There are many things that I ponder and many questions that I ask myself on a daily basis. As demonstrated by the recent comment thread on our recent review of the picture book “Henry the Blowfish” by Howard Morlan, people certainly have strong opinions on certain issues. I, personally, live in the world of grey. I feel that only a few issues are truly black and white (those issues involving people harming people, for example).
While our blog generally focuses on sharing some of our favorite children’s books through reviews and spotlights, I’ve often felt like I have so much more to say about children’s literature and literacy in general and I often wonder what other people think about certain issues as well. Consequently, I thought it would be kind of fun to throw out some topics of discussion about children’s books, literature, and literacy and host some polls on these topics. I hopoe that to make this a weekly feature and I welcome suggestions for topics.
Kid Lit Question of the Day: What do YOU think about Picture E-Books?
I have noticed that we are seeing more and more children’s picture books available exclusively (more or less) as electronic books. For example, we are huge fans of Julia Dweck who has authored many e-books (only a couple of which are also available in print). In fact, we have reviewed a few of her books including Zombie-Kids, Eville USA, Janie and the Magic Box Christmas, and My Dog’s Got Fleas. My kids and I absolutely loved these books. The writing is excellent; the books play to children’s imagination; and importantly, the illustrations are AMAZING!
We’ve also recently come across books that allow children to interact with pages of electronic books. For example, in Lovable Lobo Visits the Barnyard (available exclusively on the iPad), children are invited to touch the screen to produce sounds of real barnyard animals. This is definitely a step up from the Fisher Price Little People farm book we had. My son spent hours pushing the buttons producing quacking ducks, mooing cows, oinking pigs, and so on.
A step further from that is the Storypanda app available for the iPad which contains multiple stories and is completely interactive. In the case of Storypanda, children can create their own version of a children’s story, then share their creation with friends, family, and other children. How cool is that?
So, on the one hand, I get it. I see the value in the breath-taking, nearly 3-dimensional graphics, the opportunity for children to be active participants in reading, and the educational value in the interactive creativity that is possible through e-books.
BUT, isn’t there just something about flipping through pages? Isn’t there something about having a bookcase filled with colourful books that children can access at any time? Isn’t there something about having a living and breathing book that is simply magical? Is it the same thing to ask Mommy or Daddy, “Can I use your tablet/iPad to read a book?” Is it the same thing browsing the library stacks in your neighborhood with your children versus sitting at the kitchen table browsing an electronic database? Can you get the same “feel” for a book?
What do YOU Think?
Now, we get to the fun part. YOU can weigh in on the issue by taking part in our poll and then you are welcome to leave a comment below telling us what YOU think.