will Kit ever his place in life? Will he be able to trust anyone enough to be a true friend? Read and find out!

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