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Kid’s Corner Interactive Picture Books: Tap the Magic Tree

TAP THEE has always loved books and story time but some children are more reluctant readers. Interactive books may be one solution to increasing reading engagement. This month, E and I take a look at a few of our favorite “interactive” picture books. Keep reading to find out which ones are our favorites and why.

Note: For those of you new to the blog, Kid’s Corner is a monthly feature where my 5-year old and I review picture books together. Each month we pick a different type of book or different theme, we read the book together, and E reviews it.

My favorite interactive picture book is Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson, largely because it teaches young children about the lifecycle of trees. We live in the Northeastern U.S. and have woods in our backyard so each year we get to watch the seasons change right behind our house. Tap the Magic Tree is beautifully illustrated and asks readers to do a number of things, including tapping on branches, shaking the book, blowing a gentle breeze, and pressing on flowers. As she performs these actions, the tree changes. It seems magical to children because they think their actions cause the tree to change. Here is E’s review:

Me: What did you think of it?
E: I liked the Magic Tree Book
Me: What’s it about?
E: It’s about how trees live and its a magic tree.
Me: Why is it magic?
E: Because when you touch it, something cool happens.
Me: Okay, and you said it’s about how trees live. How do they live?
E: First the leaves are bare, then they grow some green leaves, then they grow buds which become flowers. They become apples. Then everything falls and it gets bare again. Then when it’s bare it gets all snowy. Then we have to close our eyes and count to ten and then there’s a little birdie living there. It’s the the trees around our house.
Me: Did you have a favorite page?
E: This one (below)


Me: Why is that your favorite page.
E: Because there’s a little birdie family living in the tree.
Me: How many stars do you give it?
E: 5 out of 5

We’ve had this book for a while and it continues to be a favorite in our house. It’s perfect for little kids because the story is very simple and easy for them to understand. E is five and still loves it even though she now realizes the trick. You can purchase your copy here: Tap the Magic Tree

Interactive books seem to be all the rage lately and, while Tap the Magic Tree is our favorite, there are other good ones. Here are a few of our other favorite interactive books in order of descending preference (E’s ratings):

    1. Press Here by Hervé Tullet. Children press on the yellow dot and follow instructions (pressing, tapping, rubbing, shaking, and clapping) to make the dots change. E gave it 5 stars
    2. Mix It Up! by Hervé Tullet. An interactive book that teaches children about colors. Children get to “mix” colors with their fingers and when they turn the page they see how the colors changed. E gave it 4.5 stars.
    3. Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson. An interactive bedtime story by the author of Tap the Magic Tree. E gave it 4 stars.

It’s gift-giving season and these books are great for young readers. I highly recommend them. They are probably best for age range 3-5 although the Matheson books state they are for 4-8 year olds.

Do you have a favorite interactive book? Which one? Have you read any of the books we mentioned? What did you think?

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. I have never heard of interactive books. How do they work??


    November 23, 2015
    • The child does a variety of things (taps, presses, blows air, etc then when you turn the page, the image changes so that it looks like the child made the image change. For example in the Tree book, you tap the branches then when you turn the page the branches have leaves on them. You can check out the amazon link to see inside the book a little


      November 23, 2015

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