Sunday, May 17, 2009

Take a Peek at Speakaboos

Take a peek at one of the hottest new websites online today. Since its debut in October of last year, Speakaboos.com is getting accolades from both parents and the media alike.

What makes this website different from thousands of others?

With over 50 titles of songs and stories on their list, Speakaboos.com has something for every child's taste. From classics like "Old MacDonald" and Little Red Riding Hood to fables, folktales, lullabies, nursery rhymes and even contempory favorites like Arthur's Baby. But that's not all—this online publisher recruits celebrities like Kelly Ripa, Jennifer Grey, and Tim Daly to read the stories or sing the songs. In my opinion, "Old MacDonald" has never sounded better than as Nick Cannon's rap version of this popular classic.

Don't feel like seeing a story? Speakaboos.com also has games, ecards, contests, Karaoke, printables, and a place where kids can type in their very own online diary.

If that's not enough to convince you, Speakaboos.com is 100% free to listen to and play online. If you want to download something from the website, a small fee of $0.99 is charged. If you prefer, you can purchase an album of selected titles for just $8.99. And all Speakaboos's audio tracks are available on iTunes.com and Rhapsody.com. You can feel good about a purchase from Speakaboos because at least fifteen percent of all proceeds from downloads go to supporting children's charities.

To tell us more about Speakaboos.com, I caught up with Noelle, the Associate Publisher. With her background as an English major in college, Noelle says that she "always had a strong interest in writing and publishing." She also notes that "with the explosion of the internet in homes and the classroom, children are spending a considerable amount of time online. We saw an opportunity to combine [entertainment and education] in a unique storytelling site." Noelle's goal is to "promote literacy and a love of reading at a young age."

Noelle and her colleagues spent about a year developing the site. She recalls that "critical to its development was working with teachers every step of the way to ensure all of our offerings meet national standards." They also did "considerable testing with parents and their children to make sure [the site] was engaging and fun."

Noelle finishes by telling us that Speakaboos is "constantly developing and improving." In fact, they are currrently developing a "Record Your Own" section, which will allow parents and kids to sing songs or read stories in their own voices. Plus, Speakaboos will continue to add new stories, nursery rhymes, and games to the site.

This kind of quality doesn't just happen. Noelle says that she "loves to receive feedback from parents, teachers and children," so don't forget to drop her a line on how they can best meet your needs at home or in the classroom.

Now go and take a peek at this educational, lively, and just plain fun website. Speakaboos—it's just a click away! http://www.speakaboos.com/




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*Stories for Children Publishing, LLC. (SFC) and its divisions do not receive any compensation for product reviews beyond a sample and/or limited access to a paid website. SFC donates all books sent for review to a charitable organization. SFC may do a contest or giveaway of samples we receive. SFC does not review any samples sent without a request for review to the Blog Editor, VS Grenier. SFC's staff members will not return unauthorized samples to the senders, but will donate them without review.