Audiobooks and ebooks are a great option when you're not able to visit your local public library for print books, and for kids who can't get enough of listening to stories read aloud. Here are some great sources for free or low-cost audiobooks and ebooks you can stream on laptops, tablets, or smartphones.
Public Library Digital Services
Is your public library closed? See if your public library offers OverDrive where you can borrow and read free ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines on your phone or tablet — all you need is your library card to get access. See our booklist: Our Favorite Audiobooks.
Use our Book Finder tool or browse our themed booklists for children's books we recommend. Then check to see if you can borrow the audiobook or ebook versions from your public library.
Audiobook and Ebook Services
There are also a number of online services that offer high-quality audiobooks and ebooks. Listening to audiobooks builds vocabulary, background knowledge, and comprehension skills. Here are some digital book services we recommend — you can start with a free trial to explore what they offer:
- Audible for Kids: A deep collection of audiobooks from Amazon. While schools are closed, kids can listen to stories in this special collection for free (available in 6 languages).
- Bookshare: For children with dyslexia, low vision, and other reading barriers — get free access to books in audio, audio + highlighted text, braille, and large font.
- Tales2Go: More than 10,000 high-interest audiobook titles (including Spanish titles) from leading publishers. You'll also find book-based lesson plans for core reading skills, including phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
- Epic!: 35,000 resources, including ebooks, audiobooks, Spanish titles, learning videos, quizzes, teacher-curated collections, and more. While schools are closed, Epic! is offering students free access through their teachers.
Picture Book Read Aloud Videos
You might also want to explore some of the read aloud videos you can find online. Here are some of our favorite sources.
- 100+ Free Video Read Alouds (Indianapolis Public Library)
- Brightly Storytime
- Harper Kids YouTube Channel
- KidLit TV
- Read, Wonder, and Learn! (Favorite kidlit authors and illustrators share resources)
- RIF's Literacy Central
- Storyline Online
Find more links to picture book read aloud videos in this blog post from teacher and blogger Pernille Ripp.