Using Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database

By Amanda Alexander, Graduate Student

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What it is:

  • Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database is an online database with an extensive array of information about children’s books, video and audio recordings, film strips, and other children-focused media. The database contains more than 400,000 critical reviews of children’s books, ranging from baby board books to novels and nonfiction for young adults. These reviews are supplied by quality media sources such as VOYA, The ALAN Review, Booklist, Kirkus, etc. CLCD’s search function allows users to find books by subject, age level, grade level, genre, and more. Information about awards, honors, and prizes given to specific books is also provided along with information about reading measurement program information as well as curriculum tools and links to over 240,000 web pages featuring children’s authors and illustrators.

Logging in:

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  1. Go to the University of Alabama’s Libraries
  2. On the left side of the screen, there is a list. Click on Databases.
  3. There are different ways to find a specific database. The easiest method would be to BROWSE ALPHABETICAL LIST, which is on the right side of the screen. Click on the letter “C.”
  4. Scroll down until you find “Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database,” and click on it. This will take you to the CLCD homepage.

Conducting a Search:

Let’s say you want to search for reviews on books about dogs for preschoolers.

  1. In the search box at the top of the type in DOGS.
  2. If conducting a search on keyword, leave the selection “Singular and Plural forms” checked in the Word Search Criteria box.
  3. If conducting a search on a keyword, the selection “All fields” should be checked in the Search Specific Fields box.
  4. Special Search Qualifiers. If you are looking for children’s books on a certain topic, select “Children and YA only.”
  5. If you want to make your search more specific, there are many additional search qualifiers. You can modify a search by reader’s Age, Grade, Category, Publication Date, Genre, Language, Reading Metrics etc. It is advised that you chose to use only one of either the Age or Grade features, either Age (3 to 4) or Grade (Preschool Age 3).
  6. Click on one of the titles that search results turn up.
  7. You will be given information on the book’s honors and awards, reading lists that feature the book, information about Reading Measurement Programs and Reviews.
  8. Also right under the book title, CLCD will show you if the UA library has that title in its catalog. If so, there will be a green check mark next to “your library holds this title”.3
  9. If you click the link it opens a new tab that will take you directly to the UA library catalog where you can see the book’s call number and location.

Creating a CLCD account:

  • Users can create a personal MyCLCD account that gives you the ability to save titles to readings lists, share and modify items such as custom thematic lists and bibliographies, and save and view your search history. As a Student – you can save your work for future review and modification as CLCD allows you to keep your membership for up to one year after you graduate.
  1. Go to the CLCD homepage and click on “My CLCD Account Login” at the top right hand side of the screen.
  2. Next, Click on either “Request Access” or “Click here to create your account”4
  3. Lastly, A box will appear for you to fill in your personal information and complete the creation of your account.

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McLure Presentation Practice Rooms

By Leslie Grant, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

One new addition to the library this semester is the presentation practice rooms. On the second floor of McLure, two rooms are available where students can use library equipment (either PC or Mac) to practice giving presentations. Rooms can be booked in advance by placing a reservation or by making a walk in appointment as long as the room is not currently being used. Students can use a room for up to 2 hours, and as many as four people can use the room at a time. In order to use a practice room, students will need a valid action card and will be required to provide contact information. Students will receive a key to the room at the front desk in exchange for their action card, which will be returned upon departure. Further information can be found on the library’s website under the Presentation Practice Rooms link. Please feel free to contact us if you have any other questions!

Requesting Material Through Interlibrary Loan

By Leslie Grant, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

Sometimes you may want to use a book, journal, or other material that is unavailable at the library. If this is the case, you’re not out of luck. You may be able to request it through Interlibrary Loans (ILL). For materials UA does not own, you will need to fill out an ILL form, which can be found on the Interlibrary Loan page of the library’s website. However, if the material you want can be found in the library catalog, then you can use it to fill out the form for you. Here are directions using the journal Quest as an example:

1. From the library’s homepage, go to the catalog by selecting “Libraries’ Catalog” under “Resources” in the middle of the page.

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2. Locate the journal by conducting a search in the catalog.

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3. Once you have found the correct material, follow the link at the bottom of the page for access to the electronic resource.

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4. Select the issue and article you need, and then click “Check for Full Text.”

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5. This should take you back to the library’s website. Follow the link “ILLiad” under “Step 3” to submit an ILL request.

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6. Once you log on, it will take you a completed request form with the article’s information.

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7. Scroll down and select “Submit Request” to finish your request.

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Now your ILL request has been completed. It’s that easy! Let us know if this helped.

Illustrated Novels for Older Readers

By Leslie Grant, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

Illustrations aren’t just for kid’s books anymore. A lack of pictures has often categorized reading material as more “mature,” but that isn’t always the case. There are many novels written on more advanced reading levels that include a strong visual component. Not to be confused with graphic novels, whose stories are told entirely through pictures, illustrated novels still contain plots that are told primarily through the writing. However, they also contain images that add to the story and are sometimes even pivotal to understanding it. These books are great for reluctant readers or anyone who enjoys artistic interpretations of the text. Here are a few examples available through the university’s libraries:

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

The Invention of Hugo Cabret cover

Brian Selznick’s Caldecott winning book tells the story of Hugo Cabret, an orphan living in a railway station in 1930s Paris. At 500+ pages, this is no picture book. But don’t be intimidated by its size. It is a surprisingly quick read, as many sections of the story are told entirely through Selznick’s full-page, detailed black and white drawings. The Invention of Hugo Cabret is an enchanting piece of historical fiction, and the film adaptation, Hugo, won several Academy Awards. Fans of the book should also check out his latest novel, Wonderstruck, which uses a similar style.

 

 

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian cover

This highly acclaimed young adult novel by Sherman Alexie features a 14-year-old Native American protagonist who decides to leave the reservation in order to attend an all-white public high school. Arnold Spirit, Jr., aka Junior, is an aspiring cartoonist, and the book’s illustrations, drawn by Ellen Forney, depict his humorous drawings of the world around him. Alexie uses humor to balance the depressing events Junior experiences in his life on the reservation. While it contains a powerful story, some of the book’s more controversial elements have landed it on many banned book lists.

 

Leviathan

Leviathan cover

Science fiction writer Scott Westerfeld puts his own spin on history with this steampunk version of World War I. Leviathan introduces Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Deryn Sharp, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service, and what happens when their lives intersect. Westerfeld’s fantastic vision of alternate history, complete with complex, steam-powered machinery and genetically engineered animal-vessels, is punctuated by the awe-inspiring illustrations of Keith Thompson. His artwork masterfully combines elements of past and future and helps readers better picture the richly complex setting. The book is the first in a trilogy.

 

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close cover

Although this is a novel aimed at adults, Jonathan Safran Foer’s nine-year-old narrator might make it also appeal to a slightly younger audience. In this book, Oskar Schell looks for clues that will unlock the meaning of a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died on 9/11. Foer’s narrative is supplemented by many visual elements, such as photographs and letters. These pictures often contain clues or hidden meanings that are revealed throughout the course of the story. Once again, this book serves as an example of how images can enrich a book’s text. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close deals with issues of grief and loss, especially in the wake of September 11th, and has also been made into a movie.

 

These are only a few examples of how fiction books incorporate illustrations. Graphics can enrich a text, provide supplementary information, and even communicate part of the plot. All of the books mentioned above are available at a library on campus. Let us know in the comments what other novels you think use images effectively to add to the story.

Educational Apps for Kids

By Leslie Grant, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

Emerging technologies provide many opportunities for new and different teaching methods. The use of applications, or apps, on devices such as smart phones and tablets are one way to introduce material while also teaching digital literacy skills and incorporating interactivity that makes it more interesting for the users.

There is an abundance of educational apps. These apps vary in age range, subject, and cost. Since it would be impossible to list all of them, we want to share a few examples illustrative of the tools available to teachers and parents.

Reading:

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Reading Rainbow: Read Along Children’s Books, Kids Videos & Educational Games

“Hosted by LeVar Burton, the reimagined Reading Rainbow app includes an unlimited library of children’s books and video field trips to ignite your child’s imagination.”

 

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Don’t Let the Pigeon Run This App!

“Three-time Caldecott Honoree Mo Willems brings the Pigeon to the digital screen with this original, feature-rich, animated app.”

(one of the many examples of apps based on books)

 

History and Museums:

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American Revolution Interactive Timeline

“This award-winning, graphically rich timeline, developed by The American Revolution Center, a non-profit educational institution working to build The Museum of the American Revolution, offers information and access to rare treasures from the Center’s collection that will be displayed in the new museum.”

 

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Smithsonian Mobile

“Smithsonian Mobile is your digital mobile guide to the Smithsonian, built collaboratively with our visitors. Find out what’s on where, discover highlights, search our collections, access tours, podcasts and other apps.”

 

 

Science:

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NASA App

“The NASA App showcases a huge collection of the latest NASA content, including images, videos on-demand, NASA Television, mission information, news & feature stories, latest tweets, ISS sighting opportunities, satellite tracking, Third Rock Radio and much more.”

 

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TinkerBox

“TinkerBox is a fun, free-to-play physics puzzle game. While it is full of interesting science facts and teaches basic engineering concepts, TinkerBox is more than just educational! Take the tools in your hands to explore your creativity and imagination with Invent mode. Build outrageous machines, share them with your friends, or download popular inventions from online.”

 

Creativity and Story Telling:

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Felt Board

“Design scenes, dress up characters and let your imagination soar as you invent your own stories with Felt Board. Especially designed for imaginative play, storytelling and learning, Felt Board is perfect for children, families, teachers and therapists.”

 

Hopefully this list has made you aware of some of the resources available in the world of apps and inspired you to search for others. There are many websites with app recommendations and reviews where you can find more information about apps to suit your particular needs, including Common Sense Media, APPitic, and CLCD’s monthly newsletter.

Let us know in the comments if you use any of these apps or have any other app recommendations!

 

Series Chapter Books for Beginning Readers

By Leslie Grant, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

Last month we talked about the appeal of series books and shared some picture book series books available at the library. We’d like to continue the discussion with more suggestions.

The introduction of slightly longer books helps readers transition away from picture books. Short, easy chapter books are a great tool for improving reading skills, serving as a stepping stone between picture books and novels. Here are a few series available at McLure we recommend:

Rotten Ralph by Jack Gantos
“Ralph, a very, very nasty cat, finally sees the error of his ways — or does he?”

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Back to school for Rotten Ralph
Rotten Ralph helps out
Rotten Ralph’s rotten romance
Rotten Ralph feels rotten
Practice makes perfect for Rotten Ralph
Three strikes for Rotten Ralph
Best in show for Rotten Ralph

Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
“Eight-year-old Jack and his younger sister Annie find a magic treehouse, which whisks them back to an ancient time zone where they see live dinosaurs.”

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Dinosaurs before dark
The knight at dawn
Mummies in the morning
Pirates past noon
Night of the Ninjas
Afternoon on the Amazon
Sunset of the sabertooth
Midnight on the moon
Dragon of the red dawn
Dark day in the deep sea
Eve of the Emperor penguin
A perfect time for pandas
Stallion by starlight
Hurry up, Houdini!
High time for heroes

The Time Warp Trio by Jon Scieszka
“Joe’s been caught up in a book before, but this is ridiculous! Joe’s Book, a gift from his magician uncle, doesn’t just tell stories, it zaps Joe and his friends Sam and Fred right into the middle of them.”

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Knights of the kitchen table
The not-so-jolly-Roger
The good, the bad, and the goofy
Your mother was a Neanderthal
2095
Tut, tut
Summer reading is killing me!
It’s all Greek to me
See you later, gladiator
Sam Samurai
Hey kid, want to buy a bridge?
Viking it & liking it
Me oh Maya!
Da wild, da crazy, da Vinci
Oh say, I can’t see
Marco? Polo!

Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park
“Meet the World’s Funniest Kindergartner–Junie B. Jones! In the 1st Junie B. Jones book, it’s Junie B.’s first day and she doesn’t know anything. She’s so scared of the school bus and the meanies on it that when it’s time to go home, she doesn’t.”

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Junie B. Jones and the stupid smelly bus
Junie B. Jones and her big fat mouth
Junie B. Jones and some sneaky peeky spying
Junie B. Jones and the yucky blucky fruitcake
Junie B. Jones and that meanie Jim’s birthday
Junie B. Jones loves handsome Warren
Junie B. Jones has a monster under her bed
Junie B. Jones is not a crook
Junie B. Jones is a party animal
Junie B. Jones is a beauty shop guy
Junie B. Jones smells something fishy
Junie B. Jones is (almost) a flower girl
Junie B. Jones and the mushy gushy valentime
Junie B. Jones has a peep in her pocket
Junie B. Jones is Captain Field Day
Junie B. Jones is a graduation girl
Junie B., first grader (at last!)
Junie B., first grader : boss of lunch
Junie B., first grader : toothless wonder
Junie B., first grader : cheater pants
Junie B., first grader : one-man band
Junie B., first grader : shipwrecked
Junie B., first grader : boo –and I mean it
Junie B., first grader : jingle bells, Batman smells! (P.S. so does May)
Junie B., first grader : aloha-ha-ha!
Junie B., first grader : dumb bunny

Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon
“Horrid Henry and his neighbor Moody Margaret decide to make the most sloppy, slimy, sludgy, sticky, smelly, gooey, gluey, gummy, greasy, gloppy glop possible. Is it the best glop in the world or the worst thing that’s ever happened to them? Plus three other stories so funny we can’t even mention them here.”

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Horrid Henry
Horrid Henry tricks the Tooth Fairy
Horrid Henry and the mummy’s curse
Horrid Henry and the scary sitter
Horrid Henry and the mega-mean time machine
Horrid Henry and the soccer fiend
Horrid Henry and the abominable snowman
Horrid Henry wakes the dead
Horrid Henry rocks
Horrid Henry and the zombie vampire

Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
“When George and Harold hypnotize their principal into thinking that he is the superhero Captain Underpants, he leads them to the lair of the nefarious Dr. Diaper, where they must defeat his evil robot henchmen.”

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The adventures of Captain Underpants : an epic novel
Captain Underpants and the attack of the talking toilets
Captain Underpants and the invasion of the incredibly naughty cafeteria ladies from outer space
Captain Underpants and the perilous plot of Professor Poopypants
Captain Underpants and the wrath of the wicked Wedgie Woman
Captain Underpants and the big, bad battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, part 1 : night of the nasty nostril nuggets
Captain Underpants and the big, bad battle of the Bionic Booger Boy, part 2 : the revenge of the ridiculous Robo-Boogers
Captain Underpants and the revolting revenge of the radioactive robo-boxers

Ramona Quimby by Beverly Cleary
“Beezus’ biggest problem was her 4-year-old sister Ramona. Even though Beezus knew sisters were supposed to love each other, with a sister like Ramona, it seemed impossible.”

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Beezus and Ramona
Ramona the pest
Ramona the brave
Ramona and her father
Ramona and her mother
Ramona Quimby, age 8
Ramona forever

 

 

Using the Library’s eBooks

image from:  greecepubliclibrary.org

By Leslie Grant, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

In addition to our print books, McLure provides access to many electronic books, or eBooks. We’ve written about this topic in the past, but some changes to library services make it necessary to share updated information.

 

Reading an eBook:

EBooks are a valuable information resource at the library. Some materials are available only in eBook format, and it is becoming the preferred method for purchasing new titles.

The library does not currently use a single service to manage our eBook holdings. Instead they are provided by a number of different publishers. This means that library eBooks vary in format and platform.

EBooks are easily accessed by using Scout or the library’s catalog. Results from a search will indicate when a book is available electronically and will provide a link or information about how to view or download the material.

The various eBook providers cause some inconsistency across the library’s eBook holdings. Appearance, length of access, and number of simultaneous users can all vary, as well the ability to download, print, and take notes or highlight within the text.

 
Reserving an eBook:

It is not necessary for faculty to place an eBook on reserve for use in a particular course. However, putting an eBook on reserve will allow it to appear on the library’s website in the list of course reserves, making it easier for students to find and access.

Some eBooks can also be included on Blackboard. EBooks are added to Blackboard shelf by linking to them in the same manner you would for an article in a database. Further questions about using eBooks on Blackboard can be directed to Josh Sahib by email (jsahib@ua.edu) or phone (205-348-6529).

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions about library eBooks. For additional information, contact Wendy Arrasmith at (205-348-5678) or by email at (warrismi@ua.edu) or Will Fritz at (205-348-6346) or e-mail him at (wafritz@ua.edu).

Diversity in Children’s Literature

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By Leslie Grant, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

The call for more diversity among book characters and authors has gained a lot of attention recently. We thought it would be helpful to provide some background and information on the topic to help others better understand the issue and some current reactions.

The lack of diversity in book publishing is by no means a new issue, but articles like “Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?” by Walter Dean Myers and “The Apartheid of Children’s Literature” by Christopher Myers helped bring the topic to the forefront within the past few months. The articles both react to and reflect on the baffling statistics from a study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin that “Of 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, just 93 were about black people.” Rather than being an anomaly, these figures represent the trend of relatively low numbers of minority representation in children’s and young adult fiction.

One of the biggest movements has been the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Campaign. Through the use of social media, authors, publishers, and readers were able to share their reasons for wanting to see more diversity in books. By the end of the first day, the trend had gone viral, leading to thousands of tweets on the topic. The campaign has also been encouraging readers to buy more diverse books and for libraries to work to diversify their shelves.

We Need Diverse Books was largely a reaction to the 2014 Book Expo America. When the book publishing conference announced the lineup for their BookCon panels, the list consisted solely of white male participants. The success of We Need Diverse Books inspired BookCon to create a new panel featuring a more diverse group of children’s authors.

To find out more about We Need Diverse Books and BookCon, read “BookCon Controversy Begets Diversity Social Media Campaign” and “A Loud Start for BookCon”.

 

Book-Related Links

By Leslie Grant, Graduate Assistant, McLure Education Library

We’ve read several articles recently about current book trends and reading behaviors. Here is a list of a few favorites you might find interesting.

 

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“Kids Don’t Read Books Because Parents Don’t Read Books”

According to a recent report, reading rates are in decline. So what’s the cause? Many people are quick to blame technology, but perhaps the problem stems more from larger cultural attitudes toward reading. “At the end of the day, how our children read and what our children read says a lot more about adult attitudes than it does about our kids’.”

 

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“The Reason Every Book about Africa Has the Same Cover – And It’s Not Pretty”

Ever noticed the acacia tree that seems to grace the cover of every book with an African author or setting? Regardless of style or subject, this tree has become ubiquitous with “African” books. The author examines why this is, blaming preferences by publishers to follow tradition and simplify the “other”.

 

 

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“How I Convinced My 8 Year Old to Choose Books Instead of Minecraft”

In this article, the writer shares a personal account about encouraging his son to read. While this includes incentivizing reading by making it a requirement before video games, he mostly focuses on how to make books appealing so that kids will choose to read. For instance, the comic book format of a graphic novel looks more like entertainment than reading, and eBooks offer both a technology aspect and the gratification of instant access.

 

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“Why You Should Avoid Best-Selling Books”

While everyone loves the glamour of the newest best seller, it might not be the best investment of your time. The knowledge it offers is ephemeral, serving as conversation fodder until the next best thing is published. On the other hand, books that withstand the test of time promise relevancy in the long term. They also offer a way to set yourself apart: “If you read what everyone else reads, soon you’ll start thinking like everyone else.”

Book Renewal Deadline for Faculty and Grad Students

Reminder:

In order to help the library keep track of its materials, all library books charged to UA faculty and graduate students need to be physically renewed by Saturday, May 31. This can be done by bring the books to any library location. For faculty members with seven or more books, you can make an appointment with one of the librarians for a staff member to renew the books at your office. Please refer to the official memo for further instructions. Thanks for your cooperation!

(Note – this does not apply to undergraduate students.)