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Friday, September 29, 2017

Fall Books: a Little Science, a Little Fall Color, and a Whole Bunch of Big Words!

 By Jan Pease

As I was looking for information about 3D printing, I stumbled across the story of Jose Delgado Jr., who uses a prosthetic hand that cost $42,000.00.  Jeremy Simon of decided to make Mr. Delgado a hand using open source software and a 3D printer.  He calls the result the “Cyborg Beast” prosthetic hand, and Mr. Delgado reported that his printed prosthetic works better than his expensive myoelectric hand.  The Cyborg Beast hand can be made for about $50.00.  I think this exciting technology will literally change the world.  

So now we get to the reason I was interested in 3D printing.  One of the newest books in the children’s department is “Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle,” by Deborah Lee Rose.  Beauty is a bald eagle whose beak was shot off. Her life was saved by Birds of Prey Northwest director, Janie Veltkamp.   Janie, Nate Calvin, who is a mechanical
engineer, and volunteer dentists and veterinarians worked together to print Beauty a new prosthetic beak. Their website,, contains links to videos about their work, and other information about how discoveries in science are benefitting all kinds of birds.  An update to Beauty’s story is that her natural beak began to slowly regrow, pushing her prosthetic beak off.  Beauty can feed herself and they are evaluating her condition to see if a replacement for her replacement beak is a good idea.  She lives in her own large aviary, which is large enough for her to spread her wings and fly a bit.  This is an amazing story.

“Animal Heroes: The Wolves, Camels, Elephants, Dogs, Cats, Horses, Penguins, Dolphins, and Other Remarkable Animals that Proved They Are Man’s Best Friend,”  by Julia Moberg is a completely lighthearted look at the stories of 40 animals throughout history.
This is a book for animal lovers of all ages. 

Susan Patterson and her husband, James Patterson (yes, THAT James Patterson) have just published a unique alphabet book for older children, “Big Words for Little Geniuses”.  Each letter has a sophisticated word and definition that will enlarge vocabularies for everyone in the family.  For example, A is for Arachibutyrophobia, which is the alarming fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.
If you love words, this is the book for you!

Finally, the perfect picture book for this time of year is “Full of Fall,” by April Pulley Sayre.  This lovely book combines science with full-colored illustrations.  Little scientists can learn about why the leaves change color and fall off the trees.   What! You mean it isn’t Jack Frost?