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Disney Digital Books
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the free trial subscription to Disney Digital Books is but a preview of the features of full membership. Once subscribed, kids are able to navigate around a safe environment full of reading opportunities. But before you subscribe it pays to realize that all of these stories are based on Disney productions, so if it ain't Disney, you won't find it here. The interaction opportunities are limited to pre-selected responses and the books are categorized for different age groups. Interactive features are also geared toward more younger kids.
Is it any good?
Parents might recall enjoying the Disney Storybooks: hardbound, illustrated books that captured the stories of Disney movies in print. Well, this tradition has moved into the 21st century to offer up virtual storybooks in a comprehensive library online. Thankfully, Disney was able to keep the charm of these classic storybooks by designing things very similar to the beloved book series. Today's kids will find plenty to read with stories from modern day classics like High School Musical, Camp Rock, JONAS and Hannah Montana being offered. And, of course you'll still find all the classics from Winnie the Pooh and 101 Dalmatians to The Lion King and Toy Story. The book selection platform is a visually pleasing experience that fully integrates the convenience of the web, with kids being able to organize favorites and earn awards for comprehension. But Disney wisely stays away from making the simple classics too overly bogged down in techno-hype and if you just want to enjoy a good read, this site will provide it with few distractions.
Online interaction: Children interact with each other by choosing pre-selected messages and sharing book suggestions. Parents can use their Account ID to access their child's activity and send messages of encouragement.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why learning to read and read well is important. How does reading on a website differ from reading a book? Do you think it is more entertaining to read a story online or in a book? How can you balance out your media time?
Families can talk about the origins of some Disney classic stories. Can you name some fairy tales and fables that have similar tales to Disney classics? How were these stories changed or how did they stay the same?
Why do you think this site only lets users send pre-selected messages to other members? What would be the danger of writing anything you wanted in these messages? How should you behave on websites that don't have this safeguard?