Following the counsel of Governor Herbert and under the direction of Mayor Kaufusi, Provo City Library will be closed until further notice. If you have materials checked out, please hold onto them until we reopen. No fines will accrue during this time.
 

 

Easy Readers

  • Easy Readers 2

    One of my favorite things I get to do at work is ordering the Easy Reader Nonfiction books (JENF for short). These books are nestled in with the Easy Reader and Very Easy Reader section, but I think they are extra special. These books are a great way for curious minds to learn about all the things they might be interested in – in a language they can read for themselves. 

    Our JENF books are in the red Easy Reader corner of the Children’s Department and are eager to be discovered. Here are some great new JENF series to go hunting for: 

    ROOKIE NATIONAL PARKS

    9.6 Rookie National ParksZION NATIONAL PARK
    By Jodie Shepherd
    (2018)

    Rookie is a series of books from Scholastic, and within the Rookie series there are a lot of series on all kinds of topics – and I don’t think that they are all good, but the National Parks series (new this year!) is definitely worth reading. Each book in this series has facts about the flora and fauna of the National Park in question, the geographical formation, and must-sees within the parks – all on pages full of stunning photographs from inside the national parks. If you have young explorers, definitely bring these books home. 

     

    FLY GUY PRESENTS

    9.6 Fly GuyFLY GUY PRESENTS: CASTLES
    By Tedd Arnold
    (2017)

    Sometimes informational books with popular characters thrown in can seem a little gimmicky, but the Fly Guy Presents series has none of that. These informational books on a variety of topics (everything from Sharks to the White House) have all the fun of Fly Guy stories but with a ton of great facts as well. I love these books, which follow Fly Guy and Buzz on various field trips and are filled with Tedd Arnold’s signature funny illustrations and cool photographs throughout.     

     

    TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS TRAINING ACADEMY

    9.6 FirefightersTRAINING ACADEMY: FIREFIGHTERS!
    By Trey King
    (2016)

    I have to confess that I am not a big Transformers fan so I cannot personally speak to how cool these books are, but my elementary school aged cousins tell me that these books are cool and I’ll take their word for it. From a librarian perspective, this series is great because even though it is fairly new it is already covering a good range of topics (firefighters, monster trucks, under the sea). The pages are a good mix of photographs and illustrations and these books are full of good information. 

     

    RANGER RICK... I WISH

    9.6 I wish I was a GorillaI WISH I WAS A GORILLA
    By Jennifer Bove
    (2018)

    I grew up reading Ranger Rick magazines and this new series of Easy Readers carries all the same good parts of Ranger Rick magazines, but in a compact, focused design focused on beginning readers. This series of books includes volumes focused on other animals like orcas and lions and all are really well done. This book is filled with a ton of information about gorillas – where they live, what they look like, what they eat, and how they care for their families. Plus there are incredible photos courtesy of the National Wildlife Federation.  

     

    YOU SHOULD MEET...

    9.6 Jesse OwensJESSE OWENS
    By Laurie Calkhoven
    (2017)

    If your little readers are curious about real people and the interesting lives they lived, this series is one of my favorites. These books tend to focus on figures that young readers may not have learned about yet (i.e. not another Thomas Edison or Abraham Lincoln bio). This book, about Jesse Owens the African American runner who caused a sensation at the 1936 Berlin Olympics is well written with little readers in mind. Other books to look out for include Mae Jemison and a group biography Women in Science. 

     

    Did we miss any of your favorite Easy Reader Non Fiction sections? Tell us in the comments!

  • Toddler Brain Development

    It’s time for another child brain development blog! Today we'll cover preschool-age children, or those 3-5 years of age. If you are new to this series, check out our other posts on infants and toddlers. If you’ve been following along, you are probably tired of hearing this, but:

    What are the best things we can do for our children’s brain development?

    Read, sing, and talk to them!

    Where’s a great place to get help with that?

    The library!

    I probably sound like a broken record, but here at the library we have a great program called Story Time where our fantastic storytellers do all three of our favorite activities with your children: read, sing, and talk. They also get your children moving and interacting, which is great for their social development.

    During the school year we have a special Story Time for preschoolers in the Story Room, which looks like a castle and has a special child-sized entrance. Children are locked in for their safety and get some time with other children without their parents. During the summer we instead have Story Time on the lawn and at various parks around Provo, so they can get some fresh air.

    As you might expect from the name, our Preschool Play time is specifically geared towards children this age. We bring out different age-appropriate toys from dress up clothes to wooden trucks for your children to play with. We also have puzzles available all day long which are a great resource for stimulating child brain development at this age.

    For library resources you can use at home, look for books with repetition and rhyming, which is beneficial for your child’s language development. As you read, ask open ended and who/what/where/why questions to stimulate your child’s engagement with the books. Here are some classic options:

    9.16 Brown Bear Brown BearBROWN BEAR, BROWN BEAR, WHAT DO YOU SEE?
    By Bill Martin
    (1983)

    This children’s classic is beautifully illustrated and filled with rhyming. 

     

    9.16 Hop on PopHOP ON POP
    By Dr. Seuss
    (1987)

    Dr. Seuss is one of the most recognizable children’s book authors for a reason! His repetitive rhymes are a great way to get your child learning and reading at a higher level. 

     

    9.16 The Giving TreeTHE GIVING TREE
    By Shel Silverstein
    (1964)

    All of Shel Silverstein’s poetry books are whacky and fun – which is just what kids love! Along the way, they are interacting with valuable literary elements to help them learn, too. 

     

    You can also check out our Discovery Kits (the full size ones, now), which include books, toys, and activities to explore a specific topic. Some great ones are Shapes, which has great puzzles; Multicultural, which has memory matching; and All About Me, which teaches children to recognize emotions.

    For more information on how to help with your preschooler’s brain development, see the book below. If you have older children, be sure to follow along with the blog for upcoming brain development posts! 

    9.16 The Whole Brain ChildTHE WHOLE-BRAIN CHILD
    By Daniel Siegel
    (2011)

    This book offers much more than I can say on the topic of child brain development and how to guide them in their growth.

     
  • threenager

    Over the past two years, I’ve checked in periodically to share my son’s favorite books. It’s been fun to look back on his past favorites (as a one-year-old and then as a toddler), and to see his interests growing up and diversifying as he gets older. It's possible that as his parent, I find these posts more interesting than anyone else, but I feel like it’s worth checking in on the blog every year, because whether you’re reading to a baby or a toddler or a threenager, you always need good books.

    Now that Calvin is three, he’s a little bit more interested in reading lots of different kinds of books rather than the same books over and over. As you’ll see, he spends a lot of time in the 500’s (nonfiction animal books), but he also loves Dr. Seuss and Mo Willems.

    It’s getting harder to pick his favorites; what I’ve chosen to highlight here are the books that Calvin keeps asking us to get every time he comes to the library (which is often). There’s also a strong bent toward books that I enjoy reading out loud, because if you are also someone who spends a lot of time reading to children, you will know that not all books are created equal in this regard. I want Calvin to have books he’s interested in, but our reading is a shared experience, and it’s nice if I can enjoy it too.

     

    4.19 SpidersSPIDERS
    by Nic Bishop
    (2007)

    Calvin is obsessed with bugs and creepy crawly things. When we go to the aquarium, he runs to see the bird-eating tarantula; when we play outside, much time is devoted to catching and attempting to feed various insects (Calvin is always dismayed that Box Elder Bugs don’t seem interested in sticking around for the feast he’s created out of grass and twigs). I credit a lot of this interest to a copy of SPIDERS by Nic Bishop that I brought home from our Used Book Store. 

    If you have small people living in your house and haven’t checked out Nic Bishop’s books yet, repent immediately and get them. Nic Bishop is a photographer first, and it shows. However, one of my favorite things about his books is that they offer a lot of information but remain easy to read aloud (a surprisingly difficult balance to strike!). Calvin’s favorites so far are SPIDERS, BUTTERFLIES AND MOTHS, and SNAKES, but we haven’t really met a Nic Bishop book we haven’t liked.

     

    4.19 Zombie MakersZOMBIE MAKERS: TRUE STORIES OF NATURE’S UNDEAD 
    by Rebecca L. Johnson
    (2013)

    This book is cool and gross. Calvin loved it so much we exhausted our renewal options from the library. For the first week we had it, Calvin asked for this book by saying, “Can we read that book that has that worm coming out of that girl’s leg?” Great bedtime book or stuff of nightmares? You decide… 

    ZOMBIE MAKERS is about parasitic organisms that cause involuntary reactions in their hosts’ bodies. From a fungus that makes a fly stop flying (does that mean it’s called a walk?) to a virus that makes rats attracted to cats, this book makes you realize how bizarre the world can be. It also makes me realize that wasps are the biggest jerks in the animal kingdom. You’ll have to read more to find out why! 

     

    4.19 Pigeon NeedsTHE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH
    by Mo Willems
    (2014)

    It’s hard to choose which Mo Willems book is Calvin’s favorite; between the Elephant and Piggie books and the Pigeon books, there’s usually at least one of them in the bedtime lineup. But THE PIGEON NEEDS A BATH was our first, and I credit it for teaching my toddler the phrase “That is a matter of opinion!”, so it gets the feature here. 

    I love voicing the pigeon. He is witty; he is funny; he is easily exasperated. I laugh every time when he complains that the bath water is “too reflective.” The pigeon is, really, an eloquent toddler, incredibly stubborn until he’s forced to try something new and discovers that it’s his new favorite thing. I think the character of the pigeon hits on the sometimes absurdity of these small people that share our houses, and helps us all laugh a little at those times when someone refuses to bathe or asks again and again to do something that they aren’t allowed to do. 

     

    4.19 Bartholomew OobleckBARTHOLOMEW & THE OOBLECK
    by Dr. Seuss
    (1949)

    I said I only wanted to share books that I enjoyed reading, but I lied a little bit. Maybe you are more Dr. Seuss savvy than I, but the thing that surprised me when we first read this book together is that it does not rhyme! I try not to be bothered by it, but it’s a bit strange read a Dr. Seuss book without that Dr. Seuss signature cadence.   

    BARTHOLOMEW AND THE OOBLECK is the story of a king’s disastrous decision to try to rule the sky as well. In his hubris, he asks for his magicians to create something to fall from the sky other than the standard sun, rain, and snow his kingdom is used to. What he gets is oobleck, a sticky green goo that mucks everything up. I don’t know why Calvin loves this book, but he asked to check it out every time we came to the library, even if we already had it checked out (at one point we had two copies from two different libraries). My only thought is that he really likes the look of various people and livestock covered in green goop. 

     

    4.19 Ballet Cat SecretBALLET CAT: THE TOTALLY SECRET SECRET
    by Bob Shea
    (2015)

    Calvin really likes all the Ballet Cat books, but I think that THE TOTALLY SECRET SECRET is his favorite favorite. Like many easy readers, this one’s done all in dialogue, and is especially fun if you can have two readers to voice the different characters. We love the simple art; we love the different colored pages; we love this story about friends learning that it’s important to listen to each other. Our only complaint about the Ballet Cat books is that there aren’t more of them!

     
  • easyreaders

    In recent years, the genre of beginning reading books – or easy readers – has improved leaps and bounds from the days of repetitive clunky text and boring plots (“She will run. She is fast. She will run fast.”).  

    Arguably the greatest master of the easy reader is Mo Willems, who created the beloved Elephant and Piggie series. These stories, written in conversation bubbles between the two friends, managed to offer text that was simple enough for the youngest reader but didn’t lose the natural flow of real speech, not to mention being so funny that even adults were eager to read the latest installment.  

    But now that the 25th and last Elephant and Piggie book (THE THANK YOU BOOK)  has been published, it’s time to discover new reading buddies. Here are five newly published easy reader books (each the beginning of a series) that are reminiscent of the zany humor, comic illustrations, and tender friendship we loved about Piggie and Gerald.  

    duck duck porcupineDUCK, DUCK, PORCUPINE!
    by Salina Yoon
    (2016)

    Big Duck likes to be in charge of her brother, Little Duck, but it’s usually Little Duck who ends up getting her and their friend Porcupine out of trouble.  


    pig in wigWHAT THIS STORY NEEDS IS A PIG IN A WIG
    by Emma J. Virján
    (2015)

    This silly rhyming story features Pig taking a boat ride and adding more and more fun along the way: a frog and a dog and a goat on a log!  



    ballet catBALLET CAT: THE TOTALLY SECRET SECRET
    by Bob Shea
    (2015)

    Ballet Cat and Sparkles the Pony want to play together but the only thing Ballet Cat wants to play is…ballet. Can their friendship survive Sparkles’ totally secret secret?


     

    snail and wormSNAIL AND WORM: THREE STORIES ABOUT TWO FRIENDS
    by Tina Kugler
    (2016)

    After Snail tries less than successfully to play tag with a rock, he is delighted to meet Worm, and the two invertebrates set off on adventures.


     

    rabbit and robotRABBIT & ROBOT: THE SLEEPOVER
    by Cece Bell
    (2012)

    Rabbit meticulously plans a sleepover with his friend Robot, but things don’t go quite as planned: Robot only likes screws and bolts on his pizza, and then the remote goes missing. Can Robot save the day?

  •  Halloween Costumes

    I love children’s books and dressing up, so what could be more fun than dressing up as a character from a book? 

    Every year when I went to the store to pick out a costume for Halloween I was always disappointed. I never liked the choices that I found.  I also didn’t like seeing my costume again and again on everyone else. I love having a costume that is unique to me and my personality. But I also didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on something I was only going to wear one day out of the year. Another frustration in picking a costume was what to be and what person to dress up as.

    Then one year I discovered literary characters. I love books so why not choose my favorite book character and dress up as that particular character! For the last 5 years or so I have had some really fun costumes and most of the time people know who I am. I get lots of comments like, “That is one of my favorite books”, which makes me happy.           

    Usually a book character costume doesn’t require much. I was surprised at how many things I had at home to use for my costume. Sometimes I would have to hunt for an accessory that I needed or make an item or two for my costume but usually it was just hanging in my closet waiting to be put together. I have over the years added to my wig collection but that is something that can be used again and again. I also bought a latex witch nose and I have used that many times to change the look of my face.   

    This year because I have so many ideas and options to choose from my struggle is deciding which character I want to be. I thought it would be fun to share five of my favorite literary costumes and hopefully inspire you to also dress up as a literary character.

    10.15 Fancy NancyFANCY NANCY: FANCIEST DOLL IN THE UNIVERSE
    By Jane O’Conner
    Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser
    (2013)

     

    Fancy Nancy

     

    10.15 Amelia BedeliaAMELIA BEDELIA
    By Peggy Parish
    (1963)

     

    Amelia

     

    10.15 Miss Nelson is MissingMISS NELSON IS MISSING!
    By Harry Allard and James Marshall
    (1977)

     

    Viola Swamp

     

    10.15 Lillys Purple Plastic PurseLILLY'S PURPLE PLASTIC PURSE
    By Kevin Henkes
    (1996)

     

    Lilly

     

    10.15 The WitchesTHE WITCHES
    By Roald Dahl
    (1983)

     

    Witch

     
  •  Reading Together Final

    The Provo City Library is excited to announce our new collection of Read Along Books! Each Read Along Book comes with an attached audio player—that way young listeners can hear the audio recording of the book, complete with page turn signals, as they read. We were so excited about our new collection that we wanted to show you what Read Alongs are, where they are located in the library, and how you can find them in our catalog.

    WHAT READ ALONGS LOOK LIKE

    Be aware that some of the book covers for these Read Alongs may look different from what you are used to with regular library books. For example, the dust jacket (that paper that covers the hard bit of the book) for COME HOME ALREADY looks like this:

    10.16 Come Home Already Regular Cover

     

    While GIRAFFES CAN'T DANCE looks like this:

    10.16 Giraffes Cant Dance

     
     

    The Read Alongs look a little bit different, like this:

    10.16 Come Home Already Vox Cover

     

    or this:

    10.16 Giraffes Cant Dance Wonder Cover

     
     

    This is different from the regular book covers in that they have either this Vox Books sticker:

    10.16 Vox Sticker

     

    Or a Wonder Book sticker:

    Wonderbook Sticker

     
     

    HOW THEY WORK

    Vox Books and Wonder Books are two different companies that create Read Along books. Just like there are different book publishers for regular books, there are different publishers for Read Along books.

    The Vox Books player that produces the audio for the book looks like this:

    10.16 Inside a Vox Book

    On the side of the Vox player is where you can turn on the device.

    10.16 Side of a Vox Book

    You can press play on the top part of a Vox Book here:

    10.16 Vox Press Play

     
     

    The Wonder Books are similar; here is what a Wonder Books device looks like:

     10.16 Wonder Device

    Here is  the power button for a Wonder Book:

    10.16 Wonder Power Button

    And this is where you would press “play” for a Wonder Book:

    10.16 Wonder Press Play

     
     

    WHERE TO FIND THEM

    These fabulous Read Alongs are located in the Children’s Department on our Audio/Visual shelves.

    10.16 Read Along Shelf Sign

    just above the hanging book/cd collection.

    10.16 Read Along Shelf

     
     

    HOW TO FIND PICTURE BOOK READ ALONGS IN THE CATALOG

    As you can see, there aren’t that many books on the shelf right now—most of them are all checked out! So, you can find out which read alongs are available in the library catalog by:

    1. Pulling up the library’s website.

    2. Looking in the upper right hand corner of our website to find the catalog search box. Then type “jrp” (which stands for “Juvenile Read Along Picture Books”) and hit enter.

    10.16 Enter JRP in catalog

    3. Once you hit enter, a search results page will open. Scroll down. On the left hand side there is a string of ways to “Limit Search Results”. The very last (on the bottom) of these is the way you can limit by “collection”. Check the box that is by the “JRP” as a collection type.

    10.16 Collection JRP

    4. Press the “Include” button.

    10.16 Collection JRP Include

     
     

    HOW TO FIND EASY READER READ ALONGS IN THE CATALOG

    The second type of Read Alongs that we have are the Juvenile Read Along Easy Readers, like DINOTRUX GO TO SCHOOL.

    10.16 Dinotrux Easy Reader Wonderbook Cover

     

    To find these in the catalog you would do the exact same thing that I described above, only you would:

    1. Enter “jre” in the catalog search box (instead of “jrp”).

    10.16 Enter JRE in Catalog

    2. Down at the bottom of the “Limit Search Results” boxes you would find the limit by “collection” box and check the box by “JRE” as a collection type.

    10.16 Collection JRE

    3. Then press the “Include” button.

    10.16 Collection JRE Include

     
     

    There is a limit of two Read Alongs that can be checked out on a library card at any given time. So just remember  that if you have multiple holds come in all at once you are still limited to only checking out two Read Alongs at a time. Like other library materials, this collection can be checked out for three weeks.

    There you go. Hopefully now you know more about the brand new Read Along collection, a little bit about how they work, and how to find them in the library and in the catalog. We hope you enjoy this fun new way of interacting with books!

    Forgive me for such a long blog post! I just want to make sure I give you all the information about this fun new collection! If you still have questions after this lengthy post, please feel free to talk to a Children’s Librarian about the Read Alongs.