BookFlix puts stars in the ears of young readers

When Meryl Streep speaks, people listen, and she has the Academy Awards to prove it.

Now, Sno-Isle Libraries is bringing Streep’s voice and those of other well-known actors and singers to a new audience: preschoolers and beginning readers.

BookFlix logoBookFlix is an online storytelling service available to the nearly half-million Sno-Isle Libraries cardholders. The service is part of the library district’s strategic priority to increase kindergarten readiness in language and literacy.

“Sno-Isle Libraries is committed to getting children ready to read and ready for kindergarten,” said Joy Feldman, early learning coordinator for the library district.  “We look for literacy programs that support the five research-verified best-practices of talking, singing, reading, writing and playing.”

BookFlix, from Scholastic Digital, pairs visual presentations of classic children’s tales with factual, non-fiction ebooks about the same subject. The goal is to build a love of reading and learning.

“The data show that 87 percent of BookFLIX readers report an increase in reading motivation,” Feldman said. “We know that creating a genuine interest in books lays the groundwork for later reading success.”

BookFLIX combines great stories with great storytellers.

“Have you ever wondered what makes a successful read-aloud?” Feldman said. “Research shows that the most important quality is the storyteller.” While a parent’s voice is the gold standard, BookFlix narrators include actors such as Streep, Morgan Freeman, John Lithgow and singers including Randy Travis and Cyndi Lauper. BookFlix even has an online quiz to make a game of identifying the celebrity voice.

“The University of Washington i-Labs tells us that for young children to learn, the content needs to be meaningful to them,” Feldman said. “Bringing high-quality nonfiction and fiction together creates stronger and more successful learning opportunities for young readers as they prepare for kindergarten and beyond.”

In addition to BookFlix, Sno-Isle Libraries offers other online resources for young readers, including: