Tag: Free

Coronavirus: A Book for Children featured image

Illustrator of ‘The Gruffalo’ Teaches Kids about Coronavirus

Axel Scheffler, the artist behind Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo, has illustrated the newly-released Coronavirus: A Book for Children, written by Elizabeth Jenner, Kate Wilson, and Nia Roberts. Published by Nosy Crow earlier this month, BBC calls it “one of the fastest books in history.”

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You Can Stream ‘Harry Potter’ Right Now Absolutely Free

If you’re a fellow bookworm (which, duh, you are on Bookstr,) you probably already know that Audible has made a ton of children’s books free to stream for the duration of the pandemic. This is super helpful for the parents stuck at home with kids out of school, hungry to stay educated and entertained!

image via audible

Luckily for us, among the free titles are plenty of great YA novels for all ages, including Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by the incredible J.K. Rowling! Narrated by Stephen Fry and packed with delightful theme music by James Hannigan, this is truly a magical listening experience.


The stream lasts for a whopping nine hours and thirty-three minutes, with rave reviews from Audible customers… some are even claiming it to be better than the movie. This is absolutely sure to help you escape from the real world chaos to the wizarding fantasy land we’ve dreamed of since we were young, if only for a while!

featured image via techradar

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The Oldest Public Library in the UK Looks Like Whaaa???

If you’re ever planning a trip to the UK, you’ll definitely want to make plans to visit Chetham’s Library in Manchester. Established all the way back in 1653, Chetham’s is the oldest free public reference library in the United Kingdom. In his will, Humphrey Chetham—who, let’s be honest, has one of the most English names ever—made provisions for the creation of Chetham’s Hospital, which contains both the library and a school of music.



Image via vipauk.org

In his will, Chetham stipulated the Library should be “for the use of schollars and others well affected,” and he instructed the librarian “to require nothing of any man that cometh into the library.” So the library has been free and open to the public ever since. Nowadays, it operates as an independent charity. You can take a tour of the library if you’re in the area, and you can even book it for your own event on some days!


Image Via Chetham’s Library

With so much history, you can bet Chetham’s library has created quite the collection over the years. It currently houses more than 100,000 volumes, and 60,000 of those were published before 1851. Some of the stools made for readers when the library first began are even still in use!



There’s even bit of political history at Chetham’s Library. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels met in the window alcove to study economics when Marx visited Manchester in 1845. The research they undertook there would eventually lead to their writing The Communist Manifesto. The librarians have even taken it upon themselves to decorate the table in the alcove with facsimiles of books Marx and Engels would have studied.


Image via Wikimedia


But hey, if history’s not really your thing, you can still just bask in the bookish beauty of Chetham’s Library! Some of the stools and stacks in use today are hundreds of years old!


Becky Mary Chapel, Image via chetham’s Library


Baronial Hall,  via Chetham’s Library




Featured Image via Creative Tourist

Library of Congress Releases 100 Free Books Online

Children’s Book Week might have ended, but on May 5th, to mark of the end of its 100th anniversary, the Library of Congress released 100 British and American titles.

Thankfully, all of these books are still available for free.


Denslow's Humpty Dumpty and The Book of Cat

Image Via Good News Network

The history of Children’s Book Week starts back in 1919, now a hundred years ago, as a means of celebrating childhood literacy. However, Good New Network makes note of how difficult this was.

Simply put, why print colored illustrations when printing in black and white is far cheaper?


The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle
Image Via Library of Congress

However several literary advocates stepped forth, allowing for the last hundred years of Children’s Book Week to be a landmark in literary history. With these books, we can not only how society has evolved over the years, but also  look back at the branches of our literary evolution and see just where we came from.

Now all these books, and many more, are available on digital, bridging the gap between old and new.

Fair warning, some of these books may be considered offensive. Lee Ann Potter, the director of the learning and innovation office at the Library of Congress, made note to The New York Times that the library is “celebrating the fact that these books provide us with the opportunity to have conversations about what is appropriate or inappropriate, that they help us understand a different time.”

These education books, from very old to brand new, are a part of our history. They include the work of American illustrators such as W.W. Denslow, Peter Newell, and Howard Pyle, as well as works by renowned English illustrators Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane, and Kate Greenaway.Image Via Library of Congress

As the Library of Congress states on their website, “The books in this collection were published in the United States and England before 1924, are no longer under copyright, and free to read, share, and reuse however you’d like”.

Are you going to check them out?


Featured Image Via Offspring Lifehacker