Terrifying French children's books - in pictures

When Jenny Colgan moved to France, she was so alarmed by the children's books that she decided to blog the scariest.


Happy Children's Book Week!

Posters, bookmarks and other goodies from The Children's Book Council.


The Lonely Book

Review of "The Lonely Book" by Kate Bernheimer, illus. by Chris Sheban; Schwartz & Wade (Random House).

This particular book has spent a lot of time at the library, but it still has a lot to look forward to. Fresh off the presses, a beautiful green book is sent to a busy library, quickly devoured by adoring young readers. The book is happy to be checked out often and loved by so many children. Time goes by, and newer books take its place. Gradually, it gathers dust and is taken out less and less often. Then, one day, when it thought it has been abandoned, a little girl named Alice discovers it where it has been left carelessly on the floor. It’s love at first sight for the little girl, and she takes the book everywhere. Once again, the book is happy and content.

But when Alice, in a moment of forgetfulness, neglects to renew the lonely book, it is again relegated to a dusty shelf. Stay tuned for more...

Unsupervised Kids @ Your Library

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Parents are using their local library as a way to keep children occupied during spring break. However, many parents are dropping their kids off and leaving them unsupervised for the day.

The Allen County Public Library said Tuesday it has seen nearly three to four times more kids this week, and one staff member admitted some parents do leave their children unsupervised.

"We know that sometimes it does happen," Mary Voors, the children's services manager at the ACPL Main Branch, said. "We know kids beg to come to the library, and it depends on the maturity of the kid, and the guidelines of the parents of the child."

Voors said some parents will tell a librarian the child will be at the library alone, but the librarian will ask the parent if that is a good decision.

"We ask them, would you feel comfortable having them at the mall by themselves," Voors said. "If they're comfortable with the child being at the mall, or at Jefferson Pointe, by themselves, then they are probably ready to be at the library by themselves."

What is YOUR policy on the subject?

Children’s Books Lose Touch With Nature

A group of researchers, led by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s J. Allen Williams Jr., examined the pictures found in the pages of Caldecott Medal-winning books from 1938 (the first year the prize was awarded) to today. They looked for images of a natural environment (as opposed to a “built” or “modified” environment like a house or park) and of wild animals (rather than domesticated or anthropomorphized creatures). What they found probably doesn’t surprise any parent or child for whom the world of “Blueberries for Sal” is completely alien: where once children’s books offered essentially equal illustrative doses of built and natural environments, natural environments “have all but disappeared” in the last two decades.

Full article


Students Save School Librarian's Life

Students Save School Librarian’s Life
Students at Piper Elementary are being recognized for their life saving efforts. The school held an assembly on Friday to honor Mrs. Ward’s first grade class.

The librarian had an apparent heart attack while the students were using the library a couple of weeks ago.

Censoring School Books Before They're Bought

It's bad enough when a local politician is trying to designate which books a school should or should not buy, but it's even more frightening when he doesn't even know what he's doing.

From the article:

At the beginning of the school year, as the Dysart Unified School District was preparing to buy more than 1,000 novels for its libraries and classrooms, Rep. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, posted to an online message board a list of books he thought the district was considering buying that he found objectionable.

It turned out that Harper had clicked on the wrong link for Follett Library Resources and viewed books from a general list of inventory available through the company, Follett, rather than a specific list created by the district.

More from

Quebecers' Have something to learn from bookish Ontario

Quebecers' Have something to learn from bookish Ontario

Two things are discouraging about young Quebecers' reading skills.

The first is the nationwide-reading test whose results came out this week: Quebec's eighth-graders scored "significantly lower" than Canadian students as a whole. (Quebec's English public schools ranked fifth among the provinces. Their counterparts in French schools fared far more poorly than in the previous test in 2007.)

The other thing that's discouraging is that no solution for this problem exists in Quebec.

Secret friends?

Cleveland-based WOIO reports:

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - Akron Police have arrested a man for Child Enticement after he tried to get her name, become "secret friends" with her.

The video of the report embedded below identifies the accused as a staffer from Akron-Summit County Public Library:

Rebel Books

Through the ages, children's books have been used to entertain, educate, socialize and indoctrinate. People often disagree (strongly and loudly), however, about whether a given book is educating or indoctrinating. Brooke spoke with Philip Nel, who co-edited a new anthology called Tales for Little Rebels, a review of radical children's literature from the 20th century.

Story at "On the Media"

Or you can download the MP3


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