Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Growing up my family was lower income. Money was not growing on trees. Things like going to the movies and tons of toys weren't frequent visitors to our home. (Though that did change some later in my adolescence.) I didn't see any of the Star Wars movies until I was in college. Star Wars was released theatrically when I was in kindergarten.
Luckily, I did have those little mini picture books that came with a 45 record. You played the record and it would recite the story. Usually with a storyteller as well as characters from the story reading the words and a distinct sound from the story notifying you to turn the page. (In the case of the Star Wars story it was a series of R2-D2's bleeps and whistles that signaled you to turn the page.) Needless to say, without these little inexpensive books, I wouldn't have known the first thing about the plot of the Star Wars movies. I'm not sure if this type of option is needed nowadays for children but I was always thankful for these little books when I was little. A lot of the scenes from the movie, my imagination had to fill in for me. Which I'm sure has been a benefit for me now!
Anyways, I am happy to say that I was watching The View the other day and as part of an, "It's Free" segment they talked about a website called, Kiddie Records Weekly. This website is offering up the audio files of a number of those little books from my youth and even before for FREE. You go on the website, pick from their roster of available books and download the audio and image files. For Free! Very neat!
So for parents who adore these classic stories, these are a great option for you! For the artists this opens a door to the classic and amazing illustrations that were available and produced at this time! These images are a Master class on classic Children's Book Illustration. The stories also serve as a great resource for Illustrators looking for classic stories to illustrate and add to their portfolios.
Another aspect of these stories is that they also open up a door to the kind of racism and stereotyping that was typical of that time period. Some of the images are awful, but also inspiring for how far we have come since then.
This site is full of wonderful lessons and content for parents as well as Illustrators to enjoy! So stop by and get to downloading! There's something there for everyone!! Follow this link to their archives for easy visual access to their catalogues. They are categorized by year of release on the site as well as a section solely for Christmas selections!