Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Poison: Deadly Deeds, Perilous Professions, and Murderous Medicines

Poison: Deadly Deeds, Perilous Professions, and Murderous Medicines
By Sarah Albee
Crown Books for Young Readers, 2017. J Informational. 192p.

Did you know that deadly radium used to be touted as a wonder drug and was added to everything from water to makeup to lollipops? Did Joseph Stalin die of natural causes or was he poisoned by one of his inner circle?

From assassins to snake oil salesmen to industrial contaminants, poison has been playing a role in world history for centuries. This clever book tells the story of poison – both natural and manufactured – through the ages, with humorous illustrations, informative “tox boxes,” and fascinating historical anecdotes. A great history and STEM read.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon
Jason Chin
Neal Porter Book, Raring Brook Press, 2017. 48 p.

This is one of my new favorite books for 2017. It is brilliant. In the book a girl and her dad are visiting the Grand Canyon—one of the natural wonders of the world. Readers will learn about the history (how it was formed) of the national treasure along with what is there today. The best part of this book is the illustrations. The part where the main story is looks like it is on photo paper (with white borders). These illustrations are layered on top of illustrations of things important to the canyon—animals, plants, rocks, etc. Then there are the die cuts. When the girl looks at a trilobite fossil it is actually part of the illustration showing through the cutout so when readers turn the page they can see how that trilobite actually could have come to be in the Grand Canyon.

Chin creates an informational book that is delightful to read and captivating to learn from. He mentions in an author’s note that he was “bit by the geology bug” and most readers will be too after learning about the Grand Canyon. Wow. Just wow.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

From Story Time: The Letter "N"

Read in Book Babies

Big Bear, Small Mouse
Written by Karma Wilson
Illustrated by Jane Chapman
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2016.  Picture Book.

Bear is big, big, big, and mouse is small, small, small but these friends stick together through all the highs and lows!  Join Bear and mouse as they spot all the opposites in their little glen. Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman team up again to bring the youngest Bear fans a delightful concept book that begs to be read out loud. --Publisher

Read in Toddler Time

Hensel and Gretel:  Ninja Chicks
Written by Corey Rosen Schwartz
Illustrated by Rebecca J. Gomez
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2016.  Picture Book.

These ninja chicks are anything but chicken!  When Hensel and Gretel’s dad gets snatched by a fox, the sisters put their ninja skills to work to track him down before he can be stir-fried.  But are these two little chicks ready to take on a dark tangled forest, a tricky house made of corn bread, and an even trickier fox?  This plucky pair isn’t giving up without a fight! Kiya!

Read in Preschool Time

The Nice Book
By David Ezra Stein
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2008.  Picture Book.

It's so nice to be nice!
Don't tickle
. . . well, maybe a little.
Love was meant to be passed on.

An adorable menagerie of irresistible animals populate this gentle look at friendship. Getting close to someone is an art and these little creatures demonstrate the simple ways to show you care. David Ezra Stein's expressive illustrations ooze charm and will inspire readers to be very nice indeed.  --Publisher

Read in Monday Cuentos

Written by Luisa Noguera Arrieta
Illustrated by Sara Sánchez
Panamericana Editorial, 2016.  Spanish Picture Book.

Noche tras noche, la tranquilidad del nido de las tórtolas se ve interrumpida por extraños y aterradores sonidos… ¿Quién será?, ¿qué viene a buscar?  Todos tiemblan de miedo sin saber qué pasará.  --Publisher

Read in Friday Cuentos

Cómo enseñar a tu a cocodrilo a lavarse los dientes
Written by Jane Clarke
Illustrated by Georgie Birkett
Translated by Bárbara Fernández
Grupo Editorial Bruño, 2016.  Spanish Board Book.

¿Tienes un cocodrilo tan revoltoso como Coco, que no quiere lavarse los dientes?  No te preocupes, Lola ha conseguido que se los lave.  ¡Abre este libro y descubre cómo!  --Publisher

Friday, January 12, 2018

A Beginner's Guide to Immortality

A Beginner's Guide to Immortality: From Alchemy to Avatars
Written by Maria Birmingham
Illustrated by Josh Holinaty
Owlkids Books, 2015.

It's almost been 2 weeks. How's that new year's resolution going? Why not ditch it for something a little cooler? ... I'm thinking something along the lines of everlasting life.

With A Beginner's Guide to Immortality you'll get all the motivation you need to begin your own journey towards eternity. This book shares tons of folklore as well as real stories about the men and women who have attempted to cheat death. *Spoiler Alert* No one has actually achieved immortality... unless you believe the Greek myths. But don't let that stop you from trying! This beginner's guide is an interesting and entertaining read for kids who appreciate fun facts and anecdotes.

Thursday, January 11, 2018


by Kevin Sylvester
Annik Press, 2017. Informational.

Not just the regular facts and tidbits about basketball are included. Sylvester has researched the interesting to the extreme. The evolution of the basketball shoe (including a life-sized picture of Shaquille O'Neal's actual size 22 shoe), how much players make, extreme hairstyles throughout its history, underhanded free-throws, among all the stats about the sport and its players. There is information about the NBA, WNBA, NCAA, wheelchair basketball, and regular old street ball .

Interested in improving your free throw accuracy? Sylvester has included that, too.

This is a great informational book for basketball fans and especially for those who don't yet know how big of a fan they might become.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


By Jason Reynolds
Antheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017. Fiction. 233 p
Patty hates to lose.  She has lost a lot in her short lifetime.  She lost her father and later her home when her mother lost her legs to diabetes.  Now Patty and her sister live with their auntie, and Patty is starting to find friendship and purpose on an elite track team. Will her drive to win drive away the people who matter most?

This is a companion volume to Reynold's award winning book, Ghost.  Ghost appears in this book, but this book can also stand alone.  Patty is a great character, with a kind and resilient heart. Readers will cheer her on as she navigates life's tricky twists and turns on and off the track.

January Guys Read/Girls Read

Did you know that we have two parent/child book clubs every month at the Provo Library?  They are for children 9-12 and a parent and they meet the fourth Tuesday (girls) and Thursday (guys) of each month during the school year. Families can preregister under the Kids Corner/Program Registration tab on the library website. This month we have two great books that we will be discussing.

The Westing Game
By Ellen Raskin
Dutton, 1978. Newbery. 185 p.
Millionaire Sam Westing has named 16 potential heirs in his will.  When he dies of foul play the heirs are put into teams, and whichever team can figure out how he died will win the inheritance money.  Young and old, male and female, the heirs work together and against each other to figure out "who dun it."  This is one of the all time favorite Newbery winners.  It is a fast paced and complex story with a whole host of interesting characters.  So grab your magnifying glass and get ready for a wild ride.

Gustav Gloom and the People Taker
by Adam Troy Castro
Grosset and Dunlap, 2012. Fiction. 226 p.
Fernie's father is a safety inspector and is careful about everything.  Fernie and her sister are just the opposite.  They crave action, adventure and danger.  When they move into their new home in a quiet suburban neighborhood they are thrilled to find out that just across the street is what appears to be a bonafide haunted house.  Its one (living) inhabitant is a boy who looks so sad Fernie can not help but want to meet him.  She gets her chance one night when her cat runs away and she enters the "haunted" house in search for it.  More awaits her there than she could have expected and soon she begins to regret her adventurous nature. This book is two-parts scary and one-part giggles.  Readers will like Fernie's open heart and plucky personality.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

My First Yoga Class

My First Yoga Class
By Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Illustrated by Jill Wachter
Simon Spotlight, 2017. Easy Reader Informational.

Do you have little ones who are curious about yoga? Yoga for youngsters has increased in popularity as a way for kids to develop mindfulness and awareness in a non-competitive group. This new Easy Reader Non-Fiction book is a perfect introduction to yoga for brand new readers. A diverse group of students learn some basic poses together - such as cat, down dog, and snake - in pages decorated with photographs and doodle-like artwork.

This book is especially good for grown-ups and kids to read together - the text in most of the book is super simple for brand new readers, but includes instructions in the back to try yoga that an adult can help read. This is fun new book is perfect for the start of the new year.

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Apprentice Witch

The Apprentice Witch 
James Nicol
Scholastic Inc., 2017. 318 p.

The story opens with Arianwyn heading into her witch’s assessment—the assessment that determines if a witch is capable and competent and thus would be assigned a witch’s assignment. Unfortunately she fails the test miserably. Due to some intervention by her grandmother she The Civil Witch Authority deems her an apprentice witch (thus only having a bronze moon badge instead of the witch’s silver star badge) and Wyn is sent away to a community to serve as a witch.

On her way via bus to the remote town of Lull, Wyn meets Salle who immediately becomes her friend. Unluckily the bus also encounters a demon in the woods and Wyn is barely able to save Salle and the bus driver. This are pretty rocky for Wyn as she tries to keep a few secrets about her power, deal with her nemesis Gimma (who also gets sent to Lull after a few months), and somehow become a real witch.

This book has loads of magic, friendship, and adventure and is perfect for readers who love strong female characters and fantasy settings.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Slug Days

Written by Sara Leach
Illustrated by Rebecca Bender
Pajama Press Inc., 2017. J Intermediate. 116 p.

Lauren has trouble reading social cues. She often misunderstands her classmates, and they often misunderstand her, too. On “butterfly days” Lauren gets the approval of her teacher and can make other kids laugh. But on “slug days” nothing seems to go right for her.

Lauren’s motivations and reasoning are different from other people’s because she is on the autism
spectrum. This J Intermediate chapter book follows Lauren through a week of ups and downs, using the lens of her unique perspective to describe her thought processes, coping mechanisms, and routines. Slug Days is a sensitive invitation into another way of experiencing the world. The gentle, thoughtful, and funny story would be good for encouraging empathy in any young reader.