Thursday, November 15, 2012

Guest Post: Melissa Taylor Talks e-Reading!

Today, I am excited to bring a very special guest from one of my favorite sites, Melissa Taylor of Imagination Soup!  Taylor is here to share her recommendations on electronic reading devices and books you can find on each.  BUT, I also want to point out that today also highlights the electronic release of her first book, Book Love:  Help Your Child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader.  With her extensive experience, she has a LOT of knowledge to share in this area, so please read on for some great e-advice!


If you have a reluctant reader like me, you’re always searching for ways to get them enthusiastic about reading. 

Try e-books.

Because, if your kids are like mine, they already love, love, love electronics. I say use that for good -- get them reading on their devices. 

Kindle, Nook, iPad, and the computer all have selections of good electronic books (e-books) for kids. I’ll give you the rundown on each and some suggestions for kids from kindergarten to fifth grade.

Electronic Reading Options

The Kindle is hand-held book reader with a book-like screen. Chapter book readers can find good books on Kindle. 

I LOVE our Kindle Color and so do my kids. (Yes, they often argue over whose turn it is to read on it.) The screen looks much sharper than my iPad 2 and it’s easier to hold.

Another hand-held reader is the Color Nook from Barnes and Noble. It offers a wide variety of picture books for young readers.

Although I don’t have one myself, I’ve been impressed with the wide variety of books available. 

The iPad offers a huge selection of children’s books in their App Store and in iBook. We also used the iPad to read Kindle-formatted books before we owned a Kindle.

The problem with the iPad books is it’s hard to sift through the garbage. There are a lot of poorly written and designed books for kids. Believe me, I reviewed iPad books for the Cybils and found some doozies. So, use blogger recommendations for the best iPad books so you don’t waste any money. (Digital Storytime, Imagination Soup, or Common Sense Media.) 

Many book apps are available for cell phones, too –iPhones and Androids. Would your kids like this in-the-go reading option?

Finally, your home computer can access lots of books from a variety of websites, both paid and free. Sites like Magic Keys and TumbleBooks are free.  You can read Kindle books on your computer using this free PC and Mac app.

Some Good Books for Each Device

Ages 6 - 8
My Weird School by Dan Gutman
Rainbow Magic Fairies by Daisy Meadows
Stink: The Incredible Shrinking Kid by Megan McDonald

Ages 9 - 12
Big Nate Makes the Grade by Lincoln Peirce
Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell
Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan

Ages 6 - 8
Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
Deadliest Animals: National Geographic by Melissa Stewart
Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner

Ages 9 - 12
Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
American Girl by Various
Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

Ages 6 - 8
Barbie: Princess Charm School
DK Readers: Star Wars: R2-D2 and Friends
Splat the Cat Sings Flat

Ages 9 - 12
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Holes by Louis Sachar
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Cell phones: 
Peppa Pig Me Books
Spider-Man AR Book
The Jungle Book: Disney Classics

Big Universe 
International Children's Digital Library 

Not only are E-Books a great option for reluctant readers. They’re most often less expensive and much more portable than heavy chapter books.  

If you do decide to take the E-Book plunge, let us know what you think!

For more fun ideas to engage reluctant readers, get my new book, Book Love: Help Your Child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader. Now available in Kindle and soon to be available in paperback. 

Bio: Melissa Taylor is a mother, freelance writer, and teacher. She holds a M.A. in Education and used to work as a literacy coach in public schools. She blogs at Imagination Soup


Thank you so much to Melissa for her wealth of wisdom!!!

I am a reader that has yet to try out the e-reading experience myself or with my children.  Tell me about your own e-reading experiences.


  1. great resources, I am just surprised, almost shocked that the words 'public library' are not mentioned here: my library offers 3 different databases to download books on your ereader or ipad, from the comfort of your home, for free, 24/24 hours, and I know it is not the only one in the US. I never buy ebooks.

    1. ... A friend was just sharing this option with me recently and I look forward to exploring it further. Sadly though I have heard that not all libraries have these options.

  2. Wow - our library doesn't have that option for all users. I'm a MAC user and since Overdrive isn't compatible, or wasn't last I checked, I didn't include it. Thanks for mentioning it -- sounds like a great free option.

    1. Melissa Taylor ... Thanks for addressing this comment. It's good to know that some options are not always compatible.


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