For Pre-Schoolers and the Youngest Kids
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
For Younger Children
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
108 Kids Stories
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.
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
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 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:
For All Ages
Online Children's Project
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.
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.
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.
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).
this link you'll
find the books sorted into age appropriate groupings, as Pre-Reader
& Very Early Readers, Early
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.
Literature From the Rare Book Room of the Library of Congress
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.
Children's Digital Library
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.