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.
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.