For the trickiest age to travel with, the under-5s, there are plenty of illustrated e-books on the market, as well as game tie-ins. Here are a few that caught my eye, not just because they’re great books, but because the authors have made use of multiple media to bring the stories even more to life.
Aliens, Dinosaurs, Monsters or Pirates love Underpants, by Ben Cort and Claire Freedman
Cheeky and irreverent, these rhyming stories show a set of pilferers – aliens, dinosaurs, monsters or pirates, depending on the book – who come along and play with humans’ pants. They hide in drawers, swing from washing lines, and finally tramp off to where they came from, with only one or two missing bits of underwear as a clue that they’ve paid a visit. Monsters Love Underpants was picked by Gransnet as the best book of 2014, and Underpants live, a stage show based on Aliens Love Underpants, will be touring the UK again in 2015.
How to Catch a Star, by Oliver Jeffers
This is a beautiful tale about a little boy who decides to catch a star; he builds a plan which requires him to wait….and learn. Last year was the 10th anniversary of this book’s publication, and to celebrate, an Oliver Jeffers interactive exhibition has been running at Discover Children’s Story Centre, Stratford, East London. It closes on 6 September 2015. Jeffers has written several other gorgeous interactive e-books, including The Heart and the Bottle.
This endearing story follows a tiny rabbit who finds himself alone in a wood. After facing his fears, he finds out that the things he was terrified of turn out not to be scary at all. Gliori’s quirky illustrations – in this and her other books – can help youngsters through their inevitable anxieties. And, if you’ve given this e-book to your child as entertainment on a journey, you can also visit Gliori’s website and print off a Scariest Thing postcard, to send when you reach your destination.
Olivia, by Ian Falconer (narrated by Dame Edna Everage)
Yes, you read correctly – in the audio version this book is read by none other than Australia’s Grand Dame herself, Barry Humphries’ alter ego Dame Edna. The story follows a young piglet who loves dressing up, ballet, the stage, the circus….and ‘looking after’ her little brother (which, of course, involves a LOT of mess). It’s tremendous fun.
Pip and Posy, by Axel Scheffler
Pip and Posy are mouse and rabbit friends, who star in a series of books depicting scenarios familiar to pre-schoolers. They scoot together, play with balloons, have a sleepover and even do accidental wees on the floor.
Yes, I have to admit that e-books can help foster a love of books….but I still say you can’t beat a good paper copy.
Even if it just ends up as something extra to bash little brother over the head with, in the car.
Do you give your children e-books to read? If so, which ones?