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Online Read Aloud Library!

By Danielle Mahoney on September 21, 2010
  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5


With the growing popularity of Kindles, Nooks, and iPads, I'm beginning to wonder whether or not I'm missing out on the digital world of ebooks. Up to this point, I've resisted the urge to invest in one of these devices. I still love the feeling of a real book in my hands; paper, glue, stitching, and all. But there is a website that is beginning to spark my interest in digital books.


Digital Read-Alouds

A few months ago, I was introduced to One More Story, an online library of children's literature. Without over-the-top animation or lots of bells and whistles, One More Story makes reading fun and exciting for kids. Through a simple point and click process, teachers, students, and parents can choose a book, admire the illustrations, and listen to the narration of the story as the book is read aloud.

Oms Since many of us are using interactive whiteboards in our classrooms, we have the tools to project picture books up on a large screen, making the image big enough so that all of our students can see the illustrations and the text clearly — not just the first few rows of students sitting right by our feet!

This site can be used for digital read-alouds projected to the whole class or used in small groups. It can also be used to help build reading skills for students on an individual basis. There is even a "Teacher Place" where you can assign books to your students and check in on what they have been reading.



Browse the Bookshelves

The One More Story Library consists of 60 high quality children's books — even some Caldecott Medal winners. The complete list of books is pretty impressive. With so many students reading at different levels across grades, I look forward to seeing more books added to the shelves over time.


Take a Look . . . And Listen!

The site is beautifully organized and easy to use. Click on the colored tabs and pick a book. As the narrator reads, words are individually highlighted in the text box at the bottom of the screen. Each story is professionally narrated and original music has been written for each book. Take a look at the first three pages of Owl Babies as I access the library from my laptop in the video below. Listen carefully and you'll hear the sweet hoots of the baby owls. How great is this for our English language learners who are struggling to build background in order to make sense of the stories they read?!

I Can Read It

This mode makes it possible for a child to read a book at their own pace without narration. If students get stuck on a tricky word, they can click on that word and hear it spoken by the narrator. See this in action as I demonstrate how this works with, I Love You, Blue Kangaroo. (Please note: You may notice that there is punctuation missing from the sentence on page 2. I've contacted the good people at One More Story, and they are working on putting a period at the end of that sentence!!)

Ok, so I admit it . . . I'm hooked. I see an iPad in my future. Maybe I could get used to flipping the pages on a screen rather than feeling the paper on my fingertips. Are you interested in a free week-long trial of One More Story? It's worth checking out. Send a request to let them know that you're ready to explore their online library. Be sure to tell them that Danielle Mahoney from Scholastic's Top Teaching blog sent you. ;)

This is an excellent resource to have on hand, especially if you use a Promethean board, SMART Board, or laptop lab. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Happy Online Reading!

Comments (6)

As a parent who also initially hesitated when it came to reading my child books online, I can say it has been a very positive, pleasant additional tool in a household where print books are still read and loved, but e-books have also inspired. I wrote about my 6 year-old's ah-ha moment with Bookboard Inc.'s digital children's book app for iPad here: http://bookboard.com/blog/2013/03/reading-for-the-first-time/

Ok, so much for patience... I just checked on the availability again... according to Mr. Jeffers FB page:

"At present it's available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxenbourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.

Further territories coming very soon!"

=) Danielle

Hi Natedlee!

I WISH I owned an iPad so I would have known about this, but Santa must have forgotten that gift this year! haha~ Thanks for letting me know about this issue! I actually contacted the wonderful people at One More Story to get to the bottom of this and here's what they said: "Hello Danielle, It's not a matter of JavaScript, it is a Flash issue. The IPad and IPhone do not support Flash (although Macs do). Our site is written in Flash. My suggestion is to complain to Apple. While the IPad can access most sites, if there is animation in Flash, it doesn't read that element of the site. Best regards, Carl"

And so, perhaps we can bring this up to Apple?? I hope that you can enjoy One More Story's online library on a "regular" computer! I know that they are planning on updating the site to make it even better and new books are being added over time. Sorry for any troubles it may have caused you on the iPad!!

BTW, have you seen the new Oliver Jeffers App that actually was made for the iPad? Oh my goodness...This App alone makes me want to invest in the iPad!


http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/the-heart-bottle-for-ipad/id407795360?mt=8 Check it out and let me know what you think! The only bad thing is -- as of now, it's only available in the UK!! (It should be available here in the United States very soon.)

It is clear that we need to have lots of patience with all of this technology!

=) Danielle

Onemorestory.com does not seem to work on the iPad, FYI. Must have something to do with it needing to run JavaScript.

Hi Ruth!

It's funny that you mention PBS and Reading Rainbow. According to an article in The School Library Journal, one of the creators, Carl Teitelbaum was a producer on Sesame Street. I hope the teachers you share One More Story with love it as much as I do.

=) Danielle

Thanks so much for sharing and recommending what looks like a fabulous resource! Something about the narrator's voice, music, and sound effects reminds me a little of old PBS series Reading Rainbow. I can't wait to share this resource with teachers!

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