Thursday, June 10, 2010

International Children's Digital Library

A few months ago I was scouring the Internet looking for websites about kid's books from around the world. As a film programmer much of my exposure to other cultures comes from the foreign films I watch. Since my daughter is too young to watch films (btw there are a lot of really great foreign kids films out there) I had the idea that the she could get similar exposure to the wider world by reading (or looking at) foreign kid's books.

My Internet search resulted in a fantastic find, The International Children's Digital Library, a free on-line library of the best of children's literature from around the world.

According to the ICDL website, their goal is
"...... to build a collection of books that represents outstanding historical and contemporary books from throughout the world. Ultimately, the Foundation aspires to have every culture and language represented so that every child can know and appreciate the riches of children's literature from the world community."

To view the books in the collection simply go to ICDL website and select a book. You can flip through the pages as they appear on your computer screen. The site also features tips on using the library as a teaching tool; virtual exhibitions that feature books from around the world with similar themes; and it allows you to create a personal library account where you can keep track of your favourites.

With over 4447 books in 54 languages, the ICDL provides a unique opportunity to expose children to art and literature from cultures other than their own. And the advantage of picture books is that even if you can't understand the language you can still appreciate the illustrations.

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