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Listen to Children's Story Books Online (for free!): A Link List

Updated on December 30, 2013
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Rose is a full-time freelance writer who frequently writes about education, special education, DIY projects, food, Milwaukee, and more.

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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

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: Stories

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.com

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.

Check out free stories on YouTube, too.

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    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great, GhazalisDaughters! I hope that they enjoy these new options.

    • GhazalisDaughters profile image

      GhazalisDaughters 

      5 years ago from Kansas City

      This is great! I have young ones who LOVE stories.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      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.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      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

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's wonderful, ExpectGreatThings! Enjoy. :)

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 

      5 years ago from Illinois

      I'm so excited about finding this hub. Looking forward to spending time diving into the links you provided. Thank you!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      You're very welcome! Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      ignugent17 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing the information. :-)

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great, pstraubie!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      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

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much!

    • articleshub profile image

      articleshub 

      6 years ago from Hyderabad, India.

      Awesome list! Voted Up!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's awesome, Kelley! Thanks!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 

      6 years ago

      Thank you. I'm going to show this to my kids today after school!

    • profile image

      pakpal 

      6 years ago from pakistan

      thanks

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much Ruchira!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 

      6 years ago from United States

      Loved the various links.

      I have bookmarked it. Randomcreative!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great! I'm glad that this is helpful for you.

    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 

      6 years ago from San Jose, California

      I am learning how to write for children. Thank you sharing this hub with useful links. :)

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      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 profile image

      the-remedy 

      6 years ago from Houston

      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 profile image

      Hezekiah 

      6 years ago from Japan

      Excellent, especially for my daughter who's mother tongue is not English.

    • teachertalking1 profile image

      teachertalking1 

      6 years ago

      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!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      That's great!

    • healthwealthmusic profile image

      Ruth R. Martin 

      6 years ago from Everywhere Online ~ Fingerlakes ~ Upstate New York

      Thank you for sharing! My 3 & 5 yr.old love online stories!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much!

    • USAPoolToy profile image

      USAPoolToy 

      6 years ago from Florida

      This a great resource for parent and grandparents. Voting up.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks Mekenzie! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this. I appreciate you passing it on to your children, too!

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      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!

      Mekenzie

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      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 profile image

      asmaiftikhar 

      6 years ago from Pakistan

      interesting hub with great ideas.

    • sen.sush23 profile image

      Sushmita 

      6 years ago from Kolkata, India

      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 profile image

      cebutouristspot 

      6 years ago from Cebu

      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

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      6 years ago from Texas

      great list randomcreative! I'm going to share this with my coworkers and on HP (Digg/Blogger)

      Thanks for sharing / voted up and useful

    • KeithTax profile image

      Keith Schroeder 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin

      I wish this resource were available when my kids were young. Now when I have grandchildren...

      Votes up for most useful hub.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      You are very welcome! I'm glad that it was helpful for you.

    • livelovelaugh5 profile image

      livelovelaugh5 

      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this list. Voted up!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks for this great resource!

    • profile image

      Jan Lonner 

      6 years ago

      Nice list! You can find more free books with a friendly interface at http://www.hotfreebooks.com

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      This is a great resource for that! Happy reading. :)

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 

      6 years ago from Japan

      Thanks for these, I need to expose my daughter to more English, she is only little and English is not her mother tongue. Great !!!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Nice, that's awesome! You're very welcome! Happy reading. :)

    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      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!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      You're welcome! I'm glad that this is helpful for you. Looking forward to reading more of your hubs, too.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Very cool information, thanks. Thanks for following, I look forward to reading more of your hubs.

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      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 profile image

      prasetio30 

      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      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...

      Prasetio

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks so much! I'm so glad that this is useful for you!

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 

      7 years ago from Bangalore,India

      This is certainly a treasure hub that needs to be bookmarked. Voted up and useful! Thanks for sharing the links!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Thanks Craan! I'm so glad!

    • Craan profile image

      Sheila Craan 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Awesome Hub Randomcreative! My granddaughter will get a kick out of your storybook links! Thanks for sharing!

    • randomcreative profile imageAUTHOR

      Rose Clearfield 

      7 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I'm so glad that this is a good resource for you! Happy reading with your girls this summer! :)

    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      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!

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