A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this delightful story-creation site lets kids 6-11 make their own comic books, pop-up books, and treasure maps. The site is owned by Puffin Books, the children's paperback publisher of such classics as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The digital tools are superb and the content G-rated. The only drawback: the oodles of ink kids will need to print out their creations.
Is it any good?
All the tools are easy enough for six-year-olds to use, but there’s enough to keep tweens entertained, too. For instance, the audio book, which consists simply of dragging and dropping sound effects onto various objects such as cymbals, will delight youngsters just learning to read. Older kids will like Pop!, a tool for writing storybooks with fancy pop-up centers, and Comic Genius, for creating comic strips complete with talk bubbles and South Parklike characters. The graphics are gorgeous, the sound effects rich, and the writing clever. There’s even a tips section for kids on what makes a good story.
Talk to your kids about ...
Discuss how storytelling has changed, from stories passed down verbally from one generation to the next to printed books to today’s digital media. Why is telling stories important and what advantage do books have over movies and vice versa?
Using the We Make Stories site's Comic Genius tool, create a comic strip about your family. Dress the characters, choose a background where you like to vacation such as the seashore, and write talk bubbles of things you say to each other. Read our tips on creating with digital media.