November 30, 2009

KBN's first Thanksgiving.

The Kids' Book Network was launched on September 1, 2009.
    That's only three months ago. But as we reach the Thanksgiving season we already have much for which we are very grateful.
    First, the website itself was effectively complete, functional and glitch-free from Day One. Some people with spam blockers found it blocked the completion of their KBN registration – and it still does – if they don't advise their blocker to accept all messages from which sends the standard KBN message to complete the registration.
    Our registered users are starting to build as more and more parents, kids, teachers and other educators learn about KBN. And they're giving us some very helpful feedback and new ideas, too.
    We've already added some more swell free books – like our Halloween thriller The Vileburgers in October, as well as the suitable-for-framing Rembrandt's Coloring Book. And we have many, many more exciting books scheduled for publication in our first KBN full year ahead.
    We're inviting the best international children's book authors and illustrators, for example, to showcase some of their most original ideas with us on the Kids' Book Network, featured in some of their most delightful stories, and we'll be publishing the first of these works very soon.
    December also marks the publication of our second literary classic after the Wizard of Oz. And it marks as well our first cooperative publication with one of America's leading academic libraries.
    The classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens was first published in a British newspaper, in a serialized format, in 1843. Republished here just in time for Christmas – again in a "serialized," five-part format – our special edition of of the story was carefully prepared by scholars at the University of Virginia Library and has been made available to KBN with their kind permission.
    Beginning in January teachers – and everyone else – will also be able to download many of our books in a convenient powerpoint show format for dramatic classroom projection, so a whole class can enjoy reading together at the same time. The teacher can pace the "page-turning" to the next page just like any on-paper book, to match the readiness of her class to move forward to the next idea in the story.
    And finally, we're beginning to see more and more institutional support as teachers themselves are telling other teachers about our website, and the new opportunities for enhancing literacy and learning in the classroom using the completely free books and materials on the Kids' Book Network.
    Everyone who has visited KBN seems to be as excited as we are about our mission – to bring free books to every child in the world.
    And at this special moment of Thanksgiving we wish to thank you all. Thank you for your enthusiasm, ideas and continuing encouragement.