Lookybook is a great site where you can actually look at picture books before you buy them. At first I thought it was a bit silly to allow people to see the whole book first, but the more I’ve looked, the more I’ve found that I’d like to buy! It’s just like standing in a bookstore and browsing the books – except you do it from your own computer at your leisure.
“The world’s longest bookshelf. Libraries and bookstores have limited space, so the only book covers you see are generally best sellers. But what about all of those other books—new books, obscure books, undiscovered gems that are stuck sideways on the shelf, or worse, in a warehouse somewhere. Since we have infinite shelf space, every book on Lookybook is displayed cover out and searchable by a number of different criteria.”
To find books, you can search by keyword, author, illustrator, subject or genre, or you can click on the “Book Tumbler” to get a random selection of books. Each book has listed the size, number of pages, age level, publishing details and a review. If you like the book, you then have the option to purchase it online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Book Sense.
You also have the option to create a free account, which then enables you to create your own bookshelf of favourite titles, add comments, email the link to a friend, or you can save the link to your favourites in Facebook, Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon or Digg.
“Your Bookshelf. We value the book reviews of librarians and industry experts and we especially value the opinions of moms and dads. Because we are a site for looking at and discovering new books, we want to know what you think and like. Not only can you share your comments about a particular book, you can share all your favorite books by creating and posting your Bookshelf. Fellow Lookybookers can look at your favorites and show you theirs—creating a virtual show-and-tell about today’s best picture books. (register to get a Bookshelf)”
The downside is that there are not many Australian authors or illustrators on the site; the upside is that you might just discover some really nice picture books that you’ve never heard of before!
This is an example of a picture book from Lookybook:
“When Pigasso met Mootisse” by Nina Laden