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Review: Read Hundreds of Children’s Books at Home – Big Universe

2010 April 16
by MieVee @ MummysReviews.com


Big Universe

Vee LOVES to Read

Since pregnancy, my husband and I started taking turns to read to Vee every night. In my womb, Vee heard many fairy tales and bedtime stories. After he arrived, reading formed part of his bedtime routine; months ago, he started flipping books and bringing books to me for more story-telling time.

Board and fabric books are most suitable for young children as they are more resistant to tearing. Even then, strong Vee has ripped board books apart and I had to repair them. Or he chews on the fabric books and I need to clean them regularly. Needless to say, paper books would be shredded by this little-human-paper-shredder! Bringing Vee to a public library in Kuala Lumpur is inconvenient, and it is also impossible to ask the 13-month old to keep quiet for long. Building an extensive home library would easily cost a bomb, that is why we have bought only a handful of children’s books over the year.

Access to Hundreds of Children’s Books

Last month, Ms Kristen Butler from Big Universe invited me to review its Premium Home account over 6 months. The demo immediately wowed me over and I agreed to conduct the review. These are some of the highlights of BigUniverse.com:

  • Allows you to read, create and share children’s picture books online
  • Has a large library of over a thousand quality books
  • Improves writing skills and allows children to discover their inner author
  • Quizzes and assessments for older children

Our Experience at Big Universe — Reading

It is easy to search for books according to preferences such as age group. Currently, there are 71 books by publishers (premium) and 251 books by members (free)  suitable for 0 to 2 years old; these would take Vee a long time to finish reading.

Vee and I have read these books:
Pound Dog and Frog by Mathew Price, Moira Kemp One Potato by Sue Porter Where Does the Sun Go? by Gary Craig Critters Up Close! - Elephants

(Images sourced from Big Universe)

  1. Pound Dog and Frog by Mathew Price, Moira Kemp
  2. One Potato by Sue Porter
  3. Where Does the Sun Go? by Gary Craig
  4. Critters Up Close! – Elephants: Zoobooks series published by Wildlife Education, Ltd

I like the options for “full screen mode” and “flip sound”, which make the reading experience more like flipping a book. The picture books are colourful and many are educational. For instance, “Critters Up Close! – Elephants” shares facts about elephants, one of Vee’s favourite animals. At the end of the book, it takes just one click to read the book again if preferred. This is useful as children love to read good books repeatedly (i.e. 999 times!!!).

The “Add to My Bookshelf” button is very useful as it allows me to “keep” good books and conveniently access them for future reading.

As my Internet connection was unsteady at times, some pages downloaded slowly during reading, and Vee’s attention was lost. Therefore, I need to ensure that the entire book is downloaded before inviting Vee to read.

I hope to read five books with Vee daily and Big Universe certainly makes it easy and cost-effective for us to do so. Accessing the books via the Internet also means we can continue reading during long vacations to my parents’ place in Singapore.

You may find the demos at:

What we like about it:

  • Easy access to a large number of children’s picture books (saves trips to the library and bookstores)
  • Favourite books can be added to virtual bookshelf for convenient retrieval
  • “Flip sound” makes reading more interesting
  • Free trial account before deciding to sign up
  • Very cost-effective, especially for multiple children at home

What can be improved:

  • Hope that Mandarin books would be available in future

Get Your Own

Sign up for a FREE trial of the Home account here. If you like it, the Home account  is available at USD8.95 per month or USD79.95 per year. If you mention that “mievee” referred you, I get a month of subscription free. While I would be elated, this is absolutely optional.

In about two months, I would review the “Create” section of the account and a Giveaway of a 6-month Premium Home account would be held, so stay tuned!

If you love such deals from Mummy’s Reviews™, do share this post with your friends. The more readers there are, the more Sponsors for future Giveaways! :)

Disclosure: I received a 6-month Premium Home account for review.

7 Responses leave one →
  1. April 22, 2010

    Nice sharing!~

  2. May 2, 2010

    Interesting! I resorted to free online books too when I was stuck at home in China with my tot and no access to an English library then. But then he still preferred reading and turning the physical pages of real books. And I’m happy to get my laptop back 😀

    • May 3, 2010

      Real books are still very important; till now, I love the smell of new books! E-books are great in supplementing existing reading materials. For instance, if I need a book on the moon for my teaching theme, just search the Big Universe directory, and I could easily find one.

  3. August 12, 2010

    Thanks for joining WMCIR! This link sounds very interesting. I love the fact that people can also create their own books what a great idea.

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  1. Giveaway #8: Create Your Own Books at Big Universe |

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