Librarians love picture books that are interactive and encourage kids to participate with the story, making it a more meaningful and memorable experience. I’ve recently had fun exploring a genre of picture books that take “interactive” to a whole new level, involving the reader as an integral character in the book. These books give the reader instructions to follow—physical activities that build the story—like an app in paper format!
One of the original books in this genre is The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone, featuring Grover from Sesame Street. Readers are instructed to not turn the pages because Grover has heard about the monster at the end of the book and he’s scared. Or course, this just makes us turn the pages until we discover what kind of monster is at the end of the book—Grover himself! First published in 1971, this book stirs nostalgic memories for many parents.
The concept of including the reader as part of the story has become more popular with children’s pictures books in the past few years. Jump into this genre with these titles:
Press Here and Mix It Up by Herve Tullet—Learn about colors and design while playing with paint splotches in these two books.
Can You Make a Scary Face? By Jan Thomas—A bossy ladybug initiates a game of pretend.
Shout! Shout It Out! By Denise Fleming—Show off your knowledge of numbers, letters, colors, and more by shouting it out!
Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett—Embark on crazy escapades in an attempt to count monkeys.
Warning: Do Not Open This Book by Adam Lehrhaupt—Really? Who can follow that advice? But beware of letting the monkeys out!
On October 18, I’ll be featuring some of these titles during our family storytime. Join us to play a leading role in some favorite picture books!