Celebrities lend voices to children’s classics

For a new take on old classics, log onto www.speakaboos.com to hear today’s celebrities read time-honored children’s stories. From Nick Cannon doing a beatbox version of"Old McDonald Had a Farm” to"Baa Baa Black Sheep” read by Ally Sheedy, there’s a little bit of everything on this new Web site.

Each of the stories also has games and related activities for children, parents and teachers. Starting soon, parents will be able to go online and record their own voice reading a story for children to enjoy. There is no charge for the parents’ audio book or for listening to any of the celebrity-read stories. Downloading a song to a portable music player or CD costs 99 cents.

The Web site is geared toward kids 2-8 years old and is designed to teach kids while they have fun, says Noelle Millholt, associate publisher."This combines a love of learning with technology. It’s fun and parents can feel good about their kids being on the site.”

Speakaboos plans to add a children’s encyclopedia, as well as stories in Spanish in the next several months. New titles and videos are added weekly and will include worksheets and other activities.

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