Baby & Toddler

Pre-K

8 Interactive Books to Captivate Your Restless Reader

by Janssen Bradshaw

Photo credit: MECKY, The Image Bank/Getty Images

If you have a child that struggles to sit still through a book, an interactive book might be just what you need to help make reading more enjoyable for both of you.

These books are perfect for involving your squirmy little one in the reading experience and holding their attention for more than a mere page or two.

  • Press Here

    by Hervé Tullet

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    This book is wildly popular and just SO fun. Each page gives you an instruction (“tap the yellow dot twice” or “shake the page up and down”) and on the following page the picture changes, as if your action caused it to transform. My 4-year-old and almost 2-year-old both love it. For older kids, after you’ve read it once or twice, have them create their own versions! (And don’t miss Tullet’s newest, Mix It Up!).

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  • A Kiss For You!

    by Joan Holub, illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church

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    An interactive book for even the tiniest reader, this book has a die-cut hand on the front that can be used on each page for all sorts of activities, from blowing a kiss to waving hello.

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  • Busy Bunny Days: In the Town, On the Farm & At the Port

    by Britta Teckentrup

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    Originally published in Germany, this book is a cross between Richard Scarry and Where’s Waldo?, with loads of details to look at and a sneaky badger hiding on each page. The illustrations are bright, detailed, and beautiful, and I could look at the different spreads all day long.

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  • The Jolly Postman

    by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg

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    This book is a classic and I’ve never met a child who didn’t love opening up its letters. A postman goes on his daily rounds, delivering letters to various fairy tale characters. At each delivery, there is a letter, with a pocket on the page where you can pull out the actual letter. We owned this book, unopened, for years before we had children, but once our first daughter was about 18-months-old, this book immediately became part of the regular rotation.

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  • Round Trip

    by Ann Jonas

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    This is an amazing book. Done in black and white, it begins with a trip to the city. And then, when you reach the end of the book, you flip the book upside down and read back the other way to return home. It’s mind-boggling to see all the pictures turn into completely different images with just a 180-degree spin. Once you’ve finished, you’ll immediately want to read it again.

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  • Tap the Magic Tree

    by Christie Matheson

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    The concept is similar to the one in Press Here. On every page, you touch or rub or tap something in the picture, and on the next page, the illustration has shifted in response. In this book, you get to watch the seasons change as the leaves on the tree change color, drop off, and grow back.

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  • One Red Dot

    by David A. Carter

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    This is the most impressive pop-up book I've seen! And to make it extra fun, in each paper sculpture there’s a hidden red dot. Guaranteed to be an instant hit.

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  • City Animals

    by Simms Taback

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    This is just one in a whole series of animal books Taback has created. This giant foldout book first gives one clue about the hidden animal, then, when you unfold the flap, you get another clue, and then another flap reveals the animal itself. You couldn’t ask for a more fun animal book for the preschool crowd.

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