From bedtime stories with Dolly Parton and Australian celebrities snuggling up for reading time with Little Ted to interstellar tales beamed from space, our Head of Children’s and YA Programs, Amelia Lush, has found some of the best places to join expert narrators for an online edition of storytime.

Your local library may have closed its doors, but they often have access to wonderful services you can take advantage of. Check to see if your library has a subscription to Story Box Library, an absolutely wonderful collection of Australian picture books being read aloud by some familiar faces. Many local libraries are also doing virtual storytime, including the City of Parramatta Libraries, who also provide helpful age categories for videos.

With over 50 years of practice, Play School Story Time is still one of the best formats in the world, and ABC’s iView platform has a special channel dedicated to the many stories read aloud on the show. For the budding scientists out there, visit Story Time from Space to watch space-themed picture books read by real-life astronauts in zero gravity! (Special shout-out to one of Amelia Lush’s all-time-favourite picture books Rosie Revere, Engineer, written by Andrea Beatty and read by astronaut Kate Rubins.)

Join Auslan-interpreter Michelle Goodison on ALIA’s YouTube channel for Auslan Storytime featuring books by favourite Australian authors. Enjoy Too Many Elephants in this House by Australian Children Laureate Ursula Dubosarsky, The Brother’s Quibble by Aaron Blabey and I Got This Hat by Kate and Jol Temple.

Internationally, there is a smorgasbord of options including picture-book legend, and former Festival guest, Oliver Jeffers with his series Stay at Home Story Time, and Goodnight with Dolly hosted by queen of country music Ms Dolly Parton. You can also find an incredible line-up of famous American and British actors reading their favourite picture books at Storyline Online.

If closing your eyes, lying back and listening to a story sounds like the oasis of calm you are looking for, you can find a remarkable array of audio stories online.

Public libraries have a wonderful collection of audiobooks that you can borrow and Audible has made a large catalogue of its kids’ collection free during this period of social isolation.

David Walliams is releasing an audio story a day from The World’s Worst Children in a hilarious and expertly told series called Elevenses. And Mary Poppins herself, Dame Julie Andrews, recently launched her storytelling podcast Julie’s Library with her daughter Emma, a children’s author.

We hope the little bookworms in your life enjoy the magic of storytime online.