In theorising the work, Kucirkova, Littleton & Cremin (2016) argue that there are six key characteristics that are crucial to consider in relation to reading for pleasure with digital books.  Drawing on Anna Craft’s (2010) conceptualisation of twenty-first century childhoods and discussions with teachers and children at primary schools, the authors considered the key ways in which digital books can support what Craft labelled the “4Ps”, that is the pluralities, possibilities, playfulness and participation options in the 21st century.

The analysis identified six key facets of digital book in relation to reading for pleasure:

  • affective
  • creative
  • interactive
  • shared
  • sustained
  • personalised reading engagements.

These facets are not unique to digital interactive books- many printed/physical books and audio books have these characteristics too. However, the advent of storybooks and e-books available for new reading devices (such as Kindle and iPads), have brought these characteristics to the fore.

Further details of the ideas underpinning this work, the research findings and the practical guides are available in the following papers:

Kucirkova, Littleton & Cremin, 2016, Young children’s reading for pleasure with digital books: six key facets of engagement

Kucirkova & Sakr, 2015: Child-Father creative text-making at home with crayons, iPad, collage & PC

Kucirkova, Sheehy & Messer, 2015, A Vygotskian perspective on parent-child talk during iPad story sharing

Recommended reading

Book Blethering with the Teachers’ Readers Group

In this blog experienced teacher Kevin Cobane explains how joining the OU/UKLA Teachers’ Reading Group led by Dr Nicola Smith at the University of Birmingham enabled him to expand his knowledge of Children’s literature through discussion with other members and ultimately develop his teaching practice.

A Complex View of Lifelong Reading, Margaret Mackey

A Complex View of Lifelong Reading by Margaret Mackey who challenges us to think again about the waywardness of lifelong reading habits, a fascinating read, worth discussing with colleagues.

Comfy Reading

In this great short film year 4 teacher and podcaster David Keyte explains how our research inspired him to introduce 'comfy reading' within his classroom. He explains how this had an immediate positive impact on the class.

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