Creating an interactive dimension

One type of book for children that you cannot miss as you scan the bookshelves for ideas is the interactive book. These come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, aimed at an equally wide age and ability range. In their simplest form, the stories are very basic and designed so that, when pages are pressed, the pictures will make the appropriate sound. For slightly older children, the books invite the child to find symbols scattered throughout the pages, then press a matching symbol on a bar at the side. This is designed to help promote the child's ability to identify shapes as well as sounds. From there, the sounds become more complex, often issuing instructions to assist the child in completing more demanding tasks.

Whole reading schemes are now being produced using this kind of technology and in order to fully engage their young readers in the activities within the books, the stories have to be visually stimulating. Familiar characters are ideal for this purpose and at the time of writing, the books are mainly either adaptations of well-known stories by very well-established children's author/illustrators or feature familiar cartoon characters from the world of television and film.

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