Location: http://auth.grolier.com/login/bookflix/login.php

Summary: BookFLIX is a wonderful resource to use with younger children preK-3 or when incorporating children’s literature into lessons. It offers digital books, both fiction and nonfiction.

Content: BookFLIX offers a diverse collection of digital books for young readers. It does require a membership but you can visit the site and get a free trial. To learn more, visit BookFLIX and the screen below will appear.

All members must log in each time they visit the site and will always find that the entire website is user-friendly and easy to navigate.  There are numerous digital books available in nine categories: animals and nature, earth and sky, people and places, ABC’s and 1, 2, 3’s, family and community, music and rhyme, adventure, celebrations, and imagination. Each category offers a variety of books, both fiction and nonfiction. The digital  nonfiction book selections can be read aloud to readers but also can have the read aloud option turned off. The fiction stories that accompany those are usually animated, in which readers watch the story and can choose to follow along with the text while it is being read aloud or merely listen to the story without viewing the text.

When a category is clicked on, a screen similar to the one below will appear. You can click on a book at any given time or you can choose to search using the tabs on the far right. Each time a tab is clicked, it brings up a selection of more books.

When a set of stories is chosen, one is now ready to choose either the fiction story on the right or the nonfiction selection on the left. When a nonfiction book is chosen, it will appear just as it does in the image provided. There is an option to turn the read along on or off, meaning users can have it read to them or they can read it on their own by turning the read along off. Important vocabulary words are highlighted in yellow for readers.

When a fiction book is chosen, the viewing screen can even be enlarged but it still does not cover the entire screen. The read along option is available to be turned on or off. When turned off, the words in the story will not appear on the screen as they are being read aloud.

There are additional resources available such as Puzzler, Meet the Author, Explore the Web, and other books that fit in the same category as the one chosen by the reader. Users also have access to lesson plans that accompany the literature.

The Resources area offers more information about each digital book, along with resources for using the paired texts, library programs, classroom activities, and for parents and children.

Strengths: There are a variety of popular digital children’s books available. The digital nonfiction books available are great resources, especially with the adoption of the Common Core Standards and the need for more exposure to nonfiction selections. The fiction stories offered are colorful, animated, incorporate music, and make reading enjoyable for children. Both types of books can be used in a variety of lessons in different content areas, even for older children.

Weaknesses: The major weakness is one must be a member to use the resource. Also, when enlarged, the story still does not fit the entire viewing screen. Lastly, the collection offers a decent amount of digital books but it would be nice to see the collection grow.

Overall Rating: I rate this resource a 5 out of 5 because it offers nonfiction stories that can be read aloud to children or they can read independently. The fictions stories offered are quite popular, they cover different topics, are animated, and make reading a fun experience.

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