We don't always have a book handy and carrying too many books can be cumbersome, especially with the kids. But we found new ways that you can read - anywhere and anytime.
We bring you a list of our favourite reading applications and websites for both kids and parents. Applications are available on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Blackberry and Android. It’s the easiest way for you to catch up on your reading and for the kids to form a healthy habit through interactive reading.
For the little ones, we love these:
1. NLB Tumble series
The National Library board website offers e-resources specially catered to the little ones. Aptly named TumbleBook, Tumble Readables and TumbleTalkingBooks, these resources are a great way to keep the young ones reading without the hassle of leaving the house. All you need is a membership account with the library board to access all of their e-resources.
Meegenius is a smart phone reading application for kids ages 1-6 years old. It offers a simple, child-friendly interface that allows for easy browsing, reading and listening. Unlike stand-alone e-books, which has only one story per app, Meegenius allows you to store multiple titles in its library. It has a wide variety of e-books available with popular stories like The Elves and the Shoemaker and The Little Red Hen. Download is free and comes with 7 free titles. Additional and new stories can be purchased from USD 1.99 – $9.99 on the app’s storefront. However, it is purely a story-telling and self reading medium with very little interaction.
Read Me Stories
This is another smart phone application and is great for its series of original stories, which are both amusing and easy to read. Most of the stories follow a rhyming pattern, which the children will thoroughly enjoy. Not all of the stories available are free. However, you are able to purchase additional stories within each story series in the app.
Standalone reading applications are also available. We especially LOVE the reading apps from Oceanhouse Media that features popular Dr Seuss’ titles, The Berenstein Bear series and even Five Little Monkeys series. All of the Oceanhouse Media apps offer three reading options – Read to me, Read to myself and Play as you read. This is one of the best apps available if you wish to read along with your child. Highly interactive with mini games as you read through the stories, there will never be a dull moment here.
For Moms, Dads and the older kids, we recommend these:
This is an easy reader platform that you can easily download for free from the App Stores. Kobo Inc comes with complimentary first e-book and upon registration, you will receive four more free titles.
Additional and new books are available for purchase on its storeront with prices ranging from USD 1.99 to 9.99. The Kobo store meanwhile, has more than 2.3million e-books available on retail so you will definitely be able to find something to your liking. Settings on the app allow you to choose the font, the font size and even bookmark the last page you’ve read. The best feature is really the single paged format that ensures easy reading sans scrolling as well as the page flip format which gives the app a more traditional book-like feel to it.
Apple released this application in 2010 and currently, the full version is not available in the Singapore App Store. However, that does not mean you can’t enjoy the lite version of the iBook. It is especially good for those of you who enjoy reading classics or would like to read one but never had the time to. With a simple interface, the application is free for download and has classics ranging from Dicken’s Hard Times to Louisa May Ascott’s Little Women. What iBook fail to provide in terms of variety, it makes up for it with the one factor which everyone cannot resist – all of the classic titles are FREE!
MobileRead by NLB
Newly launched by the NLB in collaboration with IDA, MobileRead is a free reading application. While popular and recent titles are still unavailable for download, you can still get well known classics such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Bronte’s Jane Eyre. A wide array of classic, children and Singaporean literature is available upon a one time log in using your library account. The one unique feature of MobileRead which sets itself apart from the other reading applications is the availability of books in English, Malay, Tamil and Chinese. So, essentially it is very much like having a library in one simple application!
These sites and applications offer much variety at a low cost and are extremely convenient to use. Be it in the comfort of your own home with your family or while you’re on the go, you’d always be able to have a story on hand. The ABCs of reading should really be the Es of reading – Easy and Efficient.
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