Thursday, 6 December 2012

If You Have a Hat (Kindle Edition)

A long time ago, when I was growing up, books came mostly on paper. Sometimes you got them read out loud on a cassette or LP (or a CD if you're a little less ancient than I am) and if they had a book with them there would be a 'bing' when you had to turn the page. It was really exciting. Zip forward *coughs* years and there are 18 year olds that don't know what a cassette is and technology has zoomed from Speak and Spell to ipods and kindles. The result is that technology is just the norm to young children today. It's intuitive to use and they can't be fobbed off with imitations. Emily has been able to spot a toy phone from 20 paces since she was tiny, far preferring to use the ipod or phone. She made it quite clear from an early age that she'd far rather be solving tangrams or using Spanish flashcards than play with a plastic phone.
When I got a kindle for my birthday this year, I was a little hesitant about getting picture books on it. I just wasn't sure that illustrations would translate from page to e-reader, especially as they would be going from colour to black and white. I bought Emily If You Have a Hat by Gerald Hawksley just as an experiment really. She didn't come to it with any of my prejudices and enjoyed it for what it was, pointing to anything she recognised while announcing what it was. It was difficult to stop her from flicking onto the next page too early by touching the pictures (only a problem if your kindle is a touchscreen version) but I'm sure it won't be long before she understands. Big sister enjoys it too, she's got it nearly all  the rhymes commited to memory so will read it out to Emily with me, which is nice. We also discovered if you use the kindle app on the ipod the book is in colour, which keeps me and my preconceptions happy. However, as I've not bought any more kindle books I think I'm yet to be a hundred percent convinced.


  1. I know... my four year grandson Sam took my phone, found the camera, took my picture then found it in the gallery to show me. On the other hand... There was a survey recently taken among school children - and they nearly all preferred the feel of a real book.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Roger. There's just something about an actual book that's so much more than a screen could ever provide - the tactile warmth of paper, perhaps? I don't think the children's book will die, it will just be enhanced by e-books.