MARK YOUR CALENDAR
Upcoming Events for Children's Librarians
CLA CONFERENCE HAS SEVERAL CHILDREN'S PROGRAMS: - The California Library Association's Conference will take place in Sacramento next month, so many ACL member s will find it convenient to attend. There will be several programs of interest to children's librarians, including a free half-day program on the Summer Reading Program on Friday, Nov. 12, 1:30-4:30pm. For more on the conference, go to www.cla-net.org .
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Media Watchby Penny Peck
Ramsay, Mackie. Discover the Secrets of Reading with Creative Phonics. Illus. by Patricia Shubeck. Trafford Publishing, 2010. $39.95. ISBN 9781425153212.
Reading specialist Ramsay has created a workbook to help children read, with a music CD of original songs for each letter of the alphabet by Mary Lee Sunseri. With a Ph.D. in counseling and 45 years experience, Ramsay tried several methods and took the best from those and added her own ideas. The workbook begins with 33 pages of text that explains to the parent how to use the book with their child.
The concluding 100 pages are worksheets where the child is encouraged to trace each letter and practice the sound of the letter, assisted by the music CD. Because this is a workbook it is not really suitable for library circulation, but libraries with homework centers or tutoring programs may want to purchase this to use with students. And you can recommend it to parents who want phonics-based workbooks for their kids.
The CD warrants special mention. Mary Lee Sunseri performs a song for each letter of the alphabet, from Alligator to Zebra. Each song is very short but fun, with her beautiful voice and guitar and keyboard accompaniment. The CD can stand on its own, or be used at storytime to introduce the sounds of a letter of the alphabet. Each song is done in a different style, from a jive number about cupcakes to a classical sound of the dinosaur song. The CD is outstanding, and patrons may be requesting the book and CD because Sunseri is a popular Bay Area children's performer.
Although the workbook factor make this a book that is not a natural acquisition for libraries, if your library has a teachers' shelf or parents' shelf, it may be worth purchasing. Parents and teachers are not as likely to write in the book as a child would be, and they would be interested in using it as many parents ask for phonics-style reading manuals. Homeschooling families may want to look at the library's copy to decide if they would like to purchase one for home use.
Cousins, Lucy. Hooray for Fish! Candlewick, 2005. Special DVD edition 2010. $9.99. ISBN 9780763650445.
McGuirk, Leslie. Ho, Ho, Ho, Tucker! Candlewick, 2005. Special DVD edition 2010. $9.99. ISBN 9780763650438.
Waddell, Martin. Owl Babies. Illus. by Patrick Benson. Candlewick, 1992. Special DVD edition 2010. $9.99. ISBN 9780763650421.
Candlewick has produced a new series of paperback reprints with something extra, calling the series "Candlewick Storybook Animations." Each paperback reprint comes with a DVD of the book read aloud and animated, similar to how children experience stories using Tumblebooks. A child can use the DVD in either the computer or with a television and DVD player.
Each book also comes with a set of stickers, but don't let that prohibit you from buying these for library circulation. These will work in a similar way to books with a cassette or CD that reads the story out loud to the child - only in this case, the book is actually onscreen. Recorded picture books have always been popular, with both families learning English and with children learning how to read, and these new book and DVD sets will meet a similar need.
The animation is minimal, which is a good thing, so it really replicates the book experience. It is similar to the type of animation often done with the Weston Woods adaptations, or how the TV series "Reading Rainbow" presents a book, by panning and scanning the original artwork.
The narration and background music are also excellently achieved, with clear recording, really great voice actors reading the books, and professional musicians performing original scores. Real instruments are used, not a synthesizer, which adds to the charm and professionalism.
The DVD for Owl Babies includes a short film about the author and he describes how he works. Owl Babies is a storytime classic, and young children love this story. Hooray for Fish! is a rhyming look at opposites, and Ho, Ho, Ho, Tucker features the little white dog at Christmas time in this spoof of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."
The only thing that would improve these DVDs would be to add subtitles/closed captioning, so the child could read along with the narration. Then, these could truly be readalongs and not just films of the books. Still, they are worth purchasing to add to the library's collection of picture book/CD packages.
Submitted by : Penny Peck
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