Sunday, June 2, 2019

RA RA READ: Interactive Picture Books

Interactive picture books are extremely popular in my library; at storytime, with the parents, with preschool teachers, and of course with the kids themselves! I've been tagging them in my LibraryThing for a while and now I'd like to share some with you. These are the ones I use most often in storytime and to the greatest effect.

There are many, many more interactive books - and many books you can make interactive just by how you use them in storytime! Please share your favorites in the comments.

  • Silvia Borando
    • This is the main author for Minibombo books, a small, Italian imprint. They have quirky and unique books that are delightful storytime reads. Some of our favorites are Shapes, Reshape! and Open up, please! The newest title, Shake the tree has also been a hit.
  • Nicola Davies
    • What happens next, Who's like me, what will I be
    • These lift the flap books are my top go-to nonfiction titles, especially Who's Like Me which teaches the difference between mammals, amphibians, reptiles, etc. There are enough flaps for a large class to take turns lifting and looking but be prepared to spend a loooooong time discussing these. I usually set aside at least 10 minutes and you can easily spend an entire storytime just one one of these books.
  • Ed Emberley
    • Go away big green monster; If you're a monster and you know it
    • I actually have a puppet that goes with Big Green Monster. I have used it to great effect with special education students - teen age, preschool developmental level. I get them all to make "go away" motions and say with me "go away" as I read the book. The second title is a fun singing book - get everyone standing and clapping their claws!
  • Edward Gibbs
    • I spy series
    • These are very simple - there is a question with a clue and a hole in the page gives you a hint as to the animal. These work best with toddlers and younger preschoolers as they're too easy for the older kids. They are mostly out of print, but sometimes available as board books.
  • Christie Matheson
    • Starting with Tap the magic tree, a marvelous fall-themed take on Press Here, Matheson wrote several titles with nature themes.
  • Nicola O'Byrne
    • Sometimes written with a co-author, O'Byrne has created a series of interactive books that are both funny and clever. Open very carefully, a book with bite started the series and the latest is What's next door?
  • Jessica Young
    • Only two stories so far, Pet this book and Play this book but both are excellent and I expect more in the series!
Individual titles
  • Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett
    • This works best with older children (4-5). Have them join you in the actions suggested on each page.
  • Don't push the button by Bill Cotter
    • At first this appears to be a spin-off of Tullet's Press Here but it's actually more akin to The Monster at the end of this book. Be prepared to calm down riotous laughter. Only offers opportunities for a small number of children to participate. It works best if you have two helpers.
  • Jump by Scott Fischer
    • All ages love this book. I get all the kids to crouch down, and once they've got the idea of the book - that there's going to be a JUMP every time I turn the page, they will enthusiastically follow along.
  • Who has this tail? Who has these feet by Laura Hulbert
    • This works nicely with a range of children - simple pictures of different parts of animals. You can expand it for older kids to talk about how the different parts are used (a la Steve Jenkins)
  • It's a tiger! by David LaRochelle
    • This is one of our absolute favorites! Have all the kids stand up and as you read the book, whenever you get to "it's a tiger! run!" have them scream and run in place. They will catch on quickly!
  • Warning: Do not open this book by Adam Lehrhaupt
    • This works best with older kids who can understand the tongue-in-cheek humor, but kids pretty universally like the idea of breaking the rules. There is a sequel, Please open this book.
  • Do you know which ones will grow by Susan Shea
    • This one works best with older kids who understand the point of the story - that you're contrasting living and manufactured things. I use it with a game "Garden vs. Not Garden" and I generally open the flaps myself as I read it.
  • Can you make a scary face by Jan Thomas
    • All ages love this. Stand up! Sit down! Do the chicken dance!
  • Press Here; Mix it up by Herve Tullet
    • These are the books that really touched off the interactive picture book fad. One of the things I like is that they offer opportunities for a class of 20-25 kids to participate, although you have to do a little math to make sure everyone gets a turn. Do leave extra time for participation.
I use these and many other titles in my Get up and move! outreach storytime and my Winter Wigglers: Interactive Storytime

Updated 5-19

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