"If your child loves Disney, is reading or learning to read, and enjoys using a computer, I recommend trying out Disney Digital Books, which I recently had the opportunity to test out with my daughter Emma. DDB is an online library of over 500 new and classic Disney children's books through which readers (from beginners to advanced readers who can read chapter books) can choose stories about their favorite Disney friends, then click to read independently, hear words aloud, see definitions, turn pages on screen, and more.
DDB is a web-based service (no pesky download required!) and the interface is loaded with lots of great features. Kids can create a My Books section where they can see all the books they have read or want to read, and if they love a particular character, it's easy to select a category (e.g., Little Mermaid) and view all the relevant titles. Kids also can select books to be narrated and words are highlighted as they are narrated to help kids follow along. For budding readers, the dictionary is one of my favorite features; kids can use the "magic pen" to click on any word to hear the pronunciation and definition.
For advanced readers, DDB also encourages reading comprehension via pop up trivia boxes that ask multiple-choice questions about the book being read. Kids earn reward points for questions answered correctly, as well as for completing books, adding books to their bookshelves, and recommending books to friends. Kids can then use reward points to unlock features on the site. They also can build their own story via the Story Builder function that includes tools to create a book cover and print. There are other interactive features, such as emailing and connecting with other readers online, but I wasn't ready to explore that territory with my 6-year-old so we didn't go there.
In short, I still favor reading paper books with my kids, but feel that Disney Digital Books are a great supplement. Since the stories (obviously) all are based on Disney productions, a subscription would be best suited for kids who love the characters. The cost is $8.95 for a monthly family subscription (or $79.95/year), which includes a parent account (through which you can monitor your child's activity, suggest books, and send motivational messages to your kids) and profiles for up to three children in the same household. And if you want to explore before taking the plunge, the site offers a free (limited access) seven-day trial."
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED
Congrats to winner Molly!
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Now, want win a Disney Digital Books subscription + gift pack? Here's how:
*One lucky winner (drawn using Random.org) will receive a Disney Digital Books subscription + a gift pack including a variety of Disney books ($160 value).