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2008 Caldecott and Newbery Books

Posted by freeschool on January 17, 2008

Hugo Cabret book cover image

The 2008 Caldecott and Newbery Award winners have been announced and it looks like there are some great ones!  What’s most interesting about the Caldecott winner is that it is a 500 page graphic novel (read: comic book).

The winner of the Caldecott is  The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.

“From an opening shot of the full moon setting over an awakening Paris in 1931, this tale casts a new light on the picture book form. Hugo is a young orphan secretly living in the walls of a train station where he labors to complete a mysterious invention left by his father. In a work of more than 500 pages, the suspenseful text and wordless double-page spreads narrate the tale in turns. Neither words nor pictures alone tell this story, which is filled with cinematic intrigue. Black & white pencil illustrations evoke the flickering images of the silent films to which the book pays homage.

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies book cover imageThe winner of the Newbery is Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz.

…thirteenth-century England springs to life using 21 dramatic individual narratives that introduce young inhabitants of village and manor; from Hugo, the lord’s nephew, to Nelly, the sniggler. Schlitz’s elegant monologues and dialogues draw back the curtain on the period, revealing character and relationships, hinting at stories untold. Explanatory interludes add information and round out this historical and theatrical presentation.

2008 Caldecott Honor Books are:

2008 Newbery Honor Books are:

via Everybody’s Libraries


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Dangerous things you should let your kids do

Posted by freeschool on December 24, 2007

“Gever Tulley, founder of the Tinkering School, talks about our new wave of overprotected kids — and spells out 5 (and really, he’s got 6) dangerous things you should let your kids do. Allowing kids the freedom to explore, he says, will make them stronger and smarter and actually safer.” See the video here.  Via Parent Hacks.

Here are the six things:

  1. Play with fire.
  2. Own a pocket knife.
  3. Throw a spear.
  4. Deconstruct appliances.
  5. Break the DMCA.
  6. Drive a car.

Watch the video to see why you should let your kids do these dangerous things.
See also The Dangerous Book for Boys and the Daring Book for Girls.


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Do Not Open: An Encyclopedia of the World’s Best Kept Secrets

Posted by freeschool on November 20, 2007

Kids of all ages will enjoy Do Not Open (An Encyclopedia of the World’s Best Kept Secrets) by John Farndon, published by DK. It’s got unexplained mysteries, bizarre anecdotes, great escapes, codes, optical illusions, hoaxes, and explanations of secret systems and complexes.

BoingBoing‘s review includes a PDF of the Mary Celeste section.

DK’s site also has a section supplementing the book called Do Not Click. It’s a pretty neat, flash driven website that makes it look as if you’re exploring it with a flashlight. The site teaches you a few things about hackers, spy gear, and surveillance. You can even print your very own secret agent name badge.

They also have some videos:

via BoingBoing

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