OverDrive (www.overdrive.com), the leading global distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, and digital content to libraries and schools, today announced a preliminary agreement with Disney Digital Books (www.disneydigitalbooks.com) that will enable libraries to offer access to Disney’s comprehensive library of books online. Young library patrons and their parents will be able to enjoy — for the first time — unlimited access to over 600 new and classic Disney books for kids of all ages with just an Internet-connection and library card. The extensive library features hundreds of digital books available at the click of a mouse, including favorites from popular Disney franchises such as Mickey Mouse, Toy Story, Disney Princess, Cars, and Hannah Montana, along with many other classic and contemporary Disney stories.
“Disney Digital Books subscriptions allow libraries to provide instant, simultaneous access to Disney’s magical reading experience through their existing OverDrive-powered website,” said Erica Lazzaro, licensing counsel for OverDrive. “This interactive, browser-based service is the first multimedia offering of its kind for libraries and will enable them to reach more young readers with premium content.”
“Disney Digital Books takes innovation and technology and merges it with Disney characters and stories for a revolutionary experience,” said Yves Saada, vice president, Digital Media, Disney Publishing Worldwide. “We are thrilled to help libraries continue to provide children with new ways to experience books and foster a love of reading.”
Disney Digital Books is an innovative way for children to experience the joy of reading in a robust and safe online environment. The site offers children of all ages, reading levels, and interests a broad selection of books and features including Look and Listen titles that allow children to hear a story read aloud; a Story-Builder feature so kids can create and share their own stories; and an age-appropriate dictionary that lets children click on any word to hear it read aloud, select unfamiliar words, and read simple definitions.
Libraries will be able to add a subscription to Disney Digital Books using their OverDrive Content Reserve account. Users will authenticate on the existing OverDrive-powered library website, and then the Disney Digital Books website will launch in their browser. The service is PC and Mac® compatible and does not require a download.
OverDrive provides digital distribution services for more than 10,000 libraries, retailers, and schools worldwide with support for Windows®, Mac, iPod®, iPhone®, iPad™, Sony® Reader, nook™, Windows Mobile®, Android™, and BlackBerry®. To see if your public library is a member of the OverDrive network, visit http://search.overdrive.com.
OverDrive also operates the Digital Bookmobile (www.digitalbookmobile.com), a high-tech 18-wheeler traveling North America on behalf of public libraries to raise awareness about free library downloads.
In honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Disney Digital Books (DDB) is offering kids everywhere a 7-day free trial to four Earth Day themed books in addition to its robust online library of over 600 other classic Disney stories all available at the click of a mouse.
The Earth Day themed books, which contain relevant content to help kids learn about the environment, include all new illustrations and an audio component, providing early readers an engaging storytelling experience with entertaining voices and sound effects and the ability for children to follow along as the story is read aloud.
The four Earth Day themed books on DDB include:
Mickey Goes Green – Donald wants to understand why Minnie brings her own bag to shop at the grocery store. Minnie explains how reusing things helps the planet. Donald learns this and many other eco-friendly tips that he can do every day to help make Mickey Park a better place.
Mission Ocean Rescue - Rocket is taking the Little Einsteins to enjoy a day at the beach when they discover that the beach is full of trash. The team joins together to clean up the beach but soon they find a baby dolphin needs their help! Join the team while they complete these two very important missions.
No Place Like Earth - It’s Earth Day at the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Esteemed scientist Professor Von Drake is the main speaker. The Professor has a lot to say about ways we can help save our planet every single day. To the Professor’s surprise, Mickey and the gang have even more to say—and show.
Think Green - Mayor Rosa has asked Handy Manny to help get the town ready for its annual Earth Day celebration held each year on April 22nd. As the team prepares for the big event, Manny and the citizens of Sheet Rock Hills teach the tools about the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling!
Although it’ll still be another couple of days before anyone can actually experience them on the new iPad from Apple, the iPad apps floodgates opened today and Disney quickly debuted and previewed a slew of iPad exclusives from all across the Walt Disney Company family.
Disney Digital Books has offered up a couple of its interactive storybooks in the form of Toy Story and Toy Story 2, even offering the former for free. The Toy Story 2 Read-Along is $8.99 but that also includes a one month’s subscription to the online service where hundreds of interactive Disney books are already online with more added monthly. In addition to the Toy Story iPad apps, Disney Publishing will soon be offering apps featuring stories from The Princess and the Frog, Phineas and Ferb, Winnie the Pooh and — of course — Toy Story 3.
Not just a pixelized book, the iPad apps include all sorts of novel features such as:
- Optional professionally recorded narration
- Record your own narration
- Video clips, songs and sound effects
- Virtual multi-finger-painting
Below is a video offering a demo of the Toy Story Read-Along apps for the iPad as well as some sample screenshots from the app.
Disney Digital Books Expands Its Vast Library with Enchanting New Books from ‘The Princess and the Frog’
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Tiana and Naveen, the royal duo from the upcoming “Princess and the Frog” feature film, will make their debut today in a series of delightful story and picture books on the newly-launched Disney Digital Books.com. The Princess and Frog titles that will be released today include:
Princess Tiana and the Royal Ball
For as long as she can remember, Tiana has dreamed about just one thing: having her own restaurant. But after she fell in love with Prince Naveen, she not only got her restaurant, she became a princess, too. Now it’s time for her first royal ball—and her first appearance as a princess. Featuring lilting text and gorgeous illustrations by one of the film’s animators, this picture book picks up where the movie leaves off with an enchanting new princess story that little girls will love.
The Princess and the Frog Storybook
Based on the latest Disney animated feature film. Tiana is a beautiful, hardworking young woman with a dream. Naveen is a spoiled, jazz-loving prince who doesn’t understand the meaning of hard work. This unlikely pair has nothing in common–until they are magically transformed into frogs.
In addition to the Princess and the Frog, other characters and properties being added to the DDB.com line-up this month include favorites like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, A Christmas Carol, Disney Bunnies, High School Musical, Handy Manny and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
DDB.com encourages children to develop a love of reading by offering books for every level, from nonreaders to children ready for chapter books; an age-appropriate dictionary to help readers define words they don’t know; and a story-builder feature that allows children to create their own memorable stories by selecting words, Disney characters and props, and printing them to share or read again later.
Disney Digital Books subscriptions will make the ideal holiday gift for kids, and are available online and at select retailers for an annual subscription of $79.95, or a monthly subscription of $8.95. Each subscription covers up to three children in the same household. The browser-based service is PC and Mac compatible and does not require a download. A free trial of the service is accessible at www.disneydigitalbooks.com.