Tuesday, July 20, 2010

"Things aren't the same, and they never will be."

Picture books have used artwork as a core part of their storytelling as long as the art form has existed, yet they have always evolved, too. "The printed book hasn't stayed static—look how popular graphic novels are with kids," says Eliza Dresang, the Beverly Cleary professor for children and youth services at the University of Washington and author of Radical Change: Books for Youth in a Digital Age. "Things aren't the same, and they never will be."


Publishers and authors typically say they want kids to be able to read (and interact with) a story in any form, including electronic devices. "They're not so much competitors as they are companions," says author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, whose Little Pea is the book of the month for Readeo.com, a subscription site that lets children and adults in different cities see live video of each other sharing digital picture books. "You might own it in both forms. One doesn't preclude the other."

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