Reading to an active child can be a challenge, but interactive picture books can help your child reap all the benefits of reading aloud together—without forcing him to sit still.
Here are some of my favorite interactive picture books, representing a wide variety of books.
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Animals Upside Down
by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
Animals Upside Down gives readers an amazing right-side up look at some of the world’s most fascinating upside-down animals. With doors to slide, tabs to pull, flaps to lift, and pages to pop, this animal extravaganza offers an engaging look at animals that see the world from a completely different perspective.
by Barney Saltzberg
Mistakes can sometimes seem like failures, but Barney Saltzberg’s inventive illustrations prove that mistakes can be windows to amazing new ideas and creations. The flaps, the tears, the stains, the spills—even a crumpled piece of paper—can all become something wonderful.
The Black Book of Colours
by Menena Cottin and Rosana Faría
The Black Book of Colours, takes readers on an extraordinary journey, inviting them to view color through the “eyes” of someone who can’t see. Just touch your fingertips to the colorless pages of this remarkable book, and let your senses take you on a color-filled adventure that must be felt to be believed.
Can You Make a Scary Face?
by Jan Thomas
Can You Make a Scary Face? is not your run-of-the-mill, sit-on-the-couch kind of picture book. Jan Thomas drops her readers right in the middle of the hysterical interplay between a loud ladybug, a tiny, tickly bug, and a giant, hungry frog.
Follow the Line Through the House
by Laura Ljungkvist
Make yourself at home and follow the line through this book. First, you’ll follow the line to the kitchen and find yourself a snack. Then follow the line to the closet and try on some clothes. Follow the line to the attic to find treasures just waiting to be discovered. Go ahead … Follow the Line!
by Lizi Boyd
Children will love exploring the inside and the outside of this beautifully simple wordless picture book. Start on the inside and look through the window cutout. What do you see? Now turn the page and head outside to see! With each page turn, Inside Outside reveals new seasons and new surprises.
The Book With No Pictures
by B.J. Novak
This is not your typical children’s book, yet your children will want you to read it over and over again. That might be because The Book With No Pictures makes adults say whatever the book wants them to say. No matter how silly. No matter how ridiculous. And as you will soon discover, children think that is hilarious!
by Andrew Knapp
It’s like Where’s Waldo for dogs. If you’ve never played hide-and-seek with a fun-loving border collie, you don’t want to miss this book. In his inventive photo adventure, Andrew Knapp has created the best game ever! Just open the book and start looking for Momo. But beware … finding Momo may not be as easy as you think!
Flora and the Flamingo
by Molly Idle
There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, but trying to out-dance a flamingo is not a contest for the faint of heart. But then, the determined star of this inventive lift-a-flap book is no ordinary dancer. Can you keep up with Flora and the Flamingo?
by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Clearly there’s more to the color green than meets the eye. Using perfectly placed cutouts that offer glimpses of unexpected color, Caldecott-honor winning author Laura Vaccaro Seeger paints a portrait of the color green that reveals both its diversity and its multifaceted beauty.
I Spy with My Little Eye
by Edward Gibbs
In Edward Gibbs’s picture book version of the classic “I Spy” game, your child is invited to play along. Perfectly placed peep holes and colorful clues provide just enough information to help your child guess the identity of the animal just beyond the next page turn. What do you think you’ll find when you spy with your little eye?
by Annelore Parot
Kimonos is an interactive journey into the world of Japanese Kokeshi dolls—with no passport required! Page after page of flaps, die-cuts, and gate folds provide an irresistible peek at the kimonos and hair styles of Japan’s beloved Kokeshi dolls. Pack your bags and jump right in! This interactive book is a little girl’s dream come true.
by Édouard Manceau
Édouard Manceau’s innovative board book is more than a book—it’s a window to the world that lies beyond the pages of the book. LOOK! invites your child to search for colors, letters, numbers, and things that move. Does real life look like the pictures in the book? Be curious and explore. But most of all, LOOK!
Mix It Up!
by Hervé Tullet
From the bestselling author of Press Here, Mix It Up! is an explosion of color that begins with just a tap. This action-filled book lets kids rub, shake, tilt, and press the pages for a lesson in color theory they won’t soon forget. Mix blue and red! Mix yellow and blue! Are you ready? Go ahead … it’s time to Mix It Up!
Tap the Magic Tree
by Christie Matheson
If you could, would you coax a bare brown tree to burst back to life again? In Tap the Magic Tree, you will turn the words into motion, enticing the tree along its journey from winter to spring, from spring to summer, through fall and winter, and then back to spring again.
The Monster at the End of this Book
by Jon Stone and Michael Smollin
Grover is determined to keep you from finding The Monster at the End of this Book. Grover does not want to see the monster, but every page turn brings him (and you) closer to the end of the book. So he begs and pleads, nails boards, ties knots, and builds walls. Who do you think Grover will find at the end of the book?
Pick, Pull, Snap!
by Lola M. Schaefer
Lola Schaefer’s delightful lift-a-flap book is a garden waiting to be harvested—by you! It’s a gardening how-to, a botany lesson, and a walk through the seasons, all in one. Large flaps invite children to pick, pull, and snap their way through a garden’s transformation from seed to flower to fruit.
by Hervé Tullet
Without a single flap to flip, no popups to pop, and no holes to poke your finger through, this unexpectedly interactive book involves readers in an adventure, making curious requests and providing surprising—almost magical—results. Just follow the directions and turn the page to see what will happen next.
We Are in a Book!
by Mo Willems
Read and laugh along as these two best friends discover that they are in a book! The fun really starts when Elephant & Piggie discover that you’re reading the book they’re in. Prepare to read this one again and again. After all, that’s what Elephant & Piggie ask you to do!
by Rufus Butler Seder
Waddle! encourages beginning readers to prance, stomp, and scamper through its pages, not just reading, but moving right along with Rufus Butler Seder’s innovative animals-in-motion. If you want to get your kids moving, this is the book for you!
by Graeme Base
In this magnificent work of art, brilliant author and artist Graeme Base creates a masterpiece that is, all at once, a simple counting book, a crash course in water cycles, an advanced version of “I Spy,” and an interactive storybook. This book is wild!
There Are Cats in This Book
by Viviane Schwarz
Your little one will have fun chasing three mischievous cats through the pages of this silly and sweet interactive book. Lighthearted illustrations will elicit loads of giggles from the beginning to the very last page turn. It’s true: there are cats in this book, and they want to play! Just keep flipping the pages to play along.
Would you like to read some of my favorite interactive picture books with your children? Click to download my list to take to your local library.
Looking for MORE books? You can find more great library lists here!
Do you have a favorite interactive picture book? Please share it in the comments and I’ll add it to our Readers’ Picks list!