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New children’s ebook goodness–for readers & writers

I’ve been mourning the disappearence of LookyBook for a few weeks now. 

And so I was especially thrilled to discover MonarchLibrary’s (aka Keisa Williams, a good choice for elementary librarians to follow) tweet about BigUniverse today.

The site is not only reading and sharing fiction and nonfiction children’s e-picture books, it is also a tool for digital storytelling–for creating, sharing, and publishing your own ebooks.

Book writers create with a wide array of writing and image tools, story-making ideas, page-making tools, and image libraries.  They can import their own images.

Book readers may search for books by age or categories, rate books, create bookshelves, link to titles, recommend titles to others, see how often a book has been read, how many shelves it appears on, and how many readers recommend it.

The About page describes the site’s three major features:

  • Read Beautiful Picture Books Share quality reading time with your students or children. Select fiction and nonfiction books from our extensive collection — together. In our ‘Read’ section, you can find hundreds of books using our browse and search features, read them entirely online or buy print versions of your favorites for story-time or bedtime reading.
  • Discover Your Inner Author! Bring out your creativity, improving your writing skills, or just have fun writing a book as a classroom project or together with your child. You can even publish your creation to share with friends and family! The Big Universe Author™ tool (found in the ‘Create’ section) is a highly sophisticated yet simple and fun tool that enables users to create their own picture books.
  • Explore What Others Are Doing Safely explore what other members are doing, add friends, recommend books to others, and much more. In our ‘Share’ section, you can find thousands of members who share the love of children’s picture books. Teachers, students, parents, authors, and others can share and learn while they enjoy this educational and entertaining website.

Users may start right away with a free account or spring for a Premium subscription. Premium accounts allow users to print their books, manage school accounts, user animated pictures, maintain reading logs, and turn off ads.

Interactive white board teachers and librarians are going to love sharing titles this way.  I am going to love using these tools to inspire young writers.

Among the represented publishers are Weekly Reader, Saddleback Educational, Dawn, and Illumination Arts, Tanglewood, Lobster, and ISSA Step by Step. 

Here’s hoping the site expands to include more of our favorite titles and publishers.

Craving more?  Please check out and help us grow our ebook pathfinder.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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