One of the proudest moments of my short career as a mom was when my daughter asked, “Can you read me a story?” It was a school night, and we were really strapped for time, but I grabbed the opportunity and read her one of my childhood favorites.
Today, it’s the one nighttime routine – besides brushing teeth – that I try not to let slide.
Children love hearing stories, especially at bedtime. It’s a time-honored tradition that helps them wind down after moments of playing, screaming and other intense activities, and go to sleep.
Reading also helps kids bond with their mother or father as they associate it with love and affection, improves language, sharpens their memory and creative thinking, and makes them love books.
It’s not that easy finding children’s books around the house or buying newer titles every day though. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of free kids’ books online you can read to them, or give them to read on a computer, phone or tablet.
Try these great sites with good quality, free online books for kids.
Best Websites With Free Online Books For Kids
- Oxford Owl
- Storyline Online
- International Children’s Digital Library
- Open Library
- Amazon’s Free Kids Ebooks
- Barnes & Noble Free Nook Books for Kids
- Mrs. P’s Magic Library
This award-winning website from Oxford University Press is your online resource for children’s books and other reading activities.
It’s designed to support their learning at school and at home. Once you register for free, you can access more than 250 free Oxford ebooks for kids along with storytelling videos, games and guides that help them develop their reading skills.
Storyline Online is another award-winning, interactive children’s literacy site that features famous actors like Kevin Costner, Betty White, James Earl Jones, Eva Longoria, and others reading children’s books alongside minor animation elements.
Each video has a brief explanation below it showing details of the run time, book author, illustrator, and publisher, suggested grade level, and a plot summary.
Run by The Screen Actors Guild Foundation, the site offers books developed by credentialed elementary educators and aims to strengthen verbal, written and comprehension skills for English language learners.
International Children’s Digital Library (ICDL)
ICDL is a nonprofit organization that provides access to the best children’s books of their culture, and cultures around the world regardless of where they live. There are over 4,000 titles in 59 languages to choose from, that you can read to your children.
If you want a personal bookshelf for your family, create a free account and save your favorite kids’ books, set personal preferences, and bookmark books you’d like to read later.
Alternatively, use the simple search interface to find suitable titles by age, length of book, genres, reading level and more. You can also pick a book from some of the featured titles on the home page, and read away for free anonymously.
Once you have a few to get started, it’s easier to extract powerful themes from the stories to help explain important lessons to your kids or allow them to expand on the stories and create games out of them.
This site is part of the nonprofit Internet Archive and houses a collection of more than one million books, with access to over 22,000 free online books for kids – classic and newer titles – for free.
It continually updates its collection of links to children’s books online, plus other books, so you can rummage through the collection and find a few for your own reading pleasure.
Amazon’s Free Kids eBooks
Amazon isn’t just an online store to buy stuff from. It’s also a rich resource for kids’ books online.
You can find free Kindle books for kids categorized under the Children’s eBooks section. There are several subcategories like Action & Adventure, Animals, Early Learning, Sports & Outdoors, each with 100 free eBooks to pick from so you can read a different one each day to your kids.
With more than 3,000 children’s ebooks, you’re sure to find something you and they will like.
Barnes & Noble Free Nook Books For Kids
Barnes & Noble is synonymous with books so you’re guaranteed they’ll have some for the little ones too.
The site has a special Kids’ section with different categories to choose from such as age or subjects, and you can sort them by title, bestseller, new or old, and user ratings.
If you have the Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader, you can download free online books for kids from ages 0-12 years. Some children’s favorites like Disney characters Elsa and Anna, or Dr. Seuss, Peppa Pig, Dork Diaries, and many others are all in there.
Mrs. P’s Magic Library
You probably know her from her role as ‘Mimi’ in the Drew Carey Show, but Kathy Kinney wears more hats than just actress and comedienne – she’s a storyteller and children’s advocate too.
Kinney believes that children deserve a good book to read or be read to, which is why she and her partners co-created this site to pep up the magic and joy of hearing timeless stories online.
She’s a wonderful and skilled storyteller, and on the site she stars as Mrs. P, a grandmother who reads classic storybooks aloud from her couch in a voice that children can enjoy.
Kinney takes children on unforgettable adventures as far as their imaginations allow, and find quality entertainment that inspires them to read and love books.
Stories are the children’s window to the outside world. They make them dream of beautiful castles, princesses, great adventures and superheroes who fight the ugly green monsters to make the world a safer place.
On their own, children can be voracious readers especially if they’ve developed a reading habit. It can be challenging trying to keep up when they want more books to read, but with this list of sites to find free online books for kids, there’s more than enough to get started.