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Books open new worlds for young and old alike. They educate, they entertain, they encourage. For some, they can “soothe the savage beast” even better than music. All of my grandchildren love to be read to. Being a confirmed book-a-holic, I love to give books to every child on my Christmas list. We have Christian books, secular books, Christmas books, Autumn books, adventure books, Easter books, worm books – you name it, we probably have a book about it.
One of the many fun ways to save money and add excellent books to my grandkids’ collections is to go online. I knew I could find classics online for adults. I found there are also plenty of classics out there for children as well. What a great addition to their homeschooling programs! The only problem is that some of my grandkids are still at the stage where they want lots of pictures to help hold their attention. Ahh, the joys of the computer. With copy and paste, not to mention clip art, that is an easy thing to adjust.
Today I printed out The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. This delightful book was written in 1922. There are many versions available, several with updated pictures. But the copy I found at Penn libraries has the original pictures which are vintage and downright adorable. Originally 12 pages in my computer with about 4 pages not having any pictures, I copied a few of the pictures and pasted them into picture-less pages which brought the total printout to 14 pages. Setting the left margin to two inches allows me to punch holes on the left, put it into a 3-ring notebook, and voila, a personalized book of classics to read to my grandchildren.For younger readers, I would suggest using Comic Sans 12 or 14 font, as the letter A is printed the way they are used to seeing it. If they want to try to read from the book as well, it will be easier for them. Doublespacing the text will make it easier for both of you to read.
If the book does not come with pictures, I use clipart I own. I also add photos of my grandkids and scenery to illustrate the stories. I find it really encourages children to read which is a great thing! (On the legal side, these are all for personal use and I am using books that are out of copyright.)
Another joy of these books is that they can be used for all ages. Because of the vintage illustrations, I suspect many seniors would enjoy them as well. If you are providing senior home care to an elderly relative, you could print out a large print copy for them. These could be especially useful for anyone you provide dementia care for as they might remember these old familiar stories from their youth. I would suggest setting the font for them to Times Roman 14 doublespaced. If they have any problems with their vision, you could set it even larger. This will make it easier for them to read it or you to read it to them.
Some other great children’s classics I found online include:
- A Day on Skates – with illustrations
- Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales – with printable versions and illustrations
- The Baldwin Online Children’s Project has many classic children’s books online –
- If you’d prefer to read the stories on your computer, a website called The Office has a wonderful site with new and old stories. They have a version of Alice in Wonderland with delightful vintage illustrations. –
If you have other sites to add to this list, please leave them in the comments below. Thank you 🙂