Our Book Formats and How To Use Them

Our Book Formats – The children’s books on Free Kids Books website are provided in pdf format since it’s the most transportable. However, I am slowly converting many books into ePub (great for word-wrap on chapter books) and mobi for kindle fans.

Pdf books were originally designed for printing, however, they are also designed for transportability between computers, which is why we choose them for kids books. Picture books have a specific layout which is vital to it’s success. That is, it’s important that when you look at it on another computer, it doesn’t change! Nearly all the time this is true for a pdf, that is what you will see is what the book’s creator intended you to see.

Book Formats and How To Use Them

How Do You Use a PDF Picture Book?

We find the best way to use the pdf picture books is to print the pages and keep them in a slip file for easy reading. (Remember to tape up the top of the slip file if you have a destructive toddler like mine).

Another really easy way to use these books in print form is to staple the pages together, at the spine, and this can work really well with non duplexing, glue or staple at the edge to make the pages double is far more durable for toddlers.

Both these methods are so quick, easy, and cheap, that you don’t need to tell the toddler not to destroy the book – hey, to a 2 year old, colourful books were just made to be chewed weren’t they?

Pdf Colouring Books

Another great advantage of printable pdf books is for colouring books. Electronic format colouring books need not be thrown away when the pages are used! And you can print many copies of the same page for fun trial and error colouring, allowing your child to keep the best ones for use in the flip file book.

Colouring books can also be used electronically – take a screenshot, or export an image from your pdf file (usually available in most pdf readers, on mac this can be done in preview). Once the book is in image format, open it in a graphics program (for example MS Paint), and children can use the paint fill feature (typically a paint bucket icon) to colour.

How Do You Use a PDF Chapter Book?

Chapter books are easiest read on an e-reader these days, but may be printed, hole punched and put in a file to read. I find it easiest to print two pages per 1 A4, eg in typical book size, which can be done on most printers or pdf applications by choosing to print multiple pages. The pdf files make a great format for using offline on e-readers.

How Do You Use a PDF eBook?

This will vary with your installed programs, but all ebooks can be read on tablets, iPads, and any type of computer, and if they are downloaded (‘open in’ for an iPad), they can be used offline as well as on.

Saving Money And Space on Books

It may all sound quite frugal, but this is a very cost effective way to ensure children can have many great books to read over and over without having to take them back to the library. Books can also be easily changed depending on your child’s interest, and it’s not as much of a problem if pages are torn, damaged, spilled on, drawn on…or eaten!

Children often are not very careful with books when they are young, and a printed copy can easily be used for every day play, and if your child likes the books, then you can buy the hard copy and keep it aside for later.

What About Hardcopy Books?

If you like the books many books have a link to a hard copy, so you can buy a good copy to keep.
They also make great original presents for those hard-to-think-what-they-might-not have, but so frequent children’s birthday party. Most of our books come from emerging authors, so likely you won’t find them on the shelves of the local Barnes and Noble in thousands. All printing is top quality, and you’ve had the chance to try it out yourself or on your own child before hand.

Enjoy the books!

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Comments 2

  • Hi. I was wondering if you had a list of available Hard Copy books? Especially in science and physics and animals for Tweens plus? My 11 year old son is in the hospital for several months and wants to study physics. My 12 year old daughter wants to be a vet. Both are on the autism spectrum.


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