Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Interactive? Hmmm, imteresting

Interactive!  That is one of the most popular words in publishing for children.  Make the book "interactive" and it will sell.  Anyone who has gone to a baby shower lately knows that lift-the-flap books and pop-up books are all the rage.

My favorite interactive book is Press Here by Herve Tullet.  My son tells me that this book has his one year old daughter pressing everything in every other book she owns.  "Every book is a Press Here book." He tells me.

There are no moveable parts in Press Here but it is hugely interactive.  (BTW, the website is interactive as well.  Check it out.) What does that mean?

Any book that encourages a child to study its pages, do something with the pages, or even do something other than look and read is an interactive book.  Coloring books, Choose-your-own-adventure books, pop-up books, lift-the-flap books, puzzle books, activity books, craft books, cook books - all interactive.

The best of children's literature is "interactive" because the child becomes involved in what they are reading.  Even if the child is only turning pages, books that absorb a child's imagination, that move a child into the action, - those books are "interactive".

Most  of the current "interactive" books are designed for young children - up to about 8 or 9 years old.  (After that craft books, cook books, mysteries, adventures take over.)  Ask any librarian.  Look and Find books like Walter Wick and Jean Marzollo's I Spy  series, or the Where's Waldo series are some of the hardest used books in the library.

Here are the websites - usually interactive as well - of these books and series.

Press Here  Press a series of dots and watch what unfolds.  The website offers activities and printables to prolong the fun.

I Spy - Scholastic has online games, puzzles and more on the Official I Spy website.  As well as adverts for the books and video games.

Kidsbooks - Activity books, search and find books, non-fiction - these books are sold in discount stores, grocery stores and drugstores and they are colorful and a lot of fun.  Check out the Kids Page on their website for online fun.

Where's Waldo  There are two websites that claim to be the official website for Where's Waldo? and .  Check them both out.

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