Emergent challenges for the understanding of children’s digital literature

Authored by: Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer

The Routledge Handbook of Digital Literacies in Early Childhood

Print publication date:  July  2019
Online publication date:  July  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138303881
eBook ISBN: 9780203730638
Adobe ISBN:


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It has become commonplace for literacy studies and media studies to emphasize the influence of electronic literature on young children’s developing literacy skills. Companies and publishers supply digital literature for young children, including for infants and toddlers, in digitized versions of printed books or newly created stories that benefit from the specific affordances offered by digital media, with hypermedia narratives and transmedia storytelling. Digital literature for children usually has a complex format, since it combines written text, visuals, sound, film and hypertext. It is either produced as an e-book, i.e. an electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer, tablet or smartphone, or as an app, i.e. a newly developed narrative especially created for use on electronic devices (Al-Yaqout and Nikolajeva 2015). Moreover, digital literature ranges from concept books and picture books to poetry and fictional stories, including stories for young and very young children.

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