Greetings from Champaca Children’s Library! How has the monsoon been treating you? Despite rain playing havoc, we were thrilled to welcome fresh blooming Champaca flowers at our store and harvest avocados from the tree next door. We started August with a storytelling session and it was great fun seeing little humans go “Boo” just like the bear from the book, The Bear Who Went Boo. We celebrated World Elephant Day by hosting a movement-based storytelling session followed by a clay activity with Aane, an organisation that champions the welfare of elephants. Over the next few weeks, we have lined up a set of exciting events - including a cyanotype workshop! Check them out here!
Storytelling sessions at Champaca. Image credit: Shakti Swaminathan
Non-fiction in the Library
What type of books do you think children like to borrow when they visit a library? Since stories are popular among children, we may assume that they naturally gravitate towards fiction. However, recent research suggests that on the contrary, many children prefer reading non-fiction. This may depend on many factors such as the age or individual preferences of the child. We thought it might be a good idea to get an idea of the types of non-fiction books available to children today.
Narrative Non-fiction - Narrative Non-fiction is written like a story- it has a beginning, middle and an end. There are settings, characters and a plot with events happening in chronological order. The text and illustrations included in the book comprise real facts about a person, event, animal or topic and the purpose is to inform and entertain. For example, Biblioburro by Jeanette Winter is a lovely picture book that narrates the real-life story of Colombian school teacher Luis Soriano, who would travel around his district packing books on his burro/ donkeys Alpha and Beto, to distribute to children.
Expository Non-fiction - The purpose of the text here is to inform or explain something. The text features usually include a table of contents, index and glossary, photographs with captions, maps and diagrams, and information presented in boxes. Moon Shot by Brian Floca has in-depth information, illustrations and photographs on the historic Apollo 11’s landing on the moon.
Hybrid Non-fiction - These books have factual information embedded within a somewhat fictional storyline. Big Blue Whale by Nichola Davies talks about how the blue whale is the biggest animal that has ever lived on Earth and explores what a blue whale feels, sounds and smells like. There are descriptions and facts about a whale's size, lifespan, diet, babies and more.
Fact Fiction - These books are fictional in plot and storyline but talk about events that actually happened or are happening in this world. The Lady with the Books by Kathy Stinson is a fictional retelling of how a woman brought a world of books to children in Germany after World War II and changed their lives forever.
(inputs credit: Nonfiction in Library workshop by Bookworm, Goa. Bookworm Trust is a library based out of Panaji, Goa and started with the aim of making books accessible to children. Bookworm also works with schools and conducts an annual Library Educators Course.)
A Slice of History… Lilliput Libraries of Dunedin, New Zealand
Remember what it feels like to sit, waiting for the dentist to drill your teeth? Ugh! Poems in the Waiting Room, a charity based in Dunedin, prints out poems on cards and distributes them to waiting rooms of hospitals and clinics. It makes waiting a little easier, and in the process, introduces people to the joys of poetry. People are free to take the card home and share it with others if they like. In 2015, the charity came up with an initiative similar to the Little Free Library. They got some carpenters to build small wooden boxes with glass doors, got local artists to paint them with attractive designs and distributed them to volunteer guardians who installed them in front of their houses. The charity provided them with books for the boxes. These are the Lilliput Libraries!
A Lilliput Library in Dunedin. Pic credit: lilliputlibraries.wordpress.com
A sample of Poems in the Waiting Room. Pic credit: poemsinthewaitingroom.com