A Salty Story

Mark Kurlansky is back with another magical tale for children, The Story of Salt, an adaptation of his best-selling book, Salt, for grown-ups. Kurlansky spins the history of the compound, “the only rock we eat,” in fascinating historical vignettes accompanied by lovely illustrations, earth tones accented with white echoing throughout the book. Though it’s meant for kids, (ages 8-12), there’s plenty to whet the appetite of adults, too.

Urban Fairies Move into the Downtown Library!

fairy doorfairy door

It was only a matter of time....Local fairy expert Jonathan B. Wright discovered yesterday that some Urban Fairies have moved into the Downtown library, creating a lovely reading room of their own in--where else?--the Folklore and Fairy Tale collection in the Youth department on the first floor. Jonathan has already updated the tourable fairy door map and explained why the fairy chairs have duck feet. We simply must greet our new residents with a reception on Sunday November 26 at 2:00 pm in the Youth Department downtown. There will be an official welcome by Josie Parker, a story, treats and other surprises!

Fala Day: November 4, 2007 (The First Saturday in November Each Year)


Fala was the nickname of Murray the Outlaw of Falahill (after John Murray of Falahill, a famous Roosevelt Scottish ancestor), Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Scottish Terrier.

Roosevelt, during the 1944 election, was accused of sending a destroyer to fetch Fala, who supposedly had been left behind on the Aleutian Islands during a campaign tour. FDR responded with the Fala speech:

“These Republican leaders have not been content with attacks on me, or my wife, or on my sons. No, not content with that, they now include my little dog, Fala. Well, of course, I don’t resent attacks, and my family doesn’t resent attacks – but Fala does resent them. You know, Fala is Scotch, and being a Scottie, as soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers in Congress and out had concocted a story that I had left him behind on the Aleutian Islands and had sent a destroyer back to find him – at a cost to the taxpayers of two or three, or eight or 20 million dollars – his Scotch soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since! I am accustomed to hearing malicious falsehoods about myself – such as that old, worm-eaten chestnut that I have represented myself as indispensable. But I think I have a right to resent, to object to libelous statements about my dog.”

Fala is with his master FDR in the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial on the Tidal Basin. Fala was a late addition to the memorial, suggested by Senator Carl Levin, a member of the Roosevelt Memorial Commission.

My son, who had a fascination with the Presidents (as a three year old, he recited the names of the Presidents in order to the other tourists on a Tourmobile ride around Washington, D. C.), had a stuffed black Scottish terrier plush toy named Fala.

Books about Presidential Pets:

First Dogs: American Presidents and Their Best Friends by Roy Rowan
Presidential Pets by Niall Kelly
Wackiest White House Pets by Kathryn Gibbs Davis

Celebrate National Children's Book Week at AADL

Always ready to celebrate books and reading, the Library hosts several special guests and events for National Children’s Book Week, Nov. 13-19. The award-winning children’s book creators, illustrator David Small and author Sarah Stewart, help us kick off the week on Sat. Nov. 11, 2-3:30 pm at the downtown Library. David won the 2001 Caldecott Medal for So You Want to be President? and their book The Gardener was a 1998 Caldecott Honor Book. David and Sarah will talk about working together to create beautiful, meaningful children’s books. AADL also welcomes Newbery Medal winner (2002) Linda Sue Park to the downtown Library on Tue. Nov. 14 from 7-8 pm. Linda will tell us about the events in her life that lead her to become a children’s book author.

The Ann Arbor Storytellers’ Guild will delight us with folktales from around the world when they present Tellebration on Sun., Nov. 12, from 2-3 pm at the downtown Library. We’ll also have some astonishing magic with Merlin’s Magic of Reading on Mon, Nov. 13, 7-7:45 pm at the Malletts Creek Branch. Don’t miss the Mad Hatter Tea Party at the Pittsfield Branch, Thurs., Nov. 16, from 4-5 pm: you will get to make your own place mat, tea bag and (what else?) a ridiculous hat! All events compliment the downtown Library Exhibit of Selected Caldecott and Newbery Winners, presented by the UM Special Collections Library, located in the lower level display cases.

Korean Fun at the Library

We are very excited about our Korean Family Celebration this Sunday at 4:00 pm at the Downtown Library. We will have music with Sinaboro, a fan dance, a paper doll craft and homemade Mandu, Kim-Bab and more! On Tuesday, November 14 at 7:00 pm the delicious Newbery Award winning author of Bee-Bim Bop, Linda Sue Park, will chat with families of children aged 8 and up. Treat yourself to A Single Shard or Project Mulberry and meet Linda. She is great fun and brimming with talent!

November is National Adoption Month

If you're an adoptive parent, birth parent, thinking about adoption, an adopted child or someone interested in learning more about adoption, here are some new titles that may be of interest:

For teens and adults:
A Brief Chapter of My Impossible Life by Dana Reinhardt
Simone, 16, has always known she was adopted but now, with the encouragement of her parents, has a chance to meet her birthmother, Rivka who helps her through a tough period of her life.
Store-Bought Baby by Sandra Belton
Leah mourns the death of her beloved older adopted brother Luce in a car accident. An unusual take, this is an adoption story from the biological child's point of view.
Peck on the Cheek, a film by Mani Ratnam tells the story of Amedha, of Sri Lankan and Tamil parentage, who is told of her adoption on her ninth birthday and goes with her family to war torn Sri Lanka in search of her birthparents.
Complete Book of International Adoption: A Step by Step Guide to Finding Your Child by Dawn Davenport. This up to date book covers everything you need to know about the adoption process, practical, legal and emotional aspects as well as poignant accounts of adoptive parents. A comprehensive resource guide is included. (On order).

For children:
Megan's Birthday Tree: A true Story About Open Adoption by Laurie Lears Kendra, Megan's birth mother sends Megan photos every year of the tree she has planted when Megan was born. Now that Kendra's moving, Megan worries if she will forget her without the tree as a reminder.
Just Add One Chinese Sister by Patricia McMahon. The story of an American family's adoption of a Chinese toddler is told in scrap book fashion. Imaginative and playful illustrations make this a great book to share with all members of an
adoptive family.

"Give me your tired..."

On October 28, 1886, the The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on Bedloe's Island in New York Harbor. Originally conceived by the French sculptor, Frederic Bartholdi who titled it "Liberty Enlightening the World," the statue symbolized immigrants' dreams of freedom and prosperity. Emma Lazarus' poem, "Collossus" contains the famous words inscribed inside the pedestal of the statue.

What a Bunch of Characters!

Trick or Treat Countdown to a splendid Halloween parade for the preschool set! We can't wait to see our costumed little friends at the kick-off at the Downtown Library on Tuesday, October 31 at 10:00 am for fun stories and crafts. Then stroll down to Main Street for trick or treating heaven from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

2006 Quill Book Awards - Children's Categories

The second annual Quill Book Awards were announced on October 10 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The awards ceremony will be aired on NBC on October 28.
The winners in the three youth categories are all sequels.
In the category of Children's Illustrated Books the winner is Laura Numeroff's If You Give a Pig a Party. It is illustrated by Felicia Bond. It is the fifth in her series of circular cause-and-effect stories.
Lemony Snicket's The Penultimate Peril won The Quill in the category of Children's Chapter Books/Middle Grades. This is #12 in the author's Series of Unfortunate Events that just came to an end with the October 13th release of #13 The End.
The Young Adult/Teen award went to Christopher Paolini's The Eldest, the sequel to 2003's Eragon.

World Series: Detroit vs. St. Louis: 1968 (Part One)

In 1968 it had been twenty-three years since the Tigers' last World Series appearance when they beat the Cubs in 1945 (this year the wait has only been twenty-two years).

1968 was the last year before the league championship series began. There was no designated hitter. The Tigers won the American League by 12 games with a 103-59 season. The Cardinals were the defending World Series champions and had won the National League by 10 games with a 97-65 season.

Game 1 (October 2) (St. Louis): St. Louis 4, Detroit 0
Game 2 (October 3) (St. Louis): Detroit 8, St. Louis 1
Game 3 (October 5) (Detroit): St. Louis 7, Detroit 3
Game 4 (October 6) (Detroit): St. Louis 10, Detroit 1
Game 5 (October 7) (Detroit): Detroit 5, St. Louis 3
Game 6 (October 9) (St. Louis): Detroit 13, St. Louis 1
Game 7 (October 10) (St. Louis): Detroit 4, St. Louis 1

Detroit’s Mickey Lolich (3-0) and St. Louis’ Bob Gibson (2-1) each pitched three complete games and each had an ERA of 1.67 for the World Series. Gibson’s World Series ERA was 0.55 runs higher than his baseball leading 1.12 regular season ERA. Gibson set the single game World Series record with 17 strikeouts in game one (at least one in each inning) and the series record with 35 strikeouts.

The library has two books about the 1968 Detroit Tigers:

The Tigers of ’68: Baseball’s Last Real Champions by George Cantor
Year of the Tiger: the Diary of Detroit’s World Champions by Jerry Green

We also have the Ann Arbor News on microfilm at the Downtown Library if you want to read the newspaper coverage of the series.

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