Sunday, April 6, 2008

AudibleKids - but where's the audible awards?

Here’s another sign that audiobooks for young people are moving into the mainstream. Audible, the mega-retailer of downloaded audiobooks, has launched AudibleKids. The site is a portal for purchasing audiobooks for ages 0 to 13 +up. It looks inviting and has lots of interactive features. It is searchable by category, age and grade level. Each title has a clip to sample. Users may create suggestions lists and write their own reviews. If you choose to create a profile, you can connect with others like yourself. There are printable listening guides that can be used as worksheets by teachers or parents. To entice listeners, there are a few free downloads and 99¢ specials. You can even set up a kid’s account with a preset allowance so that they may choose and download their own selections. All in all, the site looks pretty nice.

Except for a glaring omission. The suggested “Award Winners” list has a huge number of awards, from the well-known to the obscure – 44 book awards in all. But NO link to titles that have been named ALSC’s Notable Children’s Recordings, YALSA’s Selected Audiobooks, or ALA’s Odyssey - awards that have been developed to recognize the best in children’s and young adult audiobooks! There is a link for Audie winners (the Audio Publisher Association’s award), but only one title is listed, while a quick search showed that many other Audie titles are available on the site. Very strange. And a very odd oversight that I hope will be resolved. I sent my feedback to Feel free to add your two bits!

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