Many eBooks are simply books using a different delivery method. And that’s fine. I find it convenient to have a library of material that is easily carried around in my iPad. I like that I can read in bed without resorting to a clumsy book light. I’m all for it. But there’s nothing really new or special about eBooks like that. They are books read on glass rather than paper.
But Apple’s release of iBooks Author makes me realize that there is a lot of untapped potential in eBooks. The program is designed for textbooks, but as with many programs it has abilities beyond the ideas of the creators. And where children’s books are concerned, the ideas just keep coming. After all, you can incorporate audio, video, photo galleries, interactive maps and more. Things that can enhance and enrich a story. Things that can draw the reader more deeply into the experience. The ability to tap a button and have the text read aloud is obvious. To have it read by an animated character takes it a step up. And there are certainly more steps beyond that, awaiting only a fevered imagination to come up with them. Continue reading