Write a Review Wednesday: Listen-Along Storybooks

Welcome to another Write a Review Wednesday, a meme started by Tara Lazar as a way to show support to authors of kids literature. Last week we reviewed Groundwood Books’ I Know Here (age 4-7) written by Laurel Croza and illustrated by Matt James. This week things are a little different. We’re actually looking at a new program launched by Sterling Publishing called Listen-Along Storybooks. We reviewed this new feature with the book Ceasar Takes a Break (age 4-7 ), written by Susan Collins Thoms and illustrated by Roge. I have to thank Wendy at Sterling Publishing for my review copy.

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Sterling Children’s Books is known for publishing amazing books, some we’ve had the chance to review and some we plan to review in the future. But this month, Sterling Children’s Books has launched a new program: Listen-Along Storybooks.

By visiting the website www.listenalongstorybook.com, visitors will be able to listen to a FREE audiobook of some of Sterling Children’s Books most popular titles. Currently there are eight titles included: Cesar Takes a Break, Cowboy Camp, I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track, Perfectly Arugula, Jack and the Beanstalk, Tex and Sugar, We Go Together, and The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

Visitors can select the book they want to listen to or they can download the file to an MP3 player and take it wherever they go. The story can be listened to on it’s own or with the corresponding book. We were sent a copy of Cesar Takes a Break to try out the Listen-Along Storybook program. It was so easy to download the audio on my iPhone. No passwords or multiple steps; find the story you want to here and ‘click’ it’s playing or saved, whatever you prefer.

The kids enjoyed listening to the audio book of Cesar Takes a Break while we flipped the pages. They enjoyed hearing the different voices, a task that even I’m not very good at. Robert Agis who read Cesar, the main character, was great and really added emotion to the words he was reading (he’s also your host in the ‘How Cesar Takes a Break Audiobook was Made’ video below). My seven-year old also enjoyed just listening to the story on it’s own, without the book. One thing I noticed, unlike other audio books, there isn’t a tone to turn the page if your child is following along. This wasn’t an issue for us since I was reading the book with my kids.

I love that the audio stories add another element to an already enjoyable book. You can read the story, look at the book with the audio, or just listen to the audio; you have that much flexibility. Yes, you can download the audio without having the books but I think you’ll find having the pictures in front of you adds so much more to the experience.

Take a behind the scenes peek at what goes into making the audio for one of the Listen-Along Storybooks (specifically Cesar Takes a Break):

A GIVEAWAY JUST FOR YOU

To help kick off the launch of the Listen-Along Storybook program, Sterling Children’s Books are offering to give three (3) of my readers a copy of all eight (8) storybooks currently included in the Listen-Along Storybook program. How fun would that be, listening to the FREE audiobooks while reading along with eight of Sterling Children’s Books most popular reads. The eight books included would be: Cesar Takes a Break, Cowboy Camp, I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track, Perfectly Arugula, Jack and the Beanstalk, Tex and Sugar, We Go Together1, and The Twelve Dancing Princesses.

To enter, leave a comment below telling me which of the eight books you think your kids would want to listen to first. This contest is open to both Canadian and US residents but get your entry in before March 24. After that date I’ll be randomly picking three winners.

Update: Thanks to everyone for entering. Winners have been notified by email.

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19 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Stephanie on March 12, 2010 at 9:02 am

    I think my son would enjoy them all, but he’d probably ask for I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track first since he loves all things train-related!

    What a great program- my son loves listening to audio books on our car trips. We’ll have to check out some of Sterling’s titles!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Katrina on March 12, 2010 at 9:16 am

    definitely The Twelve Dancing Princesses for us

    Reply

  3. My daughter really liked Perfectly Arugula and Tex and Sugar. It was really hard to narrow down to one…Sorry I snuck in two! thanks for the chance to hear some some new stories!

    Reply

  4. My daughter would like to read Tex and Sugar I think. But we love all kid’s books here. thanks, Paula
    inkscrblr@rogers.com

    Reply

  5. My daughter would definitely want to listen to The Twelve Dancing Princesses first!

    Reply

  6. Posted by Hannah on March 13, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I saw an ant on the railroad track sounds like a fun book!

    Reply

  7. My son is into trains so I would say I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track.

    onlycancan ta hotmail tod com

    Reply

  8. Posted by MJ on March 14, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    The Twelve Dancing Princesses would be Ella’s first request!

    mj.coward[at]gmail.com

    Reply

  9. Posted by Rakam on March 16, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    My daughter loves the “Jack & the Beanstalk” story!! Thanks for posting info about this website.

    Reply

  10. My kids would pick Jack and the Beanstalk. Big Fans!

    Reply

  11. […] program launched by Sterling Publishing called Listen-Along Storybooks. I’m still running a giveaway on eight of the Listen-Along books. This week we’re looking at Jeremy Tankard’s Boo Hoo Bird (3-5 ) from Scholastic […]

    Reply

  12. Posted by Donna on March 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    He would love Cowboy Camp. All of them look great though.

    dawnpnr(at)aol(dot)com

    Reply

  13. Jack and the Beanstalk looks great! Thanks for the chance to win!

    zenzart at hotmail dot com

    Reply

  14. I bet my daughter would LOVE the princesses one, but she also likes the Jack and the Beanstalk story…

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    We posted ab

    Reply

  15. Posted by Linda Kish on March 23, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Tracks

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

    Reply

  16. My daughter often surprises me, but I think she’d like the classic Jack and the Beanstalk. This is a great giveaway, and I love the idea of the free audio books for children online. (I just posted about free books online the other day, actually. http://livelearnlove226.blogspot.com/2010/03/free-e-books-for-children.html )

    Thank you!

    Reply

  17. Jack and the Beanstalk!

    Reply

  18. Posted by Wendy on March 24, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I think my son would be interested in Cowboy Camp first.

    Reply

  19. I hope it’s not too late to enter! My daughters would go for 12 Dancing Princesses first, they love that story!

    Reply

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