ReadingRockets is a very useful site for getting children ready to read.  They offer strategies for struggling readers that allow parents and teachers to find answers to specific issues, techniques for teaching reading, a collection of recommended authors and books, plus links to podcasts, webcasts and blogs.  This is the place to go even if your child isn’t struggling with reading.

Rare Book Room

This site has digital copies of almost 400 rare books.  You can find books by Galileo, Copernicus, Einstein, and Shakespeare.  There is also the complete Poor Richard’s Almanac by Benjamin Franklin and rare editions of the Gutenberg Bible.  Towards the top, under category, those of us interested in children’s lit can choose just those titles.  You will find many Lewis Carroll titles in a variety of languages as well as titles from the Bodleian Library in Oxford.  Very interesting and you don’t have to sneeze from the dust this way.

Free Books from the County

Lucas County in Ohio is starting an initiative to distribute books to children who attend subsidized child care in the county.  They plan to give out 2400 books to 800 children!  In addition, the county will provide early literacy training for child care providers who have county contracts. 

Think of the niche for librarians here!  We already know about early literacy and how to train parents and child care providers.  We know what books to use.  Anyone else feel a grant coming on?

Poetry Friday

Comets, Stars, the Moon and Mars: space poems and paintings by Douglas Florian.

What a winner of a book!  A combination of space and poetry!  The subject lends itself to the imagery of poetry, the rhythm of it, the dance.  Each planet as well as the sun and moon get their own poem, explaining their unique feature in a quick verse with a clever little ending.  Florian’s accompanying illustrations are equally accessible and evocative, a gateway to complexity just as his poems are. 

Share these great poems with children who are not necessarily poetry lovers.  The popular subject will allow us to sneak in the poetry to scientific, logical children who may not yet have allowed the muse into their hearts.  What a great way to tie literature and science together.