When it’s time to decide which books to put on your children’s bookshelves, there is a digital decision to be made as well – should I buy the app for that? Although I normally use this space to chat about film adaptations of books, today I’d like to talk about a book adaptation geared towards a slightly smaller screen – your touch device.
My mother gives a copy of Pat the Bunny to every new mother she knows. My siblings and I each had our own well-loved, completely worn copy. My experiences with my first book had such a profound impact on my young mind that I swear I can remember looking at the book as a baby. The sensory experiment author Dorothy Kunhardt created was one of the first books of its kind, and it has remained in print since its publication in 1940. Although the images of the lily-white family have gotten a little dated, the timelessness of the sensory activities inside have inspired a whole new generation of children.
And now, the book moves in to the digital age with an app! I have played with the app and found it to be a delightful experience, but it is definitely not created for the exact same user base as the book. The scratchy sandpaper and soft fur of the book are delightful for the youngest of children to touch and rub. The app includes a variety of other activities, such as painting, watering flowers, and playing hide-and-seek. Altogether, I find I cannot consider the book and the app as two parts of the same whole, but rather entirely separate entities.
What are your favorite books that have made it to the app store? Do you consider them interchangeable, two halves of the same whole, or do you think of them as serving different purposes?