These are dark times for a small mouse. A new invention—the mechanical mousetrap—has caused all of the mice but one to flee to America, the land of the free. But with cats guarding the steamships, trans-Atlantic crossings are no longer safe. In the bleakest of places the one remaining mouse has a brilliant idea. He must learn to fly!

Danny, Who Fell In A Hole

Danny’s parents have always been a bit flaky, but this time they have gone too far! Their latest plan to follow their dreams means Danny and his older brother will spend six months in Banff (wherever that is) and six months in New York City. Furious, Danny runs out of the house and straight into a very, very large hole. When it appears that help is not on the way, Danny becomes a subterranean Robinson Crusoe, creating shelter (garbage bag and paper clips), cereal (coffee creamer, rainwater, granola bars, and a few rogue raisins), and a washroom (a hole in a hole).

Biomimicry: Inventions Inspired by Nature

Biomimicry examines the extraordinary innovations of the natural world and the human inventions they have inspired. Readers will learn about marvels such as high-performance swimsuits modeled after sharkskin and the sleek front ends of Japanese bullet trains based on the long, streamlined beak of the kingfisher. There’s also plenty about what glimmers on the horizon: A Brazilian beetle may be key to developing computers that run on light, and the gecko’s humble foot may hold the secret to revolutionizing the way surgical wounds are closed. Best of all, nature’s inventions are lean, green machines that are self-sustaining and generate zero waste — yet another cue humans are taking from the natural world.

The Fabulous Flying Machines of Alberto Santos-Dumont

While the Wright Brothers were gliding over Kitty Hawk, the charming Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont was making his own mark on the history of flight. Alberto loved floating over Paris in his personal flying machine called a dirigible. He would tie it to a post, climb down, and spend the day shopping or meeting friends for coffee. But he wanted to make his invention even better. By 1906, Alberto had transformed his balloon into a box with wings! But now there was competition. Another inventor challenged Alberto to see who would be the first in flight. Alberto’s hard work paid off, and his airplane successfully soared into the air, making him the first pilot to lift off and land a completely self-propelled plane.

Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci

In 1781, Thomas Paine came up with a model for a single-span bridge; in 1887, Adolf Eugen Fick made the first pair of contact lenses; and in 1907, Paul Cornu built the first helicopter. But Leonardo da Vinci thought of all these ideas more than five hundred years ago! At once an artist, inventor, engineer, and scientist, da Vinci wrote and drew detailed descriptions of what would later become hang gliders, automobiles, robots, and much more.