Free and Subscription Based Read-Along Books

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Every time we take our kids to the pediatrician’s office for wellness checkups, we are reminded to read to our kids. I know we’re supposed to do it. Most people know the benefits of reading to their kids. But when both parents are working full-time, or kids are being raised by single parents, then there’s really no time nor energy (perhaps both!) to read to kids after work.

This was our typical day when Katie was two years old.

7:00 am    – Dropped off Katie to the day care center. Katie was usually one of the first kids to arrive. She had been going there since she was 5 months old, so she already knew the routine.

5:00 pm    – Ethan and I left work to pick up Katie.

6:00 pm    – Picked up Katie. At this time, there were probably two or three other kids aside from Katie left at the daycare center. There were about 20 kids in Katie’s class.

6:30 pm    – Arrived at home. This was when Katie usually went to her bookshelf to get a book for us to read. I would tell her, later after dinner. Ate the dinner that we bought somewhere on the way home.

7:00 pm    – Katie would get the book again and asked somebody to read to her. At this point, neither Ethan nor I really have the energy to read a book to her. Sometimes I would read to her,  sometimes I wouldn’t. I would ask her to watch videos instead.

I remember one time, I told her I couldn’t read to her and she just laid down on the couch, staring at me, like a poor, sad, little puppy. Only it’s worse, because she’s not a puppy. She’s my daughter. I felt guilty because she wasn’t asking me to buy her some expensive toy. She just wanted me to read to her.

Then, one day, I found out about the Los Angeles  Public Library online books. It offers a huge selection of read-along books. Some are available in CDs, some are available as an electronic resource. I use their online website quite often. The good thing about the online website is you don’t need to go to the library to borrow books. You can just go online and search the database for books that you are interested in. Another advantage is that you don’t need to worry about late fees. When the book or audiobook is due, it will be automatically returned. If the book that you want to borrow is not available, you can also place it on hold. You will be notified through email when the book becomes available. You can choose to automatically check it out for you or you can login to your online account to check it out yourself. If you live in Los Angeles, you can sign up at any location for free. Your minor kids can also sign up. I signed up for both of my kids so that we can borrow more books.

In addition to the public library, I also have/had subscriptions to other websites. The kids sometimes want a variety so I would switch from one subscription to another. I’ve listed them here. has lots of learning activities. But the kids’ favorite part is the stories. They have a huge selection of read along books. Our favorite stories are from Aesop’s fables. has a monthly subscription for $7.99, for which kids can listen or read any books in their website. There are books about many different Disney characters, including books about the princesses, Cars, Planes, Toy Story, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, etc. They have over 300 read along books that kids can listen to over and over again. The good thing about these books are they are very interesting so I can watch them with the kids without being bored. They sometimes ask me to snuggle with them and watch the read along books with them.

Raz-Kids has a yearly subscription for $110/yr. It is free for us because it is provided to Katie as part of Katie’s computer programs from school, but anybody can subscribe to it.

If you find any other interesting websites with read-along books, leave a comment! I’d love to know about them and include them in this list.


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