The Wonder Garden

Icelandic illustrator Kristjana Williams collaborated with author Jenny Bloom on the new children’s book The Wonder Garden, a gorgeous look into five drastically different habitats. Williams and Bloom use unique locations around the world to introduce young readers to 80 amazing animals that we likely wouldn’t encounter here in the United States. From the Amazon Rainforest, they take us to the Great Barrier Reef, to the Chihuahuan Desert, to the Black Forest, and finally drop readers off in the Himalayan Mountains, where we get to learn about animals like the Asiatic Black Bear and the Bengal Tiger. The diversity in these habitats really allows Williams and Bloom to emphasize the beauty and uniqueness of our planet and showcase some of the world’s more unusual flora and fauna. Kids and adults alike will be drawn to the big, bright illustrations in this book, and will be eager to turn the pages to see what world awaits them next. The cover perhaps says it best: “Fold back the covers of this book and let the gates to Earth’s wonder garden swing wide open.”

MAP: Exploring the World

The 300 maps on the pages of Map: Exploring the World are paired in such a way that they complement or contrast each other, rather than be presented in chronological order. This big and beautiful book includes old maps, modern maps, and everything in between. A variety of artistic style and presentation of information in the maps look amazing on the pages of this new book.

You’ll find maps of the depth of the world’s oceans, a map of Vesuvius, survey maps, a serio-comic war map, astrological charts, a geologic map of Mars, a bird migration map, star charts, population maps, sea charts, maps of Disney Land and Hollywood, maps of the brain, and plenty of world maps and state maps, among many others. Included with each map is a rich blurb about the map and its creator.

Also included is a very interesting and brief timeline of cartography and a timeline of world history. It's great from an artistic point of view, as well as history!

Peaks of Interest: Hiking Adventures with Hirak Parikh

Thursday March 17, 2016: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Hirak Parikh moved to Stuttgart, Germany in 2013 and spent about a year in Europe hiking some of the world’s tallest and most scenic mountains, including the Swabian Alps, the Swiss-Austrian Alps, and the Balkans. He founded the Stuttgart Hiking Meetup to explore the lesser known local Swabian Alps and the more famous Alps that are further to the south. The highlight of his time there was walking across the Peaks of the Balkans. This challenging trail loops around Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania and takes about 10-13 days to traverse the 120 miles. Hirak's writeup was featured in the January 2016 issue of Backpacker magazine and the hike was ranked at #2 out of 32 places on the Life List.

Hirak will share his experiences hiking, photos of his adventures, and tips for hikers interested in making their own journeys.

Hirak Parikh was born and raised in Pune, a region in Western India at the foothills of the Sahayadri mountains. He moved to Ann Arbor for grad school in 2002 and never really left. An avid amateur hiker, Hirak has hiked along the Inca Trail in Peru and climbed Mt. Whitney. He is a proud father of 2 little girls and a rambunctious coonhound. While not hiking or running, he's reading the many books checked out of the AADL.

Nothin' like a good map book!

Yes! I love maps and geography, and a brand new United States map book has just arrived here at the library! Titled simply The Fifty States, this oversize book gives each state a double-page spread jam-packed with unique details about that state and a giant map of the state with interesting and memorable places marked. I love how author Gabrielle Balkan didn’t pick well-known facts or places to highlight, but instead chose more “off the beaten path” aspects of our country to point out. The key facts for each state—capital, statehood date, flower, bird, tree and motto aren’t left out, though: they’re nicely arranged in a colorful box on each page. Each spread also has a column of “memorable moments” from the state, and images of famous people from the state are scattered across the pages. I loved some of the places of note that Balkan chose for Michigan: along with the Mackinac Bridge and Sleeping Bear Dunes, the submarine museum in Muskegon, the Charlevoix mushroom houses, the frozen pier in St. Joseph and Tahquamenon (“Root Beer”) Falls are also on display.

This is a quirkily illustrated, yet beautiful book and offers an amazing amount of information; all ages will learn something by perusing it! What a great holiday gift for any child interested in maps and the U.S.A.!

Nature Anatomy: a book for the eye and the mind

The awesome new book Nature Anatomy, by Julia Rothman, is a delight for the eyes and the mind. In it, Rothman takes “the curious parts and pieces of the natural world” and diagrams and explains them beautifully. “If you’ve ever wanted to see how mountains are formed or wondered about the life cycle of a mushroom or the different types of feathers on a bird, you’ll delight in exploring Rothman’s diagrams, drawings and dissections,” reads the back cover of the book. I loved how “un-textbook” Rothman’s work is. Her drawings and explanations are simple, well-placed, and alternatingly cute and beautiful. There is enough detail to really learn about a given subject, but not so much that the casual reader would feel bogged down or bored. Truly, Nature Anatomy is a gem for both the least and the most science-minded.

Rothman is also the author of Farm Anatomy, a similarly designed and equally rewarding read.

Geography Crafts for Kids

About now most kids are are counting down the days to summer break. However, summer doesn’t have to mean taking a break from learning. AADL has some great books that will have the whole family learning all summer long! The book Geography Crafts for Kids by Joe Rhatigan and Heather Smith offers hands on activities that will have learners of all ages thinking in new and exciting ways about the world we live in. Serve up some plate tectonics with a Pangea Pudding Puzzle or learn the art of cartography by mapping out your neighborhood. This book is filled with over 50 cool projects, along with illustrations and sidebars for parents. Check it out and learn about the world and beyond from your very own home!

Take a family adventure with Larry & Pete!

With summer fast approaching, the whole family can share in the fun of vacation planning with the help of the Larry Gets Lost Series!
These fantastic books have brightly colored, retro-like illustrations and great rhymes that take your family on a journey with Larry and Pete through the streets of Seattle, New York and Chicago, to name a few. In every book Larry the dog lets the tasty smell of local foods lure him away from his good pal Pete and spends the day exploring a new city in his quest to be reunited with his boy. The stories combine fun verse, geography and history to create a wonderful travel guide for children and adults alike!

Maps for All Ages to Enjoy

Not your average geography book, Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski is a beautiful book with amazing illustrations. The full page maps include images of cultural and historical interest in addition to famous natives and specific places within each country. It’s such a visual treat! This large book is great for anyone who is into maps, places, illustration, or design, and would be a great coffee table book when it's not on a child's bookshelf. The other titles by the same author are also beautiful.

Arborwiki Edit Night At Arbor Brewing

Wednesday April 23, 2014: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm -- Arbor Brewing - 114 East Washington

What's ArborWiki? ArborWiki is the community generated source for details on everything from birthday deals to local history to the lowdown on local playgrounds.

Since it's a "civic wiki" it's created, edited and maintained by locals. Who are those locals? That could mean you! If you have an interest in any aspect of the Arbor/Ypsi area - parks, history, local happenings - you might be a perfect ArborWiki contributor or editor.

Come hang out and grab a frosty beverage at Arbor Brewing (114 East Washington in Ann Arbor), meet some of the current crew of editors, and hop in to edit or create entries about your community. Bring your laptop or use one one of ours!

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