Dr. Seuss and new e-book apps for kids
This week e-book publisher Oceanhouse Media released its 22nd Dr. Seuss app for kids. It's a lesser-known title from the Seuss canon, "Oh, the Thinks You Can Think," and marks the first time the company has incorporated animated images and interactive scenes into its ebooks.
I'm sure my 3-year-old son will love it, but to me it still feels like the precursor to something awesome. The animation is generally static images of Seuss' wacky creatures sliding across the screen, and the interactivity mostly involves tapping on floating question marks to see the next image. One plus for budding readers — touching the sky or hill or tree or city in the scene and the word itself comes floating out. It could be helpful in strengthening word recognition (or something like that).
For those who want to taste the future of children book apps now, check out "The Monster at the End of This Book" starring lovable, furry old Grover (my favorite "Sesame Street" character). The animation actually helps the story move forward rather than getting in the way of it. And for those who fear that exposing your children to books on the iPad may lessen the appeal of regular-old paper books, I say don't worry. My son likes to read both versions at the same time.
-- Deborah Netburn
Photo credits: Oceanhouse Media and Deborah Netburn