The Magic School Bus: On the Ocean Floor, and I, as if moving in slow motion, pointed back toward the bright yellow bookshelf and told him to pick another book. I was experiencing a complete out-of-body moment, hearing my voice from some far away place tell him, "We can download this book. It will be way better on the iPad."
And it is.
Bypassing a paper book for a digital one is still a new thing to me. And I am squeamish about it sometimes, fearing that my favorite neighborhood haunt, 57th Street Books, will disappear because I opt for an app instead of a former tree. So moments like the one at my son's school make me itchy.
But let's face it, digital books can do things that paper cannot. And in some realms, such as the informative, nonfiction picture book world where Magic School Bus dominates, the digital version is unbeatable. One look at the Oceans app, and the future of e-learning becomes clear.
Interactive games demonstrating how various sea life swims teach the difference between a whale's means of locomotion vs. a squid's vs. a jellyfish's. Detailed photographs of sea stars, limpets, periwinkles, and others offer real-life examples of sea animals kids might not otherwise get to know. More video clips of flounder drifting among rocks drive home the benefits of camouflage.
Priced at $7.99, $1 more than the paperback, this book is packed with opportunities for interactive, exciting learning. Consider it a kid-friendly Jacques Cousteau adventure, right at young readers' fingertips. Magic School Bus: Oceans presents the best digital media has to offer young learners. Worth checking out immediately.