There are many children's book authors, publishers, and other organizations making videos and online activities for kids while they are not in school right now. These creators are reading books aloud and inviting kids into their studios and work spaces to see how both the words and illustrations in stories come to life.
Virtual experiences like these make great additions to your schedule at home while you try to build some routine into your child's day. There are some treasures here that are more than up to the challenge and well worth the screen time.
We have gathered our favorites below. Sometimes the events are live streamed so you have to tune in at a certain time. For some, the live streams are available from an archive after the initial broadcast. There are three sections you can choose from, those virtual events that occur every week, those that occur every day, and those that are simply published for you to view anytime you'd like.
For each we have noted the day, time, and platform the performance or workshop is on: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or a website. We have included links to printable activities when we could find them and also links to books from our digital collections in OverDrive and Axis 360 for checking out from home.
Figuring out what time to tune in can be a bit confusing because of the number of time zones the programs are coming from. Most of Indiana uses Eastern Time (ET), referred to as Eastern Standard Time (EST) during the winter months and Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) in the summer months when we observe daylight savings time. We have made every effort to show times for you in the Eastern Time zone.
If you have never used your IndyPL library card to borrow an e-book or e-audiobook from OverDrive or Axis 360 before directions are available:
Picture book author Oliver Jeffers, who wrote The Day the Crayons Quit and many others, put it pretty well, "We are all at home, but none of us are alone."
The Inside Story of El Deafo
10:00 am ET
Mondays with Michelle Obama
“As a little kid, I loved to read aloud. And when I became a parent, I found such joy in sharing the magic of storytelling with my own children—and then later, as First Lady, with kids everywhere. At this time when so many families are under so much stress, I’m excited to give kids a chance to practice their reading and hear some wonderful stories (and to give parents and caretakers a much-needed break).” Book Schedule
Activities, tips, and resources for each of the books that Mrs. Obama will read are available at www.readtogetherbetogether.com, and companion literacy resources are available on pbskidsforparents.org.
Grab the Mic: Write. Right. Rite.
Tuesdays and Thursdays
Beginning April 14, Jason Reynolds will begin this biweekly video series to inspire young people to tell their own stories. He will also publish a monthly newsletter. The videos and newsletter will be found on the "Grab the Mic" page on the Library of Congress website.
LeVar Burton Reads to Children
The reader best known for Reading Rainbow is back!
Shelf Stuff at Home from Harper Kids
Tuesdays and Thursdays
2:00 pm ET
Looking for ways to get inspired, get moving, and stay positive while your family practices social distancing? Shelf Stuff is here to help with our Shelf Stuff at Home video series, perfect for kids ages 7-12.
Snack and Read Live with Simon Kids
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
Live read-alouds and activities around bestselling and award-winning books.
Scott Magoon's Studio Storytime
8:00 am ET
"Join me each week from my studio in this limited series! I’ll read, draw—and answer your questions! Scroll down to find all shows, all in one place. Watch them in any order, anytime, anywhere, on your schedule." Submit your art and questions to be featured on a future episode.
Epic Reads from Harper Kids
4:00 pm ET
Book recs, chats, games, and more. Tons of virtual Epic Reads content from us and your favorite authors. Also follow Epic Reads on Facebook and YouTube.
Goodnight with Dolly
7:00 pm ET
A weekly read-aloud video series. The Book Lady sits down to read books from the Imagination Library to children and families. This 10-week series will focus on comforting and reassuring children during the shelter-in-place mandates.
Dav Pilkey at Home
Seymour Simon Reads Aloud
9:00 am ET
Join non-fiction author Seymour Simon every morning. You can listen to stories about the earth, the moon, animals and more. "I know that many authors are reading aloud (which is great!), and I am going to join in so that you have access to nonfiction, too."
See Seymour's books to check out on Axis 360.
Kwame Alexander Reads Crossover
10:30 am ET
Kwame Alexander will read a chapter of "The Crossover" each day.
Gail Carson Levine Reads Ella Enchanted
If you have missed some of the chapters you can start with chapter 1 and listen to each on in the archive. Chapter 1 is the video that is labelled 13:59. The chapters follow in order after that one. will be reading a chapter a day of Ella Enchanted on her Facebook page, every day at 11 AM EST.
Harper Kids from Home
Join the HarperKids team each day for story times and read-alouds, activities and fun content including appearances from your favorite authors and illustrators, and special guests.
Penguin Kids Story Time
11:00 am ET
Live picture book readings from various authors.
Pete the Cat Club Virtual Story Time with James Dean
1:00 pm ET
Stay at Home Story Time with Oliver Jeffers
2:00 pm ET
A series of videos of Oliver reading his books aloud. He will read one book every day. Can’t make it? He’ll also be posting the videos on his website. Here are some printables from Oliver Jeffers' World.
Draw Every Day with JJK (Jarrett Krosoczka)
2:00 pm ET
Dan Gutman reads from Miss Blake is a Flake
2:00 pm ET
Each chapter that has been read is available in this archive.
Drawn to Fantasy with Tony Diterlizzi
Read Together Be Together
3:00 pm ET
A schedule of stories from Penguin Random House is released weekly.
Mac Barnett Reads His Picture Books Aloud
Live! with Nate Ball
4:00 pm ET
Join non-fiction author and Emmy winning how of Design Squad on PBS for science and engineering demonstrations and cool things to build at home like a rubber band dragster, ping pong ball cannon, or indoor booby trap! If you have missed some you can watch them all in the archive.
Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems
A 15 episode video series with downloadable activities.
Read & Learn with Simon Kids
Video storytimes, sing-alongs, writing prompts, and other activities videos with Simon & Schuster authors.
Harper KIDS Storytime Anytime
Studio Time with Ryan T. Higgins
Get ready with a Bruce Activity Sheet.
Neil Gaiman Reads Coraline
Watch master storyteller Neil Gaiman himself read all eight chapters of his Newbery Medal winning classic novel The Graveyard Book. Each video is one chapter. It is wonderful! You can also watch Neil and several of his author friends read each chapter of Coraline. Also great is Neil's Website for Young Readers which includes M is for Magic - 4 more stories you can read and printable downloads. One is a printable kit for The Graveyard Book.
Stories for families on the go! Listen along as Ms. Linda reads some of your favorite illustrated children’s stories, including The Snowy Day, The Princess and the Pea, and Uni the Unicorn. Bite-sized listening anytime there is a few minutes to spare for a great story. In addition to the Youtube channel you can watch Brightly stories on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and Anchor.
Storytime from Space
Watch astronauts on the Space Station read books and perform science demonstrations.
Kid Lit TV
Enjoy story time with authors at KidLit TV is a winner of the Parents’ Choice Gold Award, the Norton Juster Award for Devotion to Literacy, and one of the American Library Association’s Great Websites For Kids. Also available on YouTube.
The Screen Actor's Guild - Storyline Online
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring actors reading children’s books. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more. Each story comes with a printable activity guide. Also available on YouTube.
American Sign Language (ASL) Storytelling
20+ signed video read alouds from the Educational Resource Center on Deafness. Stories include the classic favorites: The Snowy Day, Heckedy Peg, Is Your Mama a Llama, The Little Red Hen and more.
Brightly Storytime Flip-Alongs
Watch the pages turn as the story is read aloud. Stories include I'm a Truck, My First Counting Book, The Color Kittens, Colors Are Nice, and Madeline. A new story is released every week!
Remember Reading from Harper Kids
A family podcast about classic children’s books and the impact they have on us long into adulthood. In each episode, we talk about one popular children's book from the past, uncovering the unique story behind the story. While sitting down with famous, award-winning authors, we investigate the timeless themes in kids’ books. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or SoundCloud.
Barnes and Noble Nook Storytime Online
Read Aloud Videos including: Strega Nona, Green Eggs and Ham, Olivia, Ladybug Girl and more.
Unite for Literacy
A collection of e-books that celebrate languages and cultures and cultivate a life-long love of reading. These picture books include audio narration options in more than 40 languages. The books are available on any device - computer, tablet or smartphone.
Grace Lin's Read-aloud and Draw-along Videos
Grace Lin's Kids Ask Authors
Live picture book readings by celebrities hosted by the actress Jennifer Garner
Read Aloud with Kate Messner
Kate is the author of more than 3 dozen books for kids.
Read and Draw with Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Cover-to-cover read-alouds, an Ask Me To Ask! series with kidlit book creators, activities for kids, tips for those interested in the craft and business of illustrating children's books
Lori Degman Read Alouds
Author Lori Degman reads aloud her six published books, each with American Sign Language Intepretation.