The word is in: Utah's children loved the Deseret News Summer Reading Contest. And they read lots of books! The individual lists varied all the way from 10 to 300 titles and attest to the commitment and reading interest in Utah homes this summer.

The contest rules stated that each child would read (or listen) to at least 10 books representing different genres of literature and submit a colored "pathway" of reading published by the Deseret News. The entries were judged on originality of artwork, including the book jacket illustration of the favorite book and the variety of titles read.Each winner was given a $10 gift certificate from Deseret Book. Winning entries will be on display at selected Deseret Book stores.

The winners in each category were:

Preschool:

Samuel Noble, Logan

Andrew Van Wagenen, Salt Lake City

Dagny Gold, Salt Lake City

rades 3 and 4:

Dustin Fullmer, Murray

DeAnne Back, Bountiful

Shelley Chambers, North Salt Lake

Natalie Nielsen, Kaysville

Family involvement was evident as parents made notes about the interest and delight of finding new titles, particularly for the young listener. Sometimes all children in a family participated, each entering their own reading list. Help was often given by parents or peers in recording the book lists (computer practice was even submitted), and excursions to libraries became a project to find titles to fit the variety of books suggested: poetry, global travel, "statues of the past," mysteries, etc.

The media used to color and decorate the entries were as varied as the book lists themselves. Crayon was the favorite, but pencil crayons, chalk, water color and markers were also tried - sometimes a variety on one entry. Collage was also used, with glitter, sequins and cotton, to embellish the art piece.

Book title favorites were seen in each age range. The preschool-aged listener heard Mother Goose, Dr. Seuss and many "Clifford . . ." and "Curious George" stories. Favorite authors were Rosemary Wells, Arnold Lobel, Beatrix Potter, Helen Oxenbury, Judith Viorst and Walt Disney. The winners in this age range were dinosaur stories.

The kindergarten through grade two readers like monster books, "Amelia Bedelia," and poetry by Jack Prelutsky, Shel Silverstein and Arnold Lobel. Mystery stories by Crosby Bonsall or about "Encyclopedia Brown" were favorites, as were all kinds of Indian stories. And dinosaur books!

The readers from grades three and four found many titles from the Utah Children's Book Award lists to their liking, continued to praise Shel Silverstein, found the humor of "Pippi Longstocking" appealing and listed their all-time favorites as dinosaur books.

The 10- and 11-year-olds in grades five and six chose mystery books, young romance and poetry (Shel Silverstein) as the favorites. While they enjoyed biographies and sports stories, the unanimous winner was (you guessed it) dinosaur books!

Two factors probably contributed to the popularity of dinosaur books, both fiction and non-fiction, this summer: the library summer reading program called BOOKASAURUS and the Natural History Museum display, "Dinamation."