Thursday, July 17, 2014

Part III--How to Find FREE Children's eBooks, Online Books and Audiobooks

If you have been following my recent posts about how to find free eBooks and how to borrow eBooks, now it's time to specifically address books for children.  

The Public Library
The first place to check is your local public library.  All of these resources are FREE because the library is subscribing to them for your children!  My local library has some wonderful resources that are free.  It's definitely worth a visit to the Children's Department of your public library.  You'll probably just need your library card number to access these resources.  Ask them about the following:   
1. online collection of animated talking picture books, and includes storybooks, chapter books, videos, puzzles and games, language learning, non-fiction, and more. (PreK-Grade 4) 
2. Biblioteca TumbleBooks (in Spanish) (PreK-Grade 4) These are same as the above, except in Spanish. 
3. Audio Book Cloud (Select the link for  Children)--Free online audiobooks that will play on your tablet or computer. (Grade levels vary) (Internet access is required; the audiobooks do not download to your device.)
4. Bookflix--A delightful offering from Scholastic, it pairs a video storybook with a non-fiction online book.  Your child can choose to have the book read aloud or not. The topics include the following: Animals and Nature, Earth and Sky, People and Places, ABC’s and 1,2,3’s, Family and Community, Music and Rhyme, Adventure, Celebrations, and Imagination. (PreK-Grade 3)
5. Overdrive--From my last post on how to borrow eBooks, it is still worth mentioning again that many school libraries and public libraries have FREE eBooks and audiobooks specifically for children, ranging from titles for the very young to Young Adult books and audiobooks.  These eBooks and audiobooks download to your device, so you can read/listen to them without Internet access later.  Be sure to check with your school or public librarian to find out how to access these.

Other Recommendations for Children
After checking out hundreds of web sites with free eBooks and audiobooks for children, these are my recommendations. Most of these are recommended for young children.  
With video, animation, and lots of fun, Starfall is a great web site for beginning readers. Its topics range from ABC's, Learn to Read, It's Fun to Read, and I'm Reading.
YouTube Audiobooks for Children
There are over 100,000 children's audiobooks on YouTube.  
Online Talking Stories
These interactive stories from the United Kingdom are resources for primary school children.
Internet Archive for Children 
The Internet Archive links to free Children's Books. Scroll down to browse by author, title, see the most popular downloads, and staff recommendations.  Once you select a title, on the left you will see “read online”, PDF, B/W PDF, ePub, Kindle, Daisy, Full Text or DjVu.  Select your preference and download the book to your eReader.
Barnes and Noble has 20 free video readings of books.  Just click on the title and scroll all the way to the bottom to find the free video. (Scroll past the pricing for buying the book.)
Librivox Children’s Audio Books for listening to online or downloading.  These are free audiobooks read by people, not computer voices.
BooksShouldBeFree links to more than 1,000 public domain audiobooks for children, although a few of the titles are more appropriate for young adults.  Browse through the titles and select a book.  It can be downloaded as a ePub (for Nook, iBooks for iPad or iPhone, or Sony reader), Kindle, as a Text file for a computer, or it can be read online.  You can also download many titles as MP3, iTunes podcasts, iPod/iPhone M4b audiobook, or as an RSS feed from your RSS reader.
Lit2Go Fairy Tales and Folktales
Lit2Go includes free audiobooks, stories, and poems in mp3 format and can be downloaded to iTunes or played directly on your computer or tablet.  All their books are read by humans.
Search Lit2Go by reading level here—1, 2, 3, etc. 
Online Audio Stories links to a number of free brief readings of stories for primary age children. It also includes the text of many other titles for reading to your child.
The International Children's Digital Library allows the reader to choose the type of book he/she wants to read. Books are available in dozens of languages.  If you prefer English, be sure to select it.  These are the actual pages of the books and the reader must flip the pages as he/she reads.
These are Wacky Web Tales that your child creates. Your child fills in the blanks that are requested and a story appears with his/her input. He/she may need assistance with filling in the blanks, as it asks for "adjectives" or "nouns," for example.
From the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, students have been illustrating Aesop's fables.  Many include animation and some include sound as well. 
These audio stories include historical figures as well as Bible characters.  The stories are read by people, not computers.
Bedtime Stories and Fairy Tales
These are simply bedtime stories and fairy tales in PDF format for downloading. They do not include audio.
Silly Books has nine stories, some with songs and animation. 
Sesame Street includes approximately six free online books.  No audio.
With Clifford as the main character, Scholastic provides approximately six free interactive online eBooks and includes audio.  
Robert Munsch Books
At the official Robert Munsch, the author himself reads more than 20 of his own books out loud. 
RIF's Reading Planet
Watch and listen to animated stories and song at this Reading is Fundamental web site.
Reading is Fundamental has links to online books for Babies, Toddlers, and PreSchoolers.
Read approximately ten books for young children or your child can have the books read to him/her.
These are public domain eBooks and range from early childhood to young adult, depending on the title.  They can be downloaded or read online.
PBS Kids has read-along stories and videos for young children.
The Oxford Owl, from Oxford University, has 250 free tablet-friendly eBooks for ages 3-11. To use this site, you must register for a free account.
Mother Goose Club has links to several dozen animated stories with audio and songs.
Many has links to children's eBooks that are in the public domain. Downloadable to your eReader, the main title page will indicate if there is an audiobook available as well.
Reading Bear
Reading Bear from WatchKnowLearn, includes 50 presentations on learning to read.  It includes phonics and sounding out words.
This site for young children, older children, and young adults, includes books to read or listen to online. 
There are over twenty animated storybooks on this site for young children.
There are many Little Critter storybooks, activities, sing-along stories, and more on this site.
These audio stories may be played online or may be downloaded as MP3s. The text of the story is available for each story.
The Library of Congress provides children's literature as PDFs and in a "Page Turner" format, which can be read directly from a computer or tablet.
The Land of Magic Talking Books provides classic stories in audio format that can be listened to online or downloaded as an MP3.
Kinder Site links to animated stories, games, and songs for ages 2-6.
This site includes games, stories, and video clips for young children.
What is your favorite site for Children's eBooks, online books or audiobooks?  Send us comments below. We'd love to hear from you!

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  1. It is important to say that all children don't know how to find free children's eBooks, online books and audiobooks that's why I can say that you have posted a essential issue which is needed to children. It is good job not only job but also it helping way for children.

  2. It is important to say that all children don't know how to find free children's eBooks, online books and audiobooks that's why I can say that you have posted an essential issue which is needed to children. It is good job not only job but also it helping way for children.