Interactive books, books that require the reader to do something, became popular with Herve Tullet’s incredible Press Here. The idea is to get kids physically and mentally engaged with the book in an interactive way.
These picture books make it impossible for kids to be passive readers.
But, these picture book choices are kid favorites.
So for any child, try these BEST interactive stories and watch the magic happen!
Also read Books That Break the Fourth Wall.
The Best Interactive Picture Books
This Book Can Read Your Mind by Susannah Lloyd, illustrated by Jacob Grant
Hilarious! The narrator explains that his book can READ YOUR MIND. And with the power of suggestion, it turns out to be true! And if you don’t stop the silliness, his mind-reading machine will blow up. Oh, no! You exploded the whole book!
Something Stinks by Jonathan Fenske
Speaking directly to the reader, skunk asks YOU if you can smell that bad smell. Because it’s really stinky! But if it’s not the clean underpants or you (you smell wonderful), what could it be? Why are you shouting? Skunk can’t quite hear you. Silly fun sure to entertain the readers on your lap.
Press Here by Herve Tullet
The original book that started this trend of interactive, and imaginative picture books! You, the reader, make magic with the dots. Or are the dots magic? If you follow the directions and . . press, rub, shake, tilt, blow, clap, . . . watch what happens to the dots! Rub the yellow dot and it turns blue! Shake the book and the dots spread out over the page. Tilt the book and the dots slide down the page. Clap and the dots grow. Clap twice and the dots grow even bigger. See how fun?
Mix It Up! by Herve Tullet
The same author/illustrator of Press Here has expanded the idea into color mixing fun. Rub a little red on the blue and you get purple. Shake, press, mix . . . It’s interactive reading times a zillion!
Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson
Who doesn’t love an interactive picture book? The tree is bare, tap it four times and turn the page. Leaves! Tap it again, more leaves. Rub, jiggle, shake, knock, clap, and pat your way through the four seasons of an apple tree‘s growth cycle. Impossible to resist!
Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda
Claudia Rueda takes the concept of an interactive reader/narrator story and skillfully makes it her own. Bunny wants to ski and needs your help. Bunny asks YOU to shake, tilt, and tap so that there is snow, a hill, and so forth. It’s an exciting adventure that ends with a warm cup of cocoa. Gorgeous illustrations.
Don’t Push the Button by Bill Cotter
There’s only one rule in this book — DON’T PUSH THE BUTTON. But that button does look enticing, right? Kids will crack up through this silly, interactive picture book. In fact, you may even wear out your pages when you do push the button!
This Book is Full of Monsters by Guido Van Genechten
Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite by Nick Bromley, illustrated by Nicola O’Byne
What could be a very sweet story about the Ugly Duckling quickly turns very silly, er, scary when a CROCODILE sneaks onto the pages. Gasp. Watch out! First he eats the letters, then whole words, then sentences. It’s up to you, the reader, to get rid of him. (You might even draw a tutu on him!)
I Say OOH, You Say AAAH by John Kane
Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson
By the same author of Tap the Magic Tree and Touch the Brightest Star, you’ll get to use your imagination as you read and touch, rub, press, shake, clap, and more to help plant a garden. All the seeds need are water, rain, and sunshine to grow and you get to help.
Don’t Wake the Dragon by Bianca Schulze, illustrated by Samara Hardy
Engage the readers on your lap with a playful, interactive romp around the castle. But be very careful…You don’t want to wake the dragon. Read about the castle’s noisy people like the knights and the cook, then check to see if the dragon is still sleeping. If she is, keep her asleep by stroking her back or rocking the book. What will you do when the dragon wakes up? (Sing her a lullaby, of course!) What a charming adventure with captivating illustrations, this is sure to capture young readers’ attention from beginning to end.
Who Loves the Dragon? by Bianca Schulze, illustrated by Samara Hardy
Dragon is back and she’s not happy. Why? Because all her friends are gone and can’t go with her to the Friendship Festival. Blow a kiss to the knights. Wave goodbye to the cooks. Poor Dragon! You can help cheer her up with kind words! Yes, that helps. Now give her scales a long stroke and tell her a joke. What else can you do to help Dragon feel better? Dance. Take belly breathes. This sweet interactive story both entertains and engages readers as well as giving children helpful strategies for when they feel bad. What’s more, it ends with a very happy ending! Dragon’s friends return to celebrate with her AND Dragon wants you included in the group hug, too.
Little Penguin and the Lollipop by Tadgh Bentley
Interactive and funny, this book will be a new read aloud favorite! Little Penguin has a problem. His seagull friend, Kenneth, is upset that Little Penguin ate his lollipop. Now you must help. Can you make a silly face and say razzle-dazzle lollipop? Your job is to cheer up Kenneth. In the meantime, Little Penguin will find Kenneth a new lollipop. It’s yummy and big and also, someone else’s. Ut-oh. Watch out!
Through the Forest by Steffie Brocoli and Catherine Bidet
Mother Forest narrates this forest choose-your-own-adventure story. She describes the scenes and gives you choices and their corresponding page numbers. You’ll love the leafy tab detail on the pages showing the page numbers for easy turning.
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