Tag: childrensfiction

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

Image Via UFDC.com



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

Image Via Commons.Wikimedia.org



Edward Lear

Image Via EdwardLear.org


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.



Featured Image Via walops.com


Junot Díaz Reveals Tour Dates for First-Ever Picture Book ‘Islandborn’

New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz is releasing his first-ever children’s book in March which celebrates cultural diversity in the U.S. and poses questions about identity and belonging. The story is told through an imaginary journey back to a young girl’s birthplace, “The Island.” Here is everything you need to know about it:


island born

Image Via Amazon


Islandborn is set to be on shelves March 13th, and it’s already generating excitement as Díaz’s readers await the chance to meet him in person on his book tour, which begins in March and ends in April. The tour will take the author to schools, libraries, and bookstores around the country. All information on the tour is in the infographic below:


Junot Diaz

Image Via Twitter


The picture book is illustrated by Leo Espinosa, who Díaz says is able to “capture magnificently the intimacy, the ternura, between little Lola, the subject of the book, and her abuela.” Of the story itself, Díaz says in an interview:


When I wrote Islandborn I thought it was about a young woman’s ability to connect to her home and her family with her imagination, but when I’d completed it I realised it was really about the ways that communities create themselves and young people play a big role in that labor.


The story begins when Lola’s teacher asks her students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from. All the kids are excited about the project except Lola, because she can’t remember the island she left when she was just a baby. She soon sees that with the help of her friends’ and family’s memories, her imagination is what will take her on an extraordinary journey back to her birthplace.


Díaz says of Islandborn that “it is a book promised all those years ago for my goddaughters and anyone who has ever wondered about their family’s ‘faraway place.'”



Image Via Remezcla


Junot Díaz is the author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This is How You Lose Herfor which his website has the most beautiful words to say:


Díaz turns his remarkable talent to the haunting, impossible power of love – obsessive love, illicit love, fading love, maternal love. In prose that is endlessly energetic, inventive, tender, and funny, the stories in This Is How You Lose Her lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weakness of the human heart. They remind us that passion always triumphs over experience, and that “the half-life of love is forever.


Feature Image Via Twitter

James Franco, Giving Tree

James Franco Will Direct & Star in a Shel Silverstein Biopic!

Coming off the success of The Disaster Artist, James Franco will be starring in and directing a Shel Silverstein biopic. The movie is based on Lisa Rogak’s biography A Boy Named Shel, which looks at the big picture of Silverstein’s wild life.


Franco’s had a big year between The Disaster Artist (which will likely score an Oscar nod or two) and his acting and directing work on HBO’s, The Deuce. Like Franco, Silverstein was kind of a jack-of-all-trades. Not only did he write children’s literature (most famously The Giving Tree), but he also penned hit songs and worked on scripts with David Mamet. Silverstein passed away in 1999 at the age of 68, but he lived a full life. A full enough life, anyway, to merit a biopic.


Giving Tree

Image Via NYC Children’s Theater


Biopics on authors (e.g. Howl, Kill Your Darlings, Rebel in the Rye) can sometimes be a little stuffy and grim. Hopefully Franco can bring some levity to the material. After all, it’s a movie about Shel Silverstein. It has to be funny, right? Plus, Franco’s more than proved his comedy bona fides between Pineapple Express, The Disaster Artist, and Freaks and Geeks.


Franco’s got a pretty busy schedule in the next few years, so no sign of when A Boy Named Shel will come out. It might not be for a while, but keep it in mind when thinking about what you have to look forward to.


Feature Images Via Us Weekly and ABC


Jack from ‘Will & Grace’ Creates Nutcracker-Inspired Children’s Book

To all the Will & Grace fans out there who have recently come back to life with the show’s revival: I know, and I love them too. So if you just can’t get enough of the lovable characters, more specifically just Jack, then I’ve got something you’ll find incredibly sweet.


Sean Hayes

Image Via People


People has revealed that Sean Hayes and husband Scott Icenogle have co-written a children’s book entitled Plum, inspired by none other than the Nutcracker! “The story is about a little orphan girl named Plum who desires a family of her own one day. When a blizzard threatens to ruin Christmas, Plum starts on an amazing adventure,” Hayes says of his spirited character. “She journeys to the Land of Sweets, but finds that it is turning sour because of a mysterious sadness in the kingdom. Plum has to find a way to save the kingdom, and if she does, she might just find her greatest wish come true!”


Image Via People


Hayes wants people to see Plum as the character who has a little bit of all of us inside her. From the Christmas spirit to the belief that you can truly achieve anything you set your mind to, Plum is the purple-haired heroine we all want to be friends with. With her courageous attitude and positive aura, it’s no wonder the couple brought her to life.


“Since we don’t have children, we get to virtually adopt Plum into our lives. She’s a special girl.” said the actor. Hayes hopes to continue Plum’s story for both children and adults who relive their best memories within the magical story. Plum comes out November 2018, just in time for the holidays. 


Feature Image Via People.

Malala's Magic Pencil

New Excerpt From Malala Yousafzai’s Picture Book Will Make You Feel Things

As we reported earlier this summer, activist Malala Yousafzai is spreading her inspirational voice through her upcoming children’s picture book Malala’s Magic Pencil.


The book, which reaches bookshelves on October 17th, encourages activism and cultural awareness. Luckily for us, we now have a preview of her incredible book and it’s giving us all the feels.



Via Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Malala’s Magic Pencil narrates Yousafzai’s childhood dream of acquiring a magic pencil to change the world. While she initially hopes to use the magical pencil to change little everyday things, such as getting an extra hour of sleep or making her loved ones happy, her exposure to the world’s cruel realities influences her to use her power to make a difference.


With the pen in hand, Malala shares her unique voice with others, giving them a deeper insight into her culture. 



Via Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Though the book is indeed a children’s book, the central theme introduces very mature topics. The book signifies the power that a voice can have in acknowledging social problems and making others aware of them. Yousafzai’s voice as a blogger for BBC has given readers a startling insight into the lifestyle people face under Taliban rule.



Via Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Her desire to use her voice to recognize cultural issues has had noticeable results. In 2012, she was shot in the face by a masked gunman as she boarded a school bus. Against all odds, she’s persevered and used her harrowing experience as a source of strength. In marketing material provided by Little, Brown, Yousafzai said:


I have met many young children who want to know about what happened in my life and why I believe in education for all, so it was important for me to share my story with them.


For this age, a picture book felt like the best way – to use pictures and to simplify the events in a way that younger kids can understand. There are scary parts to my story or details that are complicated toe explain, but I wanted to be able to share it with a younger audience as best as I could.


Malala’s Magic Pencil will be released on October 17.


Featured Image Courtesy of ‘Colourbox’/’Little, Brown Books for Young Readers’