There's not much better in the world than snuggling up against a parent with a storybook. But Betty White might give this cozy scenario a run for the money. Almost a decade ago the Screen Actors Guild Foundation began videotaping actors reading children's books and there are now two dozen stories online to watch and listen to.
Of course, watching and listening to a book on the web can't really compare to being in a parent's lap, but my son and I have enjoyed watching these together. They range in length from about 5 minutes up to 16 so if you need a few minutes to finish up dinner, these are a nice alternative to turning on the television.
The videos begin with the reader, but then switch to the book's illustrations with, thankfully, only minimal animation. Some of the books are classics like William Steig's Brave Irene and Gene Zion's Harry the Dirty Dog while others were new to me and quite enjoyable. Readers include Elijah Wood, James Earl Jones, CCH Pounder, Hector Elizondo, Esai Morales, Ernest Borgnine (who sweetly blows a grandfatherly kiss to you at the end of his) and more.
If your kids have grown accustomed to interactive books on iPads and tablets, these may seem a bit quaint to them, but that's precisely what I like about them.
See more: StoryLine Online