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Linking Literature to the Web

Michael Grose Parenting Report, Volume 8 Issue 4, Page 10
Article by Melissa Norfolk
Accredited professional speaker

If given the choice, would your child rather read a book or surf the internet?

Learning to read is a major foundation in building literacy skills and helps children to become better learners throughout their school years and beyond.

An idea to encourage your child to enjoy, understand and explore what they read is to use the internet to research a book they are reading. The internet can be used as a tool to allow children to critically reflect on what they have read and find out more about the book and the author.

The Children's Book Council of Australia along with many book publishers and authors, make author profiles and book resources available online. To get you started we have compiled some online references from a selection of this year's short-listed titles in the Children's Book of the Year Awards.

2005 BOOK OF THE YEAR: YOUNGER READERS

The Silver Donkey by Sonya Hartnett

On the Puffin website you can search for this book by title or author. Once you have located the book you can read a summary, book extract, about the author, other titles by the same author, write a review or download the teacher's notes.
http://www.penguin.com.au/puffin/

Soraya the Storyteller by Rosanne Hawke

The author's own website has an author profile together with information and notes on the book.
http://www.rosannehawke.com/

A Horse Called Elvis by John Heffernan

The author's own website has a profile and summary of the book.
http://www.spudplus.com/

The publisher Scholastic Australia also has both book and author information available on their website.
http://www.scholastic.com.au/

Billy Mack's War by James Roy

The author, James Roy, has a fun and colourful website with information about him and all the titles he has written.
http://www.jamesroy.com.au/

2005 BOOK OF THE YEAR: EARLY CHILDHOOD

Mr Noah and the Cats by Vashti Farrer

The author, Vashti Farrer, has her own website.
http://www.vashtifarrer.com/

On the Lothian Books website there is a summary of the book and profile of both the author and illustrator.
http://www.lothian.com.au/

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox

Author, Mem Fox, has an extensive website which has lots of information and resources for kids, parents and teachers on all her books, as well as a guest book to post a message to her website.
http://www.memfox.com/

Illustrator, Judy Horacek, also has her own website which is very colourful and features many of her cartoons and illustrations.
http://www.horacek.com.au/

Tales from the Waterhole by Bob Graham

Publisher, Walker Books, has a website which details the book and the author's profile.
http://www.walkerbooks.co.uk/

Mutt Dog! by Stephen Michael King

The publisher, Scholastic Australia, has information about the book and the author as well as some teacher tips on the Wombat Kids Book Club website.
http://www.scholastic.com.au/schools/bookclub/club_wombat.asp

Using the Internet to research different books and authors may make the 'chore' of reading more fun for your child and encourage them to try out other books by a favoured author. You may even find your child reading a book (that they originally didn't want to read) purely because the website about the book aroused their interest.

FINDING 'SAFE' BOOK SITES

Locating book sites on the Internet can be as simple as typing the book title into a Search Engine. Unfortunately, some of the search results that you are given may not be informative or desirable. Books usually have the publisher's website address at the front of them or on the back cover. This is a good starting point as most publishers will link to the author's website. Library websites (local and state) are other safe sources, these may have links to various authors' websites as well as other educational resource material.

EXTENSION ACTIVITIES

Another way to motivate young readers, that encourages participation, is through reading competitions and reviews.

Young Reviewer of the Year Competitions

A number of states run annual competitions for the best book reviews written by children.
Queensland: http://brismail.com/
Victoria: http://www.cbc.org.au/vic/
Western Australia: http://www.cbc.org.au/wa/

Young Australian Readers' Awards

This is an online student's choice award for Australian book titles. Students can write reviews about books which they have read as well as read book reviews from other students. In October, students then vote for their favourite book.
http://www.yara-online.org/

Internet expert, Melissa Norfolk, speaks to business, school and community groups about effective use of the internet, finding what you need online, internet safety and online marketing.

For more information phone (03) 9816 3488.

Copyright © 2008 Melissa Norfolk Technology Presentations