Category: Children’s Reference

Bedtime Stories

Hit up 6,000 Children’s Books Online Free Thanks to This Library

Here at Bookstr, we’re all about making you wiser, and sometimes richer. Here’s why free virtual libraries are our newest obsession, and now, they’re going to be your kid’s newest obsession too.


The Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature at the University of Florida contains more than 130,000 books and periodicals published in the United States and Great Britain from the mid-1600s to the present day. The library also has manuscript collections, original artwork, and assorted ephemera such as board games, puzzles, and toys. They have put 6,000 children’s books online, for free.


Baldwin's Children's Libraries

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Children’s literature didn’t make much headway until the 1700s, before which time it was pretty scarce. During the Middle Ages, few children’s books were published at all. The earliest children’s books came about in the early 18th century, before which they were mostly instructive moral tales, usually of a pious nature and written in Latin. The first book written purely for children’s pleasure reading was John Newbery’s A Little Pretty Pocket-Bookwhich was published in 1744.


little pretty pocket book

Image Via Robert Edward Auctions


The Victorian era followed, which became the most innovative and diverse period for children’s literature thus far. This era gave us children’s classics such as Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking GlassThe Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter and of course Edward Lear’s  A Book of NonsenseAs paper and printing became more economical, the children’s book industry took off and has been booming since the 1800s.


Alice in Wonderland

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Edward Lear

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The popularity of children’s literature owes a lot to the advent of illustration. Illustration became an indispensable feature of children’s books, so much so that an entirely new genre was created: the picture book, a form that continues to dominate twentieth century juvenile publishing today.



The Little Prince

Image Via Wikipedia


If reading bed time stories is a ritual in your home, then you may benefit from the thousands of options this online library offers to keep the little ones occupied on the go, or just before bed.



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The Redwall Series to Become Video Game, Which We Do Like

Many people, especially those Generation X and Millennial babies, remember a fantastical children’s series known as RedwallThe series was written by Brian Jacques, and is comprised of twenty-two different books. The series is not necessarily linear, but rather tells of a vast history of the world of Redwall, a land where anthropomorphic animals live and rule through strength, wits, and a small amount of magic. Though traditionally a children’s series, many have compared Redwall to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.




Image Via Amazon


The acclaimed series is being brought back to life after Brian Jacques’ death in 2011, and it’s being resurrected as an episodic video game series.


Developed by Soma Games and Kaio Interactive, the video game series is entitled An Epic Tale of Redwall. This game is still in Early Access mode, however, and only purchasable on Steam, a PC-driven gaming platform. Word on the web has it though that it’s likely the game will eventually be available on the Xbox and possibly even Playstation. Video games have such a unique and interesting way of story-telling, and no doubt true justice will be done to Redwall



Image Via ModernReaders


Since the game is still in Early Access mode, only the first episode is up for purchase at $9.99. The game is subject to change as the developers work harder on the storyline, gaming mechanisms, and graphics so it’s likely that the price will go up after its completion. Developers intend for it to be a 4-6 episodic series, and it currently has nothing but positive reviews from Redwall and video game fans across the board. As both an avid reader and gamer, myself, I am nothing short of excited to delve into this new world!



Image Via Slash Film


Feature Image Via Steam


Study of Children’s Books Reveals Gender Bias in Favor of Male Protagonists

Gender bias plagues almost every facet of society. Even the world of children’s picture books is riddled with casual sexism. Data gathered by The Observer, along with with market research company Nielsen, confirms this through in-depth analysis of the 100 most popular children’s picture books of 2017. The research yielded the following information.


  • The majority are dominated by male characters, often in stereotypically masculine roles, while female characters are missing from a fifth of the books ranked.


  • The 2017 bestseller list includes The GruffaloGuess How Much I Love You, and Dear Zoo, in which all the animals are referred to by a male pronoun, as are the characters in recently published bestsellers You Can’t Take An Elephant on the BusThe Lion InsideSupertatoThe Day The Crayons Came Home, The Lost Words, The Koala Who Could and There’s A Monster in Your Book–none of which contain any female characters.


Via Giphy

 Via Giphy


  • The lead characters were 50% more likely to be male than female, and villains were eight times more likely to be male.


  • The antagonist in Peppa and Her Golden Boots is a duck who steals Peppa’s golden boots and brings them to the moon, which is excellent villainous behavior. She is the only independent female villain featured in any of the surveyed books. 


  • Speaking characters were 50% more likely to be male.


  • Male characters outnumbered female characters in nearly half the stories making up the top 100. On average, there were three male characters for every two females, though occasionally this ratio was much more drastic. For example, Mr Men in London, published in 2015, for example, features thirteen male characters and two female. 


Via GifClip

Via GifClip


Children’s laureate Lauren Child, author and illustrator of the Charlie and Lola books has said:


The research doesn’t surprise me. We see it in film and TV as well. But it gives out a message about how society sees you. If boys get the starring roles in books – both as the good and bad protagonists – and girls are the sidekicks, it confirms that’s how the world is and how it should be. It’s very hard to feel equal then.


  • 40% of gendered characters were human–the rest were an assortment of animals, objects, and plants. Gender bias was even more of an issue amongst the non-human characters, who were 73% more likely to be male.


  • Male animals were more likely to be large, powerful, or predatory creatures such as bears or tigers, while female animals tended to be “smaller and more vulnerable creatures such as birds, cats, and insects.”


  • In the surveyed texts, female adults were more often than not shown in caregiving roles, with twice as many female teachers than males. Mothers were present twice as often as fathers, with lone fathers appearing in just four books.


Nick Sharratt, bestselling children’s author and illustrator, said, “Authors and illustrators have fantastic opportunities to break down stereotypes. We need to tackle these issues and at the moment it seems not enough is being done.”


Via Tenor

Via Tenor


It’s not all bad news though. Julia Donaldson’s The Detective Dog was the #1 bestseller last year, and features a female canine protagonist with a male sidekick. More of this please!


Featured Image Via The Book People 

James Patterson

How Children Made James Patterson A Bestseller!

Over the years, James Patterson has become a household name.


Books-turned-movies like Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross) and Along Came A Spider, in addition to several other books-turned-TV-shows have made him a New York Times bestseller many times…MANY.


It’s no surprise that he’s back in the running again this week, except with something a little different. Big Words for Little Geniuses was released last week for hardcover, on September 4th, and this week it’s a bestseller!


James Patterson

Image Via MasterClass


This children’s book is full of impressive illustrations by Hsinping Pan. All manner of words from A to Z guarantee children will have the most colorful vocabulary! It may even stump some adults. There’s also an additional list of words in the back of the book for that extra stretch of a child’s lexicon.


Patterson recently tweeted a cover of the book, congratulating his wife/co-writer Susan Patterson on her first New York Times bestseller!



James Patterson is, once again, on his bestselling game. Grab this book now for the little geniuses in your life!


Feature Images Via Amazon


Quiz: Can You Unscramble These Book Titles?

If you love word puzzles, you’ve probably tried your hand at anagrams! Anagrams are words, phrases or names that are made by rearranging the letters from something else. They can be very silly or surprisingly fitting for the original phrase! We made anagrams out of some of our favorite book titles! See if you can unscramble them.



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