Saturday, November 6, 2010

A New Form of Storytelling, Both Online and Off

The New York Times Sunday Book Review takes an interesting look at a new beast on the scene in children's literature: books that use an online component to engage and expand the reading experience.

These books are bridging the online and off-line reading experience, in some cases using the Internet to propel the plot forward. Readers go to websites mentioned in the book's pages for information or "bonus" material.

The concept sounds engaging, but it seems a little clunky in many ways.

If your child is still reading the paper page, she's going to have to shift from traditional book to computer and back again. But if she has made the move to an e-reader, the experience seems to be more fluid.

Says the Times:

". . . with the rise of e-readers and other tablet devices like Apple’s iPad, I have to imagine that some author is hard at work creating a fully digital experience that combines text, video, animation and data. Books, movies and video games will all contribute to this new form of storytelling, and I would not be surprised if it happens to children’s and young adult literature first. We may scoff at so much gimmickry, but what adults call gimmickry kids call something else: awesome."

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