Mashable: Ryan Reynolds joins Taika Waititi for a live reading of ‘James and the Giant Peach’. “If you’re looking for a dose of wholesome to brighten your lockdown Memorial Day, look no further than author Roald Dahl’s official home on YouTube, Roald Dahl HQ. For the past week, filmmaker Taika Waititi (director of Thor: Ragnarok, among others) has been staging a live reading of Dahl’s beloved book, James and the Giant Peach. He’s had celebrity help every step of the way, from the Hemsworth brothers (plus Nick Kroll) to freaking Meryl Streep and Benedict Cumberbatch.”
3 News Las Vegas: UNLV creates ‘story time’ resource for children & families. “UNLV has created a ‘story time’ resource for children and families amid the coronavirus outbreak. The university’s College of Education is creating read-aloud videos to recreate storytime for kids virtually while libraries and schools stay closed. An online library of nearly 50 stories is available, along with other videos and resources for parents and teachers, with new videos uploaded daily.”
Mashable: Michelle Obama will entertain your kids for you. “Starting April 20 at noon EDT, the former first lady will be reading children’s books live in a weekly event dubbed ‘Mondays with Michelle.’ Obama will read a different beloved children’s book for four consecutive Mondays, through May 11, in a collaboration with Penguin Young Readers, Random House Children’s Books, and PBS Kids.”
New York Times: Answering Kids’ Questions About the Coronavirus, in Free Picture Books. “‘My Hero Is You’ is one of several new children’s books about the virus that publishers and nonprofits are releasing free of charge, with the aim of giving children age-appropriate ways to learn about the pandemic. That title and others are being made available as downloads and through free e-reading platforms like Worldreader, a nonprofit that provides e-books to disadvantaged readers in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Central and South America. The group’s growing collection of coronavirus-themed titles includes picture books about the importance of hand washing, illustrated stories and a graphic novel about children trying to cope during the pandemic, as well as straightforward reference materials about Covid-19.”
WCYB: Dolly Parton will read children’s books at bedtime on social media. “Beginning on Thursday, April 2, at 7 p.m., Dolly Parton will be reading a children’s book for bedtime in a series entitled ‘Goodnight with Dolly.’ Dolly will welcome the viewers and introduces the title, author and illustrator. She will be reading it on her social channels.”
Chicago Tribune: Bored and on a budget? Here’s how to read for free while social distancing. “In the past week, publishers and audio entertainment companies have offered a deluge of free e-books and audiobooks to keep readers of all ages engaged while they’re hunkered down at home. Parents, teachers and kids can choose from electronic editions of beloved stories such as Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein,’ Ann McGovern’s ‘Stone Soup,’ Jack London’s ‘The Call of the Wild’ and Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Jane Eyre.'”
The Guardian: ‘Pyke notte thy nostrellys’: 15th-century guide on children’s manners digitised for first time. “The 15th-century conduct book, The Lytille Childrenes Lytil Boke, was intended to teach table manners. It has been put online as part of a new children’s literature website bringing together original manuscripts, interviews and drafts by authors from Lewis Carroll to Jacqueline Wilson. The medieval text is part of the British Library’s own collection, and ‘by listing all the many things that medieval children should not do, it also gives us a hint of the mischief they got up to’, said the library.”
School Library Journal: Kids and Authors Alike Love Instagram. Here’s How To Leverage It To Get Kids Reading.. “We’re in an era of unprecedented access to the best, most interesting authors writing for young people. Thanks to social media—Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other outlets—authors are sharing much more than the latest news about their books. For librarians and teachers, this means opportunities to connect students with their favorite writers—and others they might not know yet—to get them excited about reading in a whole new way.”
From The Conversation, with a big thanks to Garth W. who pointed it out: Global Storybooks: From Arabic to Zulu, freely available digital tales in 50+ languages. “This portal hosts custom sites with multilingual open-licensed books for over 40 countries and regions on five continents. Our vision is to help democratize global flows of information and resources, to facilitate language learning — including Indigenous languages — and to promote literacy.”
Washington Secretary of State: Giving New Voice To Thomas Handforth, A Northwest Artist With Global Perspective. “Best known for his children’s book Mei Li, which won the 1939 Caldecott Medal for illustration, Handforth was born in Tacoma, and studied art at the University of Washington…. In 1982, TPL’s Northwest Room received the Handforth Collection from the Handforth family. More than 70 years following the artist’s death, this collection of Handforth’s unpublished work has finally entered the public domain. Through the Washington Digital Heritage grant, TPL digitized over 300 of Handforth’s drawings, prints, letters, and paintings.”
Library of Congress: Classic Works of Children’s Books Published More Than 100 Years Ago Now Online at the Library of Congress. “In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week (April 29 to May 5), today the Library of Congress launched a unique online collection of 67 historically significant children’s books published more than 100 years ago. Drawn from the Library’s collection, Children’s Book Selections are digital versions both of classic works still read by children today and of lesser-known treasures.”
SBS News: Database connects kids with culturally diverse children’s books. “A new database designed by the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literacy (NCACL) hopes to make it easier for teachers, parents, and readers to find books which celebrate diversity. Users can search for key concepts in the database, including cultural identity, traditions, migration, and language.” The database will launch later in 2019.
Zach Whalen: A Python Script That Writes 800-Page Children’s Books. “You may have heard of NaNoWriMo — National Novel Writing Mo — which is an even where aspiring authors attempt to start and finish a 50,000-word novel in the month of November. NaNoGenMo is a similar event that simply challenges aspiring authors to write code that will generate a 50,000 word novel. This blog post is the story of my NaNoGenMo effort for 2017, which culminated in The Several Houses of Brian, Spencer, Liam, Victoria, Brayden, Vincent, and Alex, an 800-page novel (PDF download) generated by a Python script. I’m sharing this because I’m pretty happy with the outcome, and I learned a lot about Python in the process.” This is a little outside the ResearchBuzz beam, but I loved reading about it, and figure anyone working in AI can combine this work with AI and have a great time.
I have posted about children’s books before but this one is new-to-me. From MyModernMet: UCLA’s Virtual Library Hosts Over 1,800 Vintage Children’s Books for Free. “If you’re a fan of children’s books, prepare to lose hours browsing through the virtual UCLA Children’s Book Collection. The digital archive hosts over 1,800 children’s fiction, poems, and educational books dating from 1728 to 1999. From fairy tale classics such a Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, this collection will take you right back to your childhood.”
Bates College: Bates Debuts One-of-a-kind Search Engine For Diverse Children’s Books. “There is considerable power in children’s books. It’s a formative power, especially in the case of picture books for younger children, with their rapidly developing intellects and personalities. So what’s the formative impact on children of color when most picture books — as many as 90 percent — are all about white people? And if you want to lay hands on one of the relatively few books that feature diverse characters, what happens when the local library catalog can’t help you find them? And what if that library doesn’t even know which races or cultures are represented in its children’s book collection? Krista Aronson, associate professor of psychology at Bates, has devoted considerable time and thought to such questions. And she has an answer.”