Farsi Books, Junk Collage and More

Posted on January 28, 2007. Filed under: Children's Literature, Web Resources |

Two websites to plug this week: International Children’s Digital Library and National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature. I thought I knew my way around the Web, but I’d never heard of either site until I found reference to them in a children’s literature text I’ve been examining. And, while ICDL comes up quite readily in a Google search using related terms, I couldn’t get NCCIL to come up no matter what search terms I used, all the more reason to share the link here.

The ICDL is a truly international collection of children’s books that have been scanned in and are fully available for reading online–though admittedly, we have high-speed DSL, and I’m not sure the books would load or move as smoothly on dial-up. In the last hour, I’ve read (and I use the term loosely) two books in Farsi, one in Tagalog, one in Mongolian, one written in both Spanish and English and two in French. Since everything I examined was a picture book, it was relatively easy to follow the story, even without the text. How marvelous a way to give our kids a taste of another culture! And, more subtly, a taste of what it feels like to be on the outside looking in. While there are books available in English on ICDL, they are a small percentage of the total collection.

The NCCIL offers another sort of feast. Art lessons! More specifically, easy art activities keyed to match the styles of popular illustrators like Donald Crews, Betsy Lewin and Peter Sis. It also offers biographies and critical essays on its featured illustrators and information about the center itself and the traveling exhibits it sponsors. Big fun. I think we’ll be trying the glue flowers from The Gardener (Sarah Stewart, illus. David Small) soon.

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