Animalium

If you have not yet seen this giant beauty resting on the new youth nonfiction shelf, please allow me to draw your attention to it. I know I will forever be indebted to the person who first showed Animalium to me. It is one of those rare books that is both captivating to look at and to read. Maybe I should make myself clear here, it is captivating if you enjoy learning about animals and reading facts about them. If you are expecting a great fictional story, then perhaps it would be best if you check this out for the sole purpose of enjoying the pictures. Furthermore, please don't dismiss this book because it is intended for youth, I choose to believe "youth" really just stands for "youthful" and there really is no age restriction when it comes to appreciating beautiful illustrations of wildlife.

The large colorful illustrations are wonderfully detailed and the shadowing and chosen colors give the pictures great depth. Being an amphibian girl myself, I was particularly drawn to the page including the the Darwin's Frog (Rhinoderma darwinii) which has "an oversize vocal sac in which it rears its young." Little tadpoles in a frog's throat never looked so pretty.

Be warned though, when I say "giant beauty" I mean bring a sturdy bag because this is no pocket book.

You may also want to check out Welcome to Mamoko or Maps, both published by Big Picture Press and with equally fascinating pictures and intriguing concepts. Or maybe this has piqued your interest about animals and now you want to learn more. Great! Here is a list of other Awesome Animal books that may help you with your research.

Nerd Nite Ann Arbor presented by AADL at LIVE 102 S First St.

Thursday January 29, 2015: 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm -- LIVE (102 S 1st Street)

This event is intended for Adults
This event will be recorded

For the last year and a half, crowds have gathered each month in the early evening - in bars and venues around Ann Arbor. Around 7pm, it begins: three boisterous speakers geek out up front. What is this? Some secret club?

Nope! It's Nerd Nite Ann Arbor! And it's open to anyone and everyone who loves to learn or share what they love.

For the uninitiated, Nerd Nite (NN) has been described as “...like the Discovery Channel™…with beer!” Sounds fun, right? It is! NN is held monthly in 70+ cities, giving several folks the opportunity to give 18-21minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines. Imagine learning about everything from the science of the Simpsons to the genealogy of Godzilla. Fun stuff!

Doors open at 6:30, and speakers start at 7pm.

So show up, have a drink, meet other nerds, and learn a bunch of awesome new junk!

Want to see past topics and a little more info? Check NNA2's site.

AADL is sponsoring this month's event, so there will be NO COVER!

Mark your calendars and spread the word! Any and all nerds (and non-nerds!) who love learning and having a great time are welcome to join us!

CANCELLED - Nerd Nite Ann Arbor presented by AADL at LIVE 102 S First St.

Thursday December 11, 2014: 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm -- LIVE (102 S 1st Street)

Due to circumstances beyond our control - the December edition of Nerd Nite has been cancelled.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Michigan Author Jerry Dennis: A Daybreak Handbook

Monday January 26, 2015: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event will be recorded

Author Jerry Dennis, best known as an award-winning nature writer, has branched out in two new directions: poetry and publishing. Jerry's first book of poems, A Daybreak Handbook, was published in 2014. Also in 2014, Jerry, his wife Gail, and illustrator Glenn Wolff established Big Maple Press, a small press dedicated to producing special editions exclusively available for sale through independent booksellers.

Dennis will discuss these new avenues in his career as well as his ongoing work with the Great Lakes. Dennis' book The Living Great Lakes was the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads selection in 2010. A selection of Dennis' books will be available for sale and signing at the event.

Colorful Behind-the-Scenes Peek at Illustrating Children’s Books

Lois Ehlert, the well-known children’s book author and illustrator, has recently released The Scraps Book: Notes from a Colorful Life, an illustrated autobiography giving us a sneak peek into her creative process. Ehlert, whose picture books include Growing Vegetable Soup, Eating the Alphabet, and Planting a Rainbow, is known for her collage style, which mixes colored paper with everyday objects like leaves, plastic lids and even vegetables! Fans of Ehlert’s books will enjoy not only learning the stories behind some of her well-known illustrations but also hearing stories of Ehlert’s childhood and her encouraging words to future artists.

Looking for more fantastic picture-book biographies? Also check out these titles:

Balloons Over Broadway chronicles the life of Tony Sarg, the man who created the first balloons for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

What to do about Alice? offers an energetic and insightful story about Teddy Roosevelt's oldest daughter Alice Roosevelt Longworth.

The Tree Lady tells the story of Kate Sessions, a turn-of-the-century schoolteacher who started a movement to plant trees throughout San Diego.

New Nonfiction for Kids: Get the Scoop on Animal Puke!

Animal- and nature- lovers will delight in all of the amazing facts they find on regurgitation and emesis (a.k.a. vomit) in Get the Scoop on Animal Puke! by Dawn Cusick! Despite the slightly off-putting cover of this book, this eye-catching new addition to the youth collection is sure to be a hit! Vomit as seen in nature doesn't have to be considered disgusting. As written by Cusick, "...gross and weird things we see in nature help animals compete and survive. Animal puke isn't gross: it's really pretty cool."

Here are some amazing facts that I was surprised to learn from this book:

  • Some animals vomit to protect themselves from predators or poisonous food.
  • Scavengers like turkey vultures expel highly acidic vomit to ward off potential thieves from eating their carrion food.
  • You may remember Genie's advice about camels in the movie Aladdin: "Watch out, they spit!" In truth, the "spit" that Genie is warning us about is really vomit, which camels eject when scared. Apparently it smells really bad.
  • Have you ever seen video of a snake eating an entire egg in one mouthful? They have trouble digesting the egg shell, so they make sure to spit that part back out after they eat it.
  • Many animals are "ruminant," meaning the plants or foods they eat are not fully digestible the first time, so they need to keep chewing it until it can go through their intestines. All ruminant animals have four(!) stomachs, and include cows, goats, deer, and giraffes.

Want to learn even more amazing and strange animal facts? Check out these fascinating animal books!

Young Naturalist Awards Contest 2015

The American Museum of Natural History will once again host its popular Young Naturalist Awards contest this year for all students in grades 7-12 who are interested in science and nature. Young scientists can go outside and explore (in the backyard, at the park, at a pond, or even one of the Great Lakes, for example) to pose a question, create a hypothesis, and start collecting data. Then students write about their research in a thoughtful essay, including photographs or visuals and reflections on the outcome. In addition to all the outdoor fun, winning entrants will receive cash prizes, online publication, classroom resources for their teacher, and an all expenses paid trip to the Museum! Students may submit their essays from January 1, 2015 through March 1, 2015. Check out the American Museum of Natural History's website for more information!

Need help getting started on your submission? The first step is getting outside and exploring! You can even explore the great outdoors right near your favorite AADL branch: visit the beautiful Stapp Nature Area by Traverwood, the native plants of Malletts Creek, or the wetland areas of Pittsfield! Those looking to do background research can check out this list of books on nature. Library users can also check out items like binoculars, a birdsong scanning wand, a portable digital microscope, or the hybrid powered environmental quality meter from AADL's fantastic science tools collection for their research!

Good luck and happy exploring!

Trick or Treat Down the River!

Trick-or-treat Down the River is coming up Sunday, Oct. 19 from noon to 5 pm at Gallup Park, 3000 Fuller Road. The event is sponsored by .Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation. By canoe or kayak, boaters will see creatures along the river handing out treats. Cost is $18 per boat. Children must be at least 1 year old to be in a boat. Bring a bag for candy, and feel free to wear a costume.

October is Bat Appreciation Month

Do you like bananas, cocoa, or agave? You can thank bats for that! (Bats are major pollinators of those plants.) Do you hate pesky insects like flies, mosquitoes, and gnats? You can thank bats for eating those! (One bat can eat up to 5,000 insects a night!) Bats are an extremely important part of the ecosystem, and now is a great time to celebrate how wonderful they are. October is Bat Appreciation Month, and boy do we have a lot of bat books and DVDs for you to check out!

Brian Lies has a great series of picture books including Bats at the Library, Bats at the Ballgame, and Bats at the Beach. And don't forget the classic Stellaluna by Janell Cannon!

If you’re interested in learning more facts about bats, we have a large selection of nonfiction books for both kids and adults. We even have a downloadable book about the link between bat echolocation and radar technology!

Sadly, many bat populations are on the decline due to things like loss of habitat and the dreaded “white-nose syndrome.” You can find out about the plight of the little brown bat (native to Michigan!) in the new book The Case of the Vanishing Little Brown Bat: A Scientific Mystery. Get those holds placed now!

One way you can help out bats is by building a bat house for your backyard. And guess what? We have a book for that!

The last week of October is National Bat Week (Oct 26 –Nov 1). The Organization for Bat Conservation, a Michigan-based, nonprofit environmental educational organization, has launched a Save the Bats campaign to raise awareness of the problems facing bat populations around the world. Check them out and find more ways you can help save bats!

Nerd Nite Ann Arbor presented by AADL at LIVE 102 S First St.

Thursday November 20, 2014: 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm -- LIVE (102 S 1st Street)

This event is intended for Adults
This event will be recorded

For the last year and a half, crowds have gathered each month in the early evening - in bars and venues around Ann Arbor. Around 7pm, it begins: three boisterous speakers geek out up front. What is this? Some secret club?

Nope! It's Nerd Nite Ann Arbor! And it's open to anyone and everyone who loves to learn or share what they love.

For the uninitiated, Nerd Nite (NN) has been described as “...like the Discovery Channel™…with beer!” Sounds fun, right? It is! NN is held monthly in 70+ cities, giving several folks the opportunity to give 18-21minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines. Imagine learning about everything from the science of the Simpsons to the genealogy of Godzilla. Fun stuff!

Doors open at 6:30, and speakers start at 7pm.

So show up, have a drink, meet other nerds, and learn a bunch of awesome new junk!

This month's topics:

What the $X#! is the anthropocene? An extraordinary moment in Earth and human history
James Arnott

This talk will introduce you to the extraordinary moment in Earth and human history that you (yes, you) are living through. We’ll look at why now is different than before and why the future is dependent on a unlikely species that grew out of a cave into a skyscraper and now shapes the future of earth, wind, and fire. The anthropocene is now—and here to stay—so come learn what we know, what you should know, and what we all must do!

The microbiome: good for what ails you
Pat Schloss

I’ll discuss what we currently know about the human microbiome, but mostly I’ll point out a lot of really cool things that we don’t have any explanations for and how we’re going about trying to understand what’s going on.

Want to see past topics and a little more info? Check NNA2's site.

AADL is sponsoring this month's event, so there will be NO COVER!

Mark your calendars and spread the word! Any and all nerds (and non-nerds!) who love learning and having a great time are welcome to join us!

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