Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.
When I saw that the Weekly Topic Inspiration for 5/30/11 was children's books, I knew that I had to write a hub for it. Since I'd already written a young adult/children's literature recommendations hub, I decided to write a hub about some of the best free online children's storybook resources.
For computer time in my classroom, one of the most popular choices was always interactive story CD-ROMs. I've linked a few of them at the bottom of this hub. I was surprised to see how many are still available and at a very reasonable price. You can view more options by searching "living books" in the software section of Amazon. Arthur's Teacher Trouble and Harry's Haunted House were always been a particular favorites in my room, even with third and fourth graders.
Although many of the free online stories out there are not interactive, many children still enjoy them. These stories are often very well read. Children enjoy the visual that the web site provides with the narrator and/or pictures from the book. There are numerous other benefits of audio books as well. Just a few of them are outlined in this article.
Storyline Online is the first free online reading site I'd ever heard of and is still my favorite. Over the years, I have come across other great online reading sites as well. These are wonderful resources for both at home and at school. Happy reading!
Storyline Online is provided by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Foundation. SAG members read the children's books out loud. Members include a wide variety of celebrities such as James Earl Jones, Amanda Bynes, and Sean Austen. The story list continues to change and includes both older and newer titles. Currently there are about 20 titles there. Each story includes ideas for accompanying activities and lessons. There are also links for all of the titles in case you'd like to purchase hard copies.
Speakaboos.com's stories section has over 100 online stories, the majority of which are free. There are lots of fairy tales and other classic stories as well as a selection of Arthur books and Spanish titles. A handful of the stories are read by celebrities including Nick Cannon, Daisy Fuentes, and Clay Aiken. All of the stories include pictures from the original texts with accompanying text that is highlighted as the book is read out loud.
KOL Jr. Stories - Online Picture Books Read Aloud
KOL Jr. has over 30 online stories that you can stream. The stories are divided into five categories: animals, Arthur, fairy tales, family, and rhyming. Each story has pictures from the original text with words that are highlighted as they're read out loud. KOL Jr. also offers cartoons, games, music, printables, and a section for parents with health links and recipes.
Light Up Your Brain: Free Audio Stories for Kids
Light Up Your Brain offers 20 free audio stories, which range in length from 5 minutes to an hour and a half. Each story has text online (no pictures) with download links for the audio as MP3 and Zip files. One advantage of having downloadable files is that you can transfer MP3 files to your MP3 player or you can burn them on a CD. Audio stories are wonderful for car trips. Light Up Your Brain also has over 60 brain teaser games.
Between the Lions: Folk Tales and Fables
PBS's Between the Lions Stories site offers 11 free online folk tales and fables. All stories are streamed online with pictures and text that is highlighted as it's read. All of the stories are under 5 minutes long. Titles include the Ant and the Grasshopper, The Little Red Hen, and City Mouse and Country Mouse.
Storynory offers over 200 story texts (limited pictures) with audio, including lots of fairy tales and classics such as Greek myths, Knights of the Round Table, Bible stories, Robin Hood stories, and much more. The audio is offered as streaming or downloadable MP3 files. You can subscribe to their iTunes feed for free so that you can easily download and transfer their stories onto your iPod.
Looking for more free children's book resources online? Check this out!
- Free eBooks by Globusz Publishing - Children's Books
- Kids Audio Books Online (learnoutloud.com)
- Free Books > Children's Books
- A lifetime of free audio ebooks and chapters. Online free literacy for all. 5000 free audio books an
Check out free stories on YouTube, too.
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 07, 2013:
That's great, GhazalisDaughters! I hope that they enjoy these new options.
GhazalisDaughters from Kansas City on March 07, 2013:
This is great! I have young ones who LOVE stories.
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 16, 2013:
That's great, pstraubie! This is an excellent resource for parents as well as teachers. When I taught, my students always enjoyed listening to stories online, too.
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on January 16, 2013:
This is such wonderful advice. I am no longer teaching but my kids loved to listen to stories on line. Another way to get the wonderful world of reading to our kids...yes..
thanks for sharing
Sending Angels to you and yours ps
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 04, 2012:
That's wonderful, ExpectGreatThings! Enjoy. :)
ExpectGreatThings from Illinois on December 04, 2012:
I'm so excited about finding this hub. Looking forward to spending time diving into the links you provided. Thank you!
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 28, 2012:
You're very welcome! Thanks for stopping by.
ignugent17 on November 28, 2012:
Thanks for sharing the information. :-)
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 14, 2012:
That's great, pstraubie!
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 14, 2012:
I love these sites. When I was still teaching I would include them in the list of websites families would be interested in for their children. And the kids would come back and tell me of the stories they heard the night before. Good lists...thank you ps
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 19, 2012:
Thanks so much!
articleshub from Hyderabad, India. on June 18, 2012:
Awesome list! Voted Up!
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 01, 2012:
That's awesome, Kelley! Thanks!
kelleyward on March 01, 2012:
Thank you. I'm going to show this to my kids today after school!
pakpal from pakistan on February 28, 2012:
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 25, 2012:
Thanks so much Ruchira!
Ruchira from United States on February 25, 2012:
Loved the various links.
I have bookmarked it. Randomcreative!
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on February 16, 2012:
That's great! I'm glad that this is helpful for you.
Ann Leung from San Jose, California on February 16, 2012:
I am learning how to write for children. Thank you sharing this hub with useful links. :)
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 30, 2012:
teacher, that is so true! These are definitely resources that can be incorporated into a handful of reading standards for just about any state or school district.
Thanks Hezekiah! I'm glad that this is helpful.
the-remedy, these will be perfect for that. :) I hope that your 3 year old enjoys them.
the-remedy from Houston on January 30, 2012:
This is an awesome resource for I've been looking for a few sites such as these to download on my 3y/o ipod. Will be using these references today! Thanks for the informative Hub.
Hezekiah from Japan on January 30, 2012:
Excellent, especially for my daughter who's mother tongue is not English.
teachertalking1 on January 30, 2012:
Wonderful resource! As we incorporate more and more technology into our classrooms, it becomes a challenge to make sure the students are interacting with standards based activities while online. Thanks for putting together this group of fabulous links!
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 29, 2012:
Ruth R. Martin from Everywhere Online ~ Fingerlakes ~ Upstate New York on January 29, 2012:
Thank you for sharing! My 3 & 5 yr.old love online stories!
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 26, 2012:
Thanks so much!
USAPoolToy from Florida on January 26, 2012:
This a great resource for parent and grandparents. Voting up.
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 25, 2012:
Thanks Mekenzie! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this. I appreciate you passing it on to your children, too!
Susan Ream from Michigan on January 25, 2012:
Oh my goodness. I have only looked at the first resource and I am Wowed! As the child looks at the pictures and listens to the expressive reader they see each word highlighted. This is an AWESOME tool - so happy you shared it. I just shared this resource with my grown children so they can utilize it with their children.
Thank you so much!
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 24, 2012:
Thank you sharing this hub today Miss Olive! I really appreciate all of the new feedback on it and am glad that this is helpful for so many people.
I wish that I'd had something like this growing up, too, and am glad that I can use it with my own children someday at least.
asmaiftikhar from Pakistan on January 24, 2012:
interesting hub with great ideas.
Sushmita from Kolkata, India on January 24, 2012:
This list is going to be very helpful resource for my young students, who, I am sure would like to listen to stories from tellers other than me. I am bookmarking this hub. Voted up.
cebutouristspot from Cebu on January 24, 2012:
This is indeed a great information that you have pass along to us hub reader. I hope that I known about this when my son was growing up. Thanks for Sharing
Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on January 24, 2012:
great list randomcreative! I'm going to share this with my coworkers and on HP (Digg/Blogger)
Thanks for sharing / voted up and useful
Keith Schroeder from Wisconsin on January 24, 2012:
I wish this resource were available when my kids were young. Now when I have grandchildren...
Votes up for most useful hub.
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on January 19, 2012:
You are very welcome! I'm glad that it was helpful for you.
livelovelaugh5 on January 19, 2012:
Thanks for sharing this list. Voted up!
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 09, 2011:
Thanks for this great resource!
Jan Lonner on December 09, 2011:
Nice list! You can find more free books with a friendly interface at http://www.hotfreebooks.com
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 24, 2011:
This is a great resource for that! Happy reading. :)
Hezekiah from Japan on October 23, 2011:
Thanks for these, I need to expose my daughter to more English, she is only little and English is not her mother tongue. Great !!!
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 13, 2011:
Nice, that's awesome! You're very welcome! Happy reading. :)
Carolyn Augustine from Iowa on October 13, 2011:
I'm looking forward to reading these with my three younger kids. There are several sites on here that are new to us. Thanks a bunch!
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 12, 2011:
You're welcome! I'm glad that this is helpful for you. Looking forward to reading more of your hubs, too.
Denise Handlon from North Carolina on June 12, 2011:
Very cool information, thanks. Thanks for following, I look forward to reading more of your hubs.
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 08, 2011:
Thank you so much! I really appreciate your kind feedback and am glad that this is so helpful! Cheers from one fellow teacher to another. :)
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on June 08, 2011:
Nice hub and useful for us. Thank for writing this and share with us. As a teacher I give my big appreciation for you kindness to write about this topic. I believe many parents will helped by reading this information. Well done, my friend. You got my VOTE. Cheers...
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 04, 2011:
Thanks so much! I'm so glad that this is useful for you!
Esther Shamsunder from Bangalore,India on June 03, 2011:
This is certainly a treasure hub that needs to be bookmarked. Voted up and useful! Thanks for sharing the links!
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 03, 2011:
Thanks Craan! I'm so glad!
Sheila Craan from Florida on June 03, 2011:
Awesome Hub Randomcreative! My granddaughter will get a kick out of your storybook links! Thanks for sharing!
Rose Clearfield (author) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 31, 2011:
I'm so glad that this is a good resource for you! Happy reading with your girls this summer! :)
Robin Edmondson from San Francisco on May 31, 2011:
What a GREAT resource! I bookmarked a few of the links that you suggested as well as the Hub. This will be great for the summertime, especially for my younger girls! Thanks!