Let celebrities read to your kids with Speakaboos

Entertain your kids with animated stories read by celebrities. Speakaboos does this, along with Flash games, and other kid-oriented activities in spades.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn

Parents looking to entertain their children should check out Speakaboos. The site offers up popular story books, nursery rhymes, and lullabies, all read by celebrities like Kevin Bacon, Kelly Ripa, and rapper/actor Nick Cannon. There are also Flash games, e-cards, and coloring pages that can be printed out from PDFs.

Parents can provision special accounts for their children, which lets them limit the type of content that can be accessed. This also locks them out of the option to buy full-quality versions of the stories, which can be listened to offline--either on the computer or portable devices like the iPod.

In an upcoming release, parents will be able to record, either by themselves or with their kids, the narration track on story books. These are saved online and can be accessed from anywhere. This is being pitched as an easy way to put kids to bed, even when parents aren't present.

My only quibble with the site is that there are a lot of placeholders for videos that aren't there yet. If I were a kid browsing the site, I'd find this frustrating. Also, the player does not let you watch streaming videos on a full screen, which is a shame because many of them are very engaging.

Speakaboos' video player is simple and slick. There is however no full-screen mode which might let down the kiddies. CNET Networks