When are E-books Appropriate for Children?

In Children's, Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

Disney Digital Books

Let’s be honest, no one really likes the idea of their child spending a lot of time in front of a television (unless it’s on an airplane keeping them quiet). So is a computer screen all that different?

In today’s lead story, Jeanne Mosure, Senior Vice President, Group Publisher, Disney Publishing Worldwide, discusses her company’s move into digital e-books with the launch of Disney Digital Books.

The product is robust, absorbing, and comes from a trusted brand. One of the elements Mosure emphasizes in her discussion is that the site is “safe” — presumably from unwanted intruders, such as advertisers and others. This is perhaps a first step towards indoctrinating parents into introducing their children to e-books.

I’ve written about my own reticence over introducing my daughter to e-books and, in particular, the lost sense of closeness I get when we sit reading together. That seems, to me, to be something impossible to achieve on a computer. Of course, she’s still very young and I’m no Luddite. The likelihood is that she’ll be just as familiar with digital books as print ones.

So, the question is: When are e-books appropriate for children? At what age are children ready for them? Do you currently use Disney Digital Books or any other children’s sites?

Let us know your experience and what you think in the comments below or via Twitter using hashtag #ppbonus.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.