Do Unto Otters: Michigan Reads 2015

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 8, 2015

Contact:  Gillian Gainsley, Communications Coordinator, Ypsilanti District Library, (734)879-1303

Statewide Contacts:    Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs, (517) 241-4395;    Bill DiSessa, Spokesperson, (517) 335-6649


Do Unto Otters is Featured Title in 2015 Michigan Reads! Program

A children’s book about good-mannered forest creatures by Michigan author Laurie Keller has been named as the featured title in the 2015 “Michigan Reads! One State, One Children’s Book” program. Keller will visit the Ypsilanti District Library (YDL) on Wednesday, September 16 as part of her statewide book tour, a program of the Michigan Department of Education (MDE).

Keller has written and illustrated a number of children’s picture books and also illustrates books for other authors. She presents on her work for children and adults at schools, libraries and other events. She will read from her book at 11am at YDL's Whittaker Road location, followed by otter-themed crafts and a book signing courtesy of Literati Bookstore.

Keller, who grew up in Muskegon and now lives on the state’s southwest side, wrote and illustrated Do Unto Otters (Henry Holt, 2007). The book tells a story of how Mr. Rabbit learns, with sage advice from Mr. Owl, to get along swimmingly with his new neighbors, the Otters, by simply treating them the same way he would want to be treated – the Golden Rule.

The Library of Michigan (LM) coordinates “Michigan Reads!” The program is devoted to increasing early childhood literacy and pre-reading readiness. The Ypsilanti District Library is one of 12 schools and libraries across the state that are participating in the author tour.

Michigan Reads! is modeled after the “One Book, One Community” concept and is designed to emphasize the importance of shared reading practices with babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and young school-age children. These practices set the stage for fluent reading achievement in children as they enter school.

“This year’s Michigan Reads! program should help prompt Michigan residents of all ages reading aloud to children, inspiring a love of reading in both readers and listeners,” said State Librarian Randy Riley. “Do Unto Otters is a really fun way to bring children and parents together, reading and learning.”

The program is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and partners with the Library of Michigan Foundation. Additional contributions come from Jackson National Life Insurance and Macmillan Publishers.

As a result of the Institute of Museum and Library Services support, the LM will provide a hardcover copy of Do Unto Otters and programming materials to all public libraries, elementary schools, Head Start and Great Start Readiness programs across the state. 

“Michigan Reads!” provides librarians, early childhood educators, parents, and caregivers with ideas to help children develop literacy skills through play-based activities. Since its inception in 2004, the program aims to promote the value and benefits of reading early and often to children, to encourage family bonding through reading and to increase awareness and usage of Michigan's libraries as excellent resources for learning.

More information about “Michigan Reads!” – including dates and locations of author visits and materials for parents, teachers and caregivers – is available at

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The Ypsilanti District Library will host author Laurie Keller on Wednesday, September 16 at 11am at the Ypsilanti District Library's Whittaker Road location, 5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti MI 48197. See event information.

The Library of Michigan – Michigan’s official state library agency for more than 175 years – is part of the Michigan Department of Education. To learn more, visit

*Attached please find a cover photo of the book: lm_2015_MI Reads Do Unto Otter Book Cover.jpg

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