Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Talking Books for Children

Did you ever wish that you could have access to children's books without having to buy them at the book store or borrow them from the library? Now you can! Just go to Chester County Library's web site ( and click on the TumbleBooks icon at the bottom of the page.

TumbleBooks are a FREE collection of talking books that teach children the joy of reading in a fun format. Once you access the TumbleBooks web site, you can search for books by genre (e.g., Adventure, Holidays, Sports/Activities) or by an index (alphabetical listings of book titles and authors). There are Story Books and Tumble Readables, which include Early Readers (e.g., Dimples Delight by Frieda Wishinski), Read-Along Classics (e.g., Black Beauty by Anna Sewell) and Chapter Books (e.g., Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew #1: Sleepover Sleuths by Carolyn Keene).

Once you select a book, the narration begins and the pages turn themselves. If you want to turn the pages yourself, you can switch to Manual mode. At any time, you can turn the sound off to read to yourself at your own speed. You can add books to your Favorites list, and the "My Play List" feature allows you to build a list of TumbleBooks that you can play one after another - very cool!

The TumbleBooks site also features puzzles and games to play, as well as audiobooks (narration with no text). Some audiobooks include Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll and The Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum.

Best of all, TumbleBooks are FREE and available to you 24 hours a day, every day! This is a great way to entertain your children -- I wish that TumbleBooks were around when I was a kid!

Lisa U., Chester County Library

Friday, January 22, 2010

2010 Award-Winning Children's Books

The American Library Association has announced the Caldecott and Newbery winners for 2010! The Caldecott Medal is given to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. The Newbery Medal is given to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

The Lion and the Mouse
By Jerry Pinkney
In this wordless retelling of an Aesop fable, an adventuresome mouse proves that even small creatures are capable of great deeds when he rescues the King of the Jungle.

All the World
By Liz G. Scanlon
Follow a circle of family and friends from morning till night as they discover the importance of all things great and small in our world, from the tiniest shell on the beach, to warm family connections, to the widest sunset sky.

Red Sings from Treetops
By Pamela Zagarenski
Nature displays different colors to announce the seasons of the year.

When You Reach Me
By Rebecca Stead
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
By Philip Hoose
Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first in-depth account of an important yet largely unknown civil rights figure, skillfully weaving her dramatic story into the fabric of the historic Montgomery bus boycott and court case that would change the course of American history.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
By Jacqueline Kelly
In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery.

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
By Rodman Philbrick
Twelve-year-old Homer, a poor but clever orphan, has extraordinary adventures after running away from his evil uncle to rescue his brother, who has been sold into service in the Civil War.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
By Grace Lin
Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.