Free Materials For Teachers
Image©2009 ABS Blue book cover with abs sphere and laptop computer
Annie's Books Online

Annie’s Books Online is a section of Annie’s Resource Attic which has the main books from the various activity sets in HTML format.

I’ve started this section to support users who do not have multimedia applications that can display movies, play sounds, and handle activities with a non-linear structure. You can see all the action in these online books by going to them from your browser, just as you would go to any other web page.

For example, if you have been downloading the books in PDF format, you have not heard the sounds or seen the movies. With Annie’s Books Online, you can experience all the multimedia features using a web browser. Of course, you can also print out PDF versions to use off computer, and download Word® or PDF format tests and writing exercises to complete the activity set.

This page is an index to all the online books, although they are also accessible from the main post for each activity set. In addition, below the index you’ll find a general description of book structure, and helpful tips about what’s required to use these books successfully with whichever browser you are using.

Why Convert To HTML5

I’m working as fast as I can to convert all online books written in 2016 and earlier to HTML5. Also, all books written after that year will use that format. In the index lists for both Desktop and Online books, look for the HTML5 marker. Every day, it seems, I find another reason to make these conversions. With HTML5:

  • Desktop books don’t need an active internet connection. Sounds and movies will function in modern web browsers, even offline.
  • HTML5 works on iPad®. Books marked as HTML5 will play their sounds on iPad! The limitation is that iOS is set up to NOT automatically play sounds, so sounds and videos must be initiated by a button touch (click).
  • Use the Play Sound button. The latest updates have turned off autoplay sounds and movies in most other browsers, just like the situation for iPad. And like iPad, these multimedia elements still function normally with a button touch or click. Since I’ve been putting in extra buttons where needed for iPad, this change simply means everybody will need to start using those buttons.

Special Note About Autoplay

Many of the online books have background or ambient sounds on some pages that help set the scene. Formerly, I could include the word autoplay in the code, and know that the sound or movie would automatically play when the page opened. Now autoplay has been turned off by default in most browsers, so that they behave more like iPad’s iOS, which simply does not allow autoplay. The easiest way to avoid missing some of the multimedia elements is to always to click the Play Sound or Play Movie button if there is one on the page. Where the sound or movie is a part of the main narrative, I include their activation in the navigation arrows.

For browsers other than Safari (iOS), there usually are ways to reactivate autoplay. That may be desirable for students using assistive devices to run the story, and it does lend a touch of surprise and realism to many stories. Here are a set of links to instructions for several commonly used browsers:

  • Firefox – I use this one, so I know the easiest way to reactivate autoplay: Go to Preferences/Options (about:preferences). Under Privacy, scroll down to Permissions, and uncheck Block websites from automatically playing sound. Click Here for details on how to enable or block specific sites, enable a specific list of sites, and more information.
  • Safari (Mac OS) – Click Here
  • Chrome – Click Here
  • Windows browsers (Except Edge) – Click Here

Audible Text In Some Books

Image©2016 ABS Profile of a face with speech lines above tords Speak Text on a dark blue background.
Speak Text Button

Look for books marked as having audible text. They have a Speak Text button on each page to speak the text via a recorded voice. While some of the books with audible text are for young readers, others, such as Mayan Jungle Adventure and The Animals Game use the voices to add interest to and even help tell the story.

Request: I don’t know a way of having individual words highlighted as the text reads out. If anyone knows how to do that simply, perhaps with a javascript routine, please let me know!

Slow Connection? A work-Around

Finally, if you have a slow connection, you might want to check out the Annie’s Desktop Books page for download links so that you can run the online books on your local computer or network. Currently, I’m working toward converting the desktop books to HTML5 because that format handles sound more reliably, plus I can include updated movie formats that don’t need an internet connection. If an online book is marked HTML5, then its desktop version is also HTML5.

Legacy Versions

As of 2017, browsers no longer support classic QuickTime movies. This means none of the movies will run in the online books written 2016 or earlier until I get them updated to a modern format. Most have already been updated, but check for the HTML5 label. All books written after 2016 include the new formats for both video and audio, are written in HTML5, and no legacy version is available.

In case anyone is stuck with a very old browser, pre-IE9, I’m retaining old versions of online books 2016 and earlier with embedded sounds and QuickTime movies. I’ve put in code that will detect your old browser and automatically switch you to that old version online. However, I really have no way to know if movies will play for you. These older books never did play sounds on the desktop, and movies require an active internet connection.

Index To Online Books Links

Applications needed: Any modern web browser.

Animals Books link: animals/index.html Link goes to a menu with links to two online books: What I Like Best About Animals and The Animals Game. HTML5, audible text, and updated movies.

Bird Math Books link: countingBirds/index.html Counting Birds, Adding Birds, and Subtracting Birds activities to read online. HTML5and updated movie. Pre-IE9 legacy version also online.

Gingerbread House Book link: gingerbread/index.html Book lets you choose frosting, window styles, and roof styles to decorate 27 different gingerbread houses.

Golf Story Book link: golfStory/index.html Funny book about a typical day in the life of a golf ball. Good choice for older students and adults needing a book with a simple vocabulary but an age appropriate subject.HTML5 No movies, has audible text.

Holiday Tree Book link: holidayTree/index.html Book lets you choose ornaments to decorate 27 different holiday trees.

Jack-‘O-Lantern Book link: pumpkin/index.html Interactive story lets you choose features to construct nine different pumpkin faces. HTML5so sounds play on iPad! No movies, has audible text. Pre-IE9 legacy version also online.

Jason’s String Books link: jason/index.html Link opens a menu with buttons to open Jason’s String, a book about a cat’s favorite toy, and Ing Is A Powerful Thing, a phonics book. HTML5so sounds play on iPad! Updated movies, has audible text. Pre-IE9 legacy version also online.

Little Toot Book link: toot/index.html Menu leads to a book about the cutest little boat you have ever seen! A second activity, What’s Next?, tests the reader’s recall of the story.HTML5so sounds play on iPad! Updated movies, has audible text. Pre-IE9 legacy version also online.

Log Cabin Books link: logCabin/index.html Menu leads to three books. In Log Cabin, build a log cabin using virtual Lincoln logs, then imagine yourself inside. Beware of the bear! What’s Next? tests readers to determine if they remember all the steps in building the cabin. In Fill The Shelves practice with direction words while helping to tidy up the cabin by putting items back on the shelves. HTML5so sounds play on iPad! Updated movies; has audible text. Pre-IE9 legacy versions of Log Cabin and Fill The Shelves also online.

Madagascar Adventures link: madagascar/index.html Tour five different ecoregions of Madagascar. Five books in one, with a Madagascar map menu page. See the strange plants of the Spiny Forest, giant spiders and other creatures in the Dry Forest, lemurs and a fossa in the Wet Forest, rare birds on a tiny island, and be surprised by creatures of the night. HTML5and updated movies. Extensive audible Glossary! Pre-IE9 legacy versions also online.

Madagascar Lemur Books link: madLemur/index.html Link goes to a menu with links to two online books: Lots Of Lemurs and Islands. Bonus button leads to a page where you can try out the sounds of valiha, the folk instrument of Madagascar. HTML5and updated movies. Extensive audible Glossary! Pre-IE9 legacy versions also online.

Making A Pumpkin Pie Book link: pumpkinPie/index.html Life skills story showing the steps in making a pumpkin pie. Recipe on the Credits page 🙂 Movies require QuickTime.

Mayan Jungle Adventure Books link: mayan/index.html Link goes to a menu with links to two online books: Mayan Jungle Adventure and Fact Or Fiction? HTML5so sounds play on iPad! Updated movies, has audible text and extensive audible Glossary! Pre-IE9 legacy versions also online.

Pablo Pelican Books link: pelican/index.html Link goes to a menu with links to two online books: Pablo’s Bad Day and Pelican Facts. HTML5so sounds play on iPad! Updated movies, has audible text. Pre-IE9 legacy versions also online.

Showertime! Book link: showertimeWeb/index.html Menu leads to two activities, the interactive story Showertime! about gathering supplies to prepare to take a shower and a sequencing activity testing recall of Showertime!. HTML5, audible text, and updated movies. Pre-IE9 legacy version of story, but not the sequencing activity, also online.

Snow Books link: snow/index.html Menu page with links to two books to read online. Movies require QuickTime.

Sofie Sea Lion Books link: seaLion/index.html Link goes to a menu with links to two online books: Sofie’s Adventure and Sea Lion Facts. HTML5so sounds play on iPad! Updated movies, has audible text. Pre-IE9 legacy versions also online.

Tide Pools Books link: tidePools/index.html Menu page with links to the three Tide Pools books to read online. Movies require QuickTime.

The Haunted Castle Book link: haunted/index.html The Haunted Castle book to read online. Sounds require up-to-date QuickTime in FireFox (Win).

Treasure Hunt books link: treasure/index.html (195.3 MB) Link leads to a menu with two books: Treasure Hunt! and What’s Next? sequencing activity. HTML5so no internet connection is needed and movies and sounds play on iPad® and other tablets. Has audible text.

Visiting A Petting Farm Book link: pettingFarm/index.html Explore the farm, choosing your own route, petting the animals, feeding them, and hearing them react. Movies require QuickTime.

Wrapping A Gift Book link: giftwrap/index.html Activity to read and complete online. Download button for finished virtual gift! Click here for extra help with this activity.HTML5so sounds play on iPad! Book now has audible text. Pre-IE9 legacy versions also online.

How To Get The Most From Annie’s Books Online

  • The books have large graphics, so allow a few seconds for each page to load. Once you have been through a book, you should be able to go through it faster if you read it a second time.
  • If your browser loads slowly, the movies may be jerky the first time they play, since they are loading while playing. Play a movie again using the movie controller, and it should run smoothly.
  • Since they need large sized text and a generous graphic, book pages may scroll off the bottom of the screen. This may hide navigation buttons. To avoid this, temporarily close your browser’s bookmarks and navigation toolbars to gain some space. You can do this under the View menu. Don’t use full screen, though, because movie pages would play behind and not be visible.
  • Books marked as having updated movies use codecs H.264/AAC and should play on all modern devices. The movies in desktop versions of these books should play without an internet connection.
  • Be careful not to click the main page right after clicking a Play Movie or Look Closer button. The floating window is set to open on top, but if you click the main page, that selects it and will jump it in front of the movie page. If this happens, slide the main page aside and click the movie page to make it come to the front.
  • As of October 2015, new online books will be written in HTML5 to take advantage of its more reliable handling of sound and video. Books will play in modern browsers including Mac Safari 5.0 or later, iOS Safari 4.3 or later, Firefox Mac or Win 39 or later, Internet Explorer 9 or later, and Google Chrome Mac or Win 12 or later. Users of Windows XP with IE 8 or earlier will be automatically switched to an alternate version using an earlier html and utilizing a sound manager based on Flash®, if an older version is available.
  • If you find that online books load slowly, try downloading a desktop version of the same book. You can run it with your browser, and everything will load immediately! For details and download links, check out the Annie’s Desktop Books page.
  • You need QuickTime® installed to see the movies in the old (Pre-IE9) versions of these books, and I don’t guarantee movies will still play online , even with QuickTime installed. If you have iTunes® installed, then you already have QuickTime. You can test if your system is ready to run the movies in the books by looking at the movie near the bottom of this page about a kingbird nest.
  • If you need to install QuickTime, click here to go to the Apple Computer® site, download QuickTime for your operating system, and install it.

Typical Features of Annie’s Books Online

Image©2009 ABS A book page from Exploring Tide Pools with a floating movie window to the left
A Play Movie Window

A typical online book page has a photo or original art and under that a text area with 24 or 36 point text on a white background. Buttons lead to other pages, either next and previous or jumping to multiple locations. If there is a movie, it will open in a floating window. Click the button on the movie to play it, and close the floating window when finished.

Image©2009 ABS Page from Exploring Tide Pools with the Glossary window open
A Glossary Page In A Floating Window

Glossary and More Info Pages
Floating windows are also used for other information. In some places, a button lets students look closer, or explore additional information about what’s on a page. Another use of the floating window is to provide a glossary that can be opened from any page. These extra information windows usually appear in books written for older students, particularly science books. Simple story books might not need these at all.

Image©2009 ABS The menu page from the online Tide Pools books
A Menu Page For Tide Pools Online

Online Books Menu Pages
For navigation, the link to a set of online books leads to a menu page with several book cover buttons. Clicking a button opens a book, and on the book cover is a Go Home button to return to the menu page.

An online books menu page will also have links back to this help page, to the main post for the activity set where tests, writing activities, and other resources can be downloaded, and a link back to the Welcome page of Annie’s Resource Attic.

October 24th, 2009 at 4:15 pm
5 Responses to “Annie’s Books Online”

  1. 1
    Dinell Stuckey Says:

    Great work Ann! I see you’ve been very busy. What a great idea to share your beautifully animated books with us through this format! Your graphics are brilliant and I love the glossary that you included in the books. The movies help understand the concepts so nicely. I just love using your stuff. Thanks so much for sharing! Dinell Stuckey

  2. 2
    Stacey Kapigian Says:

    Just wanted to thank you for your Classroom Suite books. My students love them; They are wonderfully done. I have tried to make activities using Classroom Suite and I find it quite difficult, so thanks for all your work. Looking forward to more books if your time allows! Stacey

  3. 3
    Daniela Says:

    I love your books, but I am having trouble getting them to play as a movie. When I open them online, I can see them as a slideshow, one frame at a time by clicking on the red arrow to move to the next page. Some books have sound (the text is read aloud and I can hear the sound effects), other books have no sound. How do I play them as a movie? I was able to do that with the sea lion book (there was a button that said play movie to click on), but the other books I looked at did not give me that option. I have downloaded some to my desktop, and I have the same issue – they will open one frame at a time, no sound or movie option.

    Where are the pdf files for the books? You mention on the instructions page they can be downloaded as a pdf, but I can’t find the pdf format.

  4. 4
    admin Says:


    The books online are not intended to play as movies. They really are online books, and students must turn the pages by clicking or touching the red arrows. I purposely made the navigation controls large, because some of the students who read those books have low vision. Some students may stay on one page for a while, if they need extra reading time or maybe just like the illustration.

    There ARE movies to play with some books, including the one about Sofie the sea lion, but those pop up a separate page for the movie, which will be a short QuickTime movie. (Or, since QuickTime is no longer supported on the web, a short movie in a format supported in HTML5.–added in 2018). These short movies only further illustrate the text on the page where you see a Play Movie button, they aren’t the entire book.

    Each book or set of books has a link to the main page for that activity set either on the left sidebar or at the top of the menu page for sets of books. At the bottom of the main page are links to download A PDF version, a desktop version in html that will play in your browser when you are offline, and often sets of photos from the book.

  5. 5

    Thanks so much for your dedication and incredible work. Your time and work are so appreciated!!


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