While I’m thinking of my children, let me pause for a moment to say there’s a special place in my heart for those authors who have offered their children’s books (especially the picture books!) for free online.
Favorite picture books in our collection include:
(This link is not to the version we have, but it is the same book. Perhaps we have an “older” version that was offered for free briefly before being discontinued.)
“The Funny Bunny” (Which I found as a limited-time free Kindle purchase while researching the books for this article.)
Overall, I think picture books on the Kindle are wonderful. They allow young children a chance to see what an e-reader is all about as they realize that these books are the same as their paper or board books. And “turning the pages” helps them learn skills to use a tablet and also lets them interact as we’re reading stories (not to mention, the Kindle “pages” don’t run the risk of tearing the way a printed, paper book will.
Because there seem to be a multitude of great children’s books available at least as limited-time free offers, it’s unlikely that I’ll purchase any for our family any time soon. (Because I’m cheap. Are you noticing that as a recurrent theme in this blog, yet?) But I’d definitely consider purchasing our favorites either in print copies or as e-books for friends with young children, to share the love of reading, because books have always been some of my favorite gifts to give, anyway.
Of the favorite books listed, “Tinky’s Magic Cookies” and “The Magical Dragon’s Three Gifts” seem to have both the best stories and the best illustrations. Both tales teach values – “Tinky’s Magic Cookies” is about a dog that supports others and the importance of believing in yourself; and “The Magical Dragon’s Three Gifts” teaches the importance of being helpful and unselfish.
At the time of this blog post, none of these books were still free on Amazon, but they’d make good purchases for someone looking for e-books to introduce to a toddler.
We also have “Terry Treetop and the Lost Egg,” which remains free on Amazon. This book doesn’t capture my daughter’s interest, and it doesn’t “fit” well on the Kindle (the text seems to run on to the next page from the pictures no matter which orientation is used. But all in all, it seems to be an OK book. It is free at the time of this post, and appears that it may remain so as a free introduction to the Terry Treetop series, so I feel it’s worth mentioning (and looking at, if you happen to have young children in addition to your Kindle).
From a young age, my strategy for reading with my daughter has been to use picture story books for daytime reading fare, and longer stories generally intended for older children for bedtime (fairy tales or a chapter or so from chapter-books). That was because the longer stories, without pictures, were less distracting since my daughter could just listen to my voice and wasn’t staying awake in order to see the pictures. I mention this because this strategy works GREAT on the Kindle. I began trying with just the text stories at first, but before my daughter recognized that the Kindle was for reading, too, she wanted to play with it. By introducing her to picture books on the Kindle so that see grasped the concept that there are books in there, it has allowed me to also read her bedtime stories from the Kindle. And it works excellent for this purpose, because you can read with no effort even in a dimly lit room. Perfect for bedtime!