Tag Archives: Tamara @ WPL

Silent Books: Final Destination Lampedusa

Newscasts around the world have been reporting the plight of refugees fleeing their homelands. These are touching stories of the dangers and challenges faced by families who are searching for a safe place to call home. As refugee families are being welcomed in Canada, there have also been many migrants arriving on the island of Lampedusa, Italy.

Winnipeg Public Library has been offered the unique opportunity to host the international travelling exhibit Silent Books: Final Destination Lampedusa. This collection of travelling books was created as a project by IBBY (International Board of Books for Young people), in response to the waves of refugees from Africa and the Middle East arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa. The idea was launched in 2013 and included establishing the first library in Lampedusa for the use of local and immigrant children. Over one hundred books from twenty three countries have been gathered for the exhibit. The exhibit has travelled to cities around the world in Italy, Mexico, Austria, and is now in Canada having stops in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Halifax and finally, Winnipeg.

Silent Books: Final Destination Lampedusa is motivated by IBBY’s belief that every child has the right to become a reader. In choosing to highlight wordless books as the seed collection for the this library, IBBY has assured that reading these books will be accessible to all of the children who use the library without the barriers of age,  individual reading skills, or diversity in language and culture.

Reading and sharing wordless books is a first step to becoming a life-long reader. They tell a story using the universal language of images and art rather than words.  Wordless books can help develop confident readers by developing comprehension skills, learning how to construct a story, analysing the picture, reading and understanding the messages that are woven into the pages and also in developing the imagination. Enjoying wordless books with your children can be an adventure that will soar as far as your imagination takes you.

The exhibit runs at Millennium Library in the Children’s and Teen area from February 9 to March 12.

Activities will run parallel to the exhibit where children can send a postcard to Lampedusa or create a wordless book of their own.

Here are some of my favorite wordless books that are available at WPL to share with you. You can see more at  Goodreads

Sidewalk Flowers by Jon Arno Lawson and Sydney SmithSidewalkFlowers

A little girl collects wildflowers while her distracted father pays her little attention. Each flower becomes a gift, and whether the gift is noticed or ignored, both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter.  This book is being given to arriving Syrian Refugee families.


The Arrival by Shaun TanTheArrival

In a heartbreaking parting, a man gives his wife and daughter a last kiss and boards a steamship to cross the ocean. He’s embarking on the most painful yet important journey of his life- he’s leaving home to build a better future for his family.
ChalkChalk by Bill Thomson

Three children discover a magical bag of chalk on a rainy day.



The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark PettGirlandtheBicycle

A touching story about a little girl, a shiny bicycle, and the meaning of persistence—with an unexpected payoff.


HankFindsanEggHank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley

While walking through the forest, Hank finds an egg on the forest floor. After spotting its nest high up in a tree, he uses his ingenuity to help get the egg home safe and sound, and is joyfully rewarded with newfound friends.


Shadow by Suzy LeeShadow

A dark attic. A light bulb. An imaginative little girl.


FloraFlamingoFlora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

Flora and her graceful flamingo friend explore the trials and joys of friendship through an elaborate synchronized dance. With a twist, a turn, and even a flop, these unlikely friends learn at last how to dance together in perfect harmony.


The Farmer and the Clown by Marla FrazeeFarmerandtheClown
A baby clown is separated from his family when he accidentally bounces off their circus train and lands in a lonely farmer’s vast, empty field. The farmer reluctantly rescues the little clown, and over the course of one day together, the two of them make some surprising discoveries about themselves—and about life!
Fox's GardenFox’s Garden by Princesse Camcam

One snowy night, a fox loses its way, entering a village. Chased away by the grown ups, Fox takes shelter in a greenhouse. A little boy sees this from his window. Without hesitating, he brings a basket of food to the greenhouse, where he leaves it for the fox. His gift is noticed and the night becomes a garden of new life, nourished by compassion and kindness.


Many thanks to the following for bring this exhibit to Winnipeg:




Books-to-Movies: activities for the whole family

Imagine creating your own movie set design, costumes, and soundtracks based on your favorite children’s books! It can be done simply by tapping the energy and creativity of your own family. The holiday season is a great time to share some extra time with your family, and what better way to spend that time, than by reading and discussing a delightful book together.

Wizard of OzNot long ago I was at the movies with my husband, who is very generous in that he doesn’t mind accompanying me to watch films based on children’s books.  Of course, I can hardly say no when he asks me to return the favour when he wants to catch the newest action flick. While waiting for the main event to begin, we dutifully watched the numerous trailers advertising the soon to be released films; I thought to myself that someone in Hollywood must have a library card. Almost all of the trailers that were shown had a tie-in to a children’s or young adult book. Impressed as I am that children’s literature is making it to the big screen, I do realize that this is not a new concept. I myself grew up watching movies based on children’s literature such as Mary Poppins, and The Wizard of Oz, along with the occasional Disney feature based on fairy tales. I was mesmerized by these productions in their full colour splendor, and definitely aware that these spectacular visions came from the pages of a book.

Today, the release of a new film occurs much more often than in the 60’s (now I’ve dated myself). Excitement over a new release is escalated as all of the kids seem to know which book is going to become a movie. I have found that the children who participate in our library programs that are based on popular titles know the books inside and out. They know every detail about each of the characters, they can quote key speeches from the text, and they can answer all of the questions in the trivia games. Most of these children have a vision as to what they will expect from the film that was created based on their favorite books. And sometimes they are disappointed, as their vision is different from that of the director and the resulting program.

MED0001103But you can change all of that by gathering your family to read a story together. Continue the benefits of this family time to discuss the book; whether or not you liked all of the characters, would you have come to the same conclusion, in the same way? Also take the time to imagine possible sets, costuming and background noise. Bring out some paper and coloured pencils or crayons and draw out some of your brilliant ideas.

Family Reading TogetherWhat are the benefits of this activity? Well, besides the valuable time that you are spending together with your family, everybody gets a chance to use their imaginations, to develop and express opinions, to learn new vocabulary, and to get creative. To help in developing reading skills, everyone can take a turn in reading the book with respect to reading levels. Reading together is also a great idea for reluctant readers as they will learn about and enjoy the magic of books in a comforting environment. This is a family activity that everyone can share in.

Family Watching Television TogetherAs a treat, make a point of borrowing a copy of the movie version of the book that you have shared from your local library branch. Make it a special evening, call it family film night, have some pizza or home-popped popcorn, or whatever works for you. You can continue the conversation by comparing the movie to your own conversations and drawings.

Here are some great ideas to get you imaginations going. These books and movies are both fun to read and fun to watch; some are classics, and some are contemporary titles. Enjoy!

The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
The Invention of Hugo Cabret: a novel in words and pictures by Brian Selznick
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (all of them)
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Lightning Thief & Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine


Tamara Heads the Children’s and Teen Section at Millennium Library.