StarWalk Kids Media, the eBook publishing startup co-founded by award-winning children’s science author Seymour Simon and Liz Nealon , the former Creative Director of Sesame Street, have announced that the new StarWalk Kids eBook platform is now live with 120 eBooks available in its streaming catalog.
“We are so pleased to be able to provide this important 21st Century literacy tool for educators and families,” said author and co-founder Seymour Simon , who has 53 of his own eBooks, including 9 digital originals, in the StarWalk Kids catalog. “We have created a library designed to support educators and families who are looking for high quality, well-written eBooks, particularly nonfiction books, to support Common Core Reading and Writing strategies for kids.”
The StarWalk Kids collection is tightly curated for excellence, showcasing the work of award-winning authors and illustrators that educators know and trust. Familiar and respected names in the StarWalk Kids catalog include not only Seymour Simon, but also David Adler , Doug Cushman , Diane deGroat, Johanna Hurwitz , Kathleen Krull , Newbery Honor author Kathryn Lasky , Stan Mack , Caldecott-winner Emily Arnold McCully , Doreen Rappaport , Hudson Talbott , New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award winner Laura Vaccaro Seeger , and more. The collection is approximately 60% nonfiction, and covers Pre-K through 8th Grade.
Each of the collection’s eBooks has been expertly adapted and professionally narrated in preparation for digital streaming via the best-in-class, proprietary StarWalk Reader™, and all titles are accompanied by a “Teaching Links” document developed by nationally known literacy expert and StarWalk Kids Director of Education Linda Hoyt . The Teaching Links match each eBook to relevant CCSS standards, and provide suggestions for CCSS-appropriate teaching activities and further inquiry.
Families can subscribe to the entire catalog and receive log-ins for up to three kids per family. Schools and school libraries, public libraries, Teacher Education and Library Science programs may also subscribe to the streaming StarWalk Kids collection. The platform will launch with 121 eBooks available on October 10 , will grow to 148 by the end of October 2012 , and expects to reach 400 titles in the StarWalk Kids collection by the end of the 2012-2013 school year.
Additional unique, defining features of the platform are:
1) Affordability: Family subscriptions cost $5.99 per month, or a discounted price of $60 per year for access to the entire library of kids’ eBooks. Institutional subscriptions start at $595 for a single location: this means that the entire collection at a typical school of 400 students costs less that $1.50 per student for the first year. Multi-site and district discounts are available to bring per-student pricing down even lower. There are no platform fees or other hidden costs, and the eBook collection will continue to grow throughout each school year at no additional cost to the subscriber.
2) Multi-user functionality: A whole class can read the same eBook at the same time without check-in/check-out delays or waiting lists. Families receive three discreet child log-ins.
3) Advanced Search features for Educators: Advanced search function allows Educators and parents to search for books by author, title, keyword, subject, Lexile® level, Alphabetic reading level and Common Core State Standard (CCSS) links. This provides an easy and accurate method for selecting the right eBook for each reader.
4) Device agnostic: Our proprietary, browser-based StarWalk Reader™ works on virtually any device, including desktop/laptop computers, interactive whiteboards, tablets, smartphones.
5) Streaming access anywhere that the user has Internet connectivity (e.g. reading and writing a book report at home).
Institutions may sign up for a free trial by registering on our website at www.StarWalkKids.com. Schools that already purchase books and materials from Mackin Educational Services should contact their Mackin Rep for more information on accessing the collection through Mackin VIA.
Source: Press Release