Like story hour in the classroom or at your local library, the following read-along books are narrated and illustrated. Of course, these online stories don't replace printed books, but are simply another way to expose our children to the joys of reading.
The Kennedy Center transforms three picture books into three videos in RealPlayer format. Each is read by the author, uses the original illustrations, and was once performed on a Kennedy Center stage. Titles include "Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" written and read by Judith Vorst; "Harlem" a poem written and read by Walter Dean Myers; and (my personal favorite) the fifteen-minute "Brothers of the Knight" written and exquisitely performed by the multi-talented Debbie Allen. There are no page controls, but you can move forward and backward through the video using the RealPlayer slide controls.
There are several dozen original narrated books in the Mighty Book library, along with sing-along audio songs and music videos. To begin, select your age range (from two to twelve) and you'll be transported to a library room just for you. Mouse over the books marked with a asterisk, and you'll see a description appear in the preview window. Most books are in the popular, free Flash format, but a few are in the more obscure (but also free) TK3 e-book format.
Your littlest mousers will be delighted with these eleven narrated stories where they can click to animate the characters and turn the pages. Each Flash story is accompanied by an online game, parent-led activity (in Adobe Acrobat) and a reading list. As the title implies, this library is strictly for the preschool and kindergarten set, but elementary students will find their own treasure trove of stories, activities and reading lists by following the link to Elementary Library from any of the topic pages.
Children's author Stephen Cosgrove has created a collection of several dozen interactive fantasy books for elementary students. Illustrated, narrated Flash books are listed in Book-Pop, and audio-only books (in MP3 format) in Story-Pop. While exploring Book-Pop, be sure to try the printable books in Web-Pop Printers. Each 8.5" x 11" page holds four double-sided book pages, creating by running the pages through your printer twice. Follow the folding instructions, and you'll be rewarded with a forty-page 2.1" x 2.75 booklet.