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  • Nerida K

Engaging Young Readers: 6 Interactive Kids' Picture Books Designed to Spark Movement and Imagination

Little girl dancing

Reading doesn’t always have to be a quiet, cozy or before bed activity. If you have a kid that’s bursting with energy or maybe one that’s reluctant to read, books that engage through movement and actions can grab their attention.

Interactive books are often books that kids will pick up and flip through themselves while remembering the actions each page inspires. A favourite memory of mine is watching my 3-year-old daughter guide and encourage her younger sister to try all the different animal actions in ‘From Head to Toe’, one of the books on our list today.

Prepare for some action and fun. Happy readying, jumping, and clapping!

From Head to Toe

By Eric Carle

Eric Carle, the New York Times bestselling creator of beloved books including The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Grouchy Ladybug, presents From Head to Toe, a colorful and energetic book that will have young readers clapping their hands, stomping their feet, and wiggling their toes!

Giraffes can bend their necks, monkeys can wave their hands, and donkeys can kick their legs. And so can you! Throughout this interactive book, the animals of From Head to Toe invite young readers to copy their antics as they play.

Through Carle’s vibrant collages and simple instructions, children will learn the importance of listening, exercising, and taking on a new challenge. Join the giraffes, monkeys, donkeys, seals, and more for a frolicking, fun adventure! — Goodreads

You can borrow this book from Calgary Library.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt

By Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

Beloved for more than 30 years, this award-winning classic from Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury celebrates the joys of an afternoon outdoors with family.

We're going on a bear hunt. We're going to catch a big one.

Will you come too? Join a father and his four young children as they cross a field of tall, wavy grass, wade through a deep, cold river, struggle through swampy mud, find their way through a big, dark forest, fight through a whirling snowstorm, and enter finally enter a narrow, gloomy cave. What will they find there? You'll have to read on to find out! — Calgary Library

Take a trip to Calgary Library to borrow the book or check out this bear hunt led by the author Michael Rosen.

Don't Push the Button!

By Bill Cotter

A great read-aloud, interactive book that kids will go back to time and again.

There's only one rule in Larry's book: don't push the button.

(Seriously, don't even think about it!)

Even if it does look kind of nice, you must never push the button. Who knows what would happen?

Okay, quick. No one is looking… push the button.

Uh, oh. — Goodreads

This book is also available at Calgary Library.

Can You Make a Scary Face?

By Jan Thomas

What kind of a face would you make if a tickly green bug were sitting on your nose? Or if it were-eek!-inside your shirt? Could you make a scary face to frighten it away? Or, even better, stand up and do the chicken dance? Yes? Then better get to it! This exuberant, interactive picture book starring a bossy little ladybug and a GIANT hungry frog will have kids leaping up and down and out of their seats to dance and make silly scary faces of their own. — Goodreads

Borrow it from Calgary Library.

I Am Yoga

By Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

An eagle soaring among the clouds, a star twinkling in the night sky, a camel in the desert, or a boat sailing across the sea . . . Yoga has the power of transformation. Not only does it strengthen bodies and calm minds, but with a little imagination, it can show us that anything is possible. New York Times bestselling illustrator Peter H. Reynolds teams up with author and certified Yoga instructor Susan Verde in this book about creativity and the power of self-expression. I Am Yoga encourages children to explore the world of Yoga and make room in their hearts for the world beyond it. — Calgary Library

Check out the full book at Calgary Library.

Touch the Brightest Star

By Christie Matheson

This picture book strikes more of a balance between action and calm. It’s a delightful bedtime book that encourages both imaginative play and rest.

This interactive bedtime story proves nighttime isn't scary at all. The gentle journey from sunset to sunrise shows even the youngest children the magic of the nighttime sky—and lets them make magic happen! 

What happens while you're sleeping? With lush, beautiful watercolors and cut-paper collage, Christie Matheson reveals the magic of the nighttime sky, using the same kinds of toddler-perfect interactive elements as her acclaimed Tap the Magic Tree. Wave good-bye to the sun, gently press the firefly, make a wish on a star, rub the owls on their heads, and . . . shhhh. No two readings of this book will be the same. That along with the gentle, soothing rhythm, makes Touch the Brightest Star a bedtime winner—no matter how many times you and your child read it.

Borrow it at Calgary Library.


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