Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Have Fun, and Develop Literacy Skills, with Bookr

Making books with your kids is a great way to introduce them to the link between reading and writing. They can practise reading with little caption books they've made themselves, and learn the thrill of publishing something they helped create. Home-made books can also be a wonderful way to record a holiday, hobby or oral family story for posterity, and such books often become dearly loved friends.

There are also wonderful spaces online that offer opportunities to develop and publish children's writing, like
Glogster, a web place where you can poster yourself by adding text, pictures, music etc to a template. But Glogster might be a little difficult for very young kids. There's a new site I've found that I think would be ideal for the under-sevens, with just a little help from mum and dad.

Bookr, by PimPamPum, is a very simple tool that allows you to create your own photo book. It uses Flickr as its source of pictures, allowing you to search by user name or by tag. I quickly made the two little books, Things That Go, and Animal Babies, below. I chose a couple of pictures, added tags, and copied the code to embed it here on my blog. You need to click the bottom right corner to turn the page. If you don't have a blog, you can get the link.

Here's the process in detail.
To start, you must choose your title, and the author's name. Next, you can search Flickr in that same Bookr page, by user name or tag. I wanted to choose a tag I was sure would give me a lot of choice, so I chose "baby animals". This is one most kids will enjoy, or try tags like "toys" or "zoo". If you want to make the process more personal, why not take your own pictures, and upload them to Flickr, then choose your own user name.

The images come up on a scrollable bar underneath your Bookr composing screen. Click one to choose it. Hover your mouse above the picture on the page to delete it. Turn pages by clicking the corner. Type your text by clicking inside the text box under each picture (except the front cover). Then, when you're done, click Blog This to get the embeddable code, or a link you can share with others.

PimPamPum has other
Flickr toys you can use with kids, like a "memry" game you can make by choosing a flickr tag. As with all internet sites, I would advise adult supervision, because some content may not be suitable for kids.

If the idea of online book creation appeals to you, you might also be interested in Book Chook posts about
Storybird, love2read, PhotoPeach, Notaland, Myths and Legends, , Creaza, My Story Maker, PhotoShow, Make Beliefs Comix, and Little Bird Tales. If you're new to The Book Chook, you can read why I believe these publishing opportunities are so valuable in my post, What's the Deal with Online Publishing?

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