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  Free Children's e-Books

For Jessie

Stories For Pre-Schoolers and the Youngest Kids

Book Pop

This delightful site has around a dozen free illustrated stories online, in three series. They're mainly about animals, and are suitable for reading to very young children (there's a direct audio option available on each page, too). A second group of around a dozen titles are available as audio mp3 downloads. Both a Flash and a basic HTML version of the website are available.


This bright and cheerful website offers a small number of well-illustrated, online books for the very young (pre-schoolers). They especially help to teach letters, numbers & colours. There are also many other activities available for your tiny tots here, focusing on shapes, time, simple maths, crafts and colouring in.

Kids Nursery Rhymes

Hundreds of nursery rhymes feature online on this UK website, and may be accessed by the letter they begin with ('T' is incomplete). You can read them aloud to the very little ones, or it's a great place for younger kids to learn them from, while adults can refresh their memories for the retelling.

Lil' Fingers Storybooks

A score or so of brief, animated multimedia stories for the youngest children. They're both fun and impart knowledge. Note that these online tales require a Flash browser plug-in, which most users have or can install. However iOS devices will not display them. Other games & activities feature here too.

Merpy Stories

Nine or so simply illustrated, animated stories for young children. They feature Merpy, Jeremy Dragonfly and Rufus the Firefly. Merpy animation requires the Flash plug-in, which may be downloaded through the Merpy website if your browser lacks it. Alternatively, you can read them as text-only HTML, or listen to a RealAudio version. They're in English, but there are Spanish versions there too.

Toddler School

Tiny tales for tinier tots. Online, with words, pictures and music (they're read aloud too). Just eleven of them currently, but some should please. There are also some simple learning games here for useful fun. Most items are as SWF files, a format that an Adobe plug-in integrated into your Web browser will usually play for you. Note however that iOS devices ( the iPhone, iPad & iPOD Touch) will not support SwF files, although they can be converted for iPad with free software available here .


Stories For Younger Children

Bedtime Story

The name says it all, and all are well illustrated and available online in HTML, for your Web browser. There are both classics and more modern stories here. The latter include yarns about pets and tales of dragons, bears and friendly monsters, plus many more stories in the Whimsical/Magical/Humorous category. A helpful "What's The Story About?" section give a brief synopsis, recommended age suitability and reading time estimates. The site presenters make the point that even a busy, travelling parent can still pull up one of their stories online and read it aloud to a distant child over the phone. The recommended age group overall is ages 6 to Chairman of the Board, and there are over 75 stories all up.

Book Box

Book Box is intended for children below 10 years of age. It aims to create audio-visual enhanced e-books in a variety of languages, to both entertain kids and help them improve their reading skills, including reading in foreign languages. Book Box sells animated and other versions of their titles, but also provides some free items, including stories in PDF (31 in UK English) and mp3 (audio) formats. These are available in a variety of languages, including UK & US English, Catalan, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Indonesian, Japanese, Kannada, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili and Tamil.

Childrens Books Forever

A dozen delightful e-books in PDF format, as a free gift from best selling author/illustrator, Hans Wilhelm. Remember that you can read PDFs either online in your Web browser, or save them for offline use with the Adobe Reader or other PDF readers. Some of the books are available in a dozen languages too - English, Afrikaans, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish. Enjoy.

Erasmus James and the Galactic Zapp Machine  Erasmus (Raz for short) zaps across the galaxy in his dad's new invention, to a very strange world indeed. Kids aged 8+ should enjoy this fun-filled and imaginative tale, courtesy of board-shorted Oz author DC Green. In PDF format.

New  May Gibbs: an Australian classic The State Library of NSW is developing an illustrated excursion into the work and life of May Gibbs and her enchanting creations: Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, Bib & Bub, Boronia Babies and many others. A slide show of attractive images leads this pleasing collection, which may be accessed here.
MayGibbs collection

New  Return of the Captubots is a free kids story about the Jumbalees, and how they overcome the threat of capture by that evil robot race, the Captubots. Cheerful, bright illustrations enhance this lively tale for younger children. Read it either as a PDF version for your Web browser or any PDF reader (that's a larger 9.63MB file more suitable for broadband); or as a smaller (6.6MB).mobi format alternative, which can be read on a Kindle, or any mobile device or computer with Mobipocket software installed.

Room 108 Kids Stories

A score or so of mostly modern, animated stories online, with music. The titles are varied & interesting, and many are useful for learning to read and comprehend. Note that you may need to have Apple Quicktime software installed for the full experience, although they are still viewable without it.

Story Time For Me

A small but lavishly produced offering of free multimedia stories, for children aged from toddlers to eight years old. Each story has a theme such as friendship, pets, the Environment, feelings and overcoming hardship. They're sizeable but low-key animated tales, nicely narrated and well illustrated. You also get music and sound effects, and the words are highlighted as they're read. Meanwhile extra features such as automatic page turning add to the charm. Series available include Ben the Mouse, Fern the Fox and Flame the Dragon. In Flash format, online, for your browser.

Wired For Books

Beatrix Potter stories feature here online, in both English and Japanese, complete with those enchanting old illustrations. If you'd rather listen, there are also RealAudio versions in English, French, German and Japanese, and a Multimedia Slide Show version of Peter Rabbit, in English. The site also offers RealAudio versions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Frog Prince, A Christmas Carol, selected Brothers Grimm fairy tales and Just So Stories from Rudyard Kipling, plus L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in both RealAudio and mp3 sound. Note that you can download the RealPlayer software on the site if desired.

New 8interactive

Wellington, New Zealand-based 8interactive offers children's educational e-books for iOS devices (the iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch, using iOS v. 4.0 or above). If you download their free Read Me Stories app to your iOS device, you can sample up to five stories for free, then buy others if you choose to (they're cheap!). Their digital "enhanced e-books" are aimed at children learning to read; they include computer animation, and come with optional, spoken soundtracks that also play music to accompany each story. The text highlights as it is read, and you can even touch the characters to explore further story lines. An Android version is under development. Find the iOS app at:


Stories For All Ages

Baldwin Online Children's Project

With almost 550 free online titles, this long-established site offers a large selection of traditional books, as indicated in the site motto "Bringing Yesterday's Classics to Today's Children". You'll find lots of history, biography, fairy tales, myths and legends here, also nature stories, religious stories and a little poetry. These books and short stories are listed alphabetically by title, with author and genre listings also available. They're illustrated and presented in HTML, for your browser. A worthy voluntary project.

By Gosh

This website has a free juvenile section, with classics like Alice in Wonderland, The Tale of Peter Rabbit, and stories by Hans Christian Andersen, There are about twenty all up for younger kids. For older children there are nine more, including The Time Machine, Doctor Dolittle, Anne of Green Gables, Kim, and Tarzan of the Apes. They're online in HTML for your browser, and are well illustrated.

Candlelight Stories

If you like the Arabian Nights stories, you'll find the whole crew here online, for reading from your browser. That includes Aladdin and his amazing lamp; Ali Baba and his numerous, larcenous acquaintances; the seven, surprising voyages of Sinbad the Sailor, and many more, less well-known but equally entertaining tales for kids of all ages. These editions are more suitable for older children however, as the text is dense, looks formidable and lacks illustrations. There are also quite a few audio stories here (downloadable as mp3s), such as Pinocchio (in 9 chapters), The Golden Goose, Tom Thumb and many other famous classic stories.

Children's Books Online

A great site with a huge collection of over six hundred free illustrated children's books online. This "Rosetta Project" is possibly the largest such collection on the Web. They're presented as scanned page images of old editions of these classics. If you want to own copies for offline use, you can also purchase downloads. (NB: the latter come as zipped files, and to extract them for viewing you'll need software such as WinZip for a Windows PC, or StuffIt Expander for a Macintosh).

At this link you'll find the books sorted into age appropriate groupings, as Pre-Reader & Very Early Readers, Early Readers, Intermediate Readers and Advanced Readers. Many titles are also available in multiple languages, which you can check for here. There are lots available in Spanish, Italian, French, Greek and Portuguese, with smaller numbers in some 34 other languages. In general, you may find the scanned books a little cumbersome to use, but well worth it for the wonderful pictures and as a means to view past expressions of the eternal realm of childhood.

Children's Literature From the Rare Book Room of the Library of Congress

If you like old-fashioned children's books from bygone eras, these public domain tales are available in two formats. Firstly, you can view them online page by page as carefully scanned images of the original texts. These are of high quality, but may be slow to appear. Alternatively, you may download the books as PDF files. Note that the size of each PDF is given. Users with dial-up Web access rather than broadband, or who have limited disk space available, should check the PDF size first, as some are extremely large. More than 50 books are available, and adults too may enjoy revisiting many old favourites in these early editions with gorgeous old illustrations.

International Children's Digital Library

The ICDL collection includes more than 4450 books, in 55 languages. It's a collection suitable for children ages 3-13, as well as librarians, teachers, parents, and caregivers who work with them. There are many classics here, but most of the collection is comprised of contemporary items that are still in copyright (permission has been granted for public, non-commercial use in those cases). Users can also register a library account (optional) for additional benefits.

The books are available online, as scanned page-images, while some additional viewer apps may be downloaded for different ways of reading them. Children (and kids at heart) can also have fun using the coloured buttons here to select their books, or search for titles by more conventional methods. Thanks to the US National Science Foundation, the US Institute for Museum and Library Services, Microsoft Research, the University of Maryland, and a group of six children known as the College Park Kidsteam.


A British site that's still under construction, so forget the audio in the name for now. In the meantime, there are 12 free traditional children's stories in text here, ranging from Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp to What Katy Did Next. In PDF format.

Magic Keys

"Illustrated children's stories for kids of all ages". These online stories in HTML are divided into sections for Young Children, Older Children and Young Adults. The brief ones for younger children are particularly suitable if an adult reads the short text aloud while periodically displaying the pictures, ideally from a large mobile device. Some stories have various types of audio too. For example, click on speakers to hear each page read, click on individual words to hear them spoken out loud, or move your mouse over animals to listen to the sounds they make, The stories for older children are more suitable for kids to read for themselves (or for adults to crib as bedtime stories to tell them), while the small range for young adults is notable for the dramatic "Sliver Pete".

New Physics Comic Books

Fun and science together? Look no further. Five free comics in the Spectra series (she's the original laser superhero), for older children. There's also one more featuring famed inventor Thomas Edison and his contemporary and rival, Nikola Tesla. The latter is lesser-known than Edison, but was a pioneer of AC electricity, wireless power and the original, scary "bolts of zazzle" experiments (which nearly fried a whole district, & sure as heck wouldn't be allowed these days). For reading online from:


World of Tales

This global-style site, with page translations available in numerous languages, features Australian, African, Arabic, Chinese, European (Celtic, Germanic, Romanic & Slavic), Indian, Japanese, North American and South American folktales, all for reading online in your browser. There are also fairy tales and fables, and audio fairy tales streamed online too.



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