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PreK Bits - "P" is for PERFECT PLANs

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 8:02pm by LibraryRachel

Ms Rachel brought African tales to Storytime.
Following troubles ... Each tale ended with a PERFECT PLAN.
HEAD, BODY, LEGS is a tale from Liberia. Head makes a perfect plan that gets all the body parts working together.
WOODY'S 20 Grow Big Songs has a recorded version of the song/game “Pick It Up”. We dropped our noses (and other parts) by accident. How embarrassing !! But we put othings back together. Knowing how to fix things is a good plan too!
LEOPARD’S DRUM is an Asanti Tale from West Africa. Tiny Turtle was the one who made a PERFECT PLAN.

For more tales with PERFECT PLANS try these favorites;
DOG And BEAR: Three To Get Ready … three plans that make good friends.
The SECRET PLAN … for bedtime.
SHH! WE HAVE A PLAN! … sometimes they work and sometimes you need to revise.
OH NO GEORGE! … sometimes it’s a poor plan.
JETHRO And JOEL WERE A TROLL … a Troll with two heads? Hoo boy! Who’s in charge? They need to make a better plan ….
The CARPENTER ... what do you do with a measuring tape? Make plans !!
OLLIE And CLAIRE ... hohum turns into fun when Claire makes a new plan.

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Out in the Open

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 11:14pm by Nholtzman

Jesús Carrasco's debut novel Out in the Open, offers a fresh take on primal survival.

Carrasco's novel opens with an unnamed boy hiding in a hole. If the boy is found, the hole could become his grave. We follow the boy as he runs from malignant forces. At first, the reader is not sure who the boy is running from, or why.

The boy travels through a desolate and unforgiving expanse; he struggles to find food and water. Eventually the boy meets a goat herder who helps him. The characters develop a relationship, and a ray of hope sprouts from Carrasco's somber story. The connection between the goat herder and the boy is perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the novel. However, it is memorizing to follow the characters on their daily struggle to survive; it certainly makes our lives seem effortless in comparison.

Jesús Carrasco is from Spain. Out in the Open was originally written in Spanish. Margaret Jull Costa translated the text into English. Carrasco's novel has now been published in more than twenty countries and has received many accolades. Out in the Open won the European Union Prize for Literature in 2016, as well as an English PEN award.

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #660

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 2:51pm by muffy

Reviewers are calling The Last Mrs. Parrish * * * by Liv Constantine (pen name of sisters Lynne and Valerie Constantine) a "devilishly ingenious debut thriller." (Publishers Weekly)

Amber Patterson deserves more, definitely more than her impoverished upbringing, her dead-end jobs and the constant worry about money. She set her sights on Daphne and Jackson Parrish, a wealthy “golden couple” from Connecticut who is living the privileged life she wants.

Meticulously clever and ruthlessly manipulative, Amber moves to Bishops Harbor, and plots to insinuate herself into Daphne's life, and through her, to Jackson, the handsome, powerful real estate mogul. Before long, Amber is traveling to Europe with the Parrish family; and when she finds out Daphne’s failure to give Jackson a male heir is the main source of tension in the marriage, she knows what she needs to do to become the next Mrs. Parrish, that is as long as the skeleton in her closet does not lay waste to all that scheming.

Halfway through, the narrative is picked up by Daphne, and the readers will get a surprisingly different take on the story. Well, let's just say some women get everything and some women get everything they deserve.

"With a plot equally as twisty, spellbinding, and addictive as Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl or Paula Hawkins's The Girl on the Train, this is sure to be a hit with suspense fans."(Library Journal)

* * * = 3 starred reviews

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From Costume Contest to Island Adventure

Sun, 11/12/2017 - 4:14pm by Christopher Becker

This new book by Peter Sís is another dreamy and beautiful childhood recollection, featuring a fantastical trip to the world of Robinson Crusoe. Sís recalls a touching story of dressing up like the shipwrecked hero, falling sick, and journeying to a deserted island. There, as depicted in page after page of Sís’s detailed illustrations and rich watercolors, young Peter lives a peaceful and quiet life with his animal friends. Did he imagine the whole thing or did he really journey there and discover a new land?

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PreK Bits - "Q" is for Quiet

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 8:37pm by LibraryRachel

This week Ms. Rachel presented stories that needed quiet.
SLEEPYHEADS ... where every quiet creature lays their sleepy head. Wait! One little sleepyhead is not in their bed!
Ms. Betsy played guitar and Ms. Rachel led the Quiet/Loud action song "Wake Up You Sleepy Heads".
You can hear the "Sleepy Heads" song on the recording SING IT! SAY IT! STAMP IT! SWAY IT! ... along with more favorite childhood songs!
The SQUEAKY DOOR had a Grandma putting her Grand-children to bed in the big double bed. It was time for quiet.

For more books that find "quiet" try the following favorites:
QUIET BUNNY'S MANY COLORS ... find them in the garden.
The QUIET BOOK ... very thoughtful, lovely prose, and beautiful gentle illustrations.
SHH! WE HAVE A PLAN ... who needs to be quiet?
TIPTOE JOE ... tiptoe to be quiet.
HANK FINDS AN EGG ... on a quiet walk in the woods. What shall he do?
The FAMILY BEDTIME TREASURY: Tales For Sleepy Times and Sweet Dreams ... a treasure trove in one book!
BEDTIME FOR BEAR ... with a "small but effervescent" overnight guest. Delightful storytelling and illustrations!
Find a cozy space.
Good Night!
Sleep Tight.

When you wake up the next day .... sing along with Joanie Bartels and MORNING MAGIC songs.

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #659

Tue, 11/07/2017 - 9:23pm by muffy

Seven Days of Us * * by Francesca Hornak, is a sharply observed and ultimately satisfying holiday story.

For the first time in years the entire Birch family will be spending Christmas together under one roof, no thanks to elder daughter, 32-year old Olivia, a disaster-relief physician who just spent 6 weeks in Liberia fighting an Ebola-like Haag epidemic. The family decides to ride out the one-week quarantine at Weyfield Hall, their dilapidated country estate.

Thrown together with little to occupy themselves, and cut off from the outside world (even their Wi-Fi is spotty at best), all their disagreements, resentments, and secrets, both old and new, come bubbling up.

Father Andrew, a restaurant critic secretly hates food, and longs for the glory days as a globe-trotting war correspondent. Mother Emma is trying to shield her family from the cancer diagnosis so they could enjoy their time together. Olivia's secret relationship with a fellow doctor could potentially be dire for the whole household. Younger, and unabashedly frivolous, Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding while secretly having second thoughts about her fiance George. None of them are prepared for the charming stranger who turns up at the door - Andrew's son from a one-night stand while on assignment in the Middle East.

"Hornak writes with a sense of irony and an eye on today's social issues... Fans of contemporary English stories such as those by Jane Green or Jenny Colgan will enjoy this novel about the shaky recovery of family bonds." (Library Journal)

* * = 2 starred reviews

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An unusual debut

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 12:38pm by Lucy S

In a literary world full of “5 under 35 lists” and authors publishing first novels in their 20s, Leah Weiss is something of an anomaly. Her debut novel, If The Creek Don’t Rise was written after her retirement from a 24 year career as the executive assistant to the headmaster at Virginia Episcopal School. In it she introduces us to the harsh and difficult life in a small town in Appalachia in the 1970s. This can be a dangerous place, a world of violence and cruelty, especially for women. Weiss presents this community through a profuse range of voices, voices with their own dialect, particular to these mountain ranges.

The chapters in Weiss’ book, each narrated by a different individual, read like a collection of connected stories, offering a unique and varied glimpse of Baines Creek, a remote haven in an unspecified state. As a newcomer to Baines Creek, teacher Kate Shaw, one of Weiss’ strongest characters, describes it as “barely a crossroad, a dot on a map. It’s remote, embraced by natural beauty, and riddled with hardships,” with “poverty the likes of which I’ve never imagined except in the books of Dickens and Brontë sisters.”

The cast of players in this secluded town represents all facets of personality and morality, and an internal view of even the most vile characters unveils some vulnerability. We are able to see why Prudence Perkins, the reverend’s spiteful, spinster sister, is so mean spirited, and to learn from where intense cruelty is born in the heart of an abusive bully, Roy Tupkin.

If there is a main character in If The Creek Don’t Rise, she is Sadie Blue, the wife of Roy. Her voice provides bookends, she starts the first and last chapters with the same sentence, within which she demonstrates one woman’s path to a better place in a town that so often resists change. Ultimately this is Sadie Blue’s story, provided to us by a chorus of voices from those who know her, but we get to experience so many other memorable folks from Baines Creek along the way.

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Thor: Ragnarok!

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 2:55pm by PizzaPuppy

Thor: Ragnarok arrives in theaters today, making now the perfect time to revisit your favorite Thor materials! The movie is already generating quite a buzz and has received rave reviews (with a 93% rating, it's currently Rotten Tomatoes' best reviewed comic book film ever!).

A great place to start are the previous Thor movies, including Thor and Thor: The Dark World, as well as his appearances in The Avengers and The Avengers: Age of Ultron. For younger kids who aren't quite ready for the Marvel movies, Thor is featured in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (there are multiple volumes of this series, including Vol. 5 and Vol. 6).

For adult readers, some of the original Thor comics are included in the anthology series The Essential Thor Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3 and Vol. 4. Many of these original stories also appear in The Mighty Thor: Omnibus collection. More recent additions to the Thor universe include God of Thunder Vol. 1 (Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 are also available), Lord of Asgard, Bringers of the Storm, Godstorm, and Thor Vol. 1 (Vol. 3 is also available). Currently, a woman has taken on the title of Thor in The Mighty Thor: Thunder in her Veins.

There are awesome Thor graphic novels in the Teen section, including Wolves of the North and The Lost Gods. A mysterious female Thor has also taken the lead in The Goddess of Thunder and Who Holds the Hammer?.

Kids have a variety of Thor books to choose from as well. Younger children will like gentler Readers such as The Trouble with Thor and These are the Avengers. Older kids can enjoy comic books like Thor: The Mighty Avenger Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, and Mini Marvels: The Complete Collection. Books for kids about the Avengers include The Avengers: The Ultimate Guide and The Avengers: The Movie Storybook. We also have several comic books based on Norse mythology, such as Thor and the Giants and Thor and Loki (also available in Spanish).

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Franklin's Flying Bookshop

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 10:23am by manz

Franklin's Flying Bookshop by Jen Campbell reminds you that every once in a while it's nice to read a book about reading. A book that makes you want to shout from the rooftops: HEY EVERYONE, BOOKS ARE SO MAGICAL AND FUN AND AMAZING!

The beautifully illustrated pages and delicate language tell the tale of Franklin, a dragon who loved to read inside his cave. He reads about everything! Stories about electricity, baking, kung fu, vikings, music, and spiders - by firefly light while sipping on tea. One day he ventures out to read stories to others, without much luck - until he happens upon a young girl named Luna who loves dragons and books. They are two peas in a pod who both feel they are "made out of stories."

The story takes a twist, they do some building, and decide to bring their wonderful books to the masses via a flying bookshop perched upon a dragon. It's a great little picture book to read with the kiddos.

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Celebrating the AACM

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:44am by JonesM

The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) is an iconic collective of musicians based in Chicago. Founded in 1965 through the vision of composer Muhal Richard Abrams, they have spent over five decades pushing the boundaries of jazz and music as an art form, incorporating theatrical performance, costuming, visual art, and unusual instruments into their work. AACM members are active around the country and abroad as performers, teachers, and activists.

In honor of Muhal Richard Abrams' passing this week, here are some AACM-related books and recordings from the AADL collection.

A Power Stronger Than Itself, scholar and trombonist George Lewis' incredible and readable history of the AACM.

Urban Bushmen by the Art Ensemble of Chicago

Coming Home Jamaica by the Art Ensemble of Chicago

Sound by Roscoe Mitchell

Sonic Rivers by Wadada Leo Smith

In for a Penny, In for a Pound by Henry Threadgill

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"F" is for FOX

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 8:43pm by LibraryRachel

Ms Rachel brought FOX tales to Storytime.
In FLOSSIE And The FOX ... Flossie has to get her basket of eggs safely to Ms. Viola’s house.
Flossie doesn’t know what a fox looks like but she figures it out.
During “A-Hunting We Will Go” we found many rhyming things ... "And We Always Let Them Go!"
Finally .... we sang along with the GINGERBREAD GIRL … as she planned a more successful ending to the classic story of the GINGERBREAD BOY.

For more FOXES and more fun tales try these favorites:
HOW TO FIND A FOX ... can she do it?
LITTLE FOX In The FOREST ... a book without words. You use your own to describe the "magical world" the fox leads you to.
APPLES For LITTLE FOX ... This little fox's first mystery!
MY LITTLE FOX ... little fox's first year in the woods.
ROSIE'S WALK ... a classic. Watch the pictures as you read the story....
The TOMTEN And The FOX ... another classic. The little gnome-like Tomten is there to protect the hen house.
SHELTER ... a proverb, as well as a "fox story".
PANDORA ... an imaginary world grows around Pandora the fox, and Pandora gently tends to it.

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Rereading the Classics: To Kill a Mockingbird

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:30pm by ballybeg

I first read To Kill a Mockingbird something like 45 years ago, and I thought recently it was time to revisit it. How long has it been since you read it? Have you ever read it? It is one of the finest works of literature I know of, universal in its themes, distinctly American in its details, and a novel of such astounding excellence and rare insight that it shouldn’t be missed. Its message is never old.

Even if you haven’t read it before, I would guess you still know the story. The film version of the book, starring the incomparable Gregory Peck as the compassionate and principled lawyer, Atticus Finch, has assured that the plot line is familiar. But there are so many reasons to read this book (again) besides remembering what happens next.

Besides an engaging story, the book offers much more: a dead-on picture of small-town, Depression-era, Southern life; enduring insights into childhood games, insecurities, and fantasies; a view of the bond of love between family members, and neighbors, that is both uplifting and heartbreaking; characters so finely-wrought that they endure in your mind long after you put down the book; a subtle and effective examination of the themes of injustice, small-minded prejudice, making moral choices in the face of hatred and ignorance, accepting the ‘other’.

Harper Lee writes the book from the viewpoint of a young Scout Finch, and captures her seven-year-old voice with pitch-perfect accuracy. She effectively uses Scout’s immature perspective to explore the serious events which unfold in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama. Scout’s unassuming observances of the big and small events swirling around her; her feistiness, humor, and fears; her striving to understand her relationship to her family, her school-mates and neighbors who are different from her, and to the wider world; her innocence and wisdom; are all used to unfold the memorable story.

Who is the hero of To Kill A Mockingbird? One of the beautiful things about the book to me is that you could make a case for any number of people having that honor. Atticus is the epitome of the literary hero, quietly dignified, moral, and unpretentious, standing alone, if need be, to do what is right. But what about Scout and Jem? Calpurnia, Tom, Heck? The judge, the doctor, the nosey neighbors who look out for each other and the children? What about Boo? Each of them carries some of the light of the story forward and they create, collectively, the full complement of the heroic impulse and the human response to the world.

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #658 “There’s no such thing as ruining your life. Life’s a pretty resilient thing, it turns out.” ~ Sophie Kinsella

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 11:25pm by muffy

The Readymade Thief by Augustus Rose is an unputdownable literary puzzler set in contemporary Philadelphia. Its title - an obvious homage to Marcel Duchamp's famous creations that rocked the art world a century ago.

After years of shoplifting and dealing drugs at her high school, 17 year-old Lee Cuddy finally got sent to juvie taking a fall for a friend in a drug bust. A lucky escape means living rough, until she finds refuge in the Crystal Castle - a derelict building where homeless kids squat, under the control of a mysterious figure known as the Station Master. Not one to follow rules, Lee wonders around the restricted area of the Castle, and quickly discovers why homeless kids are disappearing from the streets in suspicious numbers. She manages to steal a strange object from the Station Master that turns out to be a work of art (With Hidden Noise, 1916) by Marcel Duchamp, recently stolen from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, one that holds special significance to members of a twisted reincarnation of the Société Anonyme.

With a young artist/hacker Tomi as ally, Lee tries to elude her pursuers who believe Duchamp left clues in his art that reveal the key to immortality, and that Lee holds the key to it all.

"The novel is complex on many intellectual levels, drawing heavily on theories of art history and physics, and the mystery is deep and satisfying in both its unpredictability and its culmination." (Kirkus Reviews)

"With dynamic characters and unforgettable scenes, including after-hours museum sex, mysterious pursuers, and wondrous evasions, Rose’s captivating, art-anchored pager-turner reads like a mashup of Home Alone and The Da Vinci Code." (Booklist)

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PreK Bits - "T" is for TOOLS

Wed, 10/25/2017 - 6:37pm by LibraryRachel

Ms Rachel and Banjo Betsy worked with TOOLS today.
OLD MacDONALD HAD A WOODSHOP ... and she built a toy farm for the animals to play with!
"Camille (and Johnny) Worked With One Hammer" ... and then they worked with more ... until they went to sleep.
THREE LITTLE PIGS ... each little pig built their own house ... with TOOLS of course!
"Screw it down. Hammer it tight. Built it up. Make it right!"

For more stories with TOOLS try these favorites:
GOODNIGHT LAB: a Scientific Parody ... if you know GOODNIGHT MOON you can love this too.
MY FRIEND ROBOT
TOOLS RULE
MONKEY WITH A TOOL BELT
FROGGY BUILDS A TREE HOUSE
STANLEY The BUILDER
FORT-BUILDING TIME

There are so many parodies of The THREE LITTLE PIGS ... you might like to compare the stories:
THREE LITTLE JAVELINAS ... a bilingual story.
THREE LITTLE PIGS And The SOMEWHAT BAD WOLF.
The THREE LITTLE DASSIES.
Richard Scarry's BEST NURSERY TALES EVER ... and "Three Little Pigs" is one fo the tales.
THREE LITTLE PIGS: An Old Story.
THREE LITTLE PIGS COUNT TO 100.
The THREE LITTLE RIGS.
The THREE LITTLE PIGS ... a turned story by James Marshall.
The TRUE STORY Of The THREE LITTLE PIGS ... from the Wolf's point-of-view.
Who's afraid? Not ME !!

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Sometimes Amazing Things Happen

Tue, 10/24/2017 - 4:50pm by Lucy S

“And when an incarcerated person with a mental illness is too ill to be cared for at Rikers they go, the men that is, to the "prison ward" on the 19th floor of New York's storied Bellevue Hospital, where they remain in custody while doctors, nurses, social workers and counselors treat them, under the watchful eyes of correctional officers, until they are well enough to return to jail.”
From Psychology Today

In her author’s note, Elizabeth Ford tells us that she measures her “success as a doctor not by how well I treat mental illness but how well I respect and honor my patients’ humanity, no matter where they are or what they have done.” Her book, Sometimes amazing things happen : heartbreak and hope on the Bellevue Hospital psychiatric prison ward, chronicles the ways in which she does exactly that, sometimes with a personal struggle, though most often intuitively. Dr. Ford begins her story at the outset of her career at Bellevue Hospital in New York. Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in the country, houses, on its top floors, “one of the most famous psychiatric wards in the world,” including the Bellevue Hospital Psychiatric Prison Ward. The patients here are inmates of the New York City jail system, headquartered on Rikers Island. This is where Dr. Ford works for most of this memoir, and these inmates people her stories from that time. Dr. Ford details her interactions with her patients, providing them with humanity and respect. She is skilled at turning even her most extreme outrage to empathy, aided by her capacity to listen well. “If you listen to the story long enough, you can figure out why these patients behave so badly. Then you can try to fix it.”

Ford has two young children, and like many parents, she struggles with a work-life balance, and at times finds herself unable to leave her patients’ suffering behind. Her own unraveling during her second pregnancy causes her to scale back on her work and leave Bellevue for a period of time. When she returns in 2009, it is to become the first female Director of the Forensic Psychiatry Service at Bellevue. She is continually challenged by the caring of her patients, by episodes of violence, by her frustration with the criminal justice system, but she faces these crises with boundless compassion and determination. Today, Dr. Ford is the Chief of Psychiatry for Correctional Health Services for New York City’s Health and Hospitals.

Similar medical memoirs include, No apparent distress : a doctor's coming-of-age on the front lines of American medicine by Rachel Pearson, and Admissions: life as a brain surgeon by Henry Marsh.

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Stinky Swamp Adventures

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 12:58pm by hazelbakerp

I Love You More Than the Smell of Swamp Gas by Kevan Atteberry is an adorably creepy story of a parent monster and their kiddo chasing a wild skink through the swamp at midnight. As they chase the critter deeper into the swamp, the pair encounters ominous odors, treacherous terrain, and a hodgepodge of curiously spooky creatures - from blood sucking ducks to toe-biting stones, and moonstruck raccoons. With each encounter the baby monster asks its guardian if they love them as much as they love the new animal they come across, or if they find them as fun as the trouble they’re getting into. The guardian always responds with affirmations of love, using a new ghoulish term of endearment to reassure the child. While the theme of the book has the sweetness of Guess How Much I Love You, it also brings a fun, spooky twist, delighting the reader with its sense of adventure and wild imagination. A must read for ghosts and ghouls this Halloween!

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #657

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 8:38pm by muffy

Gone to Dust * is playwright and Emmy Award-winning television (Seinfeld, Ellen, The New Adventures of Old Christine) writer Matt Goldman's mystery debut.

18" of snow fell overnight. Minneapolis PI Nils “Shap” Shapiro was planning to take the day-off when former colleague Anders Ellegaard at the Edina Police Dept. called for assistance at a crime scene. Divorcee Maggie Somerville was found murdered in her bedroom, her body covered with the dust from hundreds of emptied vacuum cleaner bags, rendering all potential DNA evidence unusable.

After checking the alibis and possible motives of the usual suspects (hippy organic sheep-farmer ex-husband, billionaire ex-boyfriend), Shap focuses on a mysterious young woman with no past history; a cache of anonymous love letters to Maggie; and a shadowy figure known only as Slim. Out of nowhere, the FBI demands that they drop the case, forcing Shap and Ellegaard to take their investigation underground, where the case grows increasingly bizarre and twisted.

"(Goldman's) tough yet vulnerable PI, evocative Minneapolis setting, and clever plot, which features a distinctive crime scene and multiple red herrings, will engage and intrigue." (Library Journal)

"With his wry, observant eye and quick wit, plus a pressing need to follow the truth into dark, uncharted places, Shap is a more optimistic version of Ross MacDonald’s Lew Archer." (Publishers Weekly)

The second of the Nils Shapiro mystery Broken Ice will be released in 2018.

* = Starred review

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Fantastic Children's Non-Fiction

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 4:29pm by -alex-

When Planet Earth Was New - by James Gladstone & Katherine Diemert -
This starkly beautiful picture book introduces very young readers to the geological history of planet Earth. Beginning with the very early development of the solar system, billions and billions of years ago, 'When Planet Earth Was New' shows the earth as it passes through various geological epochs, through the beginnings and the evolution of organic life, and into the human-dominated present. You'll find a great appendix at the end, giving a wealth of additional details. This little gem is a great way to show your child the basics of geological and biological history, years before they will first learn it in the classroom.

Pocket Full of Colors: the magical world of Mary Blair, Disney artist extraordinaire -by Amy Guglielmo & Jacqueline Tourville-
The authors chart the course of the life of Mary Blair, the creative talent behind Disney classics like Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland. Mary's creative instincts and professional ambitions collide with gender discrimination in the highly male-dominated work-spaces of mid-century America. Mary perseveres though, and single-handedly drags the Disney Studios from it's black and white past, and into the lush colors of it's storied golden age.

While there is much to love in this slender book, as and adult, my favorite part of 'A Pocket Full of Colors' is how carefully the illustrator captured the various incarnations of Mary's personal style, from Betty Page bangs, to late 50's June Cleaver pearls, and finally into ultra-trendy 60's Mod. This beautifully illustrated, audaciously colorful picture book is a great way to introduce your little one to biographies.

Yum! MmMm! Qué rico! : Americas' sproutings - by Pat Mora -
Featuring vibrant, warm colors and a playful style, Pat Mora manages to pack an enormous amount of quality content into a tiny little picture book. 'Written as a series of haiku, Yum! MmMm! Qué rico!' teaches kids about the history of many of the great foods that originated in the Americas (chocolate, corn, peanuts, potatoes, and many more). Be sure to check out the fun and informative histories of each food item, always in small print on the left-hand side of every page. Your child will be both educated and entertained.

Poison : deadly deeds, perilous professions, and murderous medicines - by Sarah Albee -
Written for more advanced readers, this book is sure to satisfy kids with a passion for chemistry, history, spy-craft, or maybe just anything morbid. While the author is careful to state that 'Poison' is not an exhaustive index of poisonous materials, at nearly 200 pages, Sarah Albee manages to cover an enormous amount of ground. Your child will learn about how humans have wrangled with chemistry throughout history, focusing on the where, when, and why of how people have come into contact with dangerous chemical compounds. Be sure to check it out!

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i carry your heart with me

Sat, 10/14/2017 - 11:33am by hazelbakerp

E.E. Cummings, (Edward Estlin, for those wondering) beloved American poet, was born on this day in 1894. Cummings is most well known for his unique style of poetry, recognizable by his sparing use of words, and his experimentation with form, grammar, and spelling. Often he wrote about love, and arguably his most well known poem is i carry your heart with me. Cummings started writing at a young age, and was quite prolific, having written thousands of poems. For a quick intro, here are 100 selected poems to give you a taste of his distinguished work. For a deeper dive, be sure to check out a copy of the Complete Collected poems. In addition to writing poetry, Cummings wrote multiple non-fiction books including The Enormous Room and Fairytales, as well as a handful of plays, which are available for check out here.

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #656, Women's Fiction Debuts

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 10:23pm by muffy

Something Like Happy is UK novelist Eva Wood's North American debut.

Annie Hebden could really use a break. Thirty-five, divorced, flat-sharing with a messy roommate who parties all night, feeling isolated at a boring desk job and now, she is dealing with her mother Maureen's early-onset dementia. Then, she meets Polly Leonard.

Witnessing Annie's meltdown with the bureaucratic hospital administrator over her mother's care, the bubbly, outlandishly-dressed Polly is determined to take Annie in hand, never mind she has precious little time left with terminal brain cancer. At first reluctant, Annie allows Polly to talk her into joining her mission - instead of counting the days, they will make the next 100 days count.

"Delightful page-turning awaits readers, even with Polly’s inevitable finale. Polly is a wonderful character with a positively infectious attitude—memorable and magnetic, with a healthy dose of gallows humor... Jojo Moyes meets Emily Giffin in this poignant, uplifting tale of the power of friendship and the importance of making the most of each day." (Publishers Weekly)

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by former scriptwriter Veronica Henry is set in the fictional village of Peasebrook, nestled in the Cotswolds.

Emilia Nightingale had no idea what she was in for when she promised her father Julius at his deathbed that she would keep Nightingale Books open. A beloved fixture of the community, Julius was no businessman and it appeared that Nightingale Books has been operating in the red for quite some time. Selling to the eager property developers might be Emilia's only option.

As she struggles with financial woes and tries to find new ways to revitalize the business, Emilia also sees how integral the bookshop is in facilitating relationships throughout the town. Six different love stories emerge - Sarah, owner of the stately Peasebrook Manor uses the book shop as an escape and to meet her secret lover; shy Thomasina, who runs a pop-up restaurant has a crush on a man she met in the cookbook section; a single-father is trying to connect with his son through reading; and Emilia finds herself attracted to the unavailable Marlowe as she takes her father's place in the town’s string quartet.

"A light romantic comedy well-suited for bibliophiles and Anglophiles alike... (that) explores deeper questions of personal choice and the different forms in which love manifests. " (Kirkus Reviews)

For fans of Katie Fforde; Marian Keyes; and Jill Mansell.

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Three brilliant wordsmiths

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 4:27pm by Lucy S

As presented in delightfully rendered, craftily composed biographies of wordsmiths for children (of all ages).

Edward Estlin Cummings was born on October 14, 1894 and was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts by two supportive and creative parents, who introduced Estlin to the wonderful world of words and provided him with the space to use them magically. Estlin’s love of words was illuminated by his passion for drawing and painting, so that the poems he created used words for language and illustration. This very unique style of poetry is well known to any who are familiar with the works of e.e. cummings. In enormous smallness : a story of e.e. cummings, Matthew Burgess details cummings’ childhood and his journey to becoming a poetry pioneer. Kris Di Giamomo’s illustrations are the perfect match to both Burgess’s and cummings’ words. Words appear as pictorial representations of leaves on trees, clouds, the night sky.

cummings was greatly inspired by the outside world that he noticed as a child. So was William Carlos Williams, born in 1883 in Rutherford, New Jersey. Jen Bryant gives us Williams’ story in A river of words: the story of William Carlos Williams. As Williams grew older and had less time for outdoor pursuits, he realized that poetry instilled in him the same feeling as the sounds of the natural world. Unlike cummings, Williams did not find the poetry bursting out of him. He first tried his hand at writing like the famous English poets he had read in school, but found that this style could not convey the images he was seeing in his mind. He put aside rhyme and rhythm and “let each poem find its own special shape on the page.” Williams became a doctor to pay the bills, but often used his prescription pads for jotting down the lines in his head. After each day of work, he wrote to create the poems that are so well known and well loved today, poems about plums and wheelbarrows. Like Di Giamomo, illustrator Melissa Sweet demonstrates that pictures can be made with words.

Bryant and Sweet team up again in The right word : Roget and his thesaurus to give us the story of another great wordsmith. Born in London in 1779, Peter Mark Roget was a collector of words, and because of his accumulation, we have one of the most amazing, breathtaking books there is. The Greek translation of thesaurus is “treasure house,” and there is not a better word within it to describe it. As a child, Roget didn’t have many friends, but he had books, and reading them inspired him to make his own. He organized his words differently from cummings and Williams: he created lists. As he grew older he realized that there was always an ideal word to describe anything and that if those perfect words could all be found in one place, a book sure to provide the best word, than the world would be improved for it. Like Williams, Roget also became a doctor, but it was ultimately his wondrous compendium of words, the “Collections of English Synonyms Classified and Arranged,” that created his legacy. Bryant tells Roget's story in way that exhibits her own admiration for the thesaurus, and Sweet has once again used words as active, cheerful illustrations to show how letters can convey meaning on many levels.

The stories of these three scribes will appeal to word-lovers of any age, even help to create some new ones. And yes, I used a thesaurus to write this. I always do, regularly, repeatedly, and evermore.

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Grasping for that Grassy Green Cover...

Sat, 10/07/2017 - 4:25pm by LibraryLiz

But then, lo and behold, there was ANOTHER time at the library...with that book you saw on a shelf, with a GREEN cover, that drew you in - but, of course, you had to pass it by in that moment for some unbeknownst reason. Now, if you should find yourself green with envy for that grassy-colored cover, I may have the book for you! I've recently created a list of books that have, or have had, green covers - whether or not their most recent editions have that gorgeous emerald hue, they did at some point! Plus, this list is welcome to all kinds of green covered books...

Whether it be a marshy green of the novel The Marsh King's Daughter, a gawky bright green like The Awkward Age, or perhaps the olive green of Behind the Mask, all green covers are welcome on this compilation list. But this list isn't just for the adults! There's also a wide age range available for the younger reader greedy for the green...

Whether it's from the teen section like Fablehaven, maybe Gary Paulsen's The River, or even Insurgent from Veronica Roth's best-selling Divergent series, this list has a generous collection of green covered pages that you might have left on the shelf. Even the youth may have glazed over a glorious green book resting on it's display, such as The Secret Garden or Evermore Dragon. This list also gives a gateway to the many genres that glisten with glittering green covers at the library...

Maybe you were gleefully grasping through science fiction and found The Best of Ian McDonald or David Hutchinson's Acadie? Could you have gone gallivanting through the Express Shelf and seen My Absolute Darling or found The Essex Serpent? What about the non-fiction readers, who may have glanced through the graceful stacks, gazing at gripping covers glorifying goodly grub for the growing kids or great grammatical rhymes?

This list has ALL THE THINGS (or would like to have) and is growing each day! Please feel free to take a gander, and graciously grumble or gab about other green-covered books you think others may be searching for, so the list gets gargantuan. Just think: someone out there could be looking for a leafy-green book jacket that you've read before - maybe you've got the answer they've been grieving for as they search the grand volumes we have here at AADL. Or perhaps you yourself have getting grumpy in the search, and the book is in this list already!!! Only one way to find out...

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We were eight years in power : an American tragedy

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 4:13pm by potterbee

Released earlier this week is a new book by Ta-Nehisi Coates entitled

Ta-Nehisi Coates is an American author, journalist, comic book writer, and educator. Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic where he writes about cultural, social and political issues, particularly as they regard African-Americans. Since his first published book in 2008, Mr. Coates is now considered one of the most influential black intellectuals of his generation. Many will be familiar with his bestseller, Between the World and Me, which won the National Book Awards' top prize for nonfiction in 2015.

His most recent book is a memoir based within a collection of eight essays written during the time of the Obama administration. Mr. Coates weaves a personal history touching on the influence of hip-hop, books he read, and the blog he maintained. Interspersed within the collection of articles are autobiographical essays reflecting on his approach at the time of writing and the optimism felt when Obama began his presidency. New introductions lend insight to his process of writing and further reviewing those ideas once shared with the rest of the world.

The selections include "The Case for Reparations" and "The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” an article which further established Coates as a leading writer on the topic of race in America. While the essays draw from a certain period of time, Coates has broadened these ideas with added reflection and insight. Hindsight lends an introspection to where his ideas were coming from and have since grown.

Audio versions of his work are available. Between the World and Me is especially enjoyable as read by the author. His new book is read by Bennett Beresford, narrator of many audiobooks of varied genres, actor of the stage and screen, and is also an award-winning screenwriter.

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Fabulous Fiction Firsts #655

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 9:02pm by muffy

One of Entertainment Weekly's 20 Must-Read Books of the Fall and a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, The World of Tomorrow * * * * by Brendan Mathews will not disappoint.

Set against the backdrop of the World's Fair, conceived to lift the spirit of city (and the country) out of the gloom of the Depression and promised a peaceful, prosperous "World of Tomorrow," is a sweeping, intricate, and ambitious debut about family, honor, love and betrayal, over the course of one whirlwind week in 1939.

Posing as a Scottish laird, escaped Dublin convict Francis Dempsey and his shell-shocked brother, Michael, are bound for New York on the RMS Britannic, having stolen a small fortune from the IRA. Francis's title and aristocratic bearing impresses his fellow passengers enough that they eagerly welcome him into their rarefied circle once they've reached Manhattan.

Meanwhile, Tom Cronin, a retired assassin living a quiet family life in a farm upstate, is pressed into service one last time - to track the Dempsey brothers down. During the week that follows, the lives of these characters collide spectacularly with big-band jazz musicians, a talented but fragile heiress, a Jewish street photographer facing a return to Nazi-occupied Prague, a vengeful mob boss, and the ghosts of their own family's revolutionary past.

"From the smoky jazz joints of Harlem to the opulent Plaza Hotel, from the garrets of vagabonds and artists in the Bowery to the backroom warrens and shadowy warehouses of mobsters in Hell's Kitchen, Brendan Mathews brings the prewar metropolis to vivid, pulsing life." (Library Journal)

"With the wit of a ’30s screwball comedy and the depth of a thoroughly researched historical novel, this one grabs the reader from the beginning to its suspenseful climax." (Publishers' Weekly)

Fans of Brooklyn by Colm Toibin; Rules of Civility by Amor Towles; and Netherland by Joseph O'Neill would not want to miss this.

* * * * = 4 starred reviews

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PreK Bits - "A" is for APPLE

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 7:52pm by LibraryRachel

Ms. Rachel presented an apple theme in Storytime this week.
GOBBLE GOBBLE MOOOO TRACTOR BOOK … the day Farmer Brown slept-in, the animals drove the tractor!
We clapped out letters to the “Apple Bingo” song … A-P-P-L-E !!
APPLE PIE … "Botheration!" That enormous juicy apple is up so high. However can we get it and put it in our pie?"

Fall is apple season and here are more apple books:
APPLESAUCE DAY ... this is the day that comes after you visit the orchard and bring home apples. One more kind of busy....
TEN APPLES UP ON TOP ... a "beginning Reader" title.
FROM APPLE TREES TO CIDER PLEASE ... "Grab the wagon. It's a bright autumn day!".
A APPLE PIE … a traditional apple pie alphabet with illustrations by Gennady Spirin.
APPLES A to Z … and apple alphabet and primer.
TEN RED APPLES .. a counting book.
The SEASONS Of ARNOLD’S APPLE TREE … one year.
FLORENTINE And PIG ... includes recipes for a fine fall picnic!
The APPLE ORCHARD RIDDLE … the class field trip to the orchard.
LITTLE APPLE GOAT … how the trees were planted.
For more Fall related titles … see PreK Bits – FALL stories for 1-6 yrs. Old … an AADL Public List of titles for preschool and young elementary ages.

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The Ninth Hour

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 5:48pm by Lucy S

The Ninth Hour, Alice McDermott’s latest novel, radiates a feeling of quietude, stillness, though, in the first pages of this novel, an immense action is unfolding. McDermott fans will find here the usual fluidity of writing as she spans across decades with grace. The Ninth Hour is written with precision, full of small particulars that grapple with big questions. The words unfold calmly, belying the action that they hold. The plot is not full of twists and turns but does have it’s fair share of scandal, especially to the Catholic Church, within whose rules and rituals this novel is framed. There is infidelity here, suicide.

The story begins with a young man taking his own life and in doing so, leaving behind a pregnant widow. When their daughter, Sally, is born, both mother and daughter come to rely heavily on the sisterhood of nuns who helped with mourning, grieving, and pregnancy. The Ninth Hour is mostly Sally’s story, as told by her children, but also, the story of the sisters who raised her. Through details revealed as to who these nuns were before they took their vows, we catch a glimpse of the women beneath the wimples. Despite personality differences and backgrounds, the nuns, as a whole, have a great capacity for dispensing care. McDermott’s quiet strength lies in these intensely observed characters.

As Sally passes through adolescence, she thinks she too will become a nun. Her first test comes on a journey to a convent in Chicago. A train ride reveals to her the most basic of human needs and desires, “a sampling of the ‘others’ she was giving her life to: vulgar, unkempt, ungrateful.”
As she strives to be good, Sally wonders if one person’s penance can guarantee salvation for someone else. This is a question at the root of McDermott’s exploration of family, sin, religion, and the influence of the past. Put aptly by Lily King, in her review in The Washington Post, “There are so many ways to read this beautiful novel: as a Greek tragedy with its narrative chorus and the sins of the fathers; as a Faulknerian tale out to prove once more that the 'past is not even past'; as a gothic tale wrestling with faith, punishment and redemption à la Flannery O’Connor; or as an Irish novel in the tradition of Anne Enright and Colm Tóibín, whose sentences, like hers, burn on the page.”

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Endangered Birds

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 1:00pm by Lara

On July 4, 2017 I saw a bald eagle flying over the Huron River! It was the first time I had ever seen a bald eagle in the wild. During the past several decades bald eagles were a very rare sight in the Ann Arbor area. After reductions in the use of dangerous pesticides such as DDT and 40 years on the endangered species list, bald eagle populations have significantly recovered in southeastern Michigan and around the United States.

”Bald Eagle Numbers Soaring in SE Michigan” is a short article in The Daily Telegraph (published in Adrian, MI). It has information on the recovery of bald eagles in southeast Michigan.

You can find out more about both Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology Birds of North America Online database is a very informative resource. You can find it by subject under “Science & Technology”, or you can find it alphabetically by name. For each bird species there are sections covering a variety of interesting topics including “Demography and Populations” and “Conservation and Management”.

12 Birds Back From the Brink by Nancy Furstinger highlights 12 different bird species that have made a comeback after being close to extinction. This book discusses both the reasons why species numbers declined to dangerous levels, and the actions that were taken to save them from extinction. It emphasizes the dramatic differences that human behavior can make in the survival or extinction of a species. Although intended for kids, the information in this book may be interesting to readers of all ages.

Here are some more kids’ books on endangered birds that both kids and adults may enjoy:

Endangered and Extinct Birds by Jennifer Boothroyd introduces both endangered and extinct birds. This book is easy to read and has lots of photographs.

Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot by Sy Montgomery tells the story of how scientists and volunteers are trying to save the unique and fascinating kakapo parrot of New Zealand. Like a number of other bird species in New Zealand, the kakapo parrot cannot fly.

Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf by Olivia Bouler features Olivia’s colorful illustrations of many types of birds. As an 11 year old, Olivia used her artistic talent to raise money for the vast numbers of birds devastated by the catastrophic 2010 Gulf oil spill. This book shows that even young people can make a difference by taking action!

Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore has information on how scientists are trying to save Puerto Rican parrots from extinction. Puerto Rican parrots are the only parrots native to the United States. This book includes fantastic collage artwork and information on the history of Puerto Rico.

A Place for Birds by Melissa Stewart has lots of colorful illustrations, facts about birds, and suggestions for how people can help birds to survive.

If you’d like to try drawing some birds, Draw 50 Birds by Lee J. Ames includes all types of birds: common, rare, recovering, and extinct. There are no written instructions in this book, just drawings.

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It's almost Halloween!

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 12:27pm by MelCat6

It’s that most wonderful time of the year: Halloween! As an avid lover of all things fall and Halloween, this is by far my favorite time of the year. I love costumes and being able to dress up as some of my favorite characters. This year I’m planning to cosplay as Roadhog, from Overwatch. If you’re as into costumes as me, come check out some of our books to help you take your costume to the next level!

New this year, The hero's closet : sewing for cosplay and costuming, is a great intro book to cosplay and costume making. It has a lot of helpful beginner steps if you’ve never tried to make your costume before.

Epic cosplay costumes is another great reference for all of the parts of costume making. With cute advice notes from the author, this book is a great start to becoming your favorite character.

For a more basic guide that you can use with items around your house, check out: Halloween. This book centers more on simple designs and standard Halloween costumes. It also includes some tips for spooky home décor!

Here's a cute costuming book for the younger costumers among us: Creating Halloween crafts. It has fun craft ideas for decoration and costumes that might be fun for the whole family!

These next two books are probably the best for my costume. If you’re into characters with fancy and elaborate weapons, these two will help you learn how to design your own, much lighter, versions.

Make : props and costume armor is written by a master prop maker, and goes into details for both armor and weaponry. It is a very in-depth collection of ideas using everything from simple foam to 3D printing.

In another recent release, The costume making guide : creating armor & props for cosplay, you’ll find all of the steps to take your idea and turn it into a full costume. The author guides you through each part of costume making whether you need armor, weaponry, or other outfit parts.

Looking forward to seeing all of the ideas everyone reading this comes up with! Hopefully I’ve given you a bit of inspiration. Now to get back to making my hook…

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Drop off your gently used Halloween costumes for the 3rd annual Halloween Costume Swap!

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 10:05am by eapearce

Starting now through October 22, drop off your clean, gently used Halloween costumes to any AADL branch! Then, on Sunday, October 22 from 3:00-4:30pm at the Downtown Library, come pick out a new costume for this year! We're looking for costumes for people of all ages. This is a great way to save money, clear your closet, and pick out something snazzy for all your Halloween needs!

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New Cookbooks

Sat, 09/30/2017 - 3:06pm by ballybeg

A quick survey of the new bookshelf this morning reveals more cookbook gems. From the trendy (ice cream & sushi), to the traditional (Italian grandmas & cakes).

Sushi: Taste & Technique This is a hugely-informative, intensely-illustrated, lovely little book of everything sushi. Who knew there was so much to say about wrapped-up raw fish and rice? You can impress your friends with this one as your guide.

The Baker’s Appendix: The Essential Kitchen Companion, with Deliciously Dependable, Infinitely Adaptable Recipes Long title, small book, but packed with references to refine your baking skills. Big on conversions (of measurements and ingredients), substitutions, decorations, do-it-yourself and how-to tips, and resources, the recipes are pretty basic and classic. This is more about the ‘how’ of baking skills, and the intricacies of mastery.

Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream: The Art and Science of the Scoop There are five components of ice cream: ice, fat, protein, sugar, and can you guess the fifth? (Read to the end of the blog to check your answer.) This book deconstructs each element and gives you the theoretical foundation for transforming, basically, cream, eggs, a sweetener, and some flavorings into what we all scream for. The recipes range from the ordinary (vanilla), to the creative (lemony lemon crème fraiche), to the indulgent (chocolate - peanut butter - brownie crunch), to the positively weird (popcorn), and include sherbets and frozen yogurts.

Cooking with Nonna: Celebrate Food & Family with Over 100 Classic Recipes from Italian Grandmothers This book features actual Italian grandmothers, and do they know their way around food? You bet. It begins with pasta and sauces, (what else?), and then ranges from appetizers to dessert, through sides, pizzas, soups, first and second courses, the whole orecchiette con braciole. And, best for last, it ends with a culminating chapter on biscotti – Italian cookies – my fave. Interspersed with profiles and reminiscences of the little Italian super-cooks who supply all the recipes, this is the next best thing to learning at your grandma’s knee.

And, finally, to answer the question about ice cream, the fifth component of ice cream is air.