Parent reviews for Storybird

Storybird Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 6+

Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 8+

Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 8+

Based on 32 reviews

age 5+

Unsafe chat/messaging model

Storybird is an okay platform for engaging children in storywriting, but has a lot of limitations. What I am more concerned about is it's commenting/chat model. Storybird allows all users to comment on each other's stories platform-wide and allows all users to be tagged in comments. There is no way to disable these features, nor is there any way to limit commenting only to a particular classroom. There is also no way to limit comments to be within a particular age group. My child commented on a story, and the writer has been sending her daily messages in a mature adult voice, asking her personal details about her after school activities, favorite ice creams, age, grade level, city, etc. This other user initiates every conversation, and asks increasingly probing personal questions. There is nothing specific inappropriate about the questions themselves -- but the entire thing feels inappropriate for there to be someone asking my 7 year old child personal questions (in an adult voice) and for me to not be able to turn off the commenting. When I contacted Storybird, they told me that their site purposely has no restrictions on commenting, that they encourage relationship building between children and adults who are strangers to each other. They said that every comment is moderated by their team -- which is fine for preventing something completely inappropriate or sexual, but which does not solve the problem in general.
age 8+

Really not worth it

This site was absolutely amazing a few years ago; before they made their grand update, but there are so many mistakes and irritating things now. I'll list a few of them for you: - You have to buy membership to create something with their artwork, so poetry is no longer free for anyone to write - Long stories can't be longer be more than a specific amount of words unless you buy membership - When a story is "too mature" they'll tell you, which is great considering kids are on this site, but they don't tell you what the mature content is, so you won't always know what to change and you can edit your story hundreds of times without it helping - Before the update, you could see and reply to comments when you expanded the notification box, but now you can't, so you sometimes have to scroll 30+ comments down on your story to find the comment you haven't seen - There is no good and easily understandable guide to how to post stories that aren't finished. If you post a few chapters, but you want to make more, it's easy to write them, but when they have to go through the review process it's not specified how to only send the new ones to review - The new poem idea is just really bad. The whole idea of having to make a poem with random words was amazing. It would teach children (and you) to think, to create sentences and to be creative in general with the little you were presented with. This new thing where you can just write whatever words you want has completely robbed us of the creativity in using what you've been given instead of what you've chosen - "Following" and "followers" has been removed. Before the grand update (in 2017? 18?) people were friends on Storybird. You could easily talk to each other in comments, and you had a section where you could see stuff from people you were following, so you could support your friends, but now with that gone, friends aren't easy to have there more. You have to click on people to see their stuff, so you won't do it as much. The whole socializing and supporting each other has almost disappeared from the site All in all: BAD :(

This title has:

Too much consumerism
age 13+

Inappropriate material available

Please be cautious with this site. The story writing feature is excellent for all ages. But the library is not age-gated which means your child will have access to inappropriate material if they are under 13. This access cannot be turned off or restricted.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
age 8+

Cool but limited with creativity

Engagement: This is a very engaging tool that can be used to introduce a new concept in a way that connects to your students. It definitely gives students a sense of ownership and allows them to bring creative writing into the 21st century with technology. Pedagogy: Storybird practices one of the most important aspects of learning which involved creativity and intrinsic motivation. Not all students will be phenomenal writers but all students will want to make something they can call their own. For my English Language Learners, the illustrations play a big role in helping them to communicate their writing through pictures. Support: This site supports teachers across content areas as it can help students practice and extend their learning into their own words in lieu of just worksheets. It gives students a platform to express themselves and their learning. I gave Storybird a 4/5 star rating for a few reasons: -It is an awesome tool to get students excited about writing -It can give teachers a way to personalize stories and involve students or concepts being learned in the classroom -It's great that there is not a limit on the amount of pages you can include in your story -It's just an all around great site that can be accessed by all (+ signing up/in is a blast with the Google easy sign in) The one little star missing from my rating is a result of: -Students have to choose a type of artwork to start off with but cannot include other great pictures from a different theme that may enhance their writing -Students wanted to be able to control the font type, size and color but were limited to just Times New Roman -The illustrations could be organized or categorized better for easier student navigation
age 5+

It's limited

There's no doubt that the artwork in this site is absolutely gorgeous. I'm not disputing that students would not be able to create a book from the content included in the site, but I feel as though the site is extremely limited. If a student already has a story in mind and wants to add beautiful artwork to his/her ideas and thoughts, this is not the site for that. They will become frustrated with not being able to find what they are specifically looking for. If a student needs help in being inspired to write a story without any idea already, then this site may help that student.