Have you heard about We Give Books? I read about this website in a recent issue of Parents Magazine and immediately clicked over to learn more about this website where you can read tons of children’s books online – for a good cause! For each book you read, they donate a book to the literacy campaign of your choice – and there are several to choose from.
We Give Books writes that they are “a digital initiative that enables anyone with access to the Internet to put books in the hands of children who don’t have them, simply by reading online.”
Signing up and using the website was ridiculously easy. They organize the books by both age and which books are the newest editions to the website. Within an hour or so, my four year old MM and I read 5 books online together (and donated 5 books to our campaign, Conspiracy for Good which helps Nadirah, a schoolteacher from Zambia, as she travels to London to replace 10,000 kidnapped books that were intended for a new library for her 5th graders in Chataika village).
I was really impressed with the quality of the books as well as the online reading experience. “Flipping pages” is easy and the loading time was quick even on my computer which is a known memory hog. My favorite book right now would have to be Ladybug Girl at the Beach by Jacky Davis and David Soman. The illustrations in this book are truly remarkable in the detail and emotion that can be conveyed in such a simple, classic way. I don’t think my descriptions of the book will even do it justice, you simply have to check it out for yourself. Within the span of the 5 minutes it took to read this story together, my son and I were smitten.
The story has a cute premise with a nice little lesson to be learned about bravery and trying something new. The characters are so sweet and authentic that you can’t help but fall in love with Lulu (Ladybug Girl) and her family. I think kids will instantly relate to her as she is just all child and excellently portrayed and the idea of using a sort of super hero pseudonym to find the bravery to try something that you are maybe afraid of or just unsure about is a great idea for kids to grasp. Maybe Lulu is too afraid to go into the water, but Ladybug Girl can do anything – because she’s a super hero!
We also read Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy online together and loved that as well. More beautiful illustrations and a similar story but totally it’s own. This book introduces the idea that any kid can be a super hero, not just Lulu – so any little one who is thinking, “I wish I could be like Ladybug Girl” will realize that they totally can be! The book also talks about how important it is to play nicely together and treat each other with respect which I think is such an important playground lesson for kids and grownups alike!
I think We Give Books is a great idea for several reasons:
- If you have a reluctant reader who loves using the computer, this could be an excellent gateway to reading for them.
- I also like the idea of letting people read these books for free online – a lot of people worry that with no copyright people won’t buy the books – but we found a great series on this website that we definitely plan to buy for our home.
- And of course there is the actual mission of this website – giving books to kids who don’t have any. What nobler excuse could you have for spending a few hours online reading to your kiddos?
Guest bio: Jen E @ mommablogsalot.com is a SAHM to a 4 year old boy and a 1 year old girl. She is usually found behind the camera, in front of the computer, lost in a good book or dragging her family on another new adventure.
I discovered the site while participating in Jumpstart’s campaign this week. I was so surprised to see such quality books available to read for free. And I love that we can help others while we read. A win, win website!
I love the idea, but found the books rather difficult to read online with my young reader. Not having the pages, having to sit at the computer, well, it just didn’t work out too well for us.