Capstone Kids

Website review by
Leslie Crenna, Common Sense Media
Capstone Kids Website Poster Image
Book publisher's kid site has quizzes, activities, and more.

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Educational Value

Kids can learn social skills such as resiliency from "The B-Team," geography with traveling parrot "Ace McCaw," and deductive reasoning from "Damian Drooth Super Sleuth." Some titles appear to be more meaty than others, and not all tidbits of information are entirely factual ("ace" is one in Latin?) but, overall, learning is more likely because so much attention is paid to engagement. Capstone Kids lays out its kid-friendly offerings beautifully and throws in some nice learning support to boot.

Positive Messages

Lots of inspirational, motivating characters abound in Capstone's collection. 

Violence & Scariness

Titles such as DC Comics Superhero, Library of Doom, or School Zombies may have some violent moments. 

Sexy Stuff

Content is primarily books from an independent publishing company, which are for sale via link to the main site. No ads or products otherwise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Capstone Kids is a website for book-loving kids from publisher Capstone Press, featuring games, activities, quizzes, and information about their kid offerings. Tons of books and characters are highlighted, from Sports Illustrated Kids Victory School Superstars to Zeke Meeks, who's terrified of bugs and long fingernails. No personal information is collected from kids, but it's possible to purchase books on a companion site.

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What's it about?

CAPSTONE KIDS presents 65 series titles through trailer videos, story lines, downloadable activities, and character, author, and illustrator profiles, plus about 20 nonfiction exploration topics. Plentiful multiple-choice comprehension quizzes (about 15 percent Spanish titles) come with audio and super clear feedback, and 25 activities offer step-by-step instructions with photos. Despite the console icon, games are restricted to image-revealing matching puzzles, and word searches are in English only.

Is it any good?

Capstone Kids presents a range of complementary material to support fiction, nonfiction, hybrid, and Spanish-language titles from publisher Capstone Press. Kid-pleasing story angles that include kid werewolves, fortune telling, super scientists, and monster friends are enticingly brought to life through colorful graphics, a few full-chapter selections, and downloadables such as comic-strip templates and tattoos. The book titles sometimes look a bit like advertising, and vocabulary doesn’t exactly push the boundaries, but graphics are generally high-quality and role models positive. 

Capstone titles are not afraid to bring up tricky topics: absentee parents, adoring classmates, bullying, and disgusting, gross, and nasty things (eating boogers!), which, of course, kids love. Topic-wise, science and history seem to dominate the nonfiction selections. Don't miss the small but really well done Make Stuff section that highlights magic tricks, paper folding, and crafts. A few quibbles: It would be nice if book title images were linked, so kids would have an easier time accessing the associated games and quizzes. The Contests section also is disappointing, as there don't seem to be any active contests for kids to enter.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Make stuff! Create magic tricks, crafts, and recipes, draw, and do paper folding.

  • Have family discussions based on the quizzes' comprehension questions.

  • Watch video trailers to inspire a project for your kids, either for books they've read or short stories they've written. How would they present a story they're written as a movie trailer?

Website details

  • Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading, reading comprehension, storytelling, text analysis, vocabulary
    Science: animals, chemistry, ecosystems and the environment, electricity, energy, life cycle, physics, substance properties, weather
    Social Studies: events, exploration, geography, historical figures, history
    Hobbies: building, cooking, fashion, sports
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, deduction, investigation, problem solving
    Self-Direction: academic development, personal growth, self-assessment
    Tech Skills: using and applying technology
  • Genre: Educational
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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