Creating a Storybird Book

I found out about this site called Storybird via my Twitter network and decided to give it a try. Songbird is a collaborative story builder in which you are given some illustrations and you can build a flash-style book. You can also add collaborators, which I did not do (this time). Instead, I tried to fashion a story about the start of school and the magical power of books and reading.

You can read my book — called The Book and The Frown — here.

I found the experience interesting and I loved the illustrations. I did have some trouble finding the illustrations that I wanted, as they kept getting buried underneath the pile. It’s hard to explain, but I felt as if I spent as much time finding a pictured I wanted to reuse as I did writing the story. That might cause some frustration for young writers.

See what you think. Storybird has some great possibilities. (I do wish I could embed the book right here at my blog, but I did not see a way to do that from the site).

Peace (in stories),


  1. I loved the story. I’m wonderful though if you can include a podcast for the story. Probably not as I think about it. You can’t embed it here. What a great way to begin your school year.

  2. Hi
    Thanks for this post! I was doing my usual Sunday trawl of web 2.0 in the classroom to see what cool new things are happening and got stuck on this… it has just entertained myself and my 3yr old son for ages on a rainy afternoon in the UK!!

    Thank – you.

  3. Hey Kevin,

    Thanks for the kind words about Storybird and for making one. I read it this morning and enjoyed it.

    We just released v0.1 of Storybird a couple of days ago, so there are many features to come. I thought I’d share just a few in relation to your experience and a few of the comments here.

    -Thumbnails: (the small art icons that you drag onto the page). We’ll be experimenting with various ways to make them easier to see and manipulate. We’ll also turn on “visual typing” in the next release which enables you to start a story simply by writing. Images/thumbnails then surface based on your keywords and more closely align with the narrative you’re exploring.

    -Podcasts: voice is a major feature we’re planning for release v0.4 or v0.5. It’ll be a paid feature (likely purchased per Storybird or as part of a monthly membership), but one we think will add enormous potential for kids who can’t yet write or for collaborations (mom writes, son does the pictures, and gran does the voice). PS. The core Storybird experience of making, reading, and sharing SBs will always be free.

    -Embeds: absolutely. We’ll be adding them, along with share tools for Facebook and Twitter, in the next few weeks.

    @mj: nothing better than hearing you spent time with your son using SB. Our goal, aside form a fun storytelling service, is connecting people through narrative (especially on rainy days 😉

    BTW, if any of you are teachers, we are planning a teacher’s account down the road. That’ll make it easy to use the service with multiple users.


    Cofounder, Storybird

    PS. Kevin, hope it’s ok for me to post here. Google Alerts led me to your blog and I thought it might be helpful to comment.

  4. Kevin,

    About an hour after I posted this, our lead developer sent me an email asking if a certain SB could be added to our “featured” list. I had to chuckle when I saw that the title was yours.

  5. I came across your blog this evening and am inspired to trying some of these things with my students. I can see kids being very engaged with the storybird. Thanks for posting your thoughts, reflections, and technology project ideas here for others to read. Keep them coming!

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