Informational ebooks provide readers with the opportunity to learn while interacting with the text. Little fingers can tap, swipe, and pinch digital elements of illustrations, thus becoming an active part of the pace and sequence of the ebook, based on their own interests and learning needs.

“March of the Dinosaurs”, Touch Press, National Geographic, 2011, ages 5-11.

Dinosaurs come alive in March of the Dinosaurs, as these realistic 3D creatures take readers on a journey back in time 70 million years ago, into the land of giant predators and extreme weather. Scar. an Edmontosaurus, sets off on a migration journey of a thousand miles, encountering volcanic eruptions, blizzards, and the constant and dangerous search for food. Ten animated dinosaurs in this ebook app can be rotated and zoomed, giving readers a detailed view of these creatures, along with hearing sound effects and viewing the various terrain, weather and natural disasters these dinosaurs encountered on a daily basis. Viewers will appreciate the high definition and digital animation as well as the detailed scientific information about these mysterious creatures.

“Junior Astronaut: Breaking Through the Space Barrier”, Immediate Media Co., Crank Publishing, 2012, ages 7 to 11.

Junior Astronaut appeals to those who have even the slightest interest in outer space by presenting the underlying scientific principals behind space travel in a playful and interesting way. Published specifically for the iPad, readers of Junior Astronaut can interact with objects and assist with recreating the experiments that explain gravity, mass, weight, and forces.

“Children Around the World” by Peter Guttman, Banzai Labs, 2012, ages 5-12.

Relying in images rather than words, award-winning travel journalist Peter Guttman inspires readers to understand and appreciate the differences of children around the world. Without words to provide background information, this ebook encourages us to linger on each beautiful photo, considering the details of the landscape, clothing, traditions, and culture of the over 200 images on the world map or in photo gallery. Above all, Guttman inspires us to notice the childrens’ eyes as a window into their lives and a way to begin to understand that we are all more similar than we are different.

“Over in the Jungle” by Marianne Berkes, Illustrated by Jeanette Canyon, Dawn Publications, 2013, ages 3-6.

“Over in the Ocean” by Marianne Berkes, Illustrated by Jeanette Canyon, Dawn Publications, 2012, ages 3-6.

Young children will enjoy the interactivity provided by both of these ebook apps, as they visit the jungle and the ocean. First published as print books, the ebook version encourages readers count creatures, sing along, read themselves, and listen to the text being read. Vivid color illustrations created from polymer clay and then photographed, give a captivating 3D textured effect. Elements on the screen can be tapped for interactivity and readers can hear the quiet, or not so quiet, sounds of the ocean and jungle.

Interactive ebooks are motivating and make for great learning opportunities for children of all ages.

Reviewed and photo by Elizabeth Dobler

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