"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Monday, March 31, 2014

Thing 12: Books, Books and More Books

YALSA Teen Book Finder:

"ALA’s Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has produced an iPhone app (which will work as well on an iPad) to help teens, parents, librarians and library staff, educators, and anyone who loves YA literature access to the past three years’ of YALSA’s awards and lists on their smartphone."

Wow, my experiences with these recent apps are disappointing me. This looks like a fun and useful app and I'm sure that it is, but when I tried to begin my favorites list, I already ran into a snag. I searched for Susann Cokal's amazing book Kingdom of the Little Wounds, which won a Printz honor this January, only to find that it is not listed. A quick search of the Printz winning titles showed that the latest winner, Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick was also not yet included. I would have expected the titles to be more current! Oh well, soldiering on, I began my favorites list anyway.  Here's what some of that looks like:

On a positive note, I like the Hot Picks feature. Everyday it suggests three titles for you. Here is today's menu:

In spite of my criticism of title currency, I would recommend this app for its possibilities with Reader's Advisory.

"iStoryBooks is an app that contains 25 free children’s story books, both text & audio. There are books in the following categories: fairy & folk tales, animals, educational, and Ramayana (Hindu stories). According to the company, they publish new books every two weeks and they will appear automatically on the app. The app does provide access to premium content as well."
"My Library" opened up with 36 books, some of them premium (pay to read). They are:
  1. The Incredible Growing Plant
  2. From Root to Flower
  3. Food from the Sun
  4. My Busy Body
  5. The Hare's Liver: a Folk Story From Korea (Premium. Darn! Seriously.)
  6. What Every Organism Needs
  7. Food Chain
  8. B- and the Case of the Missing Doll (Premium)
  9. Chicken Little (Premium)
  10. The Leap Frog (Premium)
  11. Cars
  12. The Amazing Life of Helen Keller
  13. Violet's Gift
  14. Kumba Am and Kumba Amul: a Gambian Folk Tale
  15. Sea Animals
  16. The Fish Snatcher: a Wolof Tale From Gambia, West Africa
  17. Cock-a-Doodle-Moo!
  18. Cinderella
  19. The Ugly Duckling
  20. Little Red Riding Hood
  21. Things That Go
  22. The Little Red Hen
  23. Stone Soup
  24. The Three Little Pigs
  25. Four Clever Friends and a Hunter
  26. The World of Dinosaurs Big and Small
  27. Cenicienta (Cinderella-Spanish)
  28. The World of Trucks Big and Small
  29. A to Z Fruits & Vegetables: Preschool
  30. A to Z Fruits & Vegetables: Junior
  31. A to Z Fruits & Vegetables: Yummy Riddles
  32. A to Z Animals
  33. The Blue Fox
  34. El Zorro Azul
  35. The Crow, the doves and the Mouse
  36. El Cuervo, Las Palomas y El Raton
The first book I listened to/looked at was The Three Little Pigs. The pigs live in an orphanage until they are too old to stay, and thus they need to build their own homes. The first two pigs are characterized as messy/silly and greedy/gluttonous. The final pig has only good qualities. It is sort of a mediocre version of the story, but it is still the story, if you see what I mean. The only thing that really is a problem is that the first pig is called Brownie and described as being mud colored, but is illustrated as a pink pig like his siblings.
Next, I naturally went for Kumba Am and Kumba Amul: a Gambian Folk Tale. I enjoyed this more. It is a tale in the vein of "Toads and Diamonds" or "The Talking Eggs" where there is a favored daughter ("bad" sister) and a mistreated stepchild ("good" sister) who when sent to perform a chore meet a mysterious old crone who punishes or rewards them as they deserve.
I  think that this would be a reasonably good app to recommend to patrons, primarily because it is free. I will probably only use it to read the free folktales and then will delete it.

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