“We can learn much about how a historical period viewed the abilities of its children by studying its children’s literature. Occupying a space somewhere between the purely didactic and the nonsensical, most children’s books published in the past few hundred years have attempted to find a line between the two poles, seeking a balance between entertainment and instruction. However, that line seems to move closer to one pole or another depending on the prevailing cultural sentiments of the time. And the very fact that children’s books were hardly published at all before the early 18th century tells us a lot about when and how modern ideas of childhood as a separate category of existence began….
Where the boundaries for kids’ literature had once been narrowly fixed by Latin grammar books and Pilgrim’s Progress, by the end of the 19th century, the influence of science fiction like Jules Verne’s, and of popular supernatural tales and poems, prepared the ground for comic books, YA dystopias, magician fiction, and dozens of other children’s literature genres we now take for granted, or—in increasingly large numbers—we buy to read for ourselves. Enter the Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature here, where you can browse several categories, search for subjects, authors, titles, etc, see full-screen, zoomable images of book covers, download XML versions, and read all of the over 6,000 books in the collection with comfortable reader views. Find more classics in our collection, 800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices.”
Sometimes CMLE will highlight several books that have some factor in common. We hope they will give you ideas for your collection, or influence an activity, lesson plan, or display!
This month, we are sharing several different books that have main characters that model good qualities for young readers. This book list began as a discussion from a librarian hoping to help one of her patrons. The patron was looking for suggestions of beginning chapter books for a nine-year-old that contained characters that modeled qualities such as dependability, good time management, etc but without being didactic.
Here are some of the suggestions other librarians came up with:
If you were watching the Oscars last Sunday, or even just tuning into the news regarding the Oscars, chances are you heard about the major mix-up in which the movie La La Land was announced as the winner of the Best Picture award – when in reality the winner was Moonlight.
People reacted with surprise, shock, etc but the best reaction definitely came from a librarian, of course! She chose three picture books with fitting titles to explain the situation – check out the article from MPR here.
(Platteville Library, the originator of the Tweet, favorited our Twitter response! Talking with library people, on social media, on blogs, and in person, is always fun!)
After talking with several of our members, I know that collecting and recommending books that adequately speak to the American Indian experience is important – and a challenge! We want to be sure we are passing on the best information to our patrons and community members; so it is good to get some expert advice.
Storytime is a fun and important time in all libraries. In order to get even more out of storytime programs, the Library of Virginia has created 12 new videos on how to “supercharge” your storytime.
They define supercharging storytime as incorporating two main characteristics: intentionality, where they focus on making connections between the storytime activities and early literacy, and interactivity, so both the kids and parents participate and get more out of the program.
You can find more resources, including videos and links to articles, on early childhood literacy expert Saroj Ghoting’s website here.
Learn the basics and benefits of supercharging your storytime by watching this short video: