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Book Sightings!

Hey Kids,
How well do you really know your book characters, like Flat Stanley or Amelia Bedelia? One way to find out is to take some book quizzes given on the HarperCollins Children's Book Site. Lots of great books have quizzes you can take to test your knowledge, or there are also fun games to play. Look for secrets in the Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman object game or help Bernie feed the beast in The Rotten School Game. The more you read, the better you will do!

Kids Read Comics Extravaganza!

Attention Comic Lovers! Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 12th. From 10:00AM to 8:00PM at the Ann Arbor Art Center an awesome free event is being presented. Interact with real cartoonists, enjoy some great hands-on workshops and create your very own comics.
Learn more about this spectacular event by visiting the event website.

Blow Some Bubbles!

What comes in all kinds of colors and is really sweet and chewy? Bubble gum, of course. The 2nd week of March is Bubble Gum Week and it's not just for chewing. There's bubble gum ice cream, bubble gum slushies, bubble gum lip gloss… The possibilities are all over the place, and it's a favorite flavor for many kids. There's also the important job of blowing bubbles and competing with bubbles. There are even World Bubble Records out there. So if you have a lot of hot air, blow it into a bubble today, and watch it grow (or pop!).

March is College Admission Acceptance Month

If you are one of the many Americans applying for college you may be getting an acceptance letter this month. This can be an exciting and terrifying time for high school seniors. However, this article has some really great tips for dealing with college acceptance or unfortunate rejection.

Enter to Win: "What's Your Story?"

Tell us about your favorite book, story or character! One lucky winner drawn at random will receive a free personal audiobook to keep and your local library will recieve $500.00 worth of Children's or Teen audiobooks. Enter to win at: http://www.tapededitions.com/.
Hurry! Entry deadline is midnight March 15, 2011.

Sugar Snaps and Strawberries

Sugar snaps & strawberries: simple solutions for creating your own small-space edible garden by Andrea Bellamy; with photographs by Jackie Connelly — Have you started planning your garden yet? Even if you have, you'll want to check out this book to see some fabulous ideas and pick up some tips. Whether you're designing your garden space or picking out what to grow, this book is full of info and is illustrated with gorgeous photographs (given how grey it can be in Michigan this time of year, just looking at the photos is reason enough to pick up this book!). If you like this, you can also check out the author's blog, Heavy Petal.

Bubble Wrap on Detroit History!

A recent Detroit News Article highlights a collection of historically significant automobiles owned by the Detroit Historical Museum. Part of this amazing collection of cars in currently being stored at Fort Wayne in Detroit. The entire collection features approximately 60 cars that are rotated for display in the museum. While in storage, the cars are kept in plastic bubbles that help preserve these historical gems. Facinating on all counts, this article serves as a great reminder of just how historically rich the city of Detroit is.

IRS Ready to Accept All Returns

The IRS announced today that it is now ready to accept all income tax returns. "The IRS is now accepting all the 1040 forms," IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said. "We worked hard to update our systems and get the changes in place as quickly as possible. We appreciate the patience of those impacted by the delay. We urge taxpayers to use e-file with direct deposit, and they can get their refunds within days." In late December 2010, the IRS announced it would delay processing of some tax returns in order to update processing systems to accommodate the late tax law changes.

Loving our Pets

February is not just for Valentine's Day. It's also Responsible pet owners month. All those squeaky guinea pigs and fluffy kittens our relying on you, their owners, to take good care of them. You can also learn about different kinds of pets to have from library books like, Extreme Pets or The House of a Million Pets. Are you taking good care of your special pet?

Write On!

Learning to be a writer takes a lot of practice, whether you're a kid or an adult. Learning to be a nonfiction writer takes research and asking lots of questions. If you would like to learn how to write books for kids check out Writing World for tips on good writing. Author Fiona Bayrock's website is another good site to get information on writing nonfiction for children.

Kids! Score Tickets for the Red Wings or Pistons

Reminder: Deadline to enter for free Pistons tickets is April 4th. Tickets for the Detroit Red Wings are sold out.

Grow your own nutrition

Did you know that there are many really easy to grow veggies that are super-nutritious? Some of them are even extremely tasty, like the sweet peas (from my garden) pictured here. You may find yourself eating them right off the vine! Check out this Top Ten list and start planning your garden for this summer.

Homegrown vegetables, fruits, and herbs: a bountiful, healthful garden for lean times by Jim Wilson; photography by Walter Chandoha

Vitamins, Minerals and Older Adults

As Canton Township's 100 Days of Health initiative continues, consider the needs of older family members. Research has discovered that as we age, our diets and our need for dietary supplements become greater. Doctors are increasingly concerned about boosting the levels of vitamins and minerals that we need as we grow older. Loss of appetite may account for a vitamin/mineral deficiency in older adults.

RoboCop Statue a "Rocky" Proposition?

RoboCop, a cinematic gem of the 1980s, exemplifies the attitude of many people toward Detroit: crime-infested urban ruins. So, despite the title character being [spoiler alert] a hero, the movie's setting is not depicted in such a positive light.

This is in contrast to Rocky, which shows Philadelphia in a mostly-neutral light; along with a glorious training montage that made the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps an icon and tourist attraction. Given the positive effect of Rocky on Philly tourism, the strong identification of that film with a particular filming location, demand for a statue for photography purposes, and the pre-existence of a bronze Rocky statue (which was created as a prop for Rocky III), the permanent installation of the prop statue seems natural.
Now, in Detroit, with the resurgence of civic pride and national recognition:

Some people have come forward to have a statue of Detroit film history erected.

But where? The Detroit in the film bears little resemblance to the rising-Phoenix-Detroit we see today. Additionally, no location in the film was particularly memorable above others. Maybe RoboCop isn't the right fictional Detroiter for a statue. Here are some films set in Detroit for your sculptural inspiration:

Congratulations Green Bay!

Let's all heave a sigh of relief as Super Bowl 2011 is officially over! Now, I just watch the game for the commercials, and I am sure I am not the only one, but for those of you out there who watched the game because it was a football game, well, congrats to the Green Bay Packers! The game was a bit of a nailbiter, but I have to say, I am pleased with the outcome. For those of you who rooted for the Steelers, my condolences. Here's looking forward to Super Bowl 46!

President Obama to Talk Internet in Michigan's Upper Peninsula

On Thursday, February 10, President Obama will visit Marquette, Michigan, to discuss the benefits of expanding broadband internet access in the United States. In particular, the President is expected to offer praise for Northern Michigan University's 4G WiMax network, a new wireless technology that promises faster data speeds than most current cellular broadband networks. In his State of the Union address, President Obama called for a National Wireless Initiative which would expand high-speed wireless Internet access to 98 percent of Americans within five years.

Author Brian Jacques Has Passed

Beloved British author of the famous Redwall series, Brian Jacques, died of a heart attack in Liverpool, England on February 5th at the age of 71. Although best known for the Redwall animal fantasy series, which has been translated into 29 languages, he did write other books. Castaways of the Flying Dutchman is an awesome adventure series with magic, action, and enlightenment. I was really looking forward to book #4. Redwall fans will be glad to know, however, that the last book in that series, The Rogue Crew, will still be published this year. His novels have sold more then 20 million copies worldwide.

Saving and Sharing Seeds

Seed libraries are a way for people to share the seeds from the plants they grow, as well as to gain access to other heirloom varieties with which their neighbors may have had good luck. The Bay Area Seed Interchange Library is one such organization, which appears to be working well. Have you swapped seeds with others? Do you keep your own library of seeds from year to year? Would you be interested in participating in a seed swap in Canton? For more info on saving seeds, check out this article:

Library Lovers' Month!

Most people associate February with Valentine's Day, but did you know that February is also Library Lovers' Month? Check out this website to print some great bookmarks, send some online postcards, get library-inspired ideas for things to do with kids, and even see a list of movies involving librarians. Then come visit the library to check them out!

Google Art Project

The Google Art Project allows the user to tour 17 of the world's most famous museums like Google Street View. Interested in New York's Frick Museum, MOMA, or Versailles? This is a new look at museums which allows you to go from room to room and then select a painting to view. With high-resolution technology you can look at featured paintings in amazing detail. This is a unique resource for the tourist, the student, or the art lover. To learn more about the Google Art Project, check out this article from the New York Times.