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Sitting out the coronavirus at home with our children and reading a good story

Thursday, April 9, 2020


Now that so many of us are locked down and locked in because of COVID-19, it is the time to explore the virtual world of children’s stories – all free to read and all openly licensed. A few great platforms are listed below:

African Storybook

With more than 1,300 children’s stories in 190 African languages, African Storybook has something for every child – from the very young ones just learning to read to older children. It’s possible to search in a number of ways including by language and reading level. There is also an excellent guide for parents, teachers and librarians on Preparing to Use African Storybooks with Children.


There are more than 19,000 stories in 234 languages on the StoryWeaver platform. StoryWeaver has created a special page on Reading at Home during the Coronavirus school closures. This page links to learning resources from grades one through eight; StoryWeaver’s special collection on science, math, and technology; its local-language digital libraries, including African languages; and more.

African Storybook and StoryWeaver use a Creative Commons Attribution licence, which means that you can download, distribute, translate, and adapt all of the stories in their collections.

Ubongo Toolkits

Ubongo seeks to leverage the power of entertainment, the reach of mass media, and the connectivity of mobile devices, to deliver effective, localized learning to African children and their families. Ubongo has created a separate Toolkits platform with openly licensed learning resources in English and Kiswahili. There are 363 resources on the platform, thus far, and the number is growing. They are mainly video and audio, with a little bit of print. You must register to download, but it is easy and it is free. Ubongo is using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Non-Derivative licence, which means that you can download and share these materials, but you cannot use them for commercial purposes or change them in any way.

Let us know what you are reading to your children. Connect on Twitter to share your stories or photos @NBA_SouthAfrica


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