Digital Books For Children- 7 of the best book apps

Recently, I had the pleasure of stumbling across Children’s Books Daily, a delightful blog to read and to view. The voice behind this beautiful blog is Megan Daley who has had a wide range of experiences with children, books and reading. I’m excited that Megan is visiting My Little Bookcase to share her views on digital books for children, including a list of her favourite apps.

I’m thrilled that Jackie has asked me to write a little about digital reading with young children, and recommend some of my favourite apps of the moment.

I spend my days at work surrounded by thousands of beautiful books on beautiful shelves. I’m pretty sure I work in one of the best primary school libraries in Australia. I adore print books, and firmly believe that print, paper and young children have a long and happy future together.  However I am also surrounded at work by Kindles, iPads, DVDs, DS cards, CDs and thousands of digital files and apps…and they add immeasurable value to the resources I have on offer to our students. Print, paper and digital all co-exist happily in my library, and in my home.

I could prattle on for days about Reading in a Digital Age and why I don’t worry too much about the Book is Dead bandwagon, but Jackie would never invite me back if I bored you!

Children of today are immersed in the world of technology from the second the iPhone takes the clip of them entering into the world. They have a digital footprint from the moment their birth is announced on Facebook and Twitter. It is scary and fascinating in equal measure to watch a young child learn to swipe a screen before they learn to walk. What can you do but embrace it? Technology is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Traditional print books will have their place for the foreseeable future and beyond. Nothing can replace the tactile nature of a book and the importance of young children learning to turn a page.  Equally, there is something to be said for the beauty of reading a paper book; the persistence it takes for an newly confident reader to sustain reading from the start to the finish of a chapter book without hyperlinking out or clicking on pop ups and emails.

That said; an iPad, a Kindle, any digital reader…does a pretty good job of engaging readers, and allows readers to dig deeper into a book. It’s all about balance really. It’s important that both platforms (print and digital) receive equal time. Books in print are better for bonding and bedtime and togetherness, ebooks are perfect for engaging children in reading and extending the story…and for some peace and quiet!

There is a wealth of book apps for very young children, most available on both Apple devices and Androids. I particularly like the apps that also exist as print books, and these are the ones I’m recommending here today. Starting with a print copy; young children can then engage with the app of the book and the interactive features and learning tools it offers. It’s a total book experience: digital and print co existing; something for everyone; extends the book; engages children in reading…perfect!

Children’s Print Books to Children’s Book Apps

‘The Very Cranky Bear’ Original story written and illustrated by Nick Bland

I love the YouTube clip to promote this app. It is a perfect example of a great book to a great app:

‘Elmer and the Lost Teddy’ Original story written and illustrated by David McKee

‘Miss Spiders Tea Party’ Original story written and illustrated by David Kirk

‘Angelina Ballerina’s New Dance Teacher’

Okay this one may not strictly be book to app, but my children love the Angelina Ballerina books we have, and this digital book is no exception. Read the book, watch the clips, complete puzzles and colour the pictures yourself.


The original book written and Illustrated by Graeme Base was published twenty years ago, and is a much loved classic. The app brings this story to a whole new generation of readers.

Here is the YouTube clip to advertise the app:

‘The Waterhole’

Original book written and illustrated by Graeme Base. A journey of discovery which takes children from the plains of Africa to the jungles of the Amazon and the desert of outback Australia.

Dr Seuss Book Collection

Original books written and illustrated by Dr Seuss. Need I say more…Dr Seuss books were crying out to be turned interactive.

Megan Daley is a teacher librarian, formerly an early childhood teacher and an occasional blogger (occasional because she is doing a Masters and running around after two small and active girls!). She has served a term as the National Vice President of the Children’s Book Council of Australia and is a judge for the Queensland Literary Awards. She is particularly interested in how emerging technologies are changing the way we read to our children.

Digital Books For Children- 7 of the best book apps


  1. We’re going on holidays soon and digital books will be a lot lighter to take than real ones – thanks for the suggestions!

  2. Fabulous! :) I’m going to check these out on the iPad… Miss Daisy constantly goes to ABC iView and watches ABC 4 Kids… I’d love to entice her with some digital books! :)

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  4. Huzzah! We have most of them :)

    The Very Cranky Bear is Heidi’s absolute favourite. Last year I went through the Premier’s Reading Challenge List for Prep to Grade 2 and worked out which books were available as iPad apps or for Kindle and did a blog post listing them all. Was a great help for my girl, ebooks have really gotten her into reading as she is such a strong visual thinker.

  5. What’s up, its nice article concerning media print, we all understand media is a fantastic source of facts.

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Digital Books For Children- 7 of the best book apps

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