Mr. Ferris and His Wheel

As a beautifully illustrated picture book, Mr. Ferris and His Wheel is the true story of how mechanical engineer George Ferris invented and constructed the amazing spinning wheel, coined the Ferris Wheel after him, to debut at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It’s a great story of perseverance and determination after Ferris was doubted as to whether or not his "contraption" would work or be safe. But during the nineteen weeks the World’s Fair ran in Chicago over 1.5 million people rode the wheel, which revolved more than 10,000 times total, and did not need one single repair.

Library Lists: Best Board Books!

Language learning and picture recognition both begin at a very young age, an age so young, in fact, that often babies can’t yet handle the delicate pages and covers of real books! This, of course, is where board books come in. The AADL has a great collection of board books that we replenish regularly and keep at all of our locations. Here are some favorites, from alphabet books, to shortened versions of classic children’s stories, all available at the library!

Rhymoceros: In this adorable book, a bright blue rhinoceros demonstrates pairs of rhyming words by attempting various feats and experiments.

In Small, Smaller, Smallest, flaps and tabs help demonstrate different sizes of colorful objects and creatures to curious young readers.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: A Colors Primer introduces babies to colors, using the familiar figures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. Also in this adorable series are Frankenstein: An Anatomy Primer, Anna Karenina: A Fashion Primer, and tons of others, all by author Jennifer Adams.

Little fans of trucks, trains, planes and other vehicles will enjoy Steve Light’s board books such as Planes Go, Trains Go, and Diggers Go, where they can see, sound out, and recreate the noises of lots of different moving machines!

Sandra Boynton’s board books are hilarious classics that are not only fun for kids, but are amusing for adults too. Try Blue Hat Green Hat, which features a turkey who can’t quite seem to get dressed properly or The Going to Bed Book to start.

Little Pear Tree is a beautifully illustrated book with flaps to lift and unique words to learn and creatures to discover. Readers will enjoy seeing a pear tree and its surroundings change throughout the seasons.

Yusuke Yonezu’s fun board books about fruits and vegetables are fascinating for the littlest readers: pairings of different foods morph into animals when a page is shifted or a flap is lifted! Try Guess What?-Food and Guess What?-Fruit.

Alphablock is a fantastic first alphabet book for babies. With thick pages cut into the shape of each letter, young hands can really FEEL how a letter might be written or drawn. And of course, there are lots of items and creatures that begin with each letter on the pages so kids can begin to learn what words are associated with them.

If you’re looking for more fun and interesting board books, check out this list!

By Mouse & Frog

By Mouse & Frog is a new picture book by Deborah Freedman. It features a nice, quiet mouse who is writing a story. A fantastic story! So many ideas are flowing out of his pencil! But Frog is super duper enthusiastic about the storyline and keeps interrupting Mouse’s writing process with his own ideas.

“Once upon a time Mouse was trying to tell a story, but Frog bounced and bounced without listening to Mouse!”

Will Frog stop interrupting? Will Mouse get to finish writing the story? Will teamwork be involved at all?! This charming book will make you giggle and smile and appreciate the balance that's in every friendship.

Michigan Activity Pass - Check Out Free Passes to Michigan Attractions

Looking for adventure this summer? The Michigan Activity Pass (MAP) is newly expanded, offering free or discounted entry to more than 360 attractions across the state. Library card holders can log in to the MAP site to explore opportunities close to home or farther afield. Use the Advanced Search option to narrow your results by area of interest, such as art, historical sites, maritime, children's activities, campgrounds, and many more.

Use MAP to get free or discounted entry to some of the historic lighthouses dotting Michigan's coast, to art museums such as the Detroit Institute of Arts or the Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, to history museums like the Yankee Air Museum, the Michigan Firehouse Museum, and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, as well as to state parks and campgrounds throughout Michigan,

Find MAP on the library's website under Unusual Stuff and explore your options for making this summer a non-stop Michigan adventure!

Check out the program brochure for a complete listing of participating locations.

Teens Using Drugs: Education Series

The Dawn Farms Education Series, "Teens Using Drugs: What To Know and What To Do" will be presented in its final session before it resumes in the fall. This is a free, two-part series that will be presented from 7:30-9:00 pm Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015 (part one, "What to Know"), and Tuesday, June 9th (part two, "What to Do"). The programs will be held in the "Exhibition Room" on the first floor of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Education Center at 5305 Elliott Drive, Ypsilanti. The sessions are presented by the Dawn Farm Youth & Family Services team. This program is targeted primarily to parents/caretakers of teens & young adults but is inclusive of other family members, teens, professionals, students, people who sponsor or support teens, and others interested. Please contact 734-485-8725 or or see the link to Dawn Farm for further information.

Gorgeous New Youth Non-Fiction

If you’re looking for new books with beautiful and interesting images, look no further than our Youth Non-Fiction section!

First up are the companion books Amazing Animals: A Collection of Creatures Great and Small, and Beautiful Beasts: A Collection of Creatures Past and Present. These books are light on text but littered with gorgeous drawings of all kinds of animals, from the cute to the gruesome. The animals are organized by color, but also by more unusual ways, such as speed, tails and even ear size! With some of the most lovely illustrations I’ve ever seen, these books are sure to please everyone.

If the above books leave you wanting more information about animals, check out Information Graphics’ Animal Kingdom. With bright colors, tabs dividing sections, and quick, interesting animal facts, this book wonderfully compliments Amazing Animals and Beautiful Beasts.

Finally, Matthew Burgess’ new biography of E.E. Cummings, Enormous Smallness, will delight even readers who are unfamiliar with the poet. With text that swoops all over the pages, and beautiful illustrations by the always fantastic Kris Di Giacomo, this book captures E.E. Cummings’ unique style. A chronology, selected poems, and author’s note complete this book, providing extra information to curious readers.

Classic Literature for the Littlest Listeners

The Babylit board book series by author/illustrator team Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver introduce concepts like counting, colors, and opposites using adorable designs and eye-catching colors. Adams' simple text and Oliver's sleek and clever designs are a perfect combination. These are books parents will enjoy as much as their little ones, and there are plenty of little details to point out and talk about with your child - counting creatures, naming characters, finding objects, make Babylit books a great interactive reading experience.

The Cozy Classics series by brothers Jack and Holman Wang combines single word storytelling with photographs of elaborately felted object to convey classics like "Les Miserables" or "War and Peace." These wholesome and painstakingly detailed photographs add magic to this very simple retellings.

Check out this list for titles from both series, and start laying the foundation for the future literature lover in your life!

Reading aloud for all ages

Many parents know that reading to young children is beneficial. It is a warm bonding time that promotes literacy and language development.

But what about older children... especially children that can read for themselves?
There are benefits for older elementary and middle schoolers as well. A child's listening level does not catch up to her/his reading level till almost high school. For example reading a book that is above reading level will promote learning new vocabulary as well as more complex grammar and con. Besides the intellectual benefits there are the social benefits of experiencing a story together, the physical closeness, and the opportunity to discuss issues that occur in stories and books as a family.

For great tips (and some read aloud passages) check out Jim Trelease's The Read-aloud Handbook.

Here are some lists to help you create a habit of reading aloud in your family:
Folklore and Fairy Tale Read Alouds
Read Aloud Books for Links
Read-Alouds for the Big Kids
Great Chapter Books to Read Aloud
Read Alouds for Middle School

Parent’s Corner: Go Outside and Play

It’s spring, it’s summer, it’s spring it’s summer! The grass is green, it probably already needed mowing, the lilacs are blooming, baseball practices have started up, and kids are on their bikes all over town! With the warm weather comes kids wanting to go outside. Whether it’s gardening fun or shooting hoops, there are all sorts of ways to keep kids safe and having fun outdoors.

For some guidance the Parent Shelf is located in the downtown youth area, and on this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from food and nutrition to potty training to time-outs to homework. These books are available for checkout and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf.” There are many books on outdoors and gardening with kids! Here are a few to get you started:

Touch a butterfly: Wildlife gardening with kids

How to grow a school garden: A complete guide for parents and teachers

Toad cottages & shooting stars: Grandma's bag of tricks

I love dirt! : 52 activities to help you and your kids discover the wonders of nature

And here are a few more titles to keep you playing outside.

Circle, Square, Moose

From the author and illustrator of the funny and wonderful picture book Z is for Moose comes a new tale featuring Zebra and Moose. As usual, Moose is causing trouble and Zebra just wants order.

In Circle, Square, Moose the very enthusiastic Moose invades a book about shapes and his pal Zebra tries really hard to get him out of the book and out of the way of those beautiful shapes! He wants to teach everyone about shapes. Circles! Squares! Triangles! Not Moose! In the end Moose and Zebra patch things up and the book is saved with the help of a very special shape and a great friendship.

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