Great Websites for Read Aloud Books & Read to Me Stories - Edventures with Kids

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Great Websites for Read Aloud Books & Read to Me Stories

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Kids love to hear stories - ask any child and I'll bet they tell you that one of their favorite parts of their day is read-aloud and storytime! 

Listening to a book helps kids to develop better concentration and listening skills, engages their imagination, increases their vocabulary and enhances their desire to be a reader as they grow.


Free Read Aloud Books for Kids


I love to encourage parents to read to their child each day.  That 15 minutes of storytime has so many wonderful benefits!

In addition to parent/child read-aloud time, families can also include online read alouds and audio books as part of their child's literacy activities. 

These online books can really help to increase the time your kids spend reading and being read to -- use them in the car when your running errands or in the evening while while you're preparing dinner.  Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links for your convenience.

We've found some wonderful websites that offer stellar books which are read aloud to your child. 



And a BIG bonus is that they are all FREE! 

Yep, free stories online for the kiddos (pretty great huh!)


Storyline Online

Storyline Online is brought to us from the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, these 20+ books are read aloud by some very famous actors and actressses. 


The Details:  I love the classic voices of many of the readers (seriously! James Earl Jones reads To Be a Drum & Betty White reads Harry the Dirty Dog).  The books are read via video so the kids get to see the actor before the book begins.  The illustrations are slightly animated.  There is no text shown during the reading of the book (as I said before, I really wish they would put the text up on the screen for the kids).  

And a BIG BONUS on this site -- each book has Related Activities that are offered and an Activity Guide that you can download too!  I love both of these extras as they offer some great questions that you can discuss with your child to reinforce listening and comprehension skills.  - also Rainbow Fish, bad case of stripes

In addition to the two pictured above, some of my other favorites on this site include Harry the Dirty Dog, A Bad Case of Stripes, and The Polar Express.


National Geographic for young kids

National Geographic Young Explorer

If you have kids that LOVE non-fiction and animals, that this is the place for you!  The National Geographic Young Explorer website has more than 30 wonderful books about nature and animals from around the world.

Navigation is easy and sentences are read when your child clicks the button so they can take their time when looking at the photos.  I love that vocabulary is included in the books and the photos & illustrations are amazing!

And a HUGE plus -- there is a "For Teachers" button with each book that includes a guide to the topic, discussion questions and great activity pages too!


Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks


Online Storytime by Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble's Online Storytime (see links below) hosts some very popular books that are read to kids.  The titles include:


The Details:  Barnes and Noble has a really nice selection of very well known (and many award winning) children's books.  The voices of the readers are nice to listen to and kids will recognize many of their favorites.

I am disappointed with how the site chooses to show the book as it's read.  You are only shown some of the illustrations and the pictures move as the story is read aloud.  I find this very distracting.  There is also no text shown as the book is read (I always think it's better to have the text shown in order to offer kids the opportunity for word recognition).

Update 1/11/2015:  Barnes & Noble has changed up their website.  Now the read aloud videos of the stories can be found my clicking on the book link and then paging down to the video. 

Here are some of the direct links to the story videos -- many thanks to Carolyn from The Wise Owl Factory for alerting me to the change!

Green Eggs & Ham

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


The Kissing Hand

Tickle Monster

Strega Nona

Charlie the Ranch Dog

The Very Hungry Caterpillar




Storynory offers a great selection of classic storys, fairy tales, original stories and educational  tales such as greek myths.

The Details:  A well-known and well-established site, Storynory has been offering a new story each week since 2005 so they have quite a collection!  The readers have wonderful voices and you can find many great fables and fairy tales on this site. 

Each selection only includes one illustration but the entire texted can be viewed during the read aloud.  This site is more of an audio book, but I really like that older kids can follow along with the text to increase word regonition and pronunciation skills.

Other great offerings include Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, Aesop's Fables and a HUGE selection of fairy tales from around the world.


KOL Jr. Stories

Unfortunately, KOL Jr. is no longer available.  No one is sure what happened to the site, it just disappeared.  So I'm searching for other options to add to this great list.

If your kids like Arthur, they can find more than 15 Arthur stories at KOL Jr. 


The Details:  The books read on this website show all the book pages with text and the words are highlighted as the book is read to you. I really like the highlighted text as kids are able to follow along with the story and practice word recognition and pronunciation skills.

Some of my favorite Arthur books that are read on the site include Arthur's Pet Business (An Arthur Adventure), and Arthur Meets the President: An Arthur Adventure (Arthur Adventure Series).

Another of my favorite book series, Toot & Puddle, also has one book that can be found here too - Toot & Puddle: You Are My Sunshine.


Free ebooks for kids

And be sure to visit our original post -- Finding Free Kids Books Online -- where we share a number of great websites (like We Give Books, Project Gutenburg and Books Should Be Free) that offer free reading materials including popular picture books, classic chapter books and some of your childhood favorites too!


Enjoy listening! 

~ Jacquie


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  • Guest
    Carolyn February 28

    Thanks for putting together this list!

  • Guest
    igamemom March 01

    Thanks for sharing. This is great. Did you try It is free too.

  • Guest

    This is one thing I don't know much about. What a great resource collection you've put together. Thanks for sharing at The Children's Bookshelf.

  • Guest

    A great selection - we love the rainbow fish so definitely checking that out.

    Thanks for sharing on The Sunday Showcase.

  • Guest
    Valarie Budayr April 08

    Jacquie this is a great list and resource for both parents and kids. Thanks so much for sharing it. There are some wonderful and popular titles on this list.

  • Guest
    PragmaticMom April 08

    Great post!! Love that you have given free resources to help share the bedtime read aloud time. Will share via Sulia, Twitter and Facebook!

  • Guest
    Crystal April 09

    Super excited about these, but all seem to require flash, which means you can't use the iPhone or iPad :( B&N site works for the first four books, but can't get to the others in the list. Dang. Will keep looking, as maybe they'll update the site or there's something I missed?? Fingers crossed, as these would be great in the car or at a hotel or even upstairs in bed.

  • Guest
    Mary Catherine April 14

    This is a wonderful resource! I'm going to pin it for future reference (both for my son and my students). Thanks so much for sharing at Stress-Free Sunday. :)

  • Guest
    Wendy Howard April 16

    Thanks for the list of stories online. I teach 2nd grade and at the end of
    the day the kids love to listen to stories on the Smart Board.

  • Guest
    Amanda April 25

  • Guest
    Dee May 30

    Look for closed caption options for text appearing.

  • Guest
    DeeDee July 06

    Thank you for putting the list of stories online. This is great to have students listen to at home or in school.

  • Guest
    YvonneJ July 16

    Don't forget to check with your library to see if they offer digital ebooks and audiobooks...Ours offers ebooks through Overdrive and Freading and audiobooks though Overdrive. Another audiobook source is One Click Digital. Your library may also offer picture books through Tumblebooks.

  • Guest
    Cheryl July 20

    Thanks for the resources. Very cool.

  • Guest
    Laura July 23

    Thanks for the list. I was unaware of some of them. Storynory is a favorite of ours. We love the Katie and Bertie stories, as well as Tick Tock Turkey.

  • Guest
    Joyce September 17

    What happened to the KOL jr site? We used this in our classroom last year for listen to reading for Daily 5. Now we are scrambling to find something else to fill this activity.

  • Guest
    Kat October 05

    I use storylineonline in my classroom, and if you put on the subtitles (cc) for the video they are very accurate. That solves the problem of no text.

  • Guest
    Beverley March 10

    Wonderful website, thanks so much

  • Guest
    sarah b November 03

    I recently discovered the Epic website and app, and if you are educator it is free! most of the books are provided in a standard e-reader format, but about a quarter of the books have a read-to-me option.

  • Dawn
    Dawn January 11


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