Reviewed by Wendy
What it is: This award-winning children’s literacy website streams videos featuring actors reading children’s books (alongside illustrations). Sometimes, kids read the books. Other times, famous celebrities—such as Eva Longoria, James Earl Jones, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Viola Davis, Annette Bening, Betty White and Kevin Costner—narrate.
Brain Benefits: Visual processing, auditory processing, attention, communication
What I love: It’s easy to see why this site gets more than 100 million views a year from kids all over the world! It’s won countless awards and each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credential elementary educator. Each book offers a suggested grade level and approximate run time, so you know if you can fit it in before bedtime! I love that some of the books are read by kids rather than adults. They use so much inflection and the kids talk after the book is completed. If you listen to (watch) a book you want to purchase, there’s a link to Barnes and Noble and a 15% off coupon. You can watch the videos on YouTube or through SchoolTube. The activity guides for teachers are helpful to parents too because they give you a synopsis, themes in the story and curriculum materials and procedures.
What I’d change: I couldn’t find any way to search by category or age, only title, reader or author. It would be nice to be able to zero in on a book for my kids’ interests and grade level.