Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Non-fiction

Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued A Bald Eagle by Deborah Lee Rose

Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued A Bald EagleBeauty is an amazing bald eagle and was born in the wild. She learned to fly, hunt and use her beak to break up food, and live on her own. However, one day that all changed when she was hurt by a bullet. It took most of her upper beak and hurt her face as well. Without her beak, she couldn’t hunt anymore or take care of herself. Luckily, a policeman found her and brought her to a wildlife center where they helped her heal. However, she was still missing her beak and that is when an engineer became interested in helping Beauty. Could they 3D print a beak for her to wear? Would it work the same way her original beak worked? It had never been done before, but maybe this was a way to help Beauty. In this incredible true story, learn how using a 3D printer helped Beauty.

Book reviewed by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

Paul Writes a Letter by Chris Raschka

Paul Writes A Letter book coverIn Paul Writes a Letter, Raschka gives us a lovely introduction to St. Paul and his epistles. Paul was a faithful and educated man who in the middle of his life began to believe in the story and teaching of Jesus. He traveled all throughout the Roman Empire to speak of his new way of thinking. While he traveled, he wrote letters to the people he had seen or would see soon.  Paul writes letters about hope and faith and about caring for others.  Each of the fourteen epistles attributed to Paul are featured with its own colorful, double page spread.  Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka’s new picture book is full of humanity and kindness.

Book reviewed by Amy S., Youth Outreach and Programming Assistant

The Boo Boos that Changed the World by Barry Wittensteen

The boo-boos that changed the world : a true story about an accidental invention (really!) / Barry Wittenstein ; illustrated by Chris HsuEarle married his beloved wife Josephine who happened to be quite accident-prone…especially in the kitchen. Whether it was slicing onions, grating cheese, or lifting hot pots off the stove, Josephine was constantly grabbing towels to stop the bleeding. But you can’t cook with a towel wrapped around your hand! Leave it to her husband to create something out of adhesive tape and sterile gauze which was small enough for her to use herself. Earle brought the idea to his boss, James Johnson, who decided to produce and sell the product. Combining the word “bandage” with “first aid,” they came up with Band-Aid. After giving them to boy scouts and WW II troops, they were a hit! Add multiple sizes, colors and designs…and you have a worldwide success.

Here’s an awesome, quick-read, nonfiction book that came about “quite by accident”

Book reviewed by Carol C., Elementary School Liaison

Famous Fails! Mighty Mistakes, Mega Mishaps & How a Mess can Lead to Success by Crispin Boyer

Famous Fails! Mighty Mistakes, Mega Mishaps & How a Mess can Lead to Success by Crispin Boyer book coverA book filled with quirky failures and famous flops, this one takes on peculiar tragedies and hilarious calamities in areas like science, technology, food, entertainment and more. Do you know where the world’s tallest empty building is? And just why is this building mysteriously removed from some photographs? Don’t you want  to know about smelly movies, mysterious islands, chocolate French fries, and fortune cookies for dogs? And anyway, how does a dog get away with impersonating a lion….at a zoo? However, not all mistakes are disappointing. How did somebody come up with discoveries like microwave popcorn? Do you know how Noah McVicker invented Playdough? What’s the hype about the cursed baseball team and a goat? (They made a comeback, didn’t they?)

There is a “Lesson Learned” on almost every other page, and at times, a spark of encouragement spurts, “It could have been worse!” There’s also a game challenging the reader to find different mistakes that are purposely embedded in this book! Are you up for the challenge? Find out that some mistakes, mishaps and messes can turn out for the best. Remember, not all setbacks turn out to be failures!

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant

The House of a Million Pets by Ann Hodgman

The House of a Million Pets by Ann Hodgman

Did your mom ever tell you that you couldn’t have a pet?  For me, it was a puppy.  No matter how many times I asked, the answer was always no.  Author Ann Hodgman decided that when she grew up, she would have as many pets as she wanted.  She would be the kind of mom that always said yes to pets.   At the time she wrote The House of a Million Pets, she had owned, rescued, or looked after cats, dogs, bunnies, hamsters, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, fish, prairie dogs, pygmy mice, rats, a sugar glider, a snapping turtle, a bat, a frog, an owl, ducklings, moths, and all kinds of birds.  By reading this book, you will learn all sorts of useful facts such as sugar glider pee smells like Froot Loops, prairie dogs like to eat grapes, ducklings do not make good indoor pets, and a bathtub makes a good pond for a snapping turtle.  And most importantly, you should be able to convince your mom to get you a puppy because at least you aren’t asking for a wallaby like Ann Hodgman, the crazy pet lady.  This book is a must-read for animal lovers everywhere!

Book reviewed by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head