Interactive Books

We’re happy to have Janssen of Everyday Reading guest posting today with her favorite interactive books for kids! Books where they don’t just read the words and look at the pictures, but they can actually participate, touch, feel, and experience elements of the book, too! Janssen is an ex-librarian, turned mother and we’ve loved being able to follow along with her book reviews, and we recently participated in her “In My Book Bag” series which you can find here. Welcome, Janssen!

Small Fry Interactive Books1. Press Here by Herve Tullet. This book is just SO fun. Each page gives you an instruction (“tap the yellow dot twice” or “shake the page up and down”) and on the following page, the picture has changed according to your actions. My three-year-old never gets tired of reading it. (Tap the Magic Tree just came out this summer and has a similar concept, but revolves around the seasons).

2. Adventures in Cartooning: How to Turn Your Doodles Into Comics by James Sturm, Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost. I bought a copy of this for the library when I was an elementary school librarian and I didn’t shelve it once the entire year. As soon as one child brought it back in, another would snatch it off the cart and check it back out. I especially like this book because it’s both a story and provides drawing instruction.
3. Out of Sight by Francesco Pittau and Bernadette Gervais. Like many children, my daughter is obsessed with animals and animal books. This is my all-time favorite one. Each page shows some part of several animals on flaps (a collection of tails, or paw prints or coat patterns). Once you lift the flap, the corresponding animal is revealed with some interesting fact about the animal (I learned so much!). Our whole family was sad to take this one back to the library.
4. Busy Bunny Days: In the Town, On the Farm & At the Port by Britta Teckentrup. Originally published in Germany, this book is a cross between Richard Scarry and Where’s Waldo?, with tons of details to look at and a tricky badger hiding on each page. The illustrations are bright, detailed, and beautiful, and I could look at the different spreads all day long.
5. The Jolly Postman by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg. This book is such a classic. A postman goes on his daily rounds, delivering letters to various fairy tale characters. At each delivery, there is a letter, with a pocket on the page where you can pull out the actual letter. We owned this book, unopened, for years before we had children, but once our first child was old enough to enjoy books, this one became part of our regular rotation. Opening those letters never gets old!
6. Round Trip by Ann Jonas. Oh, this is an amazing book. All in black and white, it begins with a trip to the city. And then when you reach the end of the book, you flip the book upside down and read back the other way, returning home. It’s mind-boggling to see all the pictures turn into completely different images just with a 180 degree spin. (I remember reading it with my dad, who loved how clever the whole idea was).
Find more of Janssen on her blog here.


  • danielle @ this picture book life
    April 21, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Super collection!!!

  • Megan B
    April 21, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Such great selections! I read Press Here to my son’s kindergarten class and it was such a hit. Each child had a turn “pressing” something and I highly recommend it as a read aloud to one kid, a small group, or an entire class!

  • Heather
    April 21, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    What a great post! I have a weakness for children’s books (lucky for my boys 😉 )and I can’t wait to borrow/buy a lot of these titles. Thanks for the recommendations!

  • jessica
    April 22, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    This is EXCELLENT. Love it. Thanks.

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