Have Your Heard about TumbleBooks?!?!

TumbleBooks!? Isn’t that what happens when books fall off the shelf? Not in this article. Just like adult books have leaped into the digital age, so too have children books. Therefore, TumbleBooks are talking books and games designed specifically for kids and is offered online for FREE by Bossier Parish Libraries.

TumbleBooks takes a unique approach in presenting books to children. The books literally come alive right on the computer screen. Each book is full of animation, talking characters, music and sounds. We all know that in today’s world, children basically grow up with a computer mouse in their hand. Why not let them “play” on the computer and learn at the same time? So now let's take a quick peak to see what all the fuss is about.

TumbleBooks is loaded with great features, such as Storybooks, Read-Alongs and Nonfiction books (as shown to the right). One feature I find pretty cool is the ability to download Ebooks and Audio Books to the computer. In no time, your child could download their favorite Ebooks & Audio Books and read/listen to them right from your home computer for 90 days! Now isn't that cool?!? You don't even need to worry about installing any special software once you've downloaded them. That's because TumblePad 2.0 is an application that comes preloaded with the first download of an animated book, eBook, TumbleGame or audio book. In other words, each time you download an eBook or audio book, the TumblePad application comes right along with it. Oh yeah! The TumblePad app is also available for download via an hyperlink located at the bottom of the TumbleBooks website.

A couple of other features your child might like is the collection of learning Puzzles and Games that accompanies each book they read. These Puzzles and Games reinforce concepts from the book, allowing for a fun and educational experience. So what if you find a book or a game your child really enjoys and they want to save it? Well, TumbleBooks has taken care of that. From the navigational menu bar (as shown below), items can be saved and stored under the My Favorites. Kids can even save and store their favorite songs into their TumbleBooks playlist. From the navigational menu bar, the My PlayList option works just like an online music player allowing them to save and playback their favorite songs either collectively or selectively.

So now that I’ve told you all about TumbleBooks. Here's how to access it along with a few recommendations for your home computer or laptop that ensures that it works properly. Two easy steps to gain access to TumbleBooks:

  1. Open your favorite web browser and visit http://www.bossierlibrary.org/.
  2. In the right-hand column, look for the TumbleBooks logo (as shown to the right) and click it you will be take to the Tumblebooks website. Feel free to bookmark this page in your favorite for easy access later.

Now before you venture into the world of TB, it is recommended that you use a broadband internet connection like DSL or "high speed". You will also need to make sure that your home computer has Adobe Flash Player (unless you are using Google Chrome). You can easily tell if your computer have Adobe Flash installed because as soon as you visit the Tumblebook web site, if you don't see the big blue Tumblebook character surrounded by the six menu options (see large picture above), then you don't have Flash installed on your home computer. In this case, you can either follow the on-screen instructions or you can download Flash right here (it’s free!).  Once you have both of these features, your child can begin exploring books, educational games and more in the wonderful world of Tumblebooks.

Charlie Ashby is the I.T. Customer Support Liaison for the Bossier Parish Library System. He has held this position since August 2009 and has worked for BPL since mid-2006. Charlie is not a parent, but he does have a six-year-old sister-in-law who has used TumbleBooks and she absolutely loves it.

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