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Interactive Book: The First Christmas

Interactive Book: The First Christmas

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We were recently approached by publishers Bookmakers, LTD, asking if we’d take a look at their new interactive book. Although most of their books are for a younger audience we jumped at the opportunity to review a digital book. The book, The First Christmas, is an adaptation of the story about the baby Jesus told from the perspective of an animal. The story is written by John Wilkie and it’s nicely written. Most small children will enjoy the story but it’s the interactivity that will really make it interesting for them and the illustrator, Jodie McCallum did a fabulous job on the artwork.

We reviewed the iPad version, but they have versions for the iPhone and iPod Touch also. What really sells this type of book is the sound effects they’ve added to help drive the story. When you click on animals they make animal noises. Kids can expect to hear animals like a donkey (who is the narrator of the story), cows, a goat, sheep and chickens. There are also camels in the story, but surprisingly they don’t make any sounds. That’s too bad because I don’t even know what a camel sounds like.

This type of book would be great for first time readers. It has audio of a child’s voice reading and the words highlight as she reads. Both the audio and the highlights can be turned on and off. This is great for first-time readers as you can step them into reading it on their own. The only real downside to this is that the pages have more than a few sentences that automatically appear on the screen. This is fine when it’s being read with the audio, but if you’re a slow reader the words advance on their own. Also, when you’re done there’s no button that sends you back to the beginning, you just have to scroll back manually. There also may be a few words that may be too advanced for young readers. The word “tarry” even had me looking it up, but this will broaden the exposure to new words. I for one like learning new words and finding ways to use them.

Although I am an advanced reader I look forward to more books like this. They’re really fun to read and any young reader will love this interactive book. For parents, this is the perfect app for your iPhone for when you need to keep your young children occupied for a few minutes. Plus, you have an interactive book that could help a new reader.

3 Comments

  1. I’m just now in the process of checking out BOOKMAKERS LTD. on Facebook. They sound great. I couldn’t resist looking at your book THE FIRST CHRISTMAS.

    I’ll check to see if Amazon has it for my Kindle. If so, I’ll certainly get it as it sounds wonderful. I didn’t think they had pictures in digital books. Can’t wait to see this as I have a no. of unpublished children’s picture books that I’ve neglected for my DREAM REACHERS series and my other fiction books.

    Thanks for this fascinating story,

    Hugs – Betty Dravis

  2. Hey guys …. I am John Wilkie who wrote the text for the book. Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate it. Jodi and I had so much fun creating the book and we are so glad when folks take the time to let people know they liked it!

    John

  3. Hi Folks,
    this is a NEW venture into the electronic age for me! It is exciting as it allows young children the ability to entertain themselves and also educate themselves in a fun way.
    I don’t think this will replace the well accepted paper books-but I don’t think it is expected to. Nothing like having that special little one on your lap with a fun Picture Book.
    Jodie McCallum – Illustrator
    BookmakersLtd – Agent
    PicPocketBooks – Publisher

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