Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Booksie Website Poster Image
More info, design detail would enhance quality book content.

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Educational Value

Kids can learn about some new topics and concepts in stories potentially, and they'll get reading practice. Some items address subjects that relate to emotions like starting school and being shy. Geographic locations are also mentioned in some stories. Items are available to help very young readers build vocabulary skills, and selections for more advanced readers may help familiarize them with how storytelling elements work.

Positive Messages

A number of the organizations that have provided content support positive ideals, such as gender equality and literacy.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Booksie is a reading website designed for young kids. Readers won't find any offensive or inappropriate content on this site, and it may get kids interested in geography, vocabulary, and other subjects. Users don't have to register or download anything to use Booksie, and they'll find dozens of reading options that can be accessed immediately -- including a number of books that feature positive themes, such as being brave and trying new things.

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What's it about?

BOOKSIE offers free picture storybooks for children. The site reportedly has more than a thousand stories for beginning and other readers from about a dozen outlets that focus on objectives like improving literacy, gender equality, and character-building. Individual story topics range from woodland creatures to a girl's first day of school and protecting marine life. Kids can flip through pages of each story and use functionality that randomly selects and open a book for them to read -- or shuffle the selection so they see different titles.

Is it any good?

Many stories on this site may interest kids, even with its simple design, and while kids can flip through their pages, the illustrations and layout often aren't particularly dynamic. Booksie doesn't offer many bells and whistles -- finding things to read can involve a lot of scrolling because the site navigation is at the top of the page above a long list of books. There isn't much information about the organization behind Booksie or even a detailed explanation of what general content is available on the site. Also, individual stories often don't include an age or reading level recommendation, or a description of what the story is about, which would help kids figure out which selections they'd find most appropriate and interesting.

On the plus side, though, while Booksie doesn't really emphasize it, some items appear to have been written by kids. This might inspire some readers to work on their own stories, and dozens of kid-friendly reading selections are available on a variety of topics on the site, so with some digging, visitors should be able to find things to check out. Booksie's intent is certainly admirable -- there's no cost to access items, and kids aren't bombarded with ads. Essentially, it's a respectable resource for reading material -- just with somewhat basic descriptive and design elements.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why reading is important -- and can be fun. What topics are your child interested in finding out more about?

  • What's the benefit of sharing stories? How has story telling evolved throughout history? Why is storytelling important?

Website details

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