George Lucas Educational Foundation
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For families traveling this winter or teachers simply looking for an alternative to tablet games, there are lots of great apps for winter reading. Android devices, iPhones and iPads can be turned into ebook readers with a quick tap or swipe. Portable and kid-friendly, these interactive storybooks will support and engage young readers.

Snowman Joe (iOS)

Follow along with this musical storybook as readers travel through a winter wonderland. Auto Play reads the book aloud as it zooms into parts of the illustrations and highlights keywords.

Read Me Stories (iOS and Android)

This app is full of picture books with illustrations that children will love. While the narrator reads the book aloud, kids can follow along as the text lights up on the screen. There is a new book available for downloading every day.

Epic! (iOS)

Another subscription-based service for iPads called Epic! helps children access a variety of texts straight from their tablet. This app helps gamify their reaing experience by awarding different bages as students complete different books. Their winter options include Bear in Long Underwear, Midnight in the Mountains, and Conquering Everest.

Frozen: Storybook Deluxe (iOS)

This storybook app from Disney brings the characters from the Frozen movie to life on your children's iPad screens. With this interactive app, kids can even record their own voice to add to the narration. It includes a few different listening options with short clips for students to watch after they have finished reading.

Winter Is (iOS)

A simple storybook with high-quality illustrations, this app is perfect for reading together as a family or letting your children listen as the narration is read aloud. You can preview the first few pages with the lite version of Winter Is before purchasing.

Dr. Seuss Bookshelf (iOS) and Dr. Seuss Treasury (iOS)

A wide variety of classic Dr. Seuss picture books are available for iPad and iPhone devices. Families can manage all of their downloads through this bookshelf app or access multiple books on a subscription plan through Dr. Seuss Treasury. The individual stories truly bring your favorite Dr. Seuss books to life.

Nothing Ever Happens at the South Pole (iOS)

Read about the adventure of a penguin at the South Pole in this classic book from Stan and Jan Berenstain. With illustrations and interactive text, this app is a great addition to you ebook collection.

A Blizzard of eBooks

These ebooks are available for download from the iBookstore on iPads and can also be viewed on iBooks on Mac Computers:

  • Splat the Cat (iOS) Perfect for children learning how to read, this Level 1 book has simple sentences and pictures that support comprehension.
  • Magic Tree House #32: Winter of the Ice Wizard (iOS) From the popular Magic Tree House series, this ebook is wonderful for children ready to start reading chapter books independently.
  • Walking with Dinosaurs: The Winter Ground (iOS) This book connects to the BBC series Walking with Dinosaurs and is a great option for introducing children to how winter impacts animals' habitats.
  • Bambi: The Winter Trail (iOS) This story places the familiar Disney character in the forest during wintertime.
  • Winter According to Humphrey (iOS) From the Humphrey series, this ebook follows the title character through a winter adventure.
  • Hello Olaf (Disney Frozen) (iOS) With characters from Disney's hit movie Frozen, this early reader is a great choice for fans of the film!

If you have only one device in your classroom, use an ebook as a read-aloud. With a few devices, create reading stations so that partners can practice choral reading.

Have you found a winter reading app that you love?

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Comments (12) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Jeff Lehman's picture
Jeff Lehman
Teacher of Computer Science and Religious Studies

Sadly, it doesn't look like either Read Me Stories or Storia are available in the UK. I can't find them in the Kindle app store or on Google Play.

Demetria's picture

I appreciated your blog because many parents during the winter break still would like to engage their children with reading, but some forget that the use of their tablet can play a big role in increasing their child's emerging reading skills. By using their tablet can provide an interactive tool to enhance their child's love of stories and reading.

Debby's picture

The Dr. Seuss Bookshelf is by Oceanhouse Media. They make many book apps, including Berenstain Bears and Little Critter, that are available for Android and Nook, not just iOS devices. My four year old grandson loves listening to the app read the story, then he explores the page to find if it has any surprises. While he explores, the app says and shows the names of different objects.

docofsoc1's picture
Parent of 1 first grader, CA, sociologist, parent blogger

We're in our second year of using with our six-year old who loves books but struggles with reading and learning challenges in general. What works for us here is the focus on ebooks that are beautiful recreations of the print originals, without a lot of distracting bells and whistles going on (audio is offered on about a third of the collection)...and kids are motivated to read more as reading allows them to unlock new books to add to their library. Parents can also adjust the reading levels. My daughter likes to "take turns" reading ebooks and her library books -- the variety helps her remain engaged.

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Online Community Engagement Manager

Scholastic just released a sneak peek from their Kids & Family Reading Report coming out in January 2015. The numbers are interesting: 73% of kids said they would read more if they could find books that they like. That's the key, isn't it? Find books the kids like and an easy way to put them into their hands.

If you're curious, here's think link to the sneak peek:

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