When you were a child, did you enjoy being read to? Smories is a website filled with a library of original children stories, read by kids. This website was the outcome of Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar’s insight on children’s interest in reading to one another. What I like about Smories is that it is fully aware of childrens’ increasing obsession with the internet. Children could easily be browsing content that is not suitable for them. Smories acts as a safe alternative and a healthy environment for children to be on the internet.
Hover over the thumbnails on the homepage and you will see the story information and the age group the story is appropriate for. The videos are a maximum of 10 minutes long and are recorded casually with a flip camera to keep the recording experience relaxed for the narrators. You may also notice that the children on the site have an English accent; that is because Smories is based in the UK, but they are currently growing a base of US narrators. Story categories include fairy tales, Aesop’s fables and nursery rhymes.
Writers can also submit stories as a means to assess the validity of their stories with their target readers while gaining exposure in the children’s story industry. Each story is linked to an author biography. Authors also have the option to submit videos of themselves (or anyone) reading their stories. Smories currently publishes stories in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Afrikaans.
You may wonder, “why should children be read to if they can read on their own?” First of all, being read to should help them develop a love for reading and accelerate their reading skills. Secondly, it is a good way for children to experience a story that they might not ever pick up on their own. Some of the videos have subtitles, which means that the viewer can follow along with the text as well. There is also an iPhone and iPad version of Smories – you know, for those on-the-go emergency situations.
As a publisher of stories for kids read by kids, Smories is a fairly new concept still in its early stages. If you are a story writer, submit a story to expand their library while gaining exposure. If you are new to writing children’s stories, they have included some tips. And most importantly, introduce Smories to kids you know!