Monday, June 15, 2020

International Childrens Book Reading

In February, the Clarke Historical Library held its sixth annual “Children’s Book from Around the World” event. During the six-hour event, 190 people stopped by the Park Library’s Baber Room to listen to over 35 volunteers from all corners of the globe read children’s books in 20 languages other than English. For the Clarke, this event is always a great opportunity to showcase the library’s collection of award-winning international children’s literature, with books from over 75 countries in over 50 languages.

For our readers, many of whom are affiliated with the Office of Global Engagement or the Department of World Languages and Cultures at CMU, the event offers other opportunities. For those who are native speakers of the language, this event is a chance for them to share a bit of their language and culture. For those who are learning the language through their courses here at Central Michigan University, they can demonstrate the language skills they have acquired through their studies. And for the whole campus, it is an excellent chance to highlight the rich diversity of languages found on the CMU campus.

In a twist this year, and to coincide with the Clarke’s exhibit, The Surprise and Wonder of Pop-up Books several readers read pop-up books in languages other than English. There were other memorable moments, such as when the Japanese 202 class took turns reading from their book so that all seven students from the class would have a chance to read. Or when one reader read in five different languages found in the same South African book – Zulu, Sesotho, Xhosa, Setswana, and Sepedi!

The Clarke appreciates the support of the Office of Global Engagement and the Department of World Languages and Cultures in bringing this event together. To view an “Art Review” segment from MAC TV about the event, take a look at their Vimeo page.