TRC Read to Kids

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Monday, December 3, 2012

Online Story Time

When an author reads his or her book aloud, he or she reads with the inflection and pronunciation intended. In the past, the only way to hear authors read their work was to attend a reading.  Now, technologyhas provided many possibilities.  

Barnes & Noble's Online Storytime features one story a month. The story is read by the author. The book's illustrations providing the online images. Instead of showing a full-page spread of the illustration, the camera zooms in on an item as it relates to the text the author is reading. This allows the child to focus on a particular portion of the image to best understand how it relates to the text. The image is always moving, usually zooming in or out, which appeals to kids' desire to watch a moving picture. The characters in the image do not move though, as the illustrations are exactly the same as the illustrations on the page of a book. It's a perfect combination of online technology and the picture book format.

Currently, there are 16 stories available on Barnes & Noble's Online Storytime. They range from classics such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle to new favorites such as Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann.  This month's story is The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.

A second example of this concept has been put together by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation and called Storyline Online. At, famous actors read their favorite children's book in much the same fashion as Barnes & Noble's Online Storytime. You can watch Betty White read Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion or James Earl Jones read To be a Drum by Evelyn Coleman.  Storyline Online also offers related activities for each story as well as related books.

Both sites provide information about the author. Storyline Online also provides a short bio of the illustrator and the reader. Kids may feel an affinity with the author, now that they know a little something about him or her.

Watch a story for your own enjoyment, or spend some quality time with children showing them a new story or an old favorite read by the author or an actor.

To receive credit for this online training, please fill out the form here.

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