"Why so Poky? The scourge of terrible canonical children’s books." by Gabriel Roth, Slate
Reading to one’s children is, as everyone knows, one of the great pleasures of parenthood. I love the creaturely warmth of my daughter snuggled up close and the feeling of giving her something intrinsically human and necessary. And Eliza loves being read to. She enjoys the stories and the pictures, but more than that, I think, she responds to the mental intimacy: the knowledge that she and I are looking at the same pages and interpreting the same sentences. It’s a balm for the terrible isolation that arrives around age 2, along with language and self-consciousness—the knowledge that one’s experience is inescapably private. And so the time I spend reading to her can feel, for both of us, like communion.[more inside]
Walter Benjamin presented "True Dog Stories" on September 27, 1930, as part of Radio Berlin's youth programming. Thoughtful but sometimes oblique commentaries on human society, Benjamin's radio shows have been called "Enlightenment for Children" and "NPR for weirdos," but an interview with the editor of their recent translations into English gives much greater context. Some essays have been re-recorded in German (including the dog episode, track 16), and Börne's original poodle letter is also online.
Going through my parents' stuff didn't make me suddenly miss them, but I became more intrigued by them every day. I wanted to know more and more about them, to solve their mysteries. At the same time, I felt a corresponding, if conflicting, urge to speak, or write, about what many people seemed to think was unspeakable: my ever-present lack of grief. So I decided to combine these seemingly divergent impulses into an Tumblr blog called My Dead Parents, which I kept anonymous both out of respect for my family and because, after years of writing fiction, I wasn't sure if I could handle revealing so much about myself in writing.Anya Yurchyshyn writes about rediscovering her parents through their letters, after their deaths.
In 1972, an early version of best-selling novelist Lois Gould's X: A Fabulous Children's Story was published in Ms. Magazine as part of its monthly "Stories for Free Children" feature. In 1978 it was expanded and turned into a wildly delightful children's book with a distinctive illustration style, critiquing gender expectations in infancy and childhood. The New York Times, for which she wrote, has more about her in her obituary, while Google Preview has some history on the publication of X, now in print only as part of the 2008 anthology Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature.
Smories are free original stories for kids, read by kids.
Something for a kid you know, or your own inner child. Speakaboos offers online stories with the written word below the illustrations, as if read from a book: fables, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, folk tales, lullabies. You can watch the stories without registering. You will have to sign-up (for free) for the future function of recording your own "that will allow kids and parents to record their own voices reading (or singing!) their favorite story, song, or nursery rhyme." Christmas stories. [more inside]
Once Upon a Time - a filmed fairy tale starring baby monkeys lost in frightening trees, a witch, crocodiles, a tiger, a "popotamus" and a lion, and even a "tremendously very bad mammoth." (In French, English subtitles)
Lit2Go - tons of stories, tales and poems suitable for younger readers: HTML, PDF, and MP3s. From Baa, Baa, Black Sheep to Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, and Flatland.
The Toymaker offers over 40 free paper toys and pretties you can print out (PDFs) and make yourself, as well as "Stories to be Told by Firelight" - online versions of author/illustrator Marilyn Scott Waters' children's stories and lots of other fun goodies. For people who have kids, people who know kids, people who are kids, and people who love papercraft, illustration, toys, and tales. [more...]
The mystery of Stefan Mart and the 'Tales of the Nations'. "The Tales of Nations" was not an ordinary book that you could buy in a book store, and it's mysterious narrator/illustrator disappeared into the darkness of Hitler's Germany, seemingly without a trace. Learn the background, read the stories, and view all 150 fabulous colour illustrations — "small in size, but strong in expression, each a microcosm packed with action, each a feast for the eyes like a beautifully set jewel".
KidPub is an enchanting little website that I rediscovered after rediscovering a list of my circa-1995 bookmarks. (And it looks today almost exactly like it did then -- you can even see a bit of Siegel influence) KidPub is a place for children to post their stories, poems, etc. Most of the authors seem to be in the 9- to 12-year-old age range, and the stories have titles like "The Mystery of the Circus Clown" and "Crazy School". A cute site to remind you of the importance of reading and writing for children.