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August 2013

Read . . . or Listen?

August 26, 2013 | Jane | Comments (0)

When people select books on CD, they usually are planning for a long car trip, or they have a vision impairment, or they are trying to learn a language and want to hear it spoken well.  Otherwise, stories heard instead of read are something of a novelty, I think.

Books-and-CDsHow things change! Once upon a time, long before Gutenberg and his printing press, even handwriting was seen as novelty at best . . . or at worst, a betrayal of the time-tested traditions of oral delivery  by specialist singers of tales or by  family members at a fireside.  Here is Mary Renault’s Simonides, famed ancient performer of oral poetry:

 "Bacchylides!" I said. "What are you writing there?"  He jumped nearly out of his skin. He could not have looked more guilty if he had been caught robbing my money-chest.

And so he should, I thought. I could hardly believe what I'd heard and seen. I took a deep breath, to prepare my words. How could he ever become a bard, if he rotted his memory with writing, instead of printing his songs inside his skull?                  

                                                                                         -The Praise Singer

 So there might be other reasons for considering audio versions of books - either CDs or electronic. Some find it to be a very different experience. Try an experiment:  see if a print book you know well will be different if you listen to it read to you instead.  The sound of the reader’s voice, the vocal interpretation change the immediate experience. But there is also evidence (listen to an Aug. 16 CBC program) that memory functions differently when there are simultaneous stimuli – the sound of the reading, perhaps your movement as you listen?  There are details that may stand out, images that surface, related memories that may be evoked.  See for yourself how memory and narrative interact.


Fall Children's Programs at Barbara Frum Branch

August 15, 2013 | Kate S. | Comments (0)

There are still two more weeks of summer break, and officially summer doesn't end for another month, but with the chilly temperatures lately, it already feels like fall!  We still have some great summer programs coming up over the next couple of weeks for Terrific Tuesdays, and Wacky Wednesdays, but if you want to start planning for the Fall, here are some of the upcoming children's programs at the Barbara Frum Branch:

Move and Groove
This program is for parents and caregivers with children ages 2 ½ - 5 years old.  You and your child will participate together in active physical fun.  Run in cooperation with Macaulay Child Development Centre.  Tuesdays, September 3-24, 10-11 am.  Register now in person or by calling 416-395-5440.

Bounces, songs, fingerplays and stories for you and your baby, ages 0-18 months.  Wednesdays, October 2-30, 10-10:30 am.  Register starting September 10, 2013 in person or by calling 416-395-5440.

Toddler Time
Stories, songs, and rhymes for children ages 19-35 months, and their caregivers.  Wednesdays, November 6 – December 11, 10-10:30 am. Register starting September 10, 2013 in person or by calling 416-395-5440.

Baby Sign and Sing
For babies 0-18 months with their caregiver.  An early literacy specialist will help you to sing and sign with your child. Learn some basic signs to use every day to enhance your child’s communication. Run in cooperation with Macaulay Child Development Centre.  Thursdays November 7 – December 12, 10-11 am.  Register starting September 10, 2013 in person or by calling 416-395-5440.

Preschool Yiddish
Eyns, Tsvey, Drei!  Enjoy a fun-filled hour of Yiddish songs and movement,  story time, circle time, games and crafts. Caregivers must accompany  child at all times. Funded by the Committee for Yiddish of the UJA.    Ages 2-4.  Dates to be determined 

Sophie’s Studio: The First-Person Perspective: A Dialogue in Empathy with Matt Beam 

A fiction writing workshop with Matt Beam.  Sharpen your writing skills with fun, interactive, self-driven activities and learn how to build a story from the character up. Materials will be provided.  For children 8 to 12.  Thursdays, Oct 10 – 31, 4-5:30 pm.  Register starting September 10, 2013 in person or by calling 416-395-5440.


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