Fizz, Boom, Read…online

Are you a secret science junkie, bubbling over with excitement about this year’s kid’s summer reading theme? If so, you probably already know that Gale’s Science in Context offers access to articles from The Science Teacher and Popular Science as well as information from a variety of other sources on hundreds of science-related topics.

The intended audience for this database is high school and above, so you probably won’t find material suited specifically for children but if you’re looking to brush up your own knowledge it’s a great resource.

BookFlix, on the other hand includes books and videos just right for an early elementary audience. By combining engaging stories (like Scaredy Squirrel) with informative texts (Backyard Wildlife: Squirrels) BookFlix offers the best of both worlds and makes learning painless. Sections on Animals and Nature

Bookflix

 

 

 

 

 

and Earth and Sky fit most obviously with the theme, but don’t overlook People and Places or even ABCs and 123s. Basic skills, after all, are the foundation of many different kinds of literacy.

Then there are TumbleBooks and OverDrive. Both offer a wide variety of children’s titles to read for information or for pleasure—and to log for summer reading. The TumbleBooks homepage highlights a variety of offerings:

Bookflix

 

 

 

 

 

 

In OverDrive, use the drop-down subject guide on the kids’ OverDrive page to find books on Science & Nature, or locate Sci-Fi & Fantasy titles.

Finally, if you have a CLP card but haven’t yet spent much time browsing through Facts on File’s Science Online this summer is the perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself with this resource. Whether you’d like to plan a program that features a science experiment on a popular topic like Forensic Science, browse a timeline that offers a glimpse of scientific discovery through the ages or view a brief video on a science-related topic, this easy to use database offers lots of different ways to explore this year’s summer reading theme.

Are there other great summer reading resources lurking online? Share them in the comments.

Lisa (CLP)

 

 

Continue Reading Fizz, Boom, Read…online

TumbleBooks for iPad

Susan from CLAV offered an overview of TumbleBooks in her November 11th blog post, Tumble Into Reading.  As she noted, stories, informational texts, puzzles and games are available 24/7 from any ACLA library’s website. The good news is that TumbleBooks has just announced that our patrons will be able to access the TumbleBooks picture book collection on the iPad and iPhone 4. The bad news is that so far, at least, things don’t always work quite as smoothly as they should, at least not in my limited explorations.

To get to the currently available iPad-compatible TumbleBooks, go to your library’s website on your iPad and click on the TumbleBooks link. (At CLP, you’ll find the TumbleBooks icon at the bottom of our Kids Page: http://www.carnegielibrary.org/kids/.) Click on Story Books then on the phrase “Click here for iPad-compatible titles.”

Select a title and click on the “iPad” button to launch the book of your choice. The book will appear in a small window at first. To expand, tap the “full screen” button. The books aren’t as interactive as some apps, so they may disappoint some savvy iPad aficionados. Still, it’s another way to make the engaging stories, animation and audio that TumbleBooks offers available to our users. And the fact that it’s all free should appeal to plenty of parents.

Currently there are 44 iPad books to choose from. Eventually TumbleBooks plans to create iPad content for the entire animated picture book collection by making non flash videos especially for the iPad. Unfortunately if you click on the green button that says “iPad Books” you’ll be taken to a page the features only a few of the iPad compatible titles. Hopefully that’s a glitch that will be corrected soon, but for now be aware that some users may be confused (and even cranky).

Another potential problem is that while some books played perfectly, others were quite buggy—including, ironically enough, Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective. Frequent pauses required pressing “play” repeatedly, though this may have been attributable to a weak Wi-Fi connection rather than an actual defect in the programming.

Lisa, Coordinator of Children’s Collections, CLP

Continue Reading TumbleBooks for iPad