Tag Archives: GREAT kid literature

Usborne Book Friday (aka Black Friday) deals–all weekend!

28 Nov

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It’s a great weekend to snag some great deals on Usborne books! The Book Friday (aka Black Friday) sale began this morning at 12:01 EST and will continue through the weekend. New titles will be released on Cyber Monday at 12:01 EST.

Here are a few of books from the Book Friday sale that I couldn’t WAIT to share with you:

Winter Activity Pack

Winter Activity Pack— I got this for my sons last weekend, and it kept them handily occupied during our Thanksgiving road trip. They were so entertained with the books from the Winter Activity Pack that they never asked to play my husband’s iPhone (win-win for me!). Usborne Books-1 and Electronics-0 and…one happy momma! These are mini versions of the books, which are all $8.99-$9.99 a piece, so $12.49 is a steal!

My Christmas Tree

 

My Christmas Tree–Isn’t this the sweetest?!?!? This board book ties together to become a Christmas tree! Your kiddos can enjoy having a Christmas tree of their own within their room. 🙂 It comes with stickers allowing them to decorate it to suit their fancy. 🙂

Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver’s Travels, Pinocchio and Magical Animals (Books AND an Audio Cd!)–These 3 different book sets would make a fabulous gift and are only $4.99! These abridged classics come with a book and audio cd of the book! They are half price! Did I mention they are $4.99?!?! (Can you tell that I’m ecstatic about these books?!?!?) My boys love audio books, and I quickly snagged all 3 of these for them for Christmas. They love to have a book in hand and follow along with the accompanying audio cd. Reading along with a CD is a fantastic way to strengthen reading abilities and to build confidence in their ability to read. Stock up on these for birthday parties or to donate to your local or school library!

FREE SHIPPING—Yes, you read that right! The best news EVER is that when you spend $100 on your order this weekend, your shipping is free! So, go out and shop ’til you drop! 🙂 Check back on Monday, too, when the Cyber Monday book selections roll over into different books! YAHOO!

Book Friday: How A Book Entertained My Son for THREE Hours

26 Nov

William with Robot book.two William with Robot Sticker Book Son #2–This is how he spent 3, non-stop hours yesterday afternoon–reading and assembling the Usborne Build Your Own Robots sticker book! Did he ask to play the iPad or watch TV? No. Happy mommy? Yes! Usborne-1 and Electronics-0 This is our son, who enjoys being read to but rarely picks up a book on his own accord for pleasure. I am grateful for how Usborne books are cultivating within my boys a love for and of books, even my sons who who would rather be digging in the dirt all day. 🙂 1488155_898903470122234_3239623188675499238_n If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to snag a great deal on Usborne titles for your children, grandchildren, nieces, or nephews, Book Friday (aka Black Friday) is the perfect opportunity! Starting at 12:01AM EST on Friday, November 28, Book Friday begins, and many, many Usborne titles will be discounted up to 60% off and FREE SHIPPING on orders of $100 or more! You better believe I’m setting an alarm to wake up and shop because our family LOVES Usborne books!

Are you ready to shop? Use this special link to take you to the Book Friday sale. I’m excited for your family to have Usborne books in their hands, hearts and minds! New to Usborne and need some book recommendations? Watch some of the videos from my YouTube channel Suzanne Shares Usborne Books to ‘meet’ a few of my favorite Usborne titles. Order now and your books will arrive in plenty of time for Christmas! 🙂10671398_10204244332500286_1000311271282078700_n

Happy Thanksgiving: Enjoy this 11-Minute Film About Squanto

26 Nov

Squanto Film

This is an 11-minute historical piece for Thanksgiving on Squanto, based on the Eric Metaxas book, Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving (this is our family’s favorite Thanksgiving book, hands down!)

One of the Dads from our Classical Conversations community helped make this video and cameos in the film. 🙂 It was filmed about 15 minutes from our home at Historic Mansker’s Station, which you should TOTALLY visit if you’re ever in my neck of the woods and another local community near us.

Who alone could orchestrate such circumstances in Squanto’s life? Only God Himself could have beautifully pieced together these exact events in the life of Squanto so that he could, at the time God appointed, return to his home and help save the lives of the Pilgrims. Only God Himself could have turned the dark events of Squanto’s life into a beautiful story of redemption.

Please enjoy with your children, especially if they’ve read the book! Happy Thanksgiving!

What We’re Reading Wednesday: Squanto & The Miracle of Thanksgiving

12 Nov

What We're Reading WEDNESDAYS

Here’s a repost from the archives. Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving is our favorite Thanksgiving book because of how it has led our family to celebrate the greatness of God. Read more here.

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Also, this previous post features other Thanksgiving reads that our family has enjoyed. Of particular note is Thank You, Sarah, which was a new one that we read last year. It is a delightful read about the woman who petitioned for Thanksgiving to be a national holiday. 🙂

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure policy here.

 

What We’re Reading Wednesday #6

3 Sep

What We're Reading WEDNESDAYS

Here’s the latest installment of What We’re Reading Wednesday! I hope this series is inspiring you to discover unknown books or authors to introduce to your family (or yourself!)

WWRW #6

Duck in the Truck and Hit the Ball Duck–These are books that I was introduced to through my new Usborne business. My boys are LOVING these books with Duck, Frog, Goat, and Sheep as they get into some precarious, yet hilarious, predicaments. Jez Alborough is a new favorite author, thanks to these books!

Animal Trunk: Silly Poems To Read Aloud–I am trying to be more proactive about incorporating poetry into our literary diet. I grabbed this one by chance off the library shelf, and it has been a hit! My 4 year old and I had a pleasant, giggle-filled time reading this prose about various animals.

See Inside Your Body–This is another book that I was introduced to thanks to my new Usborne business! 🙂 We are studying the human body in Classical Conversations this year. I wanted an age-appropriate yet densely informative book to read at home with  my boys so that they could glean more details about our bodies. We have, thoroughly, enjoyed it, and the “Lift-The-Flap” component makes each page an adventure! Two thumbs up for this book from all 3 of my boys.

The Read-Aloud Handbook–“This is not a book about teaching a child how to read; it’s about teaching a child to want to read.” (p. XXI Introduction) I was introduced to this book through Usborne, whose catalog includes statistics from the book.  This book has left me speechless–Wow, just WOW! I recommend that any and all parents and educators own and read this book. The statistical data Trelease compiles will make you want to spend every minute of every day reading to your children (or at least I hope it will!). The plethora of benefits that are bestowed on children when read to by a parent or adult are astronomical.  For example, Trelease quotes a longitudinal study that found, “children who were read to at least three times a week had a significantly greater phonemic awareness when they entered kindergaren than did children who were read to less often, and…they were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading.” (page 9)

Do you want to read to your kiddos but don’t know where to start? This book will help! The beauty of this book is its two segments. The first division of the book is the inspirational, fact-based, oh-so-convincing treatise as to why we should read aloud. The last section of the book is page after page after page of book recommendations. Each book entry contains a short summary of the book and suggested age/grade for the target audience. Take this book with you to the library and let it introduce you to some classic, “read-it-again-Mom” books and authors. Here’s your subliminal message for today–Read this book. Read this book. Read this book. (Subliminal message is over.) I truly believe that all children can become book lovers, and no, it won’t always happen overnight and takes an investment of time from the parents. However, this is one of the greatest gifts that a parent can bestow on their child. As Trelease so eloquently writes, “the least expensive thing we can give a child outside of a hug turns out to be the most valuable: words” (page 16).

The Digital Invasion: How Technology Is Shaping You and Your Relationships–I first heard about this book over the summer when I read a blog post titled The iPad is Stealing My Son’s ChildhoodI was intrigued by the title of the blog post and had to read it. The blogger wrote the post after reading The Digital Invasion. Does any other parent have to answer this question “Can I play the iPad?” oh, about a hundred times a day?!?!? I was intrigued by the premise of The Digial Invasion and immediately added this book to my “to read” list. My reservations going into the book were that there would be lots of scare tactics and undocumented assertions about technology. I actually began reading the book with much skepticism but, in the end, resonated with the book. The authors, a psychologist and a counselor, offered much food for thought regarding the influence of technology on families and relationships. Let’s face it. We have all been in a restaurant and noticed a table nearby where all gathered ’round the table have eyes glued on phones or devices. I always look at those scenarios and tell myself, “I don’t want that to be my family. I want us to talk to one another.” The Digital Invasion left me with much to ponder about technology, my sons, and our family. The bottom line is that technology is influencing us, whether we want it to or not. The Digital Invasion was an encouragement to me to evaluate, be aware and mindful, not oblivious, of technology’s role and influence in my life and my loved one’s lives. It has been the impetus to some healthy, on-going converstations between my husband and I about our desires for our family.

Owl at Home-We are huge Arnold Lobel fans in our home! My second son is currently read this aloud to us during school time, and it is a laugh-a-minute! Lobel also wrote one of our other “Mosley favorites”–the Frog and Toad series! Introduce your kiddos to Arnold Lobel! Love, love, love his books! Here is a list of Arnold Lobel’s other books.

Pocahontas and the Strangers–We are studying American History this year…and loving it!! My oldest son is reading this book aloud, and we love the author Clyde Robert Bulla, who has written a tome of fabulous books for children. We are enjoying this Pocahontas biography. We might have to watch the Disney version and compare the movie and the book! Should be interesting! HAHA!

Pedro’s Journal: A Voyage with Christopher Columbus, August 3, 1492-February 14, 1493–This historical fiction gem is a collection of journal entries from Pedro, a young cabin boy for Christopher Columbus during his expedition with the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. This has been a fun read for us! It offers a unique perspective on the oft-told tale of Columbus and his journey “to India,” and the literary vehicle of a journal gives a personalization to this historical event that I had missed when studying it previously.

So, that’s a wrap for this week! What are YOU reading this week?!?!? Comment below to share with us!

Usborne ONLINE Book Party: Favorites for Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers

26 Aug

You're Invited.Usborne PartyThanks for stopping by to read more about Usborne Books and my ONLINE Kick-Off Party! To celebrate being a NEW Independent Consultant for Usborne Books & More, I’m having an ONLINE party! How exciting to shop ’til you drop in your pajamas and without make up! If you’ve missed my previous posts in this series, view these to find why I started selling Usborne booksBook Recommendations for Boys, Book Recommendations for Girls, and Books for “Learning to Read” and Beginning Readers.

Some of my FAVORITE books that Usborne has are for the youngest learners. Here are recommendations for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers:

Books for BabiesThere’s a Mouse About The House!–This is an interactive book with an accompanying “mouse.” The mouse goes through various slots in the book and in doing so goes about the house. Your kiddos will love putting the mouse through the hole and following his journey about the house!

Find the Duck–This is a classic of Usborne book lore. Many of their books have a hidden duck on each page. This board book allows your little one to search for the infamous Usborne duck. So fun!

Lullabies–This board book has an accompanying CD. Read the night time poems and lullabies and listen to the songs as well! Or, if you’re new to parenthood and want to learn some lullabies to sing to your kiddos, this is a great one!

Books for Toddlers

I have written about Farmyard Tales (YAY for an audio book!) You should also check out the Secrets of the Apple Tree. It is a “flashlight” book, which is amazingly unique! On each page, a question is asked of the child reading the book. To find the answer revealed, the child shines a flashlight on the back of the opposite page! I’ve never seen another book like this! LOVE IT! Or, if you prefer the beach, Secrets of the Seashore, is for you! This is another “shine-a-light” book involving seashore-themed exploration.

First Thousand Words–These little gems are available in a myriad of languages–English, French, Spanish, French, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Latin and Russian. These are fabulous picture books to use with toddler to teach him/her new vocabulary! So, grab your little one, let him/her plop down in your lap and enjoy some quality bonding time learning new things! The other amazing trait of these books is that each non-English version is internet-linked, so you can go online and hear a native speaker pronounce each word! (Latin is not included since it is no longer a spoken language.) That’s a fabulous “freebie” of these books! Isn’t that amazing?!!? Now you know why I love Usborne, don’t you?!?!?

Books for Preschoolers

You Choose–This is another unique book! Literally, you choose answers to questions as you work your way through the book. This book is designed for parent and child to talk through together. Your eyes will feast on colorful illustrations, and your heart and soul will delight in the dialog that you have with your child as you hear more of his/heart and thoughts.

Big Books–Usborne has an entire series of “Big Books.” Big Machines, Bugs, Animals, and Sea Creatures to name a few! Besides the fascinating content, each book has fold out pages to show the actual sizes of the book’s theme: machines, animals, bugs, or tractors! So, so fun!

Muddle And Match–I’m, also, currently in love with the Muddle and Match book. Of course, we have the boy version, but there is a girl version, too. The book is sliced into segments, “muddled,” if you will. Your child can then match the various segments and create a really funny boy or girl. You might end up with a knight-pirate-cowboy. The text you read to your child changes with the pictures, so there will be some silly, silly sentences created! Get ready to have a good ol’ belly laugh with your kiddo while you read this unique, one-of-a-kind book.

Remember…

August 2014 Customer Special

  • The GUEST SPECIAL as you shop! Download the flier here: CustomerSpecials: August 2014  or view it in the picture above. For my CC readers, the Human Body Sticker book is on the list for $5!!! For every $40 you spend, you can chose 3 books from this month’s list. Don’t you love a sale?!?!? Also, since this is an ONLINE party, you can take advantage of the Internet Specials, too.
  • Free Shipping when you spend $75! I will reimburse you via PayPal or will snail mail a check to cover your shipping costs with a retail order of $75. You will pay for the shipping with your order, and once it is processed, I will reimburse you.

 Happy Shopping! If you have any questions about a book or an order, let me know! suzanneshares AT gmail DOT com

 

 

 

What We’re Reading Wednesday: Installment #5

14 May

What We're Reading WEDNESDAYS

Happy Wednesday! Here are some of the books that we’ve been perusing through the past 2 weeks. We were on vacation last week, so the majority of our reading came through audio books while driving. I love that my boys are audio book fans. I’m sure yours can be too! To read previous “What We’re Reading Wednesday posts,” click here.

What We're Reading #5

Hunches in Bunches and Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! (by Dr. Seuss)-If you didn’t notice between “What We’re Reading Wednesday” Installment #4 and today’s installment, we are currently on a Dr. Seuss kick with my youngest son! He can’t get enough of Dr. Seuss, so we’re emptying the library’s shelves of any and all of his books. We enjoyed both books, but I was especially encouraged by the story of  Oh, The Thinks You Can Think! The encouragement of children to imagine and dream was the core theme. I feel like children these days are losing their imaginations, so read this and inspire your kiddos! AND…after you read it, let them have some paper, tape and crayons and create and imagine something new today!

The Child’s Story Bible (by Catherine Vos)-This is on our list of FAVORITE children’s Bibles! Now that Easter is over, and we finished The Word Became Flesh Easter Advent devotion, we’ve returned to The Child’s Story Bible during our “Bible Time” (as our boys call it) reading at breakfast. This was originally published in 1935 (I LOVE OLD BOOKS!!!) is a story book version for children containing both Old Testament and New Testament stories. I can’t recommend this highly enough! The quantity of Biblical stories that my sons (and ME, let’s be honest!) have gleaned from this story book Bible is astounding. It is written in a captivating, narrative format. The readings only take 5-10 minutes, but the dialog and Q&A time that you can have with your children is endless! The Child’s Story Bible is geared for children ages 4-12, and I would say that’s been an accurate fit in our home. Vos includes great detail in each story, so younger children’s attention span might be lost with its reading. (See our list of Children’s Bibles That We Love to get a detailed list of age-appropriate children’s Bibles that we adore!)

The Core: Teaching Your Child the Foundations of Classical Education (by Leigh Bortins)-We just finished our second year of Classical Conversations, and we could not have found a better fit for our family! I write about Classical Conversations on this blog a lot. If you are curious about what Classical Conversations is or how you can classically educate your child at home, this is a “must read.” I’m embarrassed that it’s taken me 2 years to read The Core. I think it would have helped me tremendously to have read it our first year. However,  I was also a Classical Conversations tutor our first year, which had a huge learning curve. I didn’t do much reading last year. ha! I love the explanation of the 3 stages of the Classical Model: Grammar, Dialectic, and Rhetoric and how this book “freed” me up as I continue to learn day by day how to classically educate my sons at home. This book is geared towards understanding the Grammar stage and explains how to approach subjects like Math, History, Geography, Reading during the Grammar stage. If you are new to Classical Conversations or thinking about classical education for your kiddos, I highly commend The Core to you. I am also reading and enjoying Echo in Celebration by Leigh Bortins. It is a FREE .pdf download, so I couldn’t include it in the above picture.  🙂 It includes more information on the classical model of education and implementing it at home. It’s another great read for those new or involved with Classical Conversations or wanting to know more about the classical model.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic (by Betty Macdonald)-I loved Mrs. Piggle Wiggle as a child! One of my elementary school teachers read it aloud to us during rest time. I was excited to introduce my boys to Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and they have loved her as much as I have! After reading the initial book in the series, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle’s Magic, my sons have insisted that we read all of the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books. I happily obliged! Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is a quirky old lady, who eagerly helps parents experiencing crazy behaviors from their children. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s cures usually comes in the form of a magic concoction to help with such behaviors as being a tattle tale, constantly interrupting, or bad table manners. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s magic always helps rid the child of the unsightly behavior. Our favorite cure from this book was the “Thought You Said” cure. The 3 children in this family continually fail to do what their parents instruct them because they thought they said something else. My boys laughed outloud nonstop during that entire chapter. The children’s renditions of their parents instructions was hysterical. Thankfully, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle helped the parents rescue their children using her “Thought You Said” cure. My only regret is that I can’t call Mrs. Piggle Wiggle to get this cure for my sons! ha! “Clean your room?” my boys inquire. “We thought you said, ‘swing on a broom.'” Where’s Mrs. Piggle Wiggle when you need her?!?!?

Third-Grade Detectives #4: The Cobweb Confession (by George E. Stanley and Salvatore Murdocca)-My third grader was ecstatic about finding these books! Being in 3rd grade himself, he can empathize and identify with the characters in the book. 🙂 If you have a third grader or a second grader eager to be “older” (HA!), the Third Grade Detective series might hit the spot! My oldest son is currently reading this book aloud to me. The chapters are short and the story engaging, which is a win-win for him. I love to see him excited about reading; that has not always been the case! 🙂

Cora Frear (by Susan E. Goodman)-Cora Frear is a book in the Brave Kids series, which is a new-to-us series that we’ve been introduced to. Cora Frear was a real girl who lived on the prairie during late 19th century America. The book contains an Afterword and gives detail about the real Cora Frear; my boys loved the Afterword almost as much as the actual book! They were flabbergasted to learn that she was real!

 Cora’s father was a doctor, and she often accompanied him on house calls, which often involved miles and miles of travel through the prairie. The story revolves around Cora and her father making a trek across the prairie for a house call, and in the midst of their journey, they find themselves trapped in a prairie fire. I was even on pins and needles as my son read this aloud. I was the one chanting, “one more chapter, one more chapter” to him; it’s usually vice versa! If you have a child insterested in American History or if you are in Classical Conversations and looking for Cycle 3 books, Cora Frear is a gem of a book!

Audio Books that we’re “reading”:

I’ve been writing a lot recently about how much we LOVE audio books. ( If you missed the previous 3 posts that were a part of my Friday Favorites series, you can read them herehere, and here.) I’ve decided to include audio books that we’re “reading” in my What We’re Reading Wednesday posts.

Since we traveled last week, I always stack up on audio books for our journey. As I mentioned, my youngest son is currently stuck on Dr. Seuss, so we enjoyed Green Eggs and Ham and Other Servings of Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat and Other Dr. Seuss Favorites both collections of multiple Dr. Seuss books. We have previously started reading Little House In The Big Woods , but had not finished it. In my quick library run to stock up on audio books for the trip, I found the audio book version. It was a huge hit during our travels!

It’s Wednesday, so comment below and let Suzanne Shares readers know what you’re reading! Hip, Hip, Hooray for books and quality literature! Happy Wednesday!

Old Story New (Family Devotion) Kindle edition–currently $0.01

24 Apr

Our friends introduced us to Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God a couple of years ago. We’ve heard nothing but great things about it! It’s on the “docket” for our family once we finish The Child’s Story Bible. I had heard a few months ago that there was a follow up to Long Story Short called Old Story New. My husband almost bought it for me two weeks ago at Together for the Gospel, but instead he bought me this (which is currently knocking my socks off!). The good news is that NOW I have both because the Kindle edition of Old Story New is currently $0.01! Yes, you read that correctly–ONE PENNY! I quickly snagged that and can’t wait to use it with our family!

Want to get this for your family but don’t have a Kindle? No problem! You can get the Kindle App to use with phones, tablets and computers. Don’t miss this great deal and fabulous resource for gathering your family around the Bible. 🙂

What We’re Reading Wednesday: Installment #4

23 Apr

What We're Reading WEDNESDAYS

Here’s our 4th installment of What We’re Reading Wednesday! Hope this gives you some great books to find at your library or buy for your home! To give you some encouragement, we’ve had a busy couple of weeks and not been able to read as much as I’d like or had hoped. And instead of beating myself up about it, I just realize…that’s reality! 🙂 (See, I told you I don’t have it all together!!! 🙂 ) Tomorrow is a new day, so we’ll start again then.  So, if you still have a pile of unread library books (like I do), give yourself grace and start again tomorrow. 🙂

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Animalia (by Graeme Base)–This is a fabulous alphabet book filled with alliteration! The book goes through all 26 letters, selects an animal to correspond with each letter, and describes each animal with hilarious alliterative adjectives. If you are studying the alphabet, alliteration, or animals, this is a great book to jump into! I found it thanks to Honey For A Child’s Heart.

RRRalph (by Lois Ehlert)–This book was leftover from our ‘clearing the library bookshelves’ of Lois Ehlert’s books as mentioned in our last What We’re Reading Wednesday post. In classic Ehlert style, the book is filled with marvelous illustrations created and built out of the most imaginative pieces of “stuff” that you might find around your house. I read this to my 4 year old, and he asked me to read it to him three times in a row. 🙂 Clearly, HE enjoyed this book!

The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories and Fox in Socks (by Dr. Seuss)–A faithful reader and friend, Lorie recommended that I look at the Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories, so I quickly snagged it at the library. It’s a fascinating book if you’re a Dr. Seuss fan. It’s filled with seven short stories written by Dr. Seuss that were published in the 1950s but virtually “lost.” If you’ve read all of Dr. Seuss’s books, you’ll enjoy this “new” one. As we were perusing the Dr. Seuss section of the library, I came across Fox in Socks and realized that we’d never read the book. We have enjoyed the silly, spit-all-over-each-other-as-we-read tongue twisters. Much like Animalia above, it’s filled with excellent examples of alliteration. The literary device of alliteration came up in our phonics curriculum this week, so it was great fun to connect what they learned in phonics with Fox in Socks and Animalia.

The Beginner’s Bible-This was on son #2’s reading list for school (thanks to Sonlight!). He’s enjoyed reading it, and I can hardly stop him from reading the day’s “assignment.”

The Case of the Two Masked Robbers (by Lillian Hoban)-I picked this up for son #2 at the library. He’s eager to read “big” books, so I was hoping he could read this and feel confident that he had read a “big” book. He read this with me and his 2 brothers, and we all enjoyed it.

The Mystery of the Wild West Bandit  (by Gertrude Chandler Warner)-If you’re read any of the previous What We’re Reading Wednesday posts, you’ll notice a theme–The Boxcar Children! My boys love Boxcar Children–no secret. In this book, Henry, Benny, Violet and Jessie attend a Wild West Festival and stumble upon a mystery.

Tippy Lemmey (by Patricia C. McKissack)-My oldest son is reading this book about a neighborhood dog, Tippy Lemmey, that is giving the neighborhood children fits. The story is set in the United States during the years of the Korean War. My son’s eyes lit up when he read “war in Korea” since we had just been learning about the Korean War in Classical Conversations! This book is a great read for a kiddo who loves dogs.

Our current Audio Books selections have consisted of: Grimm’s Fairy Tales and Andersen’s Fairy Tales. I’ve been writing a lot recently about how much we LOVE audio books. ( If you missed the previous 3 posts that were a part of my Friday Favorites series, you can read them here, here, and here.) I’ve decided to include audio books that we’re “reading” in my What We’re Reading Wednesday posts.

It’s Wednesday–what are YOU reading?!?! Please comment below! Can’t wait to discover great books from you, my fabulous readers!

Friday Favorites: Favorite Places to find FREE Audio Books

11 Apr

FRIDAY Favorites

I’m wrapping up my last post about audio books today in my Friday Favorites series. In the previous 2 posts, I wrote about an apologetic for incorporating audio books into our children’s (and family’s!) lives and a laundry list of my boys’ favorite audio books divided into three age ranges: Preschool, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary/Middle School. As promised, I am writing today about my favorite places to find FREE audio books.

Free Audio Book Resources

LibrivoxThis is an online resource that contains audio versions of public domain books. Anytime you see the phrase “public domain,” it is safe to assume that these books are old and the majority of them are in the Classics genre. Copyright stays with a book for a specific length of time, and once the said length of time has transpired the book becomes “public domain.”  Public domain books, therefore, can be used as you like. photo 1
On Librivox’s website you can search through-literally-hundreds of free audio books. Once your selection is made, you can simply listen (aka “live stream”) to the audio files via Librivox’s website or download the files to your computer or iTunes. Librivox’s website contains detailed, “how-to” instructions  for downloading the audio book files. Once downloaded onto your computer or iTunes, you can burn the audio book onto cds and enjoy in your car, or your child can use the CDs in his/her room at naptime/restime. By downloading to iTunes, you can use an MP3 player/iPod/iPad/iPhone to listen to the audio books. I especially enjoy having this audio book-on-my-iPod option for exercising. I listened to Stepping Heavenward (by Elizabeth Prentiss) thanks to Librivox, and it was great motivation for exercise. I only permitted myself to listen to the book while exercising. I was so enthralled and drawn in by the book that I easily made exercise a priority because I wanted to listen to the next chapter! 🙂

There is an expansive list of genres available on Librovox: Children’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Poetry,  just to name a few. Best of all–the books are FREE! (I love free!!!)

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Books Should Be FreeThis is another website similar in concept, access and functionality as Librivox. In fact, some of Books Should Be Free audio books are accessed via Librivox. There are a few distinctions to note on Books Should Be Free. This website makes available audio and eBook versions of books. If an eBook version of a book is available (Kindle, Nook, iBooks, .pdf) in addition to an audio book version, it will be indicated on the specific page dedicated to the book. If your kiddo enjoys following along in the Kindle version of the book while he/she listens to the audio book version, Books Should Be Free will be a tremendous resource for you! you can download both audio and eBook versions from the same page!

Another distinction with Books Should Be Free boasts itself as “a primarily visual browsing experience.” This evidences itself when perusing through their website. Instead of listing book titles in alphabetical order with pages of text, text, text to sort through, Books Should Be Free includes a photo of each book’s cover. The visual images of the books make navigating through their website simpler. Searching for a specific book becomes less of a wild-goose chase filled with frustration and more of an attainable goal with a happy ending.

Books Should Be Free mirrors Librivox in that you have the option to listen to the audio book online via live streaming or to download it to your computer, iTunes (including via Podcasts), or MP3 player.

Library–Don’t forget one of the most accessible places for FREE audio books is your local library. Our library’s children’s section has a vast expanse of audio books available for checkout. At any given moment, you’ll likely find 3 or 4 different audio books from our library in our home. All 3 of my boys (currently ages 8, 6, and 4) usually have about an hour of rest time each day in their rooms (and consequently, me, too! Woot!). The boys LOVE this time of day because 99.9 % of the time this one hour of rest includes an audio book! Another plus, thanks to audio books, is that they rarely complain about rest time; they’re eager to listen to the next chapters in their current audio book!

If your library has a limited, small, or non-existent audio book collection, don’t be discouraged! Talk to your librarian! You may have these options:

  • Audio Book downloads via your library’s website–With advances in technology, many libraries are expanding their online access for digital and audio versions of books. Through our library’s website, I can download audio books from my library’s collection to iTunes for a specified length of time.
  • Petition for audio books to be purchased–Most libraries add to their collection each year. If your library’s audio book section is less than ideal, communicate your desire to see their audio book collection expanded. Most libraries are eager to hear input from their patrons.
  • Make Interlibrary loan your BFF–Just hearing the words “interlibrary loan” (ILL) makes me think of my college library. ILL is a program allowing a library patron to borrow a book that is unavailable at his/her library from a partnering library. I was continually ILL-ing books during my undergrad and graduate years. I never thought of a local library having ILL; I had only associated it with college libraries. However, when my quest to find a classic, well-loved children’s book at our local library left me striking out, I mentioned this to the librarian, and she suggested using interlibrary loan. I gladly obliged. (As a note of encouragement to the previous bullet regarding suggesting books to your librarian, I noticed several months later that the book I borrowed via ILL had been ordered and added to our library!) Your librarian can assist you with the interlibrary loan process at your local library.

So, now that I’ve encouraged you to make audio book listening a part of your life and provided resources where they can be accessed for FREE, what will be your or your kiddos’ first/next audio book?!?!? If you have any suggestions to share with Suzanne Shares leaders, please comment and include them below!

Thanks for stopping by for today’s Friday Favorites!