MCPL card holders have four library supported options for finding free eBooks and audiobooks for kids: Overdrive, 3M Cloud Library, TumbleBooks and WorldBook eBooks. TumbleBooks can be read online only, but no checkout limits apply. Overdrive allows users to download titles to mobile devices, but limits users to ten items with a two week check out period. WorldBook eBooks allow for simultaneous access by multiple users.
- Overdrive: http://idm.lib.overdrive.com
Use the MCPL catalog to search for a specific title, or browse all children's titles through a keyword search for 'juvenile', limit by downloadable audiobook or downloadable eBook. Once you find a title, the link will direct you to the Overdrive catalog, where you can learn its availability, download the item, or conduct a more advanced search for specific subject matter or format. Some people prefer to start their search through Overdrive directly. Sign in with your library card number and PIN/Password to be ready to download and place holds on items. Once logged in you may also be able to read some titles in the Web browser without having to download.
- TumbleBooks: http://mcpl.info/childrens
Hundreds of interactive eBooks with special features like games, videos, and books for iPad. Most titles include an option to have the story read aloud. Includes stories by popular children's authors like Robert Munsch, plus nature books and videos from National Geographic. Access online through the MCPL Kids homepage.
- WorldBook eBooks: http://ebooks.worldbookonline.com/mall/instt/main.do
Wonderfully illustrated, engaging titles that span curriculum areas and reading levels. Read books with a kid-friendly layout in the browser window, or on a mobile device by downloading the free WorldBook eBook app. Includes classic novels for older readers, too.
Other Free Options for Downloadable eBooks and Audiobooks
Download to a mobile device, or, read or listen online at your computer. These sites include primarily items in the Public Domain. (Generally titles more than 120 years old.)
- Gutenberg-Children's Shelf: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Category:Children%27s_Bookshelf
A massive archive of eBooks for all ages, including classics like The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Anne of Green Gables. Multiple eBook formats are available.
- Internet Archive Children's Library
A large collection of books including multiple versions of many classics. A good resource for beautifully illustrated folktales. Multiple eBook formats are available.
- Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/rr/rarebook/digitalcoll/digitalcoll-children.html
An archive of rare, illustrated children's books. Read online or download books as PDF files.
- LibriVox: http://librivox.org/
Audiobooks in the public domain read aloud, many titles are available in non-English languages. Download books as mp3 files.
Free Online eBooks and Audiobooks
Read, listen, or watch online using a computer or tablet. These sites include primarily items in the Public Domain. (Generally titles more than 120 years old.)
- Audiobook Cloud: http://mcpl.info/fiction/cloud-based-books-audiobooks-and-video
Listen online to audiobooks for kids, including Spanish language selections. Audiobook Cloud offers classic books like Anne of Green Gables, as well as newer options, try the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky.
- The Baldwin Online Children's Literature Project: http://www.mainlesson.com/main/displayarticle.php?article=mission
Over five hundred eBooks for kids, including many fairy tales, biographies, and history books.
- Between the Lions: http://pbskids.org/lions/stories/
Collected story time segments from the PBS television show, Between the Lions. Videos have read-along closed captioning. Includes more recent books like Bee-bim-bop! and My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks, plus classic folktales.
- Children's Books Online: http://www.childrensbooksonline.org/library.htm
A large collection of illustrated antique eBooks, many offering non-English translations and "Read-to-Me" books with audio.
- International Children's Digital Library: http://childrenslibrary.org/
A diverse selection of children's literature from all over the world, including lots of non-English picture books. Some recent titles are available.
- myON Books: http://www.doe.in.gov/hoosierreaders/myon-books
Provided by the Indiana Department of Education's Hoosier Family of Readers program, this collection of digital books includes 5,000 titles, ranging from picturebooks to chapterbooks, fiction and nonfiction, and some graphic novel choices, as well, at a variety of reading levels. Log in using the school name "Hoosier Family of Readers, Indiana Department of Education." Then enter the username (read) and password (read). You can even read books offline by downloading the "myON" app to a mobile device.
- Storyline Online: http://www.storylineonline.net/
Modern classic picture books read aloud by Screen Actors Guild members. Books are presented in video format with animated illustrations and music. Try Harry the Dirty Dog read by Betty White.
- UFDC-Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/juv/
Similar to the Internet Archive Children's Library, this website archives many British and American editions of the same works with unique illustrations. Check out the whole collection of Grimm's Fairy Tales and over 200 editions of Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe!