The 48 Hour Book Reading Challenge 2012

It is time again for the 48 Hour Book Challenge, a reading marathon session, coming up next weekend June 8–10, 2012.

This year the sponsor, MotherReader, is asking that reading marathon participants pledge to Reading is Fundamental. First you need to sign-up at MotherReader. Gather your books, from chapter books on up, and decide how much time you want to devote reading in a single 48 hour period during that weekend (there are different levels). Then June 8–10, 2012 read, blog about what you’ve read, and Tweet your thoughts with the #48hbc hashtag.

I participated last year and found myself spending as much time visiting the blogs of the other participants as reading. I found out about some great books and book blogs. It was a blast!

Check out the FAQ’s if you have any further questions.

I’d love to hear what you are reading!

Children’s Books Read Aloud On The Internet

Doesn’t everyone enjoy listening to a book read aloud? Reading aloud to children gives their learning a real boost, but what if you aren’t able to read to your children (or your class)? What do you do? Years ago I taped myself reading several children’s books so that I could play them at night when I had a cold or just wasn’t feeling up to telling a story. These days you can pull up a website or a YouTube video and let someone else do the reading.

Here are a few places to find wonderful children’s books and tales read aloud online: (Note: It’s always a good idea to watch or listen to the story through once yourself, because you never know when a site might have been hacked and inappropriate material added.)

  • AOL Kids with books shows the pages of children’s books as a voice reads to them
  • Storyline Online presents members of the Screen Actor’s Guild reading children’s books. If you aren’t convinced, click on “More Stories” and try Pamela Reed reading Stellaluna. Wow!
  • Mrs. P (TV Star Kathy Kinney) reads books to children while in character.
  • The Aesop’s Fables website is a classic. Now you can hear the fables as well as see the text. (Act out the fables when you are done listening).

If you go to YouTube and search for “children’s books read aloud” you can find a wealth of videos, some read by professionals and others not.

‪For example, you can find Bill Martin reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?‬

Isn’t that wonderful?

You can find a number of books read aloud at the Penguin Storytime channel.

Penguin Young Reader’s Channel has book trailers as well as Llama Llama Mad At Mama read aloud by Anna Dewdney‬.

Weaver718 has several videos of favorite children’s books, as well as many, many others.

Do you have a favorite website or YouTube channel where readers share children’s books aloud? Please leave a comment and let us know.

And thank you to Karen for leaving the comment that inspired this post.

Asterix the Gaul

Time for another humorous series of books that have been entertaining (and secretly educating) people for decades. 

I was first introduced Asterix the Gaul by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo in my high school Latin class many years ago. The text had been translated from the original French into Latin. Does that sound dry? A book about Gauls from Roman times written in Latin? Wrong! My classmates and I loved the spunky cartoon characters so much, we would spend hours trying to figure out what each was saying. I’m sure all my success in Latin is due to the foresight of our teacher to provide us with Asterix books.

Several years ago, I stumbled on an English version. It turns out that there is a whole series featuring Asterix and Orion publishers has been re-releasing the books. I immediately bought several for my then elementary-school-age son. He loved them, too. In fact he went in costume as Asterix the Gaul on Halloween, and was bitterly disappointed when everyone thought he was a Viking.

What’s to love:

  • Incredibly clever word play and side-splitting puns
  • A humorous overview of history and geography during Roman times
  • Sly references to classics, films and famous pieces of artwork

What a few parents may not love:

  • Cartoon violence in the form of fighting

Most of the violence is the direct result of the conflict between the Gauls and the Romans, which is historically appropriate. To me, it seems so over-the-top slapstick that it is not objectionable, but I did want to mention it for those that are sensitive to such things.

You can get somewhat of a feel for the flavor in the film version. (The books are better. They don’t have the dated feel.)

Although listed as for ages 9-12, the Asterix books are really for all ages. Our local library files them in young adult or sometimes in graphic books. If your child is learning a language or you want to brush up on the language you took in high school, you might consider the French or Latin versions as well.

Reading level: Ages 9-12
Publisher: Orion (September 1, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0752866052
ISBN-13: 978-0752866055

Asterix the Gaul is the first in the series.

A selection from the Asterix series in English

A selection from the Asterix series in French

A selection from The Asterix series in Latin

New Simon’s Cat Book

Sometimes here at Wrapped in Foil we take ourselves a bit seriously with all the nonfiction and science books. Today in honor of summer vacation, we’re going to take a look at something a bit different.

Have you seen the Simon’s Cat videos on YouTube?  If you like the videos, you might be interested to know that Simon Tofield has a new book out called Simon’s Cat: Beyond the Fence.

The videos and books are for cat lovers, as you will find yourself saying, “My cat does that!” The cartoons are appropriate for older children, say 9 and up. Note: A few of the earlier videos contain a bit of physical violence that is probably mild by today’s standards. For example, in one of the first videos the cat hits its owner with a bat.

If you haven’t seen one of the videos, here’s Simon’s Cat in “The Box” as a short example:

The trailer shows a bit of how this new book expands beyond the original Simon’s Cat book.

British author Tofield has added some vignettes with North American animals to the new book to draw in readers from across the pond. Let’s just say that silliness ensues.

If you are looking for something light this summer, give Simon’s Cat: Beyond the Fence a try.

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (June 2, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446560073
ISBN-13: 978-0446560078