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July 2012

Where Does Your Child Stand on the Reading Ladder?

July 20, 2012 | Kate S. | Comments (7)

Written by Patty & Janet


Whether you are reading aloud to your child or your child is reading on their own, the Toronto Public Library’s Reading Ladder Arrangement provides a guideline on which books are suitable for your child’s age and level of reading.

J PIC  Picture Books for Younger Children:  ages birth to 6 years

This collection is a child’s first introduction to books and reading.  It contains fully illustrated titles that tell an uncomplicated story suitable for a young  child’s understanding.  Alphabet, counting , early concept  and wordless picture books can be found in this collection.  These books are great for reading aloud to children. 




Papapleasegetthe moonforme


 J BR Beginning to Read Stories:  Grades SK to 2 (ages 6-7)

The “beginning to Read Stories” are books for very new readers.  Repeated vocabulary, rhyming, large widely-spaced print, plentiful illustrations and lots of white space characterize these books.  The rhyming and repetition helps familiarize the new reader with the “look” of many words.







 J ER Easy to Read Stories: Grades 2-3 (ages 7-8 and older)

Early chapter books with lots of illustrations and a controlled but more advanced vocabulary than the beginning readers.  These books have a larger print size and more white space than the “older” fiction categories.





Beezusand Ramona



J APIC Advanced Picture Books: Grades 2 and up (ages 7 and up)

Fully illustrated, these books appeal to an older picture book audience who want a more complex story. These titles require a longer attention span and more developed comprehension skills than that of the picture book audience.  “Fractured” fairy tales, semi-biographies and stories with mature themes can be found in this collection.







J Fic  Older Fiction: Grades 4-6 (ages 9-12)

At the top of the reading ladder, these books look very much like adult titles.  Older fiction chapter books have a more advanced vocabulary, smaller print and fewer illustrations than the Easy to Read stories.  As well as regular fiction, this category includes Mystery and Science Fiction titles and Graphic Novels.








Non-fiction  titles at all levels can be found in the relevant Dewey area.  There are non-fiction books at any level from J BR beginning reader through to older fiction, grade six level.


No Book Travel Guides or eBook Travel Guides

July 13, 2012 | Diana S. | Comments (0)

Previously you had a brief list of the types of travel guides available at the library in Bon search ... Bon find ... Bon voyaage!. These are the print versions of the guides that you can take with you on your trip, but what if you want an electronic version or an eBook of the guide?  You won't need to remember due dates or determine if you need to renew your guide before, during, or after your trip.

Toronto Public Library's OverDrive has a variety of travel guides that you can easily download and take with you on your mobile device. You don't have to worry about returning the items. They just automatically expire.  You can search for the travel guide of your choice such as Fodor's, Frommer's, Lonely Planet, or National Geographic. If you know the publishers of the travel guides, such as DK Eyewitness, Fodor's Travel Publications. or Lonely Planet  Publications, you can search by publisher.

For how to find an eBook travel guide, see  Find Your eBook Travel Guide.

Some eBook travel guides include:

 DK Eyewitness-Bali & Lombok    Frommer's-Grand Canyon National Park    Fodor's-Hawaii

          Lonely Planet-Alaska    DK Eyewitness-NewYork

Foreign Films are NOT Alien

July 12, 2012 | Jorge | Comments (0)

Wow, it’s a scorcher out there! If spending too much time outside makes you uncontrollably sweaty then I got some cool treats to entertain you indoors.

I’ve recently become intrigued by foreign cinema. I once avoided foreign films thinking that the language and culture would make the film less enjoyable. What I found was not what I expected – foreign films invigorated a new interest in moviegoing.

If you are looking for films that are much less about the larger things in life – the show-stopping cars and homes, the computer graphics, high-profile celebrities, etc. – and more about realistic and believable events, then foreign films may have what you are looking for.  Here are some picks that may spark some further interest:

(2010) – This was one of the first foreign films I saw. It’s a story about a father who is terminally ill and even in his final days of life, struggles to keep his daughter and son in good care. The powerful emotions, the realness of the story, and the believable acting got me curious for more…


Incendies-posterIncendies (2010) – This film has all the closure you need to say, “Yah that was a good movie.” The movie is set in Montreal and the Middle East. A mother passes away and leaves a will for her two children asking them to find out more about their family history. Her daughter and son encounter an unwelcoming experience and in the end resolve her wishes in a mouth-opening ending.

The-skin-i-live-inThe Skin I Live In
(2011) – Okay this film is a bit twisted but it has a very sophisticated storyline. Antonio Banderas (Dr. Ledgard) is a husband, father, son, and a plastic surgeon in this film. After his wife is severely burned in a car accident, Ledgard develops an obsession to create a synthetic skin capable of withstanding damage. Eventually, his efforts are spoiled by a surprise concluding twist.


If you need some more suggestions, submit a comment and we’ll talk about it.

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