Friday, March 28, 2008

Children’s Literature in Action

I’m happy to announce the publication of another book, Children’s Literature in Action: A Librarian’s Guide. It’s intended to help the new librarian or library media specialist become knowledgeable about the field of children’s literature in preparation for guiding young people, ages 5-12, in their reading. It provides practical ideas for generating interest in reading, strategies for connecting with the school curriculum, and guidance for reaching out to families and the wider community through children’s literature. The “action” components of each chapter include:
• Literature in Action (strategies for sharing books)
• Librarians in Action (written by librarians in the field)
• One Book in Action (ideas for sharing one book in creative ways)
• Authors in Action (written by Pat Mora, Seymour Simon, Janet Wong, Kristine O’Connell George, Laurence Yep, T. A. Barron, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Ashley Bryan)
• History in Action (connecting with classics)
• Assignments in Action (learning activities for adults)

It’s a genre approach with the following chapters:
CHAPTER ONE: An Introduction to Children and Their Literature
CHAPTER TWO: Picture books
CHAPTER THREE: Traditional Tales
CHAPTER FOUR: Poetry for Children
CHAPTER FIVE: Modern Realistic Fiction
CHAPTER SIX: Historical fiction
CHAPTER SEVEN: Fantasy and Science Fiction
CHAPTER EIGHT: Informational Books

And of course, I have a theme poem, gifted to me by the always generous J. Patrick Lewis. As we prepare for National Poetry Month, let me share it here. It’s a lovely gem about books and the power of reading.

Ars Libri
after Ars Poetica by Archibald MacLeish
by J. Patrick Lewis

A book should be spirited and odd
As a divining rod,
As the wonder of a child,
Open to the sky and the slanting rain
As an attic’s shattered windowpane.
A book should measure its success
By a censor’s distress.
* *
A book should be ten candle-watts
Of afterthoughts,
Brilliant as a marbled vein in a quarry
Of story,
Bold enough to leave behind
Unpeace of mind.
A book should be a welcome overnight guest
Long after a day’s standardized test.
* *
A book should be the map, flashlight and skeleton key
To literacy.
For all imaginations out of whack or work,
The CEO and the filing clerk,
For kids
Who yearn to see but hesitate to dream—
A book should both be
And seem.

Watch my blog for daily postings for April, National Poetry Month. And meanwhile, join the Poetry Friday Round Up at Cuentesitos.

Picture credit:


Sara said...

Oh, thank you for that poem! It's just what I needed to read today. And congratulations on the publication of another book---I love the action theme.

Sylvia Vardell said...

Thanks so much. Yes, this poem is a gem-- as is Pat, the poet!

Marianne H. Nielsen said...

What a great poem. I love it.

Thanks for sharing it.

Cloudscome said...

Wow I need to get a look at that book! i'd love to review it on my blog and put it to use in our library.

April is going to be a great month!!

Kelly Fineman said...

Mazel tov on your new book, Sheila. And thanks for sharing Ars libris today.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new book, Sylvia!

And thanks for the poem from J. Patrick Lewis. My favorite:

Bold enough to leave behind
Unpeace of mind.


Sylvia Vardell said...

Thank you all for your kind words and congratulations. As Eeyore would say, "thank you for noticing me!" :-)