Interactive Picture Books for Young Minds

YPRL Staff

9 November, 2023

Kids love Storytime. But one thing that makes Storytime even better is interaction—it's so much more fun for the little ones when they can engage, ask questions, make noises and take part in the story.

Recently there’s been a big trend of picture books that deliberately encourage children to interact in all sorts of surprising ways!

Here’s 5 of our favourites: 

Press Here by Herve Tullet 

In this adorable abstract story, children are asked to physically interact with the book by pressing dots on the page, clapping, blowing air and more. Each action the child takes will have a different effect, making the dots grow, change colour, multiply and fly around the page. A perfect book for little ones to learn about the book as a physical object and get ready to turn the pages on their own. 

Do Not Open This Book by Andy Lee 

The king of metafictional picture books. This modern classic features a cute main character who begs and pleads with the reader NOT to turn the page. Read it aloud and ask your child at each step: “Should we keep going?” Kids love the power of doing something they’ve just been told not to! At the same time they’re learning valuable concepts about the relationship between author, reader and character. Once you’ve tired of this one be sure to check out the eight sequels. 

A Monster Is Eating This Book by Karen Kilpatrick 


As the title says: there’s a monster eating the book page by page! As different words get chomped on, they disappear from the text. Children are encouraged to flip back and forth to remember what words are missing. This is a great book for older preschoolers that gets them thinking about the role of words on a page. 

This Book Can Read Your Mind by Susannah Lloyd 

If you’ve ever had someone tell you “try not to think of an elephant”, you’ll know that once something is in your head, it’s very difficult to get rid of. This Book Can Read Your Mind introduces this idea to children with a fun mad scientist character who claims he can read the child’s mind. Kids will be delighted by the silly illustrations while learning about concepts like imagination and self-awareness. 

Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda 

Bunny is going skiing in this delightful winter book. But he needs your help! By tilting the book at different angles on different pages, children can help Bunny ski at different speeds, do tricks, and more. This is another great one for learning “book mechanics” (how to hold and use a book). Children can watch an adult tilt the book or tilt it themselves, depending on their developmental level. 

Bonus: Tips to Make Any Book Interactive 

Can’t get a hold of any of these? Here’s some ideas to take any picture book and make it more engaging for your child: 

  • Ask for predictions: get your child to guess what will happen on the next page of the story. For example, what’s behind the door? Who’s inside the box? Will the character succeed or fail at what they’re trying to do? Yes/no questions are best for younger readers. 
  • Get help with sound effects: kids love to make animal noises, and many picture books have animals, so ask your child to add the appropriate noises on each page. 
  • Review the book: when you’re done, ask who was the child’s favourite character, or what was their favourite page? This works best with repetitive format books like Where is the Green Sheep or Hairy Maclary.  
  • Take action: when characters in the book are jumping, running, hiding or sleeping, ask your child to get up and act out the same behaviour. Works especially well if the little one is getting wriggly. 
  • Talk about emotions: ask how a character is feeling in a particular scene—happy, sad, angry? Get your child to make a face that fits the emotion. 

That’s all from us! Happy reading! 

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