For the first time, many of Roald Dahl's best-loved stories are today (Sept. 13) available as e-books in the United States.
Titles include "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "James and the Giant Peach" and "The Twits." A quick perusal of the author's offerings showed that only "The Witches" was missing from today's releases. The e-books sell for about $7 each.
Amazon, Barnes & Noble's Nook online store and Apple's iBookstore offer the titles, but you don't need one of their e-readers or tablets to read the stories. Amazon and Nook offer apps that can be used on most computers and phones, including iPhones and iPads — they just can't be used on one another's e-readers. iBookstore is only available on Apple devices.
While some parents may be resistant to digital formats, opting for traditional print books instead, e-books read on e-readers offer some advantages that may be especially helpful for kids transitioning from picture books to chapter books.
For instance, e-readers come with built-in dictionaries and other handy features for young readers. If a child comes across an unfamiliar word such as "hideous," a simple double tap on an iPad screen gives her the option to see the definition, highlight the word for later reference or take a note.
Electronic bookmarks will never slip out. And the new Kindle Paperwhite e-readers tell kids how much longer it will take them to finish the book at their current pace.
If you're looking for more classic chapter e-books, try "Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard Atwater," "Ramona Quimby" and others from Beverly Cleary, "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle and "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norton Juster.