A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that although kids younger than 5 can probably use this site with some simple pointing and clicking, we don't recommend having kids online who are under 4. This site acts as an online library filled with classic and contemporary children's books. The format encourages early readers to follow each word as it's read -- just click on a title and follow along as the pages turn. While kids may find the simple interface and slow pace to be perfect, parents may grow impatient. Also, the $40 annual subscription price is a bit steep for the amount of content offered.
What's it about?
With one click, kids can open a book from the online library at ONEMORESTORY.COM and be treated to professional narrators reading aloud against a backdrop of original music, sound effects, and illustrations in a full-screen window. Once you assist with logging in, your child can easily navigate the simple interface with a little help from Bendy the Bookworm, the site's animated host (Windows users can download the site's icon to the desktop, so kids can get to the site themselves). Just click on a large green arrow to turn the page or choose to have the pages turned for you -- a nice feature for younger kids who haven't mastered mousing skills just yet.
Is it any good?
While nothing can replace parents reading to kids, OneMoreStory.com provides a valuable supplemental reading experience that gives kids the chance to explore books independently and savor them at their own pace and reading level. Pre- and early readers will enjoy following along as spoken words are highlighted. More experienced readers who find the narration too slow can turn it off and read the text themselves and if they get stuck, they can just click on a word to hear it read out loud.
The amount of content is a little anemic to truly justify the $40 annual subscription (this is for home use; academic prices vary). Currently, 41 books are available, with a new one added each month. The site plans to add about 70 more, along with articles for parents, written by child development experts.