Caldecott Award-winning author and illustrator Dan Santat is coming to the Provo City Library! (I just did another happy dance!) If you haven’t had the wonderful opportunity to read any books by or illustrated by Dan Santat then you are missing out! He is amazing! How many exclamation marks can I add to this introductory paragraph? I mean, this is happiness on epic proportions for me!! (Was that bad that I just added two exclamation marks to the end of one sentence? Does this help you understand just how amazing this is?)
Anyway, in honor of such a great force in children’s literature coming to our library, I am going to tell you about five of my favorite books that he wrote/illustrated. (I know, you are asking yourself the same question: How could you just pick five? And I cheated. There are a couple where I picked certain books so I could sneak a few more your way. I had to. Dan Santat has written and illustrated SO MANY good books that really five is just too few to share just how amazing he is.)
This is a great book. Basically this girl gets first place on her science project…only just as she is accepting her first place blue ribbon she realizes that the robot is headed out on a rampage into the city. She has to go and stop her robot! Of course she forgot to give the robot ears so it can’t hear her tell him to stop (or teach him to read for the same reason). Basically, she has to create a giant monster that can then stop the robot. (Only creating a giant monster that can take care of a giant robot comes with its own set of problems.) One of the things I really like about this book is that it is a girl scientist. There aren’t that many books that showcase just how smart girls are (not just can be) in the science fields. And the end pages are just funny. Dan Santat totally nailed these illustrations—which is why this book is on the list. [And as an added bonus there is a sequel! OH NO! NOT AGAIN! (OR HOW I BUILT A TIME MACHINE TO SAVE HISTORY) (OR AT LEAST MY HISTORY GRADE) is also written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Dan Santat.]
This book is fun on so many levels. In this story a kid and his parents are headed to a birthday party for Grandma. Of course while on the long drive to grandma’s house there is a lot of “Are we there yet?” questions. And then the kid’s imagination starts to take over. The book’s pages are turned upside-down and the adventures are bigger and better than any road trip I have ever taken. Then eventually the family gets to grandma’s house and the party. Which means that the question soon becomes, “Can we go now?” when too many relatives start pinching cheeks.
Dan Santat received the Caldecott Award for this book. It is amazing! Basically in the book Beekle was born where all imaginary friends are created. He waited and waited (and waited) for someone to imagine him. Only nobody ever did. So Beekle decided to take matters into his own hands. Off he goes to the real world where he is in search of his friend—which he finds! And there is much happiness!
Captain Amazing is in need of a new sidekick to help him fight crime. There are a couple of candidates that really want the job—including some of Captain Amazing’s pets. Basically there is a lot of fun superhero bits to this story along with a lot of figuring out who you are (as a sidekick pet especially). I love the depth of this book. I love that it is a whole graphic novel of amazingness. I love that the solution to who the new sidekick(s) is/are. And I can’t tell you much more than that…because it will spoil the ending. Just know I love this book. And I will be asking Dan Santat to sign my copy—which will induce yet another dance of joy.
This is my favorite book that Dan Santat has illustrated. Ever. Possibly because I like ninjas. But also because the illustrations are just plain awesome. This is a fractured fairy tale of the three little pigs (if you couldn’t guess by the title)—only with NINJAS! Basically the three siblings (two brothers and a sister) set off to learn martial arts so they can defeat the Big Bad Wolf who is quite a bully. Only the sister sticks with her training enough to inspire fear in the wolf when he learns of her power and skill. And if it wasn’t cool enough that this book existed, there are also two others in this series. NINJA RED RIDING HOOD and HENSEL AND GRETEL: NINJA CHICKS are also spectacular—though the first book will always be my most favorite! (And do you like how by telling you about this series I get to talk about three books for the price of one Friday Fave?)
So my friends, if this round of Friday Faves hasn’t inspired you to come to the Children’s Book Festival and meet the AMAZING Dan Santat, then you need to come to the library to check out these books. Because I know that once you read them, you will love Mr. Santat’s work just as much as I do!
"You are now my greatest enemy, Alan."
"Just one more chapter..."
"At least I know what happened to Megan Hipwell."
"Really, Kenneth? Really?"
"It was just the heater. Definitely not a Nazgûl."
"There's gotta be a spell for this. Harry Potter never dealt with this nonsense."
"Beth is really, really sick. Jo's there, but I don't think there's anything she can do."
"You want to put the book in the freezer?"
"I have no idea what Turkish Delight is, but I'd kill for some right now."
"It's fine. Nothing happened. Old Dan and Little Ann are fine. There's no such thing as mountain lions."
Can we say it enough? Overdrive is awesome! So here’s another shameless plug.
Even though I use Overdrive almost daily, I’ll be the first to admit that the process of signing into the app and actually downloading titles isn’t the most user-friendly. But don’t give up! Overdrive provides a platform for ebooks and audiobooks, complimenting and expanding the library’s physical collection.
Here’s a beginner’s guide to using this great library resource:
Overdrive can be accessed on a desktop computer, but the easiest way is to download the app onto a phone or tablet.
Your account was created when you signed up for a library card since the state of Utah has paid for the use of Overdrive for all Utah library card holders. The Provo library uses some of its budget to make additional items available to Provo City Library patrons.
You will be asked to sign in with your library card number and PIN.
Once you’ve selected your library and signed into the app, you will be asked to use the same information to sign into Utah’s Online Library. This is the database Overdrive draws from.
After all that signing in, you can tap on the 3-line menu icon in the upper left corner and go to your bookshelf. It will be empty and waiting.
If you choose “Add a title,” you will be taken back to Utah’s Online Library to search for materials.
When items have been downloaded, they will conveniently appear on this Bookshelf page.
The easiest way to find something on Utah’s Online Library is to type the title directly into the search box.
If you are just browsing, you can search collections by tapping the menu icon in the upper right corner.
If your search brings up too many possibilities, you can filter results. My favorite way to narrow down results is to filter by type, ebook or audiobook, and then by availability.
Tap interesting titles to see a summary, or to read/hear a sample.
Just like a physical book checked out from the library, materials available through Overdrive usually have a limited number of copies.
If a title is available, you can choose “borrow,” and the screen will send you to the Loans page where the item can be downloaded to the app for reading or listening.
If a title is unavailable, you can choose “place a hold,” and will be directed to the Holds page. When a book becomes available that you have put on hold, it will be automatically checked out to you.
One of the great things about overdrive is you never have to worry about late fees. When the lending period has expired, the ebook or audiobook is automatically returned.
*NOTE: you can have 10 items checked-out and 5 on hold at any one time
Now you can use this amazing resource! Please come visit the library with further questions or to get great recommendations. Remember that the library’s online catalog will list if an item you're searching for is available on Overdrive.
Fun fact! Did you know the library has board games that you can come in and play? We do! And not just the same old Monopoly, Clue, and Risk games that you grew up playing as a child, but new and improved games.
Do you avoid playing board games with your family because they are too competitive? Maybe you should try a game with a more cooperative board style. Instead of getting mad because your game mates sabotaged you, the board is the element that is trying to kill you.
On the 20th of April we are having an adult event to help you learn to play a bunch of different board games, such as DiXit, Pandemic, Avalon, Bang! The Dice Game, and so many more! Please come join us for a game filled evening.
To give you a better idea of why you will definitely want to play them, here are five of my favorite board games the library recently purchased.
You are a member of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) trying to save the world from disease. There are four strains trying to kill off the planet. Each player has a special ability which will help you cure the disease. This is one of my favorite cooperative games, since it encourages team building as you work together to discover the cures to various strains. It gives everyone playing a common enemy that isn't a person, which is so nice.
This is an Old West themed dice game. A sheriff is identified and then each other player has a secret identity as a deputy, an outlaw, or a renegade. The deputies win if the sheriff wins. The outlaws win if the sheriff dies. And the renegades win if the sheriff is the last person standing. The dice are my favorite element. You get three rolls and your available actions are really straight forward, which makes teaching this game really easy.
This game of creepy crawlies is so much fun. The cards depict eight critters and there are eight of each one. The point of the game is to stick one person with four of the same critter i.e. four scorpions. For example, person A passes a card to person B and says “This is a bat”. Person B has to determine whether person A is lying or not. If person B is right, person A gets the card; if person B is wrong, they get the card. This game is a fun challenge to see how well you can tell whether or not someone is lying.
This is an awesome variation on 20 questions. In the group everyone gets a card identifying the same location, except for one person who receives the spy card. The point of the game is to ask each other questions till you figure out who the spy is, or in the spy’s case finding out everyone else’s location. Imagine having everyone’s location be at the mechanic’s and then someone asking you what kind of food is served there. Everyone else will know who the spy is and answer that there are “all sorts of food," when there are obviously not all sorts of food at a mechanic's shop. Hilarity ensues.
This has some of the craziest art work I have ever seen in a game. In DIXIT everyone has a hand of cards and the first player picks one and gives some clue about it. Everyone else puts in a card they think fits that clue. The first player will shuffle the cards and lay them out randomly. Then everyone else votes which card they feel was the original. This is an amazing game for friends to play together. It is really lighthearted as earned points move bunnies around the score board for the win.