Scholastic’s BookFlix | Reference Database Review

With a clean and engaging interface, a fairly substantial catalogue of resources, and an adaptable set of tools for teachers and librarians, BookFlix is recommended for those serving emerging, early, and elementary school readers.


 

Scholastic’s BookFlix

Grade Level PreS-Gr 2

Cost District, school, and public library pricing is available, as are volume discounts. Please contact digitalinfo@scholastic.com for more information.

Content BookFlix pairs animated Weston Woods videos of well-known stories with nonfiction Scholastic ebooks on related subjects. Crockett Johnson’s classic Harold and the Purple Crayon is matched with Elaine Pascoe’s Where Can Art Take You? and Kate DiCamillo’sBink & Gollie is paired with Liz George’s Conflict Resolution: When Friends Fight. The pairings offer related websites, brief biographies of many of the writers and illustrators, and several “puzzler” activities, such as a word match or “Which came first?” quiz.

The texts are grouped by categories such as people and places, animals and nature, adventure, and celebrations. Some books are listed under more than one category. For instance, Duck for President, paired withElection Day, can be found under imagination and celebration, and Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3, paired with Everyone Uses Math, is grouped under ABCs and 123s and music and rhyme.

There are about 30 Spanish-language offerings among the more than 120 available pairs. These selections are labeled “ES,” and toggling a button eliminates materials that do not include Spanish.

Bibliographic information about the books can be difficult to find. Many titles are not readily available in print except as series class sets, such as “Scholastic News Nonfiction Readers.”

The nonfiction texts generally lack source notes, indexes, or other back matter.

Ease of Use The site’s design is colorful and the interface intuitive. The categories on the landing page are clearly labeled and accompanied by bright images.

Users can click on highlighted vocabulary in the nonfiction texts to hear words pronounced and the definitions read aloud. A collapsible tool bar allows users to start, pause, or slow down the books’ read-along narration and zoom in slightly on the text or scale it to full screen. A bar shows readers their progress in the book and lets them jump between pages. The full-screen display option also makes the texts well suited to projection when used in a classroom setting.

Users can switch the video subtitles on and off and adjust the playback to 1.5x or 2x speed.

Educator Resources A small button in the corner of the homepage takes educators to a page of all the pairings, along with themes, categories, Lexile level, and running time; this list can be sorted by title, author, grade or Lexile level, and more.

Lesson plans offer learning objectives, an activity, and suggestions for assessment, typically drawn from the puzzler games. It’s not clear where the objectives are taken from, but a drop-down menu provides correlations to national standards such as Common Core, as well as dozens of U.S. and Canadian state or provincial standards.

A “resources” tab suggests ways to incorporate the texts into library programs and classrooms. A guide to navigating the site and an FAQ can be found under the “help” tab. A “home” icon brings users back to the main page.

Verdict This highly visual platform complements reading or content area instruction and encourages students to make connections between fiction and nonfiction, between video and text resources, and within and among texts. With a clean and engaging interface, a fairly substantial catalogue of resources, and an adaptable set of tools for teachers and librarians, BookFlix is recommended for those serving emerging, early, and elementary school readers.


Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson Middle School, Falls Church, VA

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