By Mary L. Fahrenbruck, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces NM
This month WOW Currents features literacy resources that educators and families can bring into their virtual learning spaces. This week WOW Currents focus on The ELB Book Club, and Instagram resources available from Enchanted Lion Books. In a recent interview with Claudia Zoe Bedrick, the publisher, editor and art director of Enchanted Lion Books, I asked her to talk about the resources available to educators and families.
MARY: One of the resources I found on your website was the Enchanted Lion Book Box. Will you talk a little bit about that book box for us?
CLAUDIA: Sure! I mean, it’s a young program. We established it, I think, in March as we were going into quarantine and realized we’d be living with this virus for a long time, perhaps. And so the subscriptions we offer are thematic except for one, which is called Hot Off the Press. And that basically is a subscription which allows you to get all of the publications within the year. So, our Hot Off the Press subscription for 2020 is every book we published in 2020. But otherwise we have Visually Dazzling. We have In Translation. We have Natural World. We have Humor, Wit and Wordplay. We select books for those thematic subscriptions from our entire catalog. You can sign up for three months, six months, nine months, 12 months. You know, whatever is convenient for you in terms of financing it or however much space you have for books. We send out two books a month with that subscription except for Hot Off the Press where it’s whenever the books are coming out.
And with those, what we do is we effectively do like a little teacher’s guide as part of that subscription. So, each book that you receive every month has a four-page booklet that has activities, discussion questions, writing prompts. So, you’re getting a little bit more than if you were just purchasing the book from a bookstore.
MARY: I love that idea! Teachers really like to be able to download something and have that sort of on-the-go kind of teaching.
CLAUDIA: Yeah. Right! Exactly!
MARY: So, I was very excited about that. The other thing that I was really excited about was the Enchanted Lion Instagram. The most recent one was the post on Telephone Tales. How did that come about? I noticed that somebody else produced the podcasts.
CLAUDIA: Right! They were made in conjunction with the Italian Cultural Institute in Washington, DC. They worked with an actor, you know, so there’s a beautiful voice. And they took our illustrations, obviously, but then they animated into music. And I mean, it’s really beautiful!
MARY: Yes, it is! I really enjoyed it!
Teaching in virtual spaces can be challenging, especially as learners spend more time in those spaces. However, with new resources like the beautiful books and accompanying activities from Enchanted Lion Books, learners can imagine traveling to new places around the globe to meet interesting people and unique animals. A few favorites to start with include Koko and Bo by Lisen Adbage, Days with Dad by Nari Hong, and for older readers, The World’s Poorest President Speaks Out by Yoshimi Kusaba. Enjoy!
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