The Link: Children’s Literature

April 2nd is the 206th birthday of the famed children’s author Hans Christian Andersen and it also marks the celebration of the 45th annual International Children’s Book Day, a celebration of children’s literature.  In honor of these events, this month, The Link will take you on a tour of some sites devoted to the subject of children’s literature and refer you to some wonderful resources to help you explore the subject in different ways.

We begin with resources you can use to find children’s literature that you might like to read.  Next, we link you with some websites where you can find online versions of children’s literature, from contemporary stories to classic fables and fairy tales.  We conclude with some resources devoted to film adaptations of children’s literature.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All others are already a part of the ipl2 collection.  For more information about children’s literature, visit the ipl2 and search for “Children’s Literature.”

We hope this month’s selections help you to learn more about children’s literature and to find children’s literature resources for children of any age in your life.

Suggested Reading

Wondering what children’s book to read next?  These resources will help to point you in the right direction!

National Education Association:  Resources and Materials (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Kidspace – Reading Zone – Book Lists)
http://www.nea.org/grants/13023.htm
Part of the Read Across America program, this resource features lists of recommended children’s literature.  The program works to highlight America’s diversity through lists covering Asian-American authors, Spanish/English bilingual books, Native American authors, and African American authors.  Other lists include Teacher’s Top 100 and Author’s Favorites.  Users can also download posters for Read Across America and the Reader’s Oath.

International Reading Association:  Children’s Choices (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Kidspace – Reading Zone – Book Lists)
http://www.reading.org/Resources/Booklists/ChildrensChoices.aspx
For kids, by kids.  In conjunction with the Children’s Book Council, the International Reading Association annually publishes a list of recommended children’s literature with titles selected by children themselves.  This resource features annotated versions of the lists from 1998 to the present.  The website also features fact sheets about Children’s Choices, information about the list and an application to become a Children’s Choice Team Leader, as well as pre-formatted bookmarks that can be downloaded and used to promote the resource.

Half-Remembered Children’s Books (find it on ipl2: Pathfinders)
http://www.ipl.org/div/pf/entry/76690
This ipl2 pathfinder offers strategies and resources for finding half-remembered children’s books—those books you may have enjoyed in the past, but for which you cannot recall the author or title.  Print and electronic resources are listed.

The Newbery Medal Homepage (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Literary Awards)
http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberymedal.cfm
This is the homepage for the Newbery Medal, an annual award given by the American Library Association for distinguished contributions to children’s literature.  The site features a list of nominees, past winners, information about children’s literature, and links to related websites.

Online Books and Other Reading Material

The following resources will help you to find online versions of children’s reading material, both old and new.

International Children’s Digital Library (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Children’s Library Services)
http://en.childrenslibrary.org/
This online catalog, designed for children, allows not only searching by keyword, but also by color of covers, length of books (short, medium, long), age group, types of characters (kids, real animals, imaginary creatures), picture books, chapter books, award winning books, fairy and folk tales, make believe books, true books, and more.  As an international site, the library features books in 76 languages, from Afrikaans to Yiddish.  The colorful site is designed with large icon buttons that children will find easy and fun to use.  Parents and other adults will enjoy the site as well.

Children’s Books Online:  The Rosetta Project (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Antique Children’s Books)
http://www.childrensbooksonline.org/
Described as “the largest collection of illustrated antique books online … we think,” the Rosetta Project includes digital images of over 2,000 antique books from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries categorized by age and interest level.  Children and their parents can also search the site by title, author, illustrator, publisher, and publication date.  In addition, the site includes audio and “Read to Me” books and the option of either reading books online or downloading them.  From the Rosetta Project, a nonprofit organization based in Maine.

Fables and Fairy Tales

These resources provide digital versions of classic fables and fairy tales for kids and their parents to explore these classic stories.

The Real Mother Goose (find it on ipl2: Kids – Reading Zone – Poetry and Rhymes)
http://www.fidella.com/trmg/
This site offers an extensive collection of the classic Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes, with wonderful accompanying illustrations.

ipl2 Special Collections – Fairy Tales:  Reading and Research (find it on ipl2: Pathfinders)
http://www.ipl.org/div/pf/entry/48473
This special ipl2 pathfinder seeks to “describe and categorize” the best online and print resources for finding and learning about fairy tales.  It is aimed at students, teachers, parents, researchers, and casual readers.

National Geographic:  Grimms’ Fairy Tales (find it on ipl2: Kids – Reading Zone – Myths and Fables – Classics – Grimms Fairy Tales)
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/grimm/index2.html
At this National Geographic site, learn about the Brothers Grimm and read some of their dark fairy tales, many of which have been the basis for Disney films and other contemporary fairy tale adaptations.

Film Adaptations

Children’s Literature has always served as a rich resource for film adaptations and has become, in recent years, the basis of some of the highest grossing films to date.  If you’re a kid or teen, the parent of a kid or teen, or simply enjoy literature aimed at the under-18 set, these links will keep you up-to-date on past, current, and upcoming films based on your favorite books.

Kidsreads:  Books Into Movies (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Kids – Reading Zone)
http://www.kidsreads.com/features/books2movies.asp
This part of the Kidsreads website provides information about film adaptations based on books for kids under 13 years of age.  Cast, film release dates, DVD release dates, plot summaries, and information on the source texts are all included.  Please note: This list is not comprehensive and lists only films released in 2003 onwards.

Teenreads:  Books Into Movies (find it on ipl2: Resources by Subject – Teens – Reading and Writing)
http://www.teenreads.com/features/books2movies.asp
This part of the Teenreads website provides information about film adaptations based on books for readers between the ages 13 and 18.  Cast, film release dates, DVD release dates, plot summaries, and information on the source texts are all included.  Please note:  This list is not comprehensive and lists only films released in 2003 onwards.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog.  Subscription is free and open to all!

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