From classics like Alice in Wonderland to popular fiction like the Twilight series, e-books and book apps are hot. According to representatives from the publisher Farrar, Straus & Giroux, "we’ve reached the tipping point—the technology is in the school, the kids know how to use it.  It just makes sense."

readRead What Children's Publishers Are Doing in the Apps Space in Publisher's Weekly (November 22, 2010).

Some e-books require a special app for mobile reading. For instance, you can download iBooks, Kindle, Nook, and Google Books apps for the iPhone, iPodTouch, and iPad. These are also available for other devices. The images below are from iBooks using an iPhone.

ibookibook listWinnie the Pooh

Some publishers are creating their own apps for their books. For instance, the TouchyBooks app contains a number of child-friendly demo stories.

Miss SpiderBooks for Children

While many new books are being published as apps or for e-book readers, a growing number of publishers are reimagining books in the digital format. For instance Curious Puppy is a company working with HarperCollins. Their iPhone Apps include Freight Train, The ABC Song, and 1-2-3 The Ants Go Marching.

Jack and the Beanstalk is an example of a Children's Interactive Storybook made for the iPad. It includes an interactive story along with games, activities, and other resources.

Miss Spider's Tea Party for the iPad is an interactive book that contains the classic picture book in addition to multi-touch animation, painting, puzzles, and games.

readRead An App Studio On Fulton Street in Publisher's Weekly (December 6, 2010). This article discusses the future of multimedia e-books from the maker of the Miss Spider app.

Ruckus Media Group has introduced a series of e-books beginning including A Present for Milo by Mike Austin. Giant Atom is another publishing group introducing ebooks such as Icarus Swinebuckle by Michael Garland.

Barack Obama's Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters is available in the Kindle book format. For more examples, go to Amazon's Children's eBooks section.


fangBooks for Older Readers

Many popular authors are producing electronic book versions of their books. For instance, the Hunger Games series and others by Suzanne Collins are available for Kindle, as well as classics like the Encyclopedia Brown series. Imagine being able to check out the entire series on a Kindle rather than one book at a time! The Boxcar Children and Magic Tree House series are also being published in the Kindle format.

James Patterson's Maximum Ride series are all available as Kindle eBooks. In addition, supplemental materials are also available in various formats through the author's website. For instance, there's a FANG iPhone App connected to Book One.

Some publishers are special ebooks to promote series. For instance, The Death of Joan of Arc by Michael Scott is an inexpensive Kindle book tie-in for his Immortal series.

Teens are drawn to biographies with multimedia elements. For instance, Reckless Road: Guns N'Roses contains multimedia enhancements including online extras.

Some groups are focusing on particular types of e-books. For instance, the Digital Manga Publishing website focuses on manga for Kindle, iPhone, iPad and other formats.

Interactive books such as the classic Choose Your Own Adventure books are being introduced in an app format.


readRead or listen to Choose Your Own Adventure Gets an iMakeover from NPR (August 16, 2010).


Graphic Books and Illustrated Apps

Comics, graphic novels, and other illustrated books are gaining in popularity in an e-book environment. Because many of the newer e-book readers contain color, electronic devices are less expensive for publishing in the full-color format.

Some books are shared through apps created by publishers. For instance, DC Comics and Marvel Comics each have their own apps for downloading both free and fee-based comics (see images below). The popular manga publisher Viz Media also has an app available.

Comic 1Comic 1Comic 1

From classics to popular fiction, you'll find lots of graphic novels adapted for the mobile format. For instance Stephenie Meyer's Twilight is now a graphic novel.

Some traditionally text-based books are being enhanced with graphics. For instance, an illustrated version of The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells is available for the iPad.

War of the Worlds

Multimedia Elements

Some publishers are exploring ways to use the power of the animation, audio, and video in books. These "enhanced" versions often contain animation, audio, video, or interactive elements such as background information, maps, or quiz questions.

The Pedlar Lady of Gushing Cross from Moving Tales animates the illustrations.

readWatch the movie trailer for The Pedlar Lady of Gusting Cross on YouTube.

FlippedApolo Ohno's autobiography Zero Regrets weaves video clips throughout the book. The Kindle Edition and iBook versions provide links within the text. In Jessica Watson's autobiography True Spirit, YouTube videos are woven throughout the book. The Kindle version is called an enhanced version with audio and video. Links are also provided to the author's website.

Knopf Books for Young Readers created an enhanced e-book for the Kindle of Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen that includes footage from the movie and original songs (see image on right).

A growing number of books are connecting to movie components. For instance, Voyage of the Dawn Treader is part of the C.S. Lewis series. The iBook contains illustrated interactive quiz questions, a color map, ship blue prints, and character information.

The How to Train Your Dragon interactive book and game is a great companion to the movie by the same name. FrogDog Media's iStoryTime series includes many interactive children's books based on popular animated movies. These books include movies, games, narration, and interaction.


Return to Top

| eduscapes | IUPUI Online Courses | Teacher Tap | 42explore | escrapbooking | About Us | Contact Us | ©2006-2012 Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson