Turn your iPad into the ultimate interactive storybook

Thanks to innovative developers, there are a number of apps on the App Store that turn reading into an immersive, interactive experience for kids
Written by Joel Evans, Contributor

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.

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