The following is a list of free books, free book sites, and a variety of other children’s resources we think are useful.
As it is becoming more and more difficult to sift through the oceans of information on the internet to find the good parts, I have attempted to list sites in order of quality (amount and type of content and usability), from our perspective.The ones at the top of the list in each category are the ones we found most useful.
Books that can be Downloaded
http://www.getfreeebooks.com/?cat=21 – Get Free Books children’s books category, including a large number of downloads in various forms, mostly pdf, many collected from other free to list sites – Smashwords and Manybooks (as detailed in their submission requirements).
http://www.learningisland.org/ This site has a large range of books categorised for Grades 1 to 5. Primarily aimed at assisting with learning goals there are many interesting non-fiction titles. The books are free to use in their printed form for both private and school use.
http://www.allbooksfree.com/childrens.htm The children’s category of All Books Free, a collection of free e-books via links to the download on the books’ website.
http://manybooks.net/categories/CHI – The children’s books category at the Many Books site. It mainly contains public domain classics from the Gutenburg project and similar sites. There are lots of other free books there too, they have a slightly more user friendly interface than Gutenburg, and reportedly accept author submissions for free books.
http://www.smashwords.com/books/category/61/newest/0/free/any Smashword’s free children’s books collection, Smashwords is a free to list e-selfpublishing site with a variety of books, free and paid.
http://www.bibliotastic.com/genres/8 This site has a variety of original books, easily downloaded in different formats with editor and reader ratings to help choices. The link takes you directly to the juvenile category (children), there are only a few there at the moment, but the site is still young and numbers of books are steadily growing. The site is primarily aimed at exposure for new and establishing authors, there are some great reads there.
http://www.lulu.com/browse/books/children/7/LULU00004/?cid=us_home_browse A self publishing site with a variety of free books, many of which are available for free download, this link takes you to the children’s category, where you can use the site search.
http://www.weread.org/kids/download.asp A small collection of children’s books and resources, available for download, or as online reading, also available with audio, unfortunately some links appear broken at the time of writing.
http://ebooksubmit.ebook88.com/1ilraryy/?c=3 – Ebooks88 free children’s books category, a variety of children’s e-books in various electronic formats, again unfortunately many links appear broken at the time of writing.
http://www.kidstory.org/index.html A collection of downloadable chapter books for children by Nick Creech
http://www.tikiri.com/e-kathandara.html A large number of books by respected Sri Lankan author Janaki Sooriyarachchi available for free download, in English and Sinhala.
http://www.kidsbooksfree.com This site has a large number of books by Mark Griffin, all available as pdf downloads, primarily centred around characters called ‘The Little Squirts’ and similar creations.
http://www.seriousstories.com A collection of stories by Michael J Oswald, containing real life lessons, in online and pdf version for free download, with a link to the hard copy buy pages.
http://www.kidsenglishbooks.com Collection of simple children’s books for download, read online and audio.
http://www.childrenslibrary.org An large selection of children’s books, with a user friendly interfaces, a variety of sorts, and easy search. Available for reading on line only.
http://www.magickeys.com/books/ – A nice collection of free children’s stories and links, in online versions only. The site appears to be inactive.
http://istorybooks.getacustomsite.com/home.html A collection of well presented childrens books to read online, including some very nice non-fiction books about sea creatures, trucks, and dinosaurs. Some are available for free download in mobile apps.
http://www.sundhagen.com/babbooks/ – A nice collection of free children’s stories, in online versions only. They have some nice links – see further down the page.
http://www.astrop.net – A large collection of good quality books written by John Astrop.
http://www.rodcockle.com A large collection of children’s stories written by Rod Cockle
http://www.meddybemps.com A collection of stories games and activities around the Meddybemps series, inspiring creativity and learning.
http://www.bedtime-story.com/ A large collection of stories for online reading in text with some pictures.
http://www.storytimeforme.com: A collection of free animated read-online books.
http://www.storiestogrowby.com/stories – A collection of farytales and fables from all around the world, in text only, where children can add illustrations. Nice for cross-cultural exposure and some nice writing and drawing activities for older children.
http://hardgrove.freeservers.com/echo01.html The Echo and the Pixie, a cute story about friendship and bullies, sadly we can’t locate the author or we would try to find out if we can post the story at the site.
http://thesmugglerscaves.blogspot.com/ and http://theghostlygirl.blogspot.com/ are two young adult fiction books by Fiona Cullen-Skowronski, set in the Hastings caves, a tourist attraction in the UK, and available to read for free, by chapter in chronological order.
Note on free book sites: Most of the free book sites are either not displaying books in the format that we accept (pdf), are not in a fully formatted book form, we have not established contact with the authors, or from our perspective the quality was not acceptable, which means they don’t qualify for inclusion in our site, but there are still some great books and stories people can enjoy.
RESOURCES and BLOGS
http://www.fastq.com/~jbpratt/education/mypages/free.html Free teaching resources for teachers and parents, from Pratt’s Educational Resources website
http://www.coloringpages24.com An extensive collection of colouring pages (thousands of pages) for printing or, for older children to colour online, and some cute online puzzles and learning games for children.
http://www.lil-fingers.com Lil’ Fingers is a storybook site for toddlers with educational games, animated online storybooks with audio, coloring pages and lots of useful links.
http://imaginationsoup.net/ This is a parenting blog, but there are some really great ideas and resources there and some well written articles.
http://www.toddlercraft.net A blog site with lots of great resources and crafts for toddlers, great for parents and teachers.
http://inklesstales.com/forgrownups/archives/category/crafts A page containing several great craft ideas in blog post format, with easy to understand instructions. There are also many links to other parenting resources.
http://giraffian.com An educational website for children and parents with lots of resources, laid out in a visually pleasing user friendly way.
http://www.wigglyword.com/ A blog with some useful reviews of children’s books and some good resources for children’s book authors.
http://mybabymonsters.com/ A cute site where children can build their own stories. Also some really great fun and edcational classic online games.
http://www.yourbedtimestory.com A site with online text stories which can be customised instantly for your child, great for an older child that can read, and books have some associated colouring book images.
http://first-school.ws/ An educational resource site for parents and teachers with lots of useful suggestions for educational games, exercises and crafts.
www.wisdomebooks.com A free ebooks site with links to some educational books.
A large collection of public domain children’s books are available at www.gutenberg.org, in a variety of formats.
http://www.childrensbooksonline.org This site has a really large collection of antique children’s books, helpfully categorised by reading level. On initial investigation they appear to be mainly public domain books. The books are also in jpg format for page by page viewing.
Lists of Links for Kids /Parenting and Teacher Resources from others blogs:
http://www.educationcu.com/teacher_resources.shtml A list of teacher and parenting resources from credit union.
http://www.sundhagen.com/babbooks/links.html A collection of links to children’s books, resources for children, and children’s websites.
http://beginningreadinghelp.blogspot.com/p/reading-resources-to-share.html A Collection of learning to read resource sites.
http://beginningreadinghelp.blogspot.com/p/links-to-online-stories.html A large collection of links to online storiesand online story websites.
Other Kids Resources Sites:
The following are not free resources – but sites we thought they are good value:
http://www.allaboutmepublishing.com A site that has a variety of children’s books and gifts which are relatively cheap and customised with your child’s name/picture/details in the product. It is amazing what print on demand technology can do, I sure this is a novel gift for a child, which may stand out among all the other books he/she has.
http://www.storyresources.com A Site with some fun magnetic stick on activity books, aimed at early learning, for toddlers-preschool children.
I’ll keep adding to this list as I find time to research the links and find more good quality resources. Any reader suggestions welcomed.