Archive for web reviews

web review

I know I’ve told you about Tumblebooks before, but I think it’s time for a reminder!   Tumblebooks is an interactive library of animated, talking books for readers from preschoolers to teens.  Users can choose to read along as they listen to a story, or read a story on their own. TumbleBooks are based on existing, mostly classic, children’s books, to which are added animation, sound, music and narration to produce an electronic book, or e-book. TumbleBooks help kids enjoy reading in a format they’ll love!

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web review

Inside Art

Young art lovers will enjoy this adventure into art history.  The site focuses on four paintings and artists.  In a choose-your-own-adventure style game, readers answer questions about the featured artwork and artists, which in turn dictates where on the site the reader will go next.  This allows kids to get personal with the artwork in a fun way, engaging their imaginations and teaching them many facts about art at the same time.  Art lovers, be sure to give this one a try!

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tips for reading out loud

Kids love to hear books read aloud.  Need some tips for reading out loud?  Check out these tips from Reading Rockets.

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web review

http://www.storyplace.org/ 

Can’t make it to the library this week?  Visit a virtual kids library instead, StoryPlace.  Storyplace is full of stories and activities for preschoolers and school age children.  Click on the preschool library and you will see options for an online story and an online activity for three different themes, along with a take home activity and a reading list for that theme.   The elementary library offers stories and activites for six themes.  The site is well organized, easy to navigate, and features bright colors and fun animal characters.  Clicking through the various parts of the site on their own could be great practice for a younger child, and the youngest readers will have fun choosing the next spot for their big person to click on.  This site is great fun when you want that library experience at home.

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web review

www.picasa.com

Have you become a shutterbug, snapping picture after digital picture of your life?  Then you will want to check out www.picasa.com.  This google product allows a photographer to organize, share, and even edit their work, all for free (you just need a simple software download).   In picasa, you can easily organize your photos into folders, rename files and even create albums that you can use to make slideshows or movies and then email to family and friends.   Picasa will automatically resize your photos for emails as well.   You can even put your photo albums on the web to share, and as a bonus, its easy to upload your pictures to your picasa albums.  Finally, forget expensive photo editing software, picasa offers basic fixes and more so that you can create that masterpiece.  Picasa goes beyond removing redeye (although you can do that too), to offering anything from fixing color and contrast to adding sepia tones and text to fixing the angle of your shot.  And it’s all done with sliders and easy one clicks.  And it’s all free.  Be sure to give Picasa a try!

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web review

Starfall is a highly rated website designed by educators to help children learn to read.  The materials on the site are modelled on the five focus areas recommended by the National Institue of Child Health and Human Develpment: phonemic awareness, systematic phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.

The first section, “ABC’s” (let’s get ready to read), features each letter of the alphabet on colorful blocks.  When a viewer clicks on a letter, they see the ‘big’ and ‘small’ versions of the letter, hear the pronunciation of that letter, and see objects that begin with that letter.  For example, when a child clicks on the letter ‘C’, they see both versions of a written C and then see a picture of an actual cat.  This is followed by sections called “Learn to Read”, “It’s Fun to Read” and “I’m Reading”.  You can also reinforce your child’s online experience by printing the free practice pages that accompany each section.

Thanks to a clear and simple organizational structure, kids will even be able to manipulate the site on their own.  Be sure to check out Starfall.

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web review

Many of your child’s favorite authors have websites with interactive games and activities.

You can find the official Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar-Lane Library info here, The Very Busy Spider-Lane Library info here) website here.   The site includes an author bio, photo albums, list of his books, and the Caterpillar Exchange bulletin board, where parents and teachers post ideas for activities based on Eric Carle’s books.

The publisher of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (Lane Library info here), Harper Collins, has a nice site for the book here.   Included are links to fun and games like mazes, coloring sheets, and crafts.

Everyone loves Green Eggs and Ham!  (Lane Library info)  Find activities for the Dr. Seuss book here.  If you have another favorite Dr. Seuss book, check out the Seussville website for games, a Dr. Seuss biography, and more.

Mem Fox, author of Wombat Devine and Koala Lou, has a wonderful website.   You can read the “stories behind the stories” and get some writing tips from the “so you want to write a picture book section”.

If your kids are fans of the I Spy (Lane Library info) and Can You See What I See (Lane Library info) books, check out author Walter Wicks’ website.   He gives peeks at some of his newer titles, and even includes a hints page for hard to find items in his I Spy books.

If you have a Junie B. Jones (Lane Library info) fan in your house, check out her website.  You’ll find information about author Barbara Park, as well as activities and even a letter from Junie B. herself.

Author of the Captain Underpants books (Lane Library info), Dav Pilkey’s website is as fun as his books.  The site includes everything from games and videos to an author bio and book information.  Don’t miss this one if you’re a fan of Captain Underpants!

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