CECH Spotlight: Black Fairy Tales

CECH Spotlight highlights recommended books in the the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) Library.

Black Fairy Tales / written by Terry Berger / 1969
The People Could Fly / told by Virginia Hamilton / 1985
The Six Fools / collected by Zora Neale Hurston / 2006

The stories we tell our children are possibly the most important in our entire fictional memory, and foremost among these stories are fairy tales and folktales. Harkening back to the legends and myths of old, fairy and folk tales expand children’s imaginations, teach lessons, and reveal the reality in which they live. This is not more apparent than in Black Fairy Tales by Terry Berger, The People Could Fly by Virginia Hamilton, and The Six Fools by Zora Neale Hurston.

Coming from a wide variety of sources, origins, and peoples, these three books represent different oral traditions collected and written by a variety of authors. While storytelling traditions are much more expansive than what is contained within these books, they serve as an amazing introduction to fairy tales and folktales from African and African American cultures. Not only do they stand alone as great examples of children’s literature, but they serve as greater tools for change in the diversity they provide, as well as the history they present. “This book was done especially for the Black children who have never read Black fairy tales,” Terry Berger wrote in the dedication of his book.

These books present culture and stories which have long been ignored, and each provide unique perspectives to life, virtue, and our potential. Be it trying to catch sunshine in a wheelbarrow, marrying a great serpent king, or the fables of Bruh Rabbit, these books expand our imagination and deepen our appreciation.  .

All three titles are available from the CECH Library, as well as the OhioLINK and Search Ohio lending networks.

Review by Linus Sinnard, CECH Library Student Assistant | Secondary Education, CECH 2025

Subscribe to New Children’s Books at CECH Library

image of new books blog

The CECH Library has a collection unlike any other at UC Libraries, including thousands of children’s and young adult books. Now you can subscribe to keep up with the latest additions to our library!

From the Children’s and Young Adult Literature LibGuide, visit our new books blogs based on the category you’re interested in. The blogs are updated each time CECH Library gets new books. By subscribing to updates, you’ll get an email every time we add new books in the following categories: picturebooks, juvenile fiction, YA fiction, informational, and Native American authors and illustrators. Subscribe today so you’ll never miss a new addition to the collection.

Written by Madeleine Gaiser, Online Learning and Instruction Specialist | CECH Library

CECH Spotlight: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

CECH Spotlight highlights recommended books in the the UC College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) Library.

Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe / written by by Benjamin Alire Sáenz / 2012

Celebrate Pride all summer long and read about the important stories of LGBTQ+ youth and their lives. Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe can be described as a very simple yet impactful read. Sáenz needs no intense plot twist or a plethora of characters to tell a touching and memorable story.

Follow along Ari’s coming-of-age journey as he faces struggles with loneliness, sexuality, and familial relationships, and along the way forms a special relationship with Dante, an artsy and talented swimmer he meets at the neighborhood pool. Ari and Dante live nearly opposite lives, yet are still struggling with the same issues. A perfect summer read with relatable teenage struggles, Ari & Dante is an authentic story that focuses on the small details in relationships and life, such as those ponderings about life, love, personal moments, and self-discovery.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is available from CECH Library,  as well as the OhioLINK and Search Ohio lending networks. Keep an eye out for the sequel that debuts in October!

Review by Alyssa Gruich, CECH Library Student Assistant | Political Science, A&S 2022

Books on the Big Screen at CECH

Summer is a great time to relax and catch up on all those shows you never got around to watching. Summer is also a great time for reading. So before you binge on Netflix, check out the books that came before the films. The CECH Library has many books that have been adapted for film and television. From the classics like Little Women to the ever-popular Shadow and Bone, there is something for everyone.

TV and film adaptations can be an excellent way to introduce readers to books they may not naturally be drawn to. In addition to aiding with understanding or reading comprehension, they can also assist with understanding difficult vocabulary. Film and TV adaptations can be a helpful motivator for reluctant readers. 

Whether you read before you watch or decide to pick up the book because you loved the show or movie, the CECH Library has got you covered! Check out this list of selected titles that have film or TV adaptations.  

Post by Haley Shaw, CECH Temporary Librarian
List by Sadie Matthews, CECH Library Student Worker

Read Across America: Telling American Stories

Read Across America Day is celebrated every year on March 2. It is a literacy program that was launched in 1998 to celebrate the joy, fun, and adventure of reading. It was also originally a celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday.

During the 2019-20 school year Read Across America rebranded to better reflect the diverse demographics of public schools in the United States. Their updated mission to “Celebrate a Nation of Diverse Readers” includes year-round programming and themes that focus on diversity and inclusion.

The CECH Library created this list of books from our children’s and young adult literature collections that represent stories of America. This list includes stories of Indigenous peoples, Black Americans, and immigrants, as well as stories of Appalachia and various time periods in American history.

Additional Resources

Visit the display in the CECH Library through March or check out our recommended reading list via the Children’s and Young Adult Literature guide.

Post and book list by Haley Shaw, CECH Temporary Librarian

Online Options for Children’s Literature

Your CECH Library and local public libraries may be closed, but there are still several ways to access the children’s literature resources you need for classes, research, teaching, and learning — or simply keeping the kids in your life entertained! This blog post will feature a few key resources.

TumbleBook Library is an online collection of books. There are animated talking picture books, e-books, and informational videos. TumbleBook also offers games and quizzes. There are books in English, French, and Spanish. The site also features lists of books that meet specific Common Core Standards. TumbleBook Library can be accessed for free with your UC Login. Connect to TumbleBook Library

International Children’s Digital Library is a free collection of children’s books from all over the world. There are books in many different languages, including award winners. Connect to the International Children’s Digital Library

BookFlix is a resource provided through INFOhio. It pairs fiction and non-fiction picture books for themed lessons. Each lesson contains an animated read-along and an e-book as well as activities and additional information. It has books in English and Spanish, including classic favorites like Knuffle Bunny, Where the Wild Things Are, and Harold and the Purple Crayon. INFOhio login required for access. Email the CECH Library at cechlibrary@uc.edu for login info. Connect to BookFlix

A full list of online resources for children’s and young adult literature can be found on our Children’s and Young Adult Literature guide. Additional online resources may also be available from your local public library as well.

Haley Shaw, Temporary Librarian
CECH Library

Geography Spotlight in Children’s Literature: South America

Picture of display case filled with books and materials for children with South American themes

The CECH Library collections include many titles for children that dive into the history and culture of South America. In addition to books, there are also kits and maps that bring these topics to life!

Visit this display in the CECH Library through March and check out some of the titles on our list of books about South America.

Sara Polk, CECH Library Student Assistant
A&S Anthropology & Archaeology, 2020

Celebrating Black Authors and Illustrators at CECH Library

images of black authors and illustrators with text celebrating black authors and illustrators

 

In honor of Black History Month, the CECH Library has curated a display from our children’s and young adult literature collections to highlight the works of Black authors and illustrators. The display includes poetry, novels, picture books, graphic novels, and board books.

From recently published to classics, everyone is sure to connect with something new. The display also features titles from our professional education collection related to promoting the works of Black authors in the classroom.

Visit the display at the CECH Library through February or check out a list of these selected works to learn more.

Haley Shaw, Temporary Librarian
CECH Library

And The Winner Is… Celebrate Award-Winning Children’s Books!

display of award winning children's booksJust like films, television, and music, the best books of the year garner accolades and awards. Each January, at the American Library Association’s  Mid-Winter Conference, several of the most prestigious children’s book award winners are announced. Prepare for the 2020 award season by exploring some previous award winners from the CECH Library’s collections.

Visit the display at the CECH Library through January and check out some of the titles on our list of selected award winners.

Haley Shaw, Temporary Librarian
CECH Library

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful! Warm Up With a Book at CECH Library

winter library book displayThe CECH Library staff have curated a list and display of books and other media from our collection with a winter theme.

Stop by the library in 300 Teachers-Dyer Complex to view the display and check out books and mixed materials related to winter weather, winter animals, winter holidays, and stories to share on chilly winter evenings. 

Haley Shaw, Temporary Librarian
CECH Library