Building Bridges for Young Readers with Illustrated Chapter Books and iBooks

By Susan Love

Digital technologies and the growing popularity of iBooks have encouraged writers and illustrators to develop a large variety of new formats for virtual bridge books.

Over the years, hardcover “read aloud” and “read alone” bridge books have filled an important need for young readers transitioning from picture books with minimal text to longer books with text divided into chapters.

Virtual bridge iBooks, consisting of traditionally printed text interspersed with colorful characters and scenes, can be downloaded directly onto an iBook reader, tablet or smartphone. When characters move and talk, the iBook also becomes a bridge between film and television, with an added advantage. At their own rate children can read and re-read each story while effortlessly improving their literacy skills.

In addition to surrounding children with hardcover books at school, a large home library also plays a major role in encouraging children to read. There is research to confirm that having hardcover books at home is an indicator of a child’s level of educational attainment.

Despite all of the advancements in technology for iBooks, many readers still do enjoy the look and feel of hardcover books. Unquestionably, bridge hardcover and bridge iBooks add yet another dimension to the growing number of opportunities for children to improve their literacy skills both at home and school.

Susan Love is the author of Ms. Love’s Mystical Island Adventure, an animated children’s bridge iBook & bridge hardcover book. She lives in the Philadelphia area where she has been a primary and middle school teacher for fifteen years. For more information, visit www.mslovesmysticalisland.com.