E-safety, also known as digital literacy, is something I am focusing more on this year and I have some really great picture books to help me in the library classroom.
by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross
The hilarious team of Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross, two of the top children’s book creators, have taken the moral fable ‘Chicken Little’ and brought it well into the 21st century.
One night Little Chick breaks into the farm house and uses the farmer’s computer to do a little browsing. She happily clicks away buying a few items that leave the farmer scratching his head: did he really order a funny teapot and a hive of bees? A diamond watch? Bags and shoes and a car for the cows?
When Little Chick buys a boat and all her friends go sailing she decides to find a new friend.
Excited to find a friend who is just like her, she dashes off to meet her…
But, of course, the new friend is not quite what she seems… This is a brilliant book and it will get lots of giggles whilst still conveying the importance of online safety.
Hello! Hello! by Matthew Cordell
This is a simple picture book about the wonders and joys of playing outside and using your imagination. When a little girl becomes bored of her electronic games and television she turns to her parents and brothers for entertainment. But they are all busy…
Enticed by a leaf that flutters through the open door, she discovers a whole world of nature waiting for her.
And she is whisked away on an adventure.
And when Mum and Dad ring her to ask where she is, she persuades them to come outside so they can all share the planet.
This is a fantastic book for also engaging mum and dad and encouraging them to spend more time outdoors and enjoying time with the children.
This book also made me think of Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote, in Big Magic, about engaging with nature and understanding that nature also wants to engage with you!
Dot. by Randi Zuckerberg and Joe Berger
Should I be embarrassed that I had never heard of Randi Zuckerberg before? She is the sister of Mark, the creator of Facebook. So, she should know a thing or two about digital literacy. Here she is in a CNN interview talking about the creation of Dot. the picture book and now TV series.
Zuckerberg says she created Dot. because of the need for more “strong, tech-savvy, female intellectuals” in pop culture.
I have to admit that I did not read this with the emphasis on Dot. being a tech-savvy female as last time I read Ann Fine’s Bill’s New Frock it fell so flat I thought the world really had changed.
Little girls know they can do everything it’s their grown up selves that seem to bring the doubt.
Anyway, Dot. is a little girl who knows how “to tap, to touch, to tweet and to tag, to surf, to swipe, to search and to share” online.
She also knows how to talk…
But when Mum sends her outside to “Reboot, recharge and restart” she finds she can do all of these things with her friends.
It is a quick, easy read and I particularly liked the use of verbs so it has a couple of uses in the classroom aside from the message of ‘going outside can be fun too!’
Doug Unplugged by Dan Yaccarino
Doug is a robot and every morning his parents plug him in and fill him up with lots of facts. One morning his parents decide that he will learn all about the city.
He learns that more than 500 million pigeons live in the city but when he hears one cooing outside of his window he wonders what else he can learn if he goes into the city itself. So Doug unplugs!
When a little boy asks him if he wants to play, Doug learns there are lots of different ways to play and how nice it is to play with a friend.
When his new friend suddenly wonders where his parents are, Doug uses his robot powers to find them. Happily reunited, Doug races home to tell his parents all about the things he has learned, including the most important:
This is a great book to use for research – what facts can we learn online and what else can we discover for ourselves?
Use before going on a trip or even into the school garden and don’t forget to emphasise that a search engine can not tell us all there is to know – often you have to get out there and discover things for yourself.