Children’s library-on-a-tablet

By Anne Collier

In 2007 and ’08, we took our kids, then 10 and 16, around the world, and we certainly could’ve used this technology and media then! Kids can bring along hundreds of books that take up no more space than a Kindle (introduced after we left on our 10-month trip August 2007) or the iPad, which debuted in 2010. A downside, though, might be parents having to ask kids what they’re doing on their tablets at any given moment (reading or playing games). But activity choices have always been a negotiation, no?

Ginny Gunderson at USATODAY offers her picks of the new book-collection apps for kids, including Reading Rainbow for ages 3-9, one of the first. She reports that it arrived in iTunes last summer, and it’s still one of the best (she gives it 3.5 stars out of 4). Her top pick, at 4 stars, is “My Story World,” both the cheapest and the one offering “the richest reading experience.” Its books are for children ages 3-8. For pre-readers, Ginny picked Speakaboos for the iPad, giving it 3.5 stars. All of these libraries are only available on the iPad for now, though.

“All of the book collection apps discussed in this column offer a little of their content for free,” she writes, but you “unlock their riches when you purchase a monthly subscription.” The libraries vary in size, cost and how they deliver their content, she says. “Some use animation and interactivity to enhance the storytelling experience; others simply present a static book.”

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