Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Lorax Free on Kid Thing

The interactive book site Kidthing, has "The Lorax" as their free book online right now. Here is what they are saying about it:

The Lorax! (read-along animated digital book) Free to Your Classroom

"Celebrate Earth Day with The Lorax, Dr. Seuss' timeless tale of the environment available for the first time ever in a read-along animated digital format. This special edition of Dr. Seuss' cautionary tale will be available for free exclusively on kidthing through April 30. The pages come to life on your computer screen with animation, narration and sound effects. Or, turn the sound off and read the book aloud. kidthing runs on Windows XP and Vista. The Mac version is coming soon. Download at www.kidthing.com/thelorax".

My Impressions:
There is a reader you have to download onto your computer to play the book. I downloaded the book and played it on the player and it is very nice. The graphics are great and the sound quality is wonderful. I would definitely invest in a few of these books for my kids to watch and read along with. I can see some great applications for kids who have access issues and can't hold and turn the pages of a real book.
The site is still in beta format so there are a few issues. It took a while to download the book and there is no window showing download progress. If you are used to that, you will not see it and you might think it isn't doing anything. It downloads in the background. I just went on to other things and eventually the player showed the book under purchases. I don't know if the book time-expires after April 30th and is not available anymore. I'll let you know what happens.
I also wonder about backing up of purchases. If I lose my hard drive, is the account and player linked to an online server space that has stored my book purchases? If so, that would be great - I would be able to have my books accessed on any computer I had the player on - just log into my account. I wish itunes could do that! When you sign up they ask for a school and a grade. I put in one of my schools and "other" as the grade. I know they are targeting teachers with this offer, but as a parent, put in your childs school, check "other" and you should be able to download too. Don't let the classroom and school piece stop you from checking this out.
One other comment I will make is that even though you are not charged for the free download, you have to put in your credit card info and set up an account to do this. If you are at all opposed to doing this then you might want to skip this free offer. I have protected accounts online and enjoy the ease of shopping that way, but to each their own...
I am under the impression that they have various promotional free books from time to time and I have asked them to keep me posted when they have them so I can let you know.

All the best to you!

1 comment:

Constance said...

Tried to download KIDTHING on my mac desktop. Download would open,