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Free Storybook Sites for Children

Updated on July 1, 2018

This will be a simple review of FREE sites you can go to online, where children's books are read complete with illustrations and readable (follow along) words.

These three sites listed give access online to children’s books which are read aloud, the platforms vary but all allow a child to read along as the story is read aloud (turning on the CC for the video may be required to do so).

As parents we often have too much to do with too little time. These sites give you the opportunity to let your children access something that has more learning value than a cartoon show, or video game. These are decent substitutes to help occupy a child's time when you cannot, as well as offer tools to help children learn how to read.

Best of all they are all free.


"Lions and librarians Theo and Cleo run a very unique library. Characters pop off the pages of the books and come to life; vowels sing and puppets dance. The young lions explore and learn all sorts of new things from all the books."


You will need Flash Plugin to participate on this website, it is reminiscent of the 70s Electric Company and Sesame Street combined and put in web-format. In particular they have a Story section with selections like this video (below):

This is pretty much what it says it is 'just books read aloud'. The videos are of a real book, with pages being turned by hand, while being read, all on video. Click on the CC button so that your child can read along.

No star readers, no flashy animations, simple as it can get.

"The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Daytime Emmy nominated, Storyline Online, features celebrated actors including Viola Davis, Kristen Bell, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Wanda Sykes, Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Betty White and more reading children’s books"

A little something for everyone at this website, you can listen along to one of your favorite actors as they read a book to your child. Of course, these productions lean on their Hollywood backing, and the outcome is one where the overall product (storytelling and illustration) is superior.

There are other sites where you have to pay for the content, or that I have not fully vetted as to their safety and content (I may be adding to this list in future edits) searching online for 'Storybooks Read Aloud' should help you discover other options.

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    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 

      15 months ago

      Ken....I hear you about kids having access to electronics nearly all day and all night. Personally, I see this as irresponsible parenting. FYI: The 5-year old I referred to has a bit of a speech impediment, but things are getting better. That being said, he really does spend too much time playing on electronic devices. My son doesn't approve (Lol) but he's not the parent, so there's only so much he can say.

      Anyhow, it sounds like you began reading to your children when they were quite young. Really, it's the only way to go. I did the same. Honestly, it makes all the difference.

    • Ken Burgess profile imageAUTHOR

      Ken Burgess 

      15 months ago from Florida

      Yves, thank you.

      I see so many children 5 years old +/- these days working nintendos and phones and ipads (any electronic handheld device really) constantly, you can't miss it when in an airport or restaurant its becoming the norm.

      I would advocate that no child have access to such devices until they are older than 5, but if and when an adult has to keep them occupied, having such sites on standby to occupy their attention would be a good thing IMO.

      My oldest boy was reading by the time he was 3, and my youngest started getting the hang of it right around the time he went to pre-school 4 1/2 years old. The more children are exposed to reading, the better.

    • savvydating profile image

      Yves 

      15 months ago

      Hi Ken....It just so happens that my son is tutoring a five year old on how to sound out words. (The 5-year old belongs to his best friend.) Anyway, these videos are a little advanced for the 5-year old at this stage, but I think they may be useful later on. Mostly, these sites might be good tools for the parents to utilize down the road. My personal favorite was the Storyline Online.

      What a useful article. I hope more people who know little kids come on over to read this article. I'll tell my son about it today!

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