How to choose children's books in digital format, is what we want to share with parents and teachers in our entry today.
1. Think about the interests of the child
I think the biggest mistake is to start a search without considering the interests of the child. Adults, for example, never choose to read a book that we are not interested in reading. Like a child. That is why we must take into account the children's universe, their interests and their needs. Make him a participant in the selection of the book that you are going to download and choose a fun book together. Yes, the book should be fun for the parent or the teacher just as it should be fun for the child. Be very careful: if the book is not fun for an adult, it is highly likely that it is not fun for the child either. Also, if a child feels that the adult enjoys reading, she will enjoy it too and will learn to love reading.
2. Don't download the first books that appear on impulse
It is possible that when we start our search for books we do it by typing in the search engine of a book store application such as Appstore, the words "children's books." Immediately we will get quantities of titles that are generally organized by number of downloads, privileging the most downloaded. You will notice that most of the books that appear first are free books, which are obviously the most downloaded. Don't get carried away by the urge to download these books. Sure, one might think, these books are ranked first because they are the best and they are free! But it's not like that. It does not mean that there are no free books of excellent quality, but that I can assure you, they are not the first results. But let's see more tips on how to choose children's books.
3. Do not be guided by the concept of "bestseller"
The world of books on an international level seems to have been invaded by the concept of Bestseller. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that this concept represents a commercial valuation of the book as a commodity that has nothing to do with the literary value of a work. In other words, the fact that it is the best-selling book does not guarantee its literary quality. Nor does it mean that a bestseller is synonymous with being a mediocre book, however I consider that there are other more interesting criteria when we think about how to choose children's books.
4. Read the reviews that have been made about the book
It is very important in the process of searching for children's books to make use of the reviews that have been written about the book. Do the exercise of “googling” the book to see what appears. Read the reviews that specialized literary critics have made about the book. Also in many eBook stores like iTunes, readers leave their comments and experiences of the book. In these comments we can find a huge source of documentation about the book based on the specific experience of the user.
5. Document yourself about the authors
It is important to spend a few minutes reading about the authors. Where he is from, when he was born, what other books he has written, etc. Likewise of the illustrators, who are also authors. Something that almost never fails is: never waste time downloading or buying a book that does not acknowledge the authorship of the writer or illustrator. A few days ago for example I downloaded a free version of "The Princess and the Pea", the second result in the AppStore in the category children's books in Canada. When I opened the application it caught my attention that nowhere does it mention its author, Christian andersen, much less the illustrator of that version. The book turned out to be what I expected: the classic poorly nutritious book, a poor and dishonest adaptation. However it seems to be one of the most downloaded books. Now, do you want to know more tips on how to choose children's books?
6. Check the literary quality of the text
Many times electronic books offer a preview where we can see, before downloading the book, some of its literary and graphic content. Take time to read it and analyze how rich it is in terms of literary images. Try to choose books rich in analogies and metaphors that stimulate the imagination and start an interesting conversation with your child. Books that allow inferences, open questions. Avoid books full of platitudes, obvious endings, or flat characters.
7. Check the quality of the images
As with texts, let's try to spend a little time looking closely at the illustrations in the books. The illustrations should spark children's imaginations. Illustration and text should come together harmoniously. A good illustration always complements and enriches the story. It should never interfere with your reading or interpretation. Be wary of graphics that clearly illustrate the text, as this means that there was no conscious work or valuable contribution from the illustrator. The images must have their own narrative character without being detached from the story. Take a little time to
analyze in which techniques the illustrations were made.
But let's learn more tips on how to choose children's books in digital format.
8. Look at other resources in the e-book
The appearance of the book in digital format has brought a great variety of possibilities to publishers. The support in electronic tablets and computers have allowed to integrate the universe of the book, unthinkable and wonderful possibilities. Carefully analyze the technical characteristics of the book you are going to buy. Many wonderful app books like Morris Lessmore's Flying Books or The bird of a thousand songs, take full advantage of the possibilities of tablets. Here we leave you the trailer of one of these wonderful application books:
E-books are often narrated. Make sure the narration is a quality narrative. Although most books have excellent high-level storytellers, a small portion make use of low-professional storytellers, or I have even seen some books that use digitized voices that result as if a real robot is reading to your child. However, something very important: the story, no matter how good, will never replace the story of a teacher or a parent. Neither is the narration that the child can do. Make sure that your e-books have the possibility to turn off the narrator to narrate yourself.
The narration is generally accompanied by a soundtrack. Take care that the soundtrack has musical quality. Hopefully the book has original music. Many times some publishers, just to meet the requirement of having music, use generic music purchased from some web pages that offer this service. They use this so much that many times we can find several books in our library that use the same music clip. Many other times, there are books that are limited to having a single loop that is mechanically repeated on all the pages of the book without any meaning. Something is certain in this: the best e-books are those with original music.
Reading tablets, as well as computers, have allowed digital publishers to make use of the animation of book illustrations. Most of the time, the animation usually happens, it is an ideal complement for the animation. However, many times, animations can hinder reading, distract the reader and do not contribute to the semiotics of the image. Sometimes the excessive animation, almost that does not allow us to recognize between what is a movie and a book. The animation should be measured and should allow the reader time to read the image statically in order to appreciate the symbolic details of a truly good illustration.
Animations often allow for an interaction with the reader. However you have to be careful with this. Let us not lose sight of the fact that we are giving a child a book, even if it is an electronic book. Interactions that are not made with a meaning, make us lose the essential that is the act of reading. In this sense, it is very important to see if the animations contribute to a fun reading or on the contrary they will take the reader away from the essential. Don't forget something, a book is a book and a video game is a video game. That your son or taste very good. Many books can even propose rather boring games for a child used to playing real highly developed video games. As you can see, it is an easy task for us to choose books for children.
Multi-language books are truly exciting, not only for children but also for adults. The possibility of reading (even if we don't speak the other languages) represents a very interesting exercise from the reading point of view. Playing with other languages, listening to the narration in a language that is not yours can be magnificent. Of course, for bilingual societies such as Canada, this type of resource in digital books is extremely interesting.
9. Analyze the playful possibilities of the book
Playfulness is the ability to learn by playing. Reading should be conceived as a ritual but also as part of the game. The readings have led generations of children to create games that are based on their readings. The games of pitaras, cowboys, princes and princesses generally have an antecedent in the readings. When you buy a book, think: after reading it, what can we play?
10. Analyze the reflective possibilities of the book (Fundamental in the process of how to choose books for children)
Perhaps this is the most important tip on how to choose children's books. Likewise, the book that is profound, that is interesting and that was elaborated with respect and knowledge of the world of children, must necessarily lead us to reflect on life. Be wary of a book that doesn't invite you to think a little more after you've read it. It is not about the books becoming indoctrinating or moralizing. Those books should also be mistrusted. But books should tell us about life and all the wonderful themes that life itself invites us to. Good books should allow us to talk about the important things in life with our children or students.
I hope these 10 tips on how to choose children's books have been very useful for our readers. A hug.