The Arroyo Seco library branch is in Highland Park, a neighborhood close to us. Whenever I hear the name of the river Arroyo Seco, I think of JPL. Early rocket-engine-testing began in the Arroyo Seco in 1936, leading to the establishment of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
Yay NASA. One of the first books we looked at was actually a book by the NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, called Mousetronaut. We also lost a shoe around then.
Riley is 13 months old and is not a fan of wearing shoes. She isn’t walking yet, so shoes are not really a priority at the moment. But mouse astronauts are! And so are books about kids with autism. It is April, and it is National Autism Awareness Month. We took home a book about a boy with autism that a librarian helped us find, Ian’s Walk A Story About Autism by Laurie Lears.
Ian’s Walk is a very sweet story about siblings who go on a walk, and how the sibling with autism sees, hears, smells, feels and tastes things differently. Another book we took home is called A Family Is A Family Is A Family by Sara O’Leary. It’s a story about what makes each family special, as told by children. Some kids talk of a grandparent raising them, or two dads, or any other scenario that is totally normal but not always talked about.
Riley, as always, wants to hang out with other kids. She followed one little girl around. Her mother had been reading to her and Riley wanted to see what was going on. They were very sweet to her.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen when Riley starts walking. She’ll be following kids all the way home. Apologies in advance, kids.
I love watching her grow up around all of these books and all of the people who love them.
She was particularly interested in the board book Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day. A wordless book with fun pictures of a dog taking care of a baby. She was also very interested in the photographs of Charles R. Smith Jr in the book My people by Langston Hughes. Beauty in images and poetry.
We also got Octopuses One To Ten by Ellen Jackson. I love this book. One of my favorite creatures is the octopus – and one of my favorite articles written about them was in Orion Magazine called Deep Intellect. Riley has an octopus toy that drives me crazy because it does not have eight legs and it annoys me that it isn’t anatomically correct. C’mon toy makers!
Then there is A Library Book For Bear by Bonny Becker about a curmudgeon bear who in the end can’t resist the wonders of librarians and their book choices. . .
We met a friendly librarian named Ivy, whom Riley thought needed some assistance. (She didn’t need any assistance but warmly chatted with us).
This library branch is two stories, and has pretty views. Riley even got her first library card!
She’ll be checking out the books at the next stop on our journey.