#Whatireallyreallywant is for everyone to read about these important women! In no particular order or preference, each tells of a woman you should be aware of and knowledgeable about. #girlpower
FRIDA KAHLO was a famous surrealist and modern artist and should be remembered as more than just the wife of another famous Mexican artist. She is renowned for her inventive self-portraits and examining the tougher aspects of life through her paintings. This compilation is a first of it’s kind- an illustrated journal complete with Frida’s own thoughts, poems, dreams, sketches, self portraits and more. It covers the last ten years of her life from 1944-1954, in a captivating and sometimes haunting, sometimes witty way. Giving perspective on her turbulent relationship with Diego, living with a debilitating handicap and the ensuing surgeries, and insights on her creative process, this auto biography shines with Frida’s own hand.
(Portrait of Frida Kahlo by her father, Guillermo Kahlo; public domain)
CATHERINE THE GREAT was the most renowned and longest-ruling female leader of Russia, reigning from 1762–1796. She came to power after her husband was assassinated and while under her rule Russia became one of the great powers of Europe. Balancing the government, foreign policy, cultural development, domestic rebellion, wars, and welfare of the Russian people were all in her hands. This book accurately captures the life of this great women, giving details to her personal relationships, her well developed philosophical mind, and her successes and struggles in ruling the vast country of Russia.
(Portrait of Catherine II by Fedor Rokotov; public domain)
MARIE SKLODOWSKA CURIE was distinguished physicist and chemist who pioneered research on radioactivity (a term that she coined!). She was the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the only woman to win it twice, and the only person to win twice in multiple sciences. She discovered two elements—polonium and radium. She was the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris and became the first women to be entombed on her own merits in the Pantheon of Paris. This book is a visual journey through Marie’s life—collages, photos, clippings, drawings—giving a compelling narrative to the fascinating scientific significance of her work, while mixing in romance and intrigue.
(Portrait from the 1903 Nobel Prize committee; public domain)
CLEOPATRA has been imagined for centuries by poets, artists and historians alike in attempt to convey her beauty, wealth, power and importance. She was the last acting pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty founded by Alexander the Great. She was married twice to her brothers but her lovers- Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony place her as the most influential woman of the age. This book separates fact from fiction to reveal in rich detail the dazzling life of this magnetic queen.
(Portrait of dancer Winniefred Foote in Cleopatra costume; public domain, courtesy of the Library of Congress)
CLEOPATRA: A LIFE
by Stacy Schiff
MALALA YOUSAFZAI is a human rights activist known for her advocacy for education and women. In her province of Pakistan the local Taliban sometimes banned girls from attending school. Her family runs a chain of schools in that region and on October 9, 2012 a gunman boarded her school bus, asked for her name and shot her. After intensive recovery Malala is thriving and continues her advocacy against this kind of violence and discrimination. She was named one of TIME magazine’s most influential people in the world, she was the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace prize and she continues to speak at international conventions. This is her powerful story of a family uprooted by global terrorism, the fight for girl’s education, and her beliefs that have already changed the world.
(Portrait by Simon Davis of the UK Department for International Development; creative commons license)
I AM MALALA: THE GIRL WHO STOOD UP FOR EDUCATION AND WAS SHOT BY THE TALIBAN
by Malala Yousafzai
There’s a lot more to the Library than checking out books—and that means there’s a lot more to working here, too! Over the next few weeks, we'll be posting interviews with some of our Children’s staff to learn more about what it’s like to work here.
Up first is Tori Pence, one of our storytellers:
So you're a storyteller at the Library. What does that actually mean?
Well, I get to sing songs and dance around and be a goof. But for real, it means providing an opportunity for children to come to love books and reading! It means staring at a computer screen pulling your hair out, spending hours trying to prep a 20 minute show. It means small hugs around your legs and being told you're loved. It means party times fun times with books!
How long have you been doing this?
I've worked at Provo Library for two years as a storyteller, but I've been performing elsewhere for the better part of forever. I've volunteered at libraries since I was a kid.
What experiences helped you prepare for this job?
Being the Easter Bunny, true story. I was the Easter Bunny for my city for ten years until I turned 21 and came to Utah. Day in and out for one month a year I had kids put on my lap screaming and crying and had to figure out how to communicate with them through a fiberglass head without speaking. I was also peed on. Twice.
You're also a Famous Local Comedian. Has your background in sketch and improv helped with storytelling?
Sketch has helped me immensely! Prepping a story time is pretty much like writing a sketch, especially the puppet show portion. It helps to know the basics of comedy, about what makes a show fun when you're writing a show. You want to teach, but no one is going to listen if it's not fun...Improv is super important as well, especially in the summer story time with older kids who want to chat. Kids are gonna say some weird stuff—which can throw off your groove— so it helps to be able to think on your toes, take what they say, and integrate it into your story time. Also, your kids are not bringing themselves to story time, their parents are. You have to amuse them too so they'll pay attention and engage with their kids, and knowing how to write for an older audience was super helpful for that.
Reversal: has storytelling helped with your comedy?
I have to write a story time show a week in the regular year and two a week during the summer. Having such a short amount of time forces you to streamline your process and be constantly thinking of ideas; it keeps my mind fresh and constantly creating. . .I actually have a sketch that was inspired by a real life story time, and it's one of my favs.
What's the instance in which you've committed the most to your storytelling act (costumes, props, puppets, embarrassing voices, etc)?
One time I jogged in with gym shorts and sweat bands carrying a fake Olympic torch and ran around the room until I stumbled to the floor onto my face and "passed out.”
Your last day here is coming up soon. Any advice for your replacement?
Have a party! It is all about the chilluns, and if you aren't having fun then chances are that they aren't having fun either. Story time is so important— you’re creating some of these kids' most positive experiences with books, so make them awesome!
A few weeks ago as I was straightening up the library at closing time, I came across BRICK SHAKESPEARE: THE COMEDIES. I thought that this was such a fun way to read some of Shakespeare’s plays.
Then I became curious…how many other books did we have with stories told via LEGO bricks? I was delighted to find the following books in our collection!
Meet the Greek gods as you have never seen them--in LEGO form! Enjoy these fascinating myths, reimagined through elaborate scenes and colorful LEGO bricks in one thousand color photographs!
Presents thirteen tales from the original Grimm's collection, rendered in LEGO bricks, featuring scene-by-scene reenactments accompanied by captioned excerpts from the tales.
Whimsical visual adaptations of four Shakespearean comedies, rendered in LEGO bricks, feature scene-by-scene reenactments accompanied by captioned excerpts from the plays.
Whimsical visual adaptations of four Shakespearean tragedies, rendered in LEGO bricks, feature scene-by-scene reenactments accompanied by captioned excerpts from the plays.
Retells ten books for the Old Testament with illustrations created with LEGO toys.
Images of artwork created out of LEGO bricks recreate scenes to retell each book from the New Testament of the Bible.
A collection of six classic Bible stories for kids and illustrated in LEGO bricks.
I checked out THE COMPLETE BRICK BIBLE FOR KIDS to show to my LEGO loving nephews and they thought it was totally awesome! What story would you like to see unfold in brick form?
Julianne Donaldson, author of EDENBROOKE and BLACKMOORE spoke at the Provo Library not of writing advice in a technical sense but of chasing your dreams on Thursday, July 21, 2016.
She explained that when she first began writing nearly a decade ago, she was already running an eBay business and teaching piano lessons to keep her family afloat while her husband attended law school.
“Life felt really hard,” Donaldson says. “Every time I went to the grocery store I had to pay with my food stamps card and I just wanted to tell people in line that it’s not going to be like this forever. One day, I’m going to have enough money to buy my own groceries.”
Over 300 readers came to hear Donaldson speak
She turned to books like the Regency romances of Georgette Heyer, but found that there weren’t many stories like the ones she wanted to read. So, washing dishes while her three children smashed goldfish on the kitchen table, her own stories and characters began to take form.
“I was writing this story, with no thought that it would ever be published one day. I was just doing it for myself,” said Donaldson. “I loved the experience of escaping to a place where there was a lot of romance, there were no kids, and both my hero and heroine are filthy rich because it’s fantasy.”
As an English major, Donaldson had focused on studying literature and had never taken a creative writing class, but began writing what she did know, the Regency romance of those she had studied.
“I had this moment where I was like, ‘Oh! This is my talent. This is what I was given to do, to write a romance,” says Donaldson.
She realized that this talent was special and couldn’t be ignored simply because she was already a mother—she had more to do. As she became more passionate about her work she dreamed of traveling to England to begin seriously researching the book she wanted to write.
“It was this whirlwind adventure of me driving through England, in a rental car, hugging the wrong side of the road,” says Donaldson. “Every time we came to a roundabout I couldn’t stand the terror of going around, so we just kept driving in a circle.”
She'll be signing for hours!
When she was able to overcome her fear of right turns, Donaldson set out to experience the grandeur that her characters might experience and she felt inspired to write specific scenes that were more closely focused on the Regency world she wished to make accessible. She took pictures, talked with locals, researched and taped pictures of the attractive men she based her heroes on to her computer while writing and rewriting her books.
After Donaldson’s many years of hard work and perseverance, her labor of love, EDENBROOKE was finally published, but more importantly, Donaldson felt like she was able to write her way towards the light at the end of the tunnel.
“I found that pursuing the talents that I had been given and using them to create really helped me to feel better about myself and my life,” Donaldson says. “It’s always the right time to pursue your dreams and it doesn’t matter what they are.”