Readeo online children's book library - read to kidsI love books. Love them. And I love reading to my kids. But let’s say they are going to spend the weekend at their grandparents’ place. Or my husband and I decide a romantic getaway is in order (hey, it could happen). Then what would my separation-anxiety-ridden children do for stories?

(Okay, I realize Grandma and the babysitter aren’t illiterate and bedtime stories might not be top of mind on a romantic vacation, but work with me, here.)

Turns out, I can still read to my kids with the newly launched Readeo, a web-based library of children’s picture books founded by a Chicago-area dad. I’m talking about good quality, published books from the likes of Candlewick, Chronicle and Simon and Schuster, all for children up to about age 8. Using webcam technology, I can be across the street, across the continent, or across the globe and still read a bedtime story right to my children.

I know you’re wondering how this is different than say, Skype. Here, reader and listener can see the very same pages clearly on their screens. They can turn pages, chat about illustrations, and even save favorite books on customized “bookshelves” for reading again later.
There are a few dozen titles to start, with more coming every week.

I can’t stop thinking about all the applications for this wonderful site: Military parents can tuck in their kids at night, grandparents who live far away can choose a favorite bedtime story to tell, divorced parents can share bedtime duties, parents traveling on business don’t have to miss out on a quiet moment with their children. Heck, my kids even like the novelty of sitting on my lap and reading a book on the computer with me, without the webcam at all.

How do I love thee, Readeo? Let me count the ways. But first, I’m going to go plan that romantic getaway so I can, you know, test you out a bit more. –Stephanie

From now through March 31st, Readeo member subscriptions are half off, making them just $4.95/month for one year). PLUS CMP readers get a free month of service using code goreadeo when you set up an account.