One More Story is Kids Online Library
Great Cross Between Books and Technology
I heard about One More Story a few months ago, from a friend who uses it with her kids. Wanting to learn more, I went to their website and was impressed, because it was different than anything I'd seen before for my kids (and we've explored lots of apps!). It's educational, and it's a great way to get younger kids practicing some basic computer skills (like clicking and using the mouse or trackpad).
Basically, it's an online library, stocked with children "books," many of them classic titles. Kids can choose a book from the "shelf," and it appears on the screen, with the original illustrations. They can have it read to them or read it themselves. They have an app, too (we tend to use it mostly on the iPad), but the girls especially like using my computer (although I need to ensure the table is drink and snack free to let them do that).
But One More Story is not free; you have to pay for a subscription, although I can understand why: you've got access to all those books. And I think it's a great compromise between TV/apps and books. I'd much rather designate funds to this service than some of the apps we've paid for in the past!
Although nothing could ever replace the experience of my husband or me reading to our kids, I find One More Story to be a great alternative to the kids watching TV or playing on the iPad. It's perfect for those times the kids are "played out" and you need a little extra time to get things done without having to entertain them directly. The interface is nothing fancy, but it works, and I kind of like that it's not flashy and noisy like many of the other apps my kids tend to like. I don't find it at all over-stimulating.
Because we're subscribers, I'm on their mailing list, and I just got an email with their special summer rates; if you use the promo code SUMMER2103, you can lock in the following rates (for a limited time): 3 months - $13.99, 6 months - $24.99, One year - $37.99 (normal rates are $15.99, $27.99, and $44.99, respectively). If you're interested, those are great rates to give it a shot!