Learning at Home Resources


As shelter-in-place orders remain, the kidlit community continues to offer virtual resources for parents, educators and children stuck at home. (More ideas can be found herehere and here.) Children's publishers are rallying around the need for virtual materials and producing remarkable quantities of products to enlighten and entertain.

From Nosy Crow's Coronavirus: A Book for Children

Nosy Crow, an independent children's publishing company in the U.K., released a "free information book explaining the coronavirus to children." Charlesbridge, a Massachusetts children's publishing company, has an approachable Activities and Downloadables page for those seeking materials. National Geographic launched NatGeo@Home, "a homeschool hub for parents and teachers," which will also be featured as part of #DisneyMagicMoments, "Disney's family website that pulls together stories, videos and activities from across Disney's properties." Mac Kids has launched an interactive At Home Fun with InvestiGators page using characters from the InvestiGators mystery series; Simon & Schuster has created digital "learning at home" initiatives for parents; and Greystone Books is offering stay-at-home ideas in its newsletter. DK's Stay Home Hub has resources for those isolating at home "with a focus on home learning tasks for children," as well as some activities for adults. Sourcebooks has pulled together activity kits, story time reads and more on a resource page and has, like so many other publishers, opened up licensees to online story times.

Authors are also offering up their skills: Raj Haldar is running an online word game challenge on Instagram every day; Kristi Yamaguchi is holding story times on Facebook; and DJ Corchin is using Facebook to run a live drawing hour every day at 10:30 a.m. Central. And for people who really want to get hands-on, Jennifer George, author and Rube Goldberg's granddaughter, announced the Rube Goldberg Bar of Soap Challenge: "The contest asks participants to 'Drop a Bar of Soap into Someone's Hands' using 10-20 steps. The video entry deadline for participants is May 31, and three winners will be chosen by mid-June to win a Rube Goldberg Family Swag Bag." --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness 


From earlier Shelf Awareness:

As virtual teaching continues and families shelter-in-place across the country, more and more publishers, authors, illustrators, libraries and individuals have put effort into creating online resources for children, teens, educators and parents. Last week and the week before we shared some of these resources; below are a few more.

Rakestraw read-aloud

Penguin Young ReadersSweet Cherry PublishingNomad PressMacmillan and Fox Chapel Publishing all have websites up that direct readers to free educational and entertainment materials. Palmer Public Library Youth Services in Palmer, Mass., has begun posting a series of videos with author/illustrator David Hyde Costello that invite child interaction; Rakestraw Books in Danville, Calif., has posted a number of read-alouds on its Facebook page; and the PJ Library, which "sends free Jewish children's books to families across the world every month," is offering resources for quarantined families.

Authors, illustrators and voice actors are also continuing to step up and offer content: professional voice actors are leading story times on a newly created Instagram page called "voiceactorsread," in conjunction with Scholastic and the Library of Congress. Dav Pilkey is producing new content, posted Friday mornings at 8 a.m. ET, at Dav Pilkey at Home; Jason Reynolds posted a game to his Instagram to help spark creativity; and RJ Palacio is doing a weekday read-aloud of Wonder on Twitter. DC Comics has begun "DC Kids Camp" for families staying in, "an at-home activity program curated by DC middle grade authors and artists Meg Cabot, Agnes Garbowska, Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, Minh Lê, Michael Northrop, Ridley Pearson, Kirk Scroggs, and Gene Luen Yang, Among Others."

Reader can also go to the Children's Book Council webpage to find an updated list of publisher online resources. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor, Shelf Awareness