Posts from the ‘children of all ages’ Category

#LittleMissHISTORY #virtualreality #SANSAR #INTERVIEW with Bernhard Drax

I recently had the opportunity to present Little Miss HISTORY  in animation. Thanks to Silas Merlin, who created the avatar, the character has come to life.

  • Little Miss HISTORY insists, “If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” On the day of our birth, we become a character in history because each of us has an opportunity to create our story and place our mark on history.

 

  • As we stand here in the twenty-first century, technology allows us to immerse ourselves in history. In 2003, Linden Lab launched a program called Second Life. Its users, who are called residents, use this technology to create virtual representations of themselves. These avatars can explore the virtual world, socialize and participate with other residents in a group or individual activities. Second Life has its own virtual currency that allows residents to create, shop, and trade virtual property with one another.

 

  • In 2014, Linden Lab announced a plan to develop a new virtual world. Content creators began working on the program named Project Sansar. The platform was released in “creator beta” to the public in July 2017. Users create 3D spaces where people can create and share social experiences such as watching videos, playing games, and having conversations. Participants are represented by avatars they create. These avatars contain speech-driven facial animations and motion driven body animations.

 

  • Sansar supports virtual reality headsets but can also be accessed with Windows computers. The program is free to use, but like Second Life Sansar has its own economy. Users can buy and sell their virtual creations with the Sansar dollar.

 

  • HOW DID LITTLE MISS HISTORY GET INVOLVED IN VIRTUAL REALITY? A few months ago, I was approached by Bernhard Drax to appear on his Book Club Radio podcast. When I heard that Little Miss HISTORY would have an opportunity to appear in virtual reality, I jumped at the opportunity.

 

  • Via “draxtor”..and media for all! Drax and his team now offer audio-visual storytelling for many media platforms. Bernhard Drax studied audio engineering at the University of California at Los Angeles and music at the Hochschule fur Musik and Theater Munchen. He is an expert in user-created content in Virtual Reality. His award-winning mixed reality documentary series “The Drax Files: World Makers” is just one of his many video series featured on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/user/draxtordespres

 

I invite you to join us in a discussion about books, education, and history, past, present, and future!

 

Check out Little Miss HISTORY’s journey into virtual reality!

 

If you would like to read the entire interview on the podcast, please go here:

https://wp.me/p485L9-1N9

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOVE GROWS

Una Bo: The Magic Tree of Love

Written by Dr. Rebecca Verghese Paul

Illustrated by Ada Konewki

Podero is just a six-year-old boy when he meets Filgard, a wizard, who is passing through the town of Darae. Little Podero has been thinking about the way things were before the war. Podero wishes that he could have something sweet and that his parents would allow him to have a puppy. Filgard asks what he would do with the sweets and Podero says he would share them with his brothers. The wizard rewards Podero by causing a huge tree to grow in the center of town. This tree has the power to grant wishes, but only to those who are pure of heart and do not ask for more than they need.

Pretty soon the villagers gather round and try to rob the tree of its gifts, but they soon learn they will get nothing if they are greedy. Eventually, all learn to partake of the tree with good intentions and moderation. Podero and his best friend, Miyana develop a friendship and trusting relationship with the tree. They name it Una Bo, the tree of love. The tree helps the two friends to achieve their dreams of becoming a baker and a carpenter. Their life if happy until war threatens the town once more. Will the tree be able to save the villagers of Darae?

This chapter book tells a heartwarming story filled with lessons about bullying, generosity, greed, and coming of age. The characters are interesting and relatable. A few color illustrations enhance the tale. That adds to the appeal for beginning and reluctant readers. Highly recommended for middle-grade readers.

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GREEN TEAM

Not for me, Please! I choose to act green

Written by Marie Godsey

Illustrated by Christoph J. Kellner

 

What a clever way to explain the concept of recycling to young children. Godsey uses a young boy presented in the guise of a superhero. At first, Luke is like most children who pay no attention to conserving the earth’s resources. When Luke notices trash all around him, he decides that he will become a part of the solution rather than the problem.

Luke shows his readers how to follow the three R’s: reduce, recycle and reuse. He discusses the problems of trash in the ocean, in our homes and in our schools. He talks about energy conservation tactics a child can practice like turning off faucets, being mindful of unnecessary electricity, and avoiding one-use plastics and paper. While the text is written in rhyme in simple language, the author includes teaching and discussion points at the bottom of each page. At the end of the book, a reflections page summarizes the content in the book and facilitates group discussion. This book is particularly targeted at the elementary school age child, but it is a richly illustrated and pleasing choice for a reader of any age.

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SLOTHS 101

Sloths! Two-Toed and Three-Toed Sloths

Written by Leanne Annett

Sloths! Sloth Book On Two-Toed Sloths & Three-Toed Sloths For Children: Fun Animal Picture Book for Kids with Interesting Facts & Wildlife Photos (God's Amazing Creation Series 3) by [Annett, Leanne]

 

This book discusses the two family groups of sloths which are further broken down into six species. Annett presents information about what they eat, where they live, their relatives, the dangers they face, how they move, and daily living habits. There are lots of color photographs that display sloths in all sorts of positions and situations.

Annett introduces the book by explaining that she feels all the creatures in her book series are part of God’s amazing plan. She urges her young readers to marvel at nature’s beauty. The rest of the book is a nonfiction narrative.

The Fun Sloth Facts is a summary of the most important facts contained in the book. It is a good starting point for those who wish to do a report or additional research on sloths. A glossary is helpful for students who may not be familiar with some of the more scientific terms.

I would recommend the book to readers of all ages who are interested in these curious, friendly creatures. Children of all ages will enjoy looking at the photos and learning about them.

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OCEAN PLAYMATES

DOLPHINS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature

Written by Emma Child

I have read several of the amazing animals books written by this author. Who can resist looking at the face of a dolphin? Child begins by describing the general features of dolphins like smooth skin and bottlenoses and then goes on to explain there are many variations. I had never heard of the dalmatian dolphin and was surprised to learn that dolphins migrate each year.

Child’s discussion of the way dolphins communicate by echolocation and a whistle sound that is unique to each dolphin is fascinating. I learned that dolphins use sea sponges to protect their mouths from spiny fish and that some dolphins have more than one hundred teeth. Children will be surprised to learn that dolphins live in families like theirs and that they delight in playing with each other. The dolphins’ intelligence level is second only to that of a human and they are good problem solvers.

This book is informative and a great research tool for children in the elementary or middle grades. Only one thing disappointed me. The photos on the Kindle can be enlarged by double-clicking, but this was not simple to do and once enlarged some of the photos looked blurry.

Recommended for dolphin lovers everywhere regardless of age.

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FOLDING FUN

Origami For Kids: Easy Japanese Origami Instruction For Kids

Written by Ben Mikaelson

This book is a practical guide for learning the ancient art of origami, Japanese art of paper folding. I like the fact that the author takes the time to go into the history of paper and the art of paper folding. Mikaelson proceeds to give instructions on how to make fourteen separate origami projects. He begins with simple symbols and shapes like the heart, a cup, and a letter. Then he progresses to a cicada, bird, and a little boat. As one becomes more accomplished, the finished projects evidence a growing sophistication with the art form. If the budding artist keeps practicing, he will be fashioning a peacock, a whale, and a dinosaur before finishing the book.

Readers will learn how to create Japanese letters and how Akira Yoshizawa popularized origami in Japan and throughout the world. He created more than 50,000 unique origami designs. Today the principles of origami are used in building cars, microscopes, robots, and even heart surgery.

I would recommend this book for children and adults of any age. Perfect activity for families and siblings to share or art teachers to introduce to their students.

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TALL TAILS

A 13th Tail

Written by Daniel Kelley

What a charming and clever story for all ages! Uncle Willoughby frequently entertains his twin nephews and niece by telling them his original stories. The humorous interruptions of the clever children are almost as much fun as the stories.

On this day, Uncle Willoughby is relating the story of a farm boy named Jackson who lives on an extraordinary farm filled with common farm animals like horses and sheep as well as exotic animals like hippogriffs, porcupines and monkeys. Jackson loved all the animals and took exceptional care of them. While feeding the horses one day, he counts their tails and notices there are thirteen, one more than the day before. He notices a pony that has never been there. This pony talks and reveals that he has come to the farm in search of “greener pastures.”

Many months pass as the pony named Wilberfortnum enjoys his new life at the farm. But one day he notices that the land is no longer green, but shades of brown. The porcupine tells him that this happens every year when the seasons change. “Greener pastures” does mean that the land stays green; it is a state of mind when one feels happy and well-adjusted. Wilberfortnum has never noticed this. He decides that he will wait and see and is relieved to see the green color return.

Kelley uses lots of alliteration, clever inventive language, and humor. For example, Uncle Willoughby cautions the children never tell a woman that something is her fault, or her anger will be directed back at you. I especially enjoyed how the author hid the number thirteen throughout the book and challenges the reader to find them. (He includes the answers in the final chapter)

I heartily recommend this book for middle-grade readers, young adults, and families who want to enjoy sharing a fun read aloud together.

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