Saturday, November 26, 2022

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! There are many, many more interactive books - and many books you can make interactive just by how you use them in storytime - than I have listed here, but these are the ones I use most often in storytime and to the greatest effect.

  • 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! Shake the tree is also fun.
  • Nicola Davies
    • 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 on 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!
  • 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?
  • Herve Tullet
    • Press Here and following books like Mix it up! 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. You can also adapt for an audience doing actions in their own space, instead of coming up to the front. Whichever you choose, leave extra time for participation.
  • 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.
  • Do not lick this book (it's full of germs) by Idan Ben-Barak
    • This was definitely the poster child book of the pandemic. It's funny and nonfiction and offers kids an opportunity to practice their fine motor skills. There is a sequel, but I prefer the first book.
  • 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. There are a whole bunch of sequels and board books, but I feel that the first one remains the best.
  • 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.
  • Move! by Steve Jenkins
    • This one needs a little editing and prep, to make sure you've got all the different actions planned out and to be able to edit for the age and attention-span of your audience. Nothing beats having a whole group of kids do a spider dance though!
  • 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.
  • Here we go digging for dinosaur bones by Susan Lendroth
    • This can be sung (and acted out) to the tune of "Here we go round the Mulberry bush."
  • Tap the magic tree by Christie Matheson
    • A marvelous fall-themed take on Press Here. Matheson has written several other interactive titles with nature themes, but the first remains the best.
  • 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 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!
Originally published in 2017

1 comment:

Polly said...

Thank you! I wasn't aware of many of these, despite owning (and having ordered) many of them.