Thanks to a fun client project, I recently searched our library for interactive picture books. Jackson and Caleb, my willing research assistants, enjoyed the process as much as I did. I thought it would be fun to share our favorites!
We have to start with Don’t Push the Button by Bill Cotter. Both three-year-old Jackson and twenty-month-old Caleb LOVED this book. Each spread features Larry, a lovable monster, and a big red button that is just begging to be pushed. Larry warns the reader not to push the button but then changes his mind. Hijinks ensue.
My one quibble with this book is that, after giving emphatic instructions not to push the button, Larry says, “No one is looking. You should give the button one little push.” I don’t know about the kids in your life, but mine do not need any encouragement to think like that. I usually skipped that line or changed that phrase as I read. This was hands-down my boys’ favorite.
Watercolor and collage are my favorite media, especially for picture books. Christie Matheson uses both to create adorable illustrations for each of these three books.
Tap the Magic Tree follows a tree as it changes through the seasons. As you’ve likely guessed, Plant the Tiny Seed is about seeds growing into flowers, and Touch the Brightest Star explores the "magic [that] happens every night." I loved all of the creative ways the author invites her reader to interact with and “help” in the stories.
The hardcover editions of these books also include a final page that explains "how the magic happens" or how to grow your own zinnias from seeds. Tap the Magic Tree and Touch the Brightest Star are also available as board books.
Who doesn't like Eric Carle's depictions of animals? They're so fun! From Head to Toe is a perfect book for story time with a group. On each spread, children are encouraged to imitate a different animal. I accidentally requested an oversized version of this book from my local library. The huge pictures made it even more fun for my boys to participate. I couldn't find that option when I checked Amazon, but your library might have the giant edition too!
Wiggle by Doreen Cronin is a cute book written with a lilting rhyme that keeps the wiggles--and resulting giggles--going strong. The illustrations perfectly capture the glee of a wiggly dog living his best life. It also mentions wiggling in your underwear, which my boys thought was HILARIOUS.
Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite by Nicola O'Byrne is an interactive picture book with some simple but clever novelty elements. It features the beautifully-illustrated calamity of a crocodile invading a copy of The Ugly Duckling.
In both Press Here and Mix it Up, Herve Tullet takes interaction with the pages to the next level. As you can guess from the covers, this happens in different ways in each book. I couldn't resist pressing the dots and mixing the colors right along with my kids--and once when they weren't even around.
I highly recommend looking for these books at your library and/or keeping them in mind for birthday and Christmas gifts! They'll be fun for you and your little readers!
Have you read any of these books to the littles in your life? Do you have a favorite interactive picture book that you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments!
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