News & Publishing

Making a Connection with Interactive Children’s Books

Publishers deploy low-tech and high-tech content to engage kids and get them invested in reading.

By Gretchen A. Peck

Though the very word “interactivity” conjures images of electronic gadgets, things to swipe, and other bells and whistles, it isn’t a new concept for children’s books. Publishers have been designing interactive content for quite a long time.

“There have been-literally, across centuries-any number of books that could be considered interactive,” says Christopher Franceschelli, president and publisher of Brooklyn-based Handprint Books. “There were books with pop-up elements dating back to the 16th Century, and an extensive pop-up industry in Germany in the 19th Century. There was a renaissance for those here in the States during the 1960s and 1970s. And we’ve had sticker books, books with die-cut elements, scratch-and-sniff books, and holographic inserts. If you can think of it, it already exists, so there has been a long tradition of interactive books, long before the first ebook was ever contemplated.”

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Published by Book Business magazine, August 2014

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