ERIC Number: EJ940119
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jun-1
Are Ebooks Any Good?
School Library Journal, v57 n6 p28-32 Jun 2011
Until recently, ebooks for young children haven't been part of the hyped vernacular of "game-changing" technology. Instead, ebook conversations have focused on textbooks for older students or text-heavy, adult-oriented titles downloaded to ereaders like the Kindle, Nook, and Sony e-Reader. The arrival of portable, full-color, touchscreen devices is rapidly changing that. A year ago, Apple's iPad tablet arrived on the scene, turning digital glossy magazines and colorful digital books into a reality. The iTunes App Store is now brimming with vivid graphics and creative games for kids, including hundreds of booklike offerings, such as "Green Eggs and Ham" and "Pat the Bunny." Not long after the emergence of the iPad, Barnes and Noble unveiled the NookColor--a $250 device with a color touchscreen slightly smaller than the iPad's. It features Nook Kids, an online shop where one can purchase from a growing collection of classic and popular picture books. Judy Schachner's "Skippyjon Jones" series and Barack Obama's "Of Thee I Sing" are among them. Now one can sit on the sofa with a five-year-old and experience a digital version of cozy co-reading, still basking in a book's beautiful illustrations and even hearing the pages turn. The bonus is that, unlike with print books, readers can pull up additional titles, at any time and in any place, as soon as a child says, "I want to read that one, too!" This article explores a prime question descending on preschools and elementary schools this year: Are electronic picture books good for kids, and can schools get them hooked on reading by expanding access to engaging titles? Or are digital books one more step down that slippery slope to less and less interaction with print just when children need it most?
Descriptors: Textbooks, Picture Books, Library Materials, Electronic Publishing, Childrens Literature, Handheld Devices, Educational Games, Video Games, Elementary Schools, Early Childhood Education, School Libraries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A