By Janice Volpe
Today I came across an article that talked about Penguin Books and their partnership with iPad in presenting books on the new iPad platform. It is called “How Penguin Will Reinvent Books with iPad.”
In the video they feature a child moving their hand over the screen of the iPad in order to turn the page of a favorite children’s book, Spot the Dog.
Seeing this started me thinking, what will happen to children’s books as we know them today, and how would the experience in the video be different for a small child just beginning to learn about books, language and the world around them?
Have you ever noticed the anticipation and excitement of a young child who has been waiting patiently for you to finish reading the last sentence on a page, just so they can flip the page over and go on to the next? There is just something about the pages for kids. When it comes to the iPads and Kindles, I can’t imagine pointing their little finger past a screen would be the same experience for a small child as would be holding a book and turning pages as the story unfolds, at least from what I could see in the video from the featured story.
And what about trips to the library and the rich atmosphere libraries hold for our kids? Before my daughter could read we had weekly field trips to the library. For her it was pure adventure and delight to scout the aisles in discovery of new books; books she had missed the week before, and old favorites she rediscovered on our visit. Once home, the ritual began; warm up the hot chocolate, grab the big, fluffy comforter and the stack of new books, and it’s off to the couch we’d go, sitting for hours reading the new bounty until each book had been thoughtfully explored, cover to cover.
I could see how every part of the reading experience brought her joy; from holding the book by its cover – be it shiny and new, or old and torn – to someone reading to her while she quietly listened, occasionally outlining the artwork with little fingers. The texture and fabric of each book played an equally important part in the experience for her, as beautiful artwork seemed to come alive on every page. And most of the pages were soft and smooth, but the really good pages were rough and torn because the book that held them together had become a popular favorite with the under five crowd at our library.
Reading books to small children provides them with a rich, cerebral experience, full of imaginings, pages, covers, textures and touchable art. Young children are still exploring their world through touching, sight and sound. If we’re lucky, there will always be children’s books as we know them today, and parents who understand the importance of introducing children to literature and books by reading to them often, especially when they are too young to read for themselves.
I hope small children can always learn about the misadventures of a cat in a hat, or what object is next in line for a sweet “sleep tight” from Goodnight Moon, through pages they can turn, textured covers they can hold, and artwork they can separate from the rest of the book by lifting a page.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Janice Volpe is a Social Media Strategist and Executive Support. You can learn more about her and her company In Demand Brand at http://janicevolpe.blogspot.com/ and Follow her on Twitter ~ http://twitter.com/InDemandBrand and Facebook: http://bit.ly/dcwUpu