Five Finds – Interactive Picture Books

Taking a cue from the rise in popularity of interactive storybook apps, these picture books encourage kids to tap, swipe, turn and shake their way through stories, often with humorous and eye-catching results.


Press Here

The original, and some might say the best, this simple, extremely effective picture book really is a source of wonder, as children press and tap different colourful dots with fascinating results. Certainly proof that when it comes to picture books, less really can be more.

Tap The Magic Tree

This interactive picture book takes children through the different seasons, following a tree as it grows and changes over the course of a year. Simple, understated illustrations and a gentle narration makes for a quietly engaging experience.

Don’t Push The Button

From the calm and elegant we head right into the wild and wacky. Larry the Monster has been told not to push the big red button, but it’s just so tempting, and he simply can’t resist. Children will laugh as Larry finds himself in sillier and sillier predicaments, which can only be resolved by shaking, tapping and otherwise interacting with the pages.

Open Very Carefully

When a grumpy crocodile interrupts a retelling of the story ugly duckling, the ugly duckling takes matters into its own hands, and enlists the reader’s help in kicking the crocodile out of the book. There’s not as much interaction in this title as in other titles in this list, but the illustrations are very cute, and the story’s quite fun.

Warning: Do Not Open This Book

Monkeys and toucans and alligators, oh my! Like Don’t Push the Button, this is a story about giving in to temptation and breaking the rules, with hilariously madcap results. Opening the book releases a hoard of unruly monkeys, and the reader must follow the narrator’s instructions to help recapture all the escapees. As an aside, I once nearly gave a group of students heart attacks by slamming the book closed with a bit too much force – it certainly woke them all up…!


Spring Booktalking: Part II

I recently visited an all-boys private school and shared some stories with the grade 1 and 3 boys. I decided to stick with picture books, because I just love sharing picture books with older children. They really seem to enjoy the experience of being read aloud to, and you can have some pretty awesome discussions with kids about the stories and the images in the different picture books.

Here’s what I shared with the Grade 3 boys:

Moo! / David LaRochelle

I adore this book, I absolutely adore it. The listener response to this story was fantastic. Without any prompting the kids all joined in with me as a I read, and we became an enthusiastic chorus of mooing cows. It was a really neat experience as a librarian to see the kids join in so confidently and naturally.

Warning: Do Not Open This Book / Adam Lehrhaupt

Who doesn’t love ignoring directions and going against the rules? The kids loved this one too, though I think I startled them half-to-death when I accidentally slammed the book closed at the end with considerably more force than I’d meant to…..

Oi Frog! / Kes Gray

Silly rhymes make this another hilarious title for sharing with a group. Lots of opportunities to ham it up, though you have to be a bit creative with your pronunciation at times to make the rhymes work – sofas and gophers and lions and irons!

Here’s what I shared with the Grade 1 boys:

Open Very Carefully / Nicola O’Byrne

This title’s similar to Do Not Open This Book in that the narrator speaks directly to the reader, who then has to participate in fixing the story and saving the book. Cute, funny, and not too scary, this is a great read-aloud for younger audiences.

Gigantosaurus / Johnny Duddle

Dinosaurs!  Rhyming text! Six/seven-year-old boys! Yeah, sometimes I go for the low-hanging fruit and take the path of least resistance, what can I say.