Turn your iPad into the ultimate interactive storybook

Turn your iPad into the ultimate interactive storybook

Summary: Thanks to innovative developers, there are a number of apps on the App Store that turn reading into an immersive, interactive experience for kids

TOPICS: iPad, Mobility, Telcos

A few days ago I wrote about my top 5 iPad accessories. One thing that I use my iPad for a lot is as an eReader for the kids. While there are plenty of apps out there for all of the standard eReaders (Kindle, Nook, etc.), if you want to enjoy an interactive storybook you have to download separate apps. Here's a quick roundup of mine and my kids' favorites:


The folks at iStoryApps have a slew of stories to choose from. In all cases the stories are compelling, and most important, interactive. You can start with Who Am I? for free and then if you like the style, you can purchase a number of different ones. My favorite part about the stories themselves is that you can either read the stories yourself, have the stories read to you, or even record your own voice on each page. This has been a lot of fun for me and the kids since my older child can record himself reading and then my youngest can play back his voice while looking at or interacting with the pictures. Speaking of interacting, that's where the iStoryApps shine. As you can see in the video of Bobo the Baby Elephant Grows Up below, there's no end to what you can click on and interact with during the story.

Dr. Seuss's ABC

You can't talk about children's books without mentioning Dr. Seuss. In this case, the App looks just like the original book, but includes professional narration, the ability to tap on a picture and hear its name and also see the word zoom up to it. You can't record your own voice, like you can in the iStoryApps, and you also can't move any images back and forth, but the classic is definitely given new life on the iPad and iPhone. See a video of it in action below:

Kids can read - Barney The Dog

Another favorite in my house is Barney The Dog for iPhone / iPad. It features the same interactivity as many other iPad eBooks, allowing a child to click on different parts of the screen and see different animations in action. In the case of Barney The Dog, Barney is a 3-D dog that performs a series of animations, which are accompanied by sound effects. The book can read aloud and advance pages automatically, or you can mute the voice and flip pages at your leisure.

The same company also offers up The Lions Band, which features characters that when clicked will each play a different instrument. See it in action below:

Do you have a favorite interactive eBook? If so, share it below.

Topics: iPad, Mobility, Telcos

Joel Evans

About Joel Evans

With more than 15 years of mobile, Internet and wireless experience, Joel specializes in taking existing brands and technologies into the mobile and wireless space. Joel is currently the VP of Strategy Integration for Mobiquity, an enterprise-class mobile solutions provider.

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  • Message has been deleted.

    • RE: Turn your iPad into the ultimate interactive storybook

      You should also do that also but keep in mind that not everyone can publish kids books, even if they have a great idea. iPhone/iPad is a great platform where everyone gets a equal chance. Plus it's interactive environment keeps kids interested.

      Btw, the list is great, but I'd also like to mention the great story apps from Duck Duck Mouse and BrightKnight Kingdom interactive story app. These are really changing the way kids read today.
      • Yes, let's thank Apple for inventing the interactive storybook platform!!!

        [i]These are really changing the way kids read today.[/i]

        As long as we ignore the many years of interactive storybooks that have existed on that other "slightly" more popular platform then yes, interactive storybooks on the iPad truly are changing the way kids read today!

        Once again, Apple marketing has succeeded in making people believe that a technology Apple has co-opted was invented by Apple.
      • @NZ

        because, of course, we all know that sitting next to Mom or Dad on a couch with a tablet in your lap reading a story together is identical to sitting in an office chair in front of a monitor and keyboard using a mouse.
  • You are wrong

    The Windows PC is the ultimate interactive storybook, the iPad doesn't come close.
    • Nah...

      You should have said the Zune was.
      • No, the Zune isn't

        Windows supports thousands upon thousands of interactive storybooks. iOS only supports a handful.

        Windows tablet FTW!!!!
    • RE: Turn your iPad into the ultimate interactive storybook

      @NonZealot <br><br>PC ? The one that you control holding a rodent shaped plastic object in your hand ? That is the ultimate interactive device for kids ?
      • Yes

        Not all personal computers have mice. Many have touch screens and have had touch screens for years.

        Windows tablet FTW!!!
    • Nice hit and run

      • It isn't hit and run at all!

        The blog is about how iPad is the ultimate interactive story device because it happens to support a handful of interactive stories. Windows supports orders of magnitude more stories and is, therefore, the ultimate interactive story OS. Combine that with a touch screen (which it has been for years upon years upon years, long before iPad was a twinkle in Jobs' eye), you have:
        Windows tablet FTW!!!
  • RE: Turn your iPad into the ultimate interactive storybook

    Hi Mathew, I am glad you liked the book Bobo by iStoryApps. I was the project manager on the project and the team had a great time creating this and the other books.
    • Nice work!

      I am in the digital education field so I can really appreciate the work that goes in to this. Educators are really excited about the iPad. Vendors have been trying to sell us some sort of tablet or another for years now and finally now there is something that is actually viable. There is also a lot of pressure for school jurisdictions to support student owned devices and iPads are one of the top requests.

      Again nice work. Sorry you have to put up with the inane blathering of the resident Apple Basher.
  • Read: It's a toy.

    • RE: Turn your iPad into the ultimate interactive storybook

      @SonofaSailor It's a portable touch-tablet that can do a lot of things.
      • Nope

        It is a portable touch-tablet that can do a few things. Windows tablets are portable touch-tablets that can do everything.
  • It's great that there are a few interactive stories for the iPad

    Seriously, good for the developers that they've decided to port a few interactive storybooks from the Windows PC onto the iPad. However, this does not make the iPad the [b]ultimate[/b] interactive storybook. It is an adequate interactive storybook as long as you don't mind an extremely limited selection of interactive stories. The [b]ultimate[/b] interactive storybook is still the Windows tablet. No other platform, no other hardware, no other device can be called the [b]ultimate[/b] interactive storybook because none of them have even a fraction of the selection that is available on a Windows tablet.
    • Have you tried both?


      How do they stack up? Because while Windows may have the "ultimate" quantity of interactive stories available, as in NZ typically has the ultimate quantity of posts in almost any given Apple discussion, it may ultimately be a poor reading experience. In which case Windows also issues forth the ultimate quantity of worthless stories.
      • Like any platform, they both have good and bad apps

        It would be naive for you to assume that all the iPad interactive stories are good.

        I am simply trying to challenge the author to justify [b]his[/b] assertion that the iPad is the ultimate interactive story device. So far, his sole justification is that it supports about 5 apps. Based on [b]his[/b] justification, Windows tablets make for a [b]far[/b] superior platform.

        I stand by everything I've written and the fact that Apple zealots like CowLauncher have had to resort to ad hominem attacks proves that he has no logical counter argument.
      • Yes but I have ACTUALLY tried iPad interactive stories


        I have several, many more than 5, my kids love them, but I don't have a basis for comparison to call it the ultimate interactive storybook. You are assuming the author was unaware that interactive storybooks exist for Windows. That's why I ask you, besides your usual "word picking" to make a case do YOU actually have any basis to make a comparison? I would assume you actually knew and were not just making it up on the spot to be argumentative, since you claim to know that Windows has the ultimate collection of interactive storybooks for tablets you must have SOME basis for comparison.