Friday, March 31, 2017

Technology Review: Kids Learn Out Loud

KIDS LEARN OUT LOUD is a resource for audio and video learning on the web.
This audio and video learning portal contains thousands of educational audio books, podcasts, and videos designed for K-12 students. Content is organized by subject area.
While the website links to free content, the portal also contains fee-based resources. Use the Kids Free Stuff section for free podcasts and audio/video resources.
Librarians will find this website a valuable tool in locating audio resources for free and purchase. Of particular note is their audio sections on children’s literature and foreign language.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Website Review: Daughters of Paradise

DAUGHTERS OF PARADISE is an interactive website telling the powerful stories of female Syrian refugees.
The website experience tells the story of Noor, Najlaa, and Reem. Each story includes text, still images, sounds, videos, and other elements to bring each person’s story to life.
Librarians will find this to be a useful tool in helping teens understand the impact of the Syrian War on women.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, March 27, 2017

Website Review: What Is Code?

WHAT IS CODE? by Paul Ford is an interactive website exploring the topic of programming.
Published by Bloomberg, this online resource is aimed at young adults and adults interested in learning about the past, present, and future of coding.
Organized into seven chapters, this engaging informational reading experience contains text along with lots of animated examples.
Librarians will find this resource to be a useful addition to the high school computer science curriculum.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Book Review: Cara's Kindness

CARA’S KINDNESS by Kristi Yamaguchi is a picture book story about “paying it forward”.
Written by the Olympic champion, this charming picture book will appeal to a broad audience. After Cara helps a new friend overcome his fear of skating, she asks him to pass along the kindness to others beginning a circle of caring.
Librarians will find this book a useful addition to their growing collection of books focusing on kindness and the importance of paying it forward.
Published by Sourcebook Jabberwocky on October 4, 2016. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, March 24, 2017

App Review: Ed and the Curious Crew

ED AND THE CURIOUS CREW provides a “behind-the-scenes” look at a children’s hospital.
Published by The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne Australia, this engaging app follows Ed and his friends as they learn, watch, play, and explore. Users choose from five sections: fun & learning, film & television, nutrition & allergies, fundraising & helping, and sustainability & environment. A different member of crew leads each section.
Librarians will find this engaging interactive app to be useful beyond the hospital setting.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Website Review: Stuff You Should Know

STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW is a website featuring informational audio and video programs on a wide variety of topics.
From the makers of the popular HOW STUFF WORKS website, this website contains content on topics such as animals, anthropology, art, economics, history, and more. While most of the episodes are audio, video segments are also included at the website.
Each episode can be downloaded and users can subscribe on iTunes and Google Play.
Librarians will want to mine the website for videos that connect with specific curriculum areas. Keep in mind that the podcasts begin with a sponsor announcements. In addition, many of them are more than 30 minutes in length.
To visit the website, go to

Monday, March 20, 2017

Technology Review: Tumble

TUMBLE is a science podcast for kids and families.
Each podcast tells the story of a scientific discoveries and scientists. A science journalist and a classroom teacher ask questions, share mysteries, and help listeners learn key science concepts.
The website’s blog contains interesting information and news stories related to science topics.
The podcast is available through iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. Or, listeners can enjoy the podcasts on the website.
Librarians will find that this educational podcast contains episodes that can easily be aligned with the science curriculum.
To visit the website, go to

Friday, March 17, 2017

Website Review: The Boat

THE BOAT tells the compelling interactive story of a boat of refugees.
In the 1970s and 1980s, hundreds of thousands of refugees fled Vietnam by boat. Produced by SBS (Special Broadcasting Service) Television in Australia, this interactive narrative tells the story of one family trying to survive in a small boat. Using a graphic novel style approach, readers scroll through a series of six chapters as they follow Mai on a sea voyage across dangerous waters.
Librarians will find this interactive experience to be an effective way to jumpstart conversations about both history and immigration issues.
To read this story, go to

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Technology Review: Lytten

LYTTEN is a search tool that allows users to search within audio programs.
Whether looking for information within a historical broadcast to exploring current events topics, Lytten provides an easy way to find relevant information within an audio program. For instance, a search for “honeybees” brings up podcasts focusing on the disappearance of bees. Users can then listen to the entire audio program or jump to a particular section discussing honeybees.
Librarians will find this tool useful in developing curriculum materials. This website allows the user to quickly locate audio clips related to key concepts. Use to search podcasts across the curriculum. In particular, share this tool with at-risk and special needs students who use their auditory senses for learning.
To explore this website, go to

Monday, March 13, 2017

Website Review: Rebuilding Haiti

REBUILDING HAITI is an interactive experience exploring the process of earthquake recovery.
This fascinating nonlinear experience asks users to make choices and learn more about the process of rebuilding Haiti after its devastating earthquake.
Divided into six sections, this informative website would be useful for informational reading activities across the curriculum. Woven into the narrative are photographs and sidebars containing additional information. Along the way, users must make decisions that have consequences.
Librarians will find this resource to provide a good starting point for discussions about the impact of natural disasters and the implications for planning.
To visit the website, go to

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Book Review: A Bike Like Sergio's

A BIKE LIKE SERGIO’S by Maribeth Boelts provides a lesson in doing the right thing.
Ruben wants a bike like his friend, so when he finds $100 he makes plans to buy a bike. However when he sees the woman who lost the money, he decides to do the right thing and return the cash.
Librarians will find this colorfully illustrated picture book provides endless opportunities to discuss the concept of “finders keepers” with young children.
To learn more about the author, go to
Published by Candlewick on October 4, 2016. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Technology Review: Listenwise

LISTENWISE is an educational website focusing on listening comprehension through audio programs.
The website is organized into three sections: Social Studies, Science, and English Language Arts (ELA). Users can search for lessons in their area of interest. Results can be narrows by subject, language challenge, grade level, and type.
A current events section is particularly useful. New news items are added every day. Each entry contains a title, short description, question, and audio. Tags are provided to assist users in locating related topics.
A blog contains up-to-date information about resources and how they might be used in teaching and learning. A research section provides information about listening comprehension.
Librarians will find endless curriculum applications of this website. Mine each section for programs that connect to local standards. Although a premium service is offered, many high-quality resources are available for free.
To visit the website, go to

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Book Review: The Friendship Experiment

THE FRIENDSHIP EXPERIMENT by Erin Teagan takes a clever approach to the issues of middle school friendships.
Madeline is a young scientist who takes a “step-by-step” approach to everything including finding a new best friend. When her peers read her notebook, she realizes that maybe a scientific approach can’t solve her friendship dilemma. Intermediate level readers will empathize with Madeline’s personal and school experiences.
Librarians will find this humorous work of realistic fiction to be popular among young scientists and youth who enjoy stories about friendship.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children’s Book Group on November 1, 2016. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Book Review: Hocus Focus

HOCUS FOCUS by James Sturm, Alexis Frederick-Frost, and Andrew Arnold is the fourth comic adventure of Knight and her horse Edward.
When Knight sells the wizard’s magic wand, she accidentally turns Edward into a giant worm. The bright colored comic pages and goofy story will keep young readers on the edge of their seats.
Part of the Adventures in Cartooning series, the book includes step-by-step instructions for drawing key characters.
Librarians will find this latest addition to the series to be popular with children who like drawing and cartoons.
Published by First Second, an imprint of Macmillan on January 24, 2017. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Technology Review: Internet Archive

INTERNET ARCHIVE is a large website containing access to millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.
Sponsored by a nonprofit based in California, this digital collection coordinates with many universities, libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies to provide public access to digital resources.
A basic and advanced search tool provides access to individual digital objectives. Users can also explore sections focusing on text, video, audio, software, and images.
The WayBack Machine allows users to enter a URL or keywords and see the history of over 279 billion web pages.
The website’s entry page provides links to top collections such as American Libraries, Live Music Archives, and Community Audio.
Librarians will find this website to be one of the best starting points for difficult to find historical materials, particularly books. Their web-based interface works well for reading these historical documents online.
To visit the website, go to

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Book Review: Madeline Finn and the Library Dog

MADELINE FINN AND THE LIBRARY DOG by Lisa Papp features a reluctant reader and a furry friend that encourages her to read.
Madeline Finn doesn’t like to read, but a dog therapy program at the public library provides the supportive environment she needs to excel. The unexpected conclusion adds to the appeal.
Librarians as well as students and teachers will be attracted to the library setting and focus on reading. Use this book to jumpstart your own “read to animals” program.
To learn more about the author, go to
Published by Peachtree Publishers on October 1, 2016. ARC courtesy of the publisher.

Friday, March 03, 2017

Technology Review: Storyplace

STORY PLACE is a children’s digital learning library.
Sponsored by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, this engaging website is filled with engaging activities for children. Available in both English and Spanish, the website provides resources based on dozens of themes. The resources including online stories, web-based activities, videos, reading lists, home activities, and more.
In addition to StoryPlace, the library also houses a preschool activity library and book hive children’s literature section.
Librarians will find the colorful, attractive interactives to be popular with primary-aged children. The website’s thematic approach connects on-computer and off-computer reading and learning activities that teachers can easily adapt for the classroom.
To visit the website, go to

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Digital Spotlight: Macaulay Library

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Contents: Bird lovers will enjoy this large digital collection focusing on bird sounds, photos, and videos. Users can conducts a keyword search for birds and other animals of interest. They can also explore by species, region, or hotspot. The spectrogram player is of particular interest.
Classroom Connections: Students seeking information about birds will find this to be a valuable resource. Students will particularly enjoy the many videos and bird sounds.
Featured Digital Objects:
Great Horned Owl
To visit the collection, go to