The Best 71 Interactive Books To Read With Your Kids

Updated Jan. 24, 2019

Clap those hands and stomp those feet! Reading doesn't need to be a sedentary activity and interactive books are a great way to get your child fully engaged with reading, body and mind—plus you might just be able to work some of those wiggles out. #winwin There are lots of different ways for a book to be interactive—lift-the-flap, touch-and-feel, push-and-pull tabs, wheels that spin, instructions for activities to do while you read, illustrated buttons that seem to magically do something when you turn the page... the list goes on. We've got all different types of interactive books represented in this "best of" list—if you'd like to see even more of our favorite lift-the-flap and touch-and-feel books, check out the expanded lists we have for each of those categories—there are even more winners there!

Without further ado, here are some of the best interactive books we ever did see.

Wiggle! book
Written and illustrated by Taro Gomi
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book is so darling! I love the colors, the illustrations, and the creativity! This book is interactive with your fingers, but I was impressed with the different uses it worked for. So fun!

It's more than a book—it's a game! Every spread is missing a key element of a featured animal—from an elephant's trunk to a penguin's beak, these creatures are incomplete. And it's up to young readers to help them out! Kids can finish the illustration by wiggling their fingers through suitably placed die-cuts. Children are sure to giggle at the silliness of turning their fingers into elephant trunks and chameleon tongues—and learn a bit about animal features on the way!

Pinwheel book
Written and illustrated by Salina Yoon
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This book kept my baby's attention like no other (as in, we'd take it on planes and to church with us and just spin the pinwheels around and around and around and get like 10 minutes of pure, focused wonder from him.) Which really makes me want to give it a 7, BUT this book does tear pretty easily (the carousel page in particular) which definitely isn't great for a board book. Our first copy ended up with something torn on each page, so we got another copy, and it lives in a non-child-accessible place so that it gets read just with mom or dad rather than solo.

Turn the wheel and watch each scene transform with spinning, eye-catching designs! Award-winning artist Salina Yoon’s spectacular display of kinetic art immerses readers in a colorful, poetic journey. From a balloon-filled sky to the deep blue sea, Pinwheel reminds readers of the beauty all around them. Let the fun begin with every spin!

My Backpack! book
My Backpack!
Written by Scholastic and illustrated by Weldon Swanson
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I'm not normally a big fan of "product" books, since they're often boring and shameless product promotions... but I LOVE this book—it's perfect for getting more comfortable with the idea of school and learning about what animals eat and where they live. It's easy to read over and over and over, which is convenient because my toddler loves it too! We've read it so many times at this point that he'll finish each sentence as he lifts the flap—"A fish sandwich on toast!" The lift the flaps are sturdy and have held up under vigorous readings at our house for the past six months.

A lift-the-flap board book featuring the lovable characters from Skip Hop's Zoo backpacks! What's inside your backpack? Join Bee, Dog, Elephant, Ladybug, and Penguin in this delightful interactive story based on the beloved Zoo backpack line from Skip Hop. Lift the flaps to find out what each animal likes to pack in their backpack, which looks exactly like the real thing! With adorable animal illustrations and a surprise on each spread, this story is sure to get little ones excited about school!

Tacos!: An Interactive Recipe Book book
Tacos!: An Interactive Recipe Book
Written and illustrated by Lotta Nieminen
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This is such a fabulous interactive book, though I'd recommend it being for a little bit older children, as there are a lot of pieces you can take out of this book. This interactive book is perfect for little ones interested in food and cooking, and I love that it has an actual recipe full of directions!

For kids who cook in a play kitchen or a real kitchen, this interactive recipe book invites readers to chop the vegetables, mash the avocado, warm the tortillas, and more - all inside the book! Step one: Cut the chicken into cubes and toss it in a bowl with the spices. Step two: Warm oil on a skillet on the stove, then add the chicken. Step three: While the chicken cooks, chop the scallions, slice the radishes, shred the cabbage, mince the cilantro. Simple yet accurate recipe text takes readers through the steps of cooking tacos, while the interactive novelty features such as pull tabs, sliders, wheels, and pop-out pieces invite them to participate in the process. Perfect for kids who love to help in the kitchen, or any child who prefers to "do it myself." This is the third title in the COOK IN A BOOK series.

Hatch book
Written and illustrated by Heather Brown
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is such a cute lift-the-flap book and definitely a favorite of my toddler's, so much so that it made the two books cut for the airplane bag. I'm not personally convinced that the top of the book needed to be a circle, particularly since it makes the spine a little weaker, but this book has been dragged all around our house and is no worse for the wear (plus, my son is obsessed with circles... so it gets bonus points from him there.) The rhyming is cute, and the content is simple yet informative, and it's a unique take on eggs!

Can you guess what each egg will hatch? Read the rhyming clues and let your child guess before they “hatch” each egg by lifting the flap to find out who is inside. This lift-a-flap book has a smart but simple design that will entertain and educate about egg-dwelling baby animals.

Color Wonder Hooray for Spring! book
Color Wonder Hooray for Spring!
Written by Chiêu Anh Urban
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This is a great color book, especially for spring time. I especially love how interactive it is with the spinning wheels that change the colors of the flowers throughout the book!

Celebrate the bright colors of spring with this hands-on color-play novelty board book! Wake up ladybug, look what’s here? Spring brings red, march and cheer. Join award-winning artist Chiêu Anh Urban in this inventively visual experience that allows readers to mix and match the colors of vibrant flowers right before their eyes. Turn the wheels to create and change the bold colors of spring in this deceptively simple and thoughtfully layered novelty book that teaches the joy and wonder of color.

Beautiful Oops! book
Beautiful Oops!
Written and illustrated by Barney Saltzberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Near the very top of my list of things I want my children to learn is to not be afraid of mistakes or failure—they're simply part of the process. The interactive way multi-media mistakes are transformed in this book into quirky artwork is endearing and keeps the mood light and my little reader busy while I read the slightly more serious message present in the text. My toddler wants this "again" and "again", and thus far it's been sturdy enough to withstand toddler exploration, which is a plus!

A life lesson that all parents want their children to learn: It’s OK to make a mistake. In fact, hooray for mistakes! A mistake is an adventure in creativity, a portal of discovery. A spill doesn’t ruin a drawing—not when it becomes the shape of a goofy animal. And an accidental tear in your paper? Don’t be upset about it when you can turn it into the roaring mouth of an alligator. An award winning, best-selling, one-of-a-kind interactive book, Beautiful Oops! shows young readers how every mistake is an opportunity to make something beautiful. A singular work of imagination, creativity, and paper engineering, Beautiful Oops! is filled with pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, tears, holes, overlays, bends, smudges, and even an accordion “telescope”—each demonstrating the magical transformation from blunder to wonder.

Touch the Brightest Star book
Touch the Brightest Star
Written and illustrated by Christie Matheson
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I absolutely love this bedtime book. I love the interactive elements of touching the book, closing your eyes, etc. to help make the "changes" in the illustrations on the next pages. So sweet to start with the sunset and go through the things that show it's time for bed in nature. Love the illustrations, too! One of my favorites.

This interactive bedtime story proves nighttime isn't scary at all. The gentle journey from sunset to sunrise shows even the youngest children the magic of the nighttime sky—and lets them make magic happen! A companion to the popular and acclaimed Tap the Magic Tree. This board book edition is the perfect size for little hands.

Lit for Little Hands: Pride and Prejudice book
Lit for Little Hands: Pride and Prejudice
Written by Brooke Jordan, Jane Austen and illustrated by David Miles
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Filled with interactive wheels and pull-tabs and lavishly illustrated, Lit for Little Hands: Pride and Prejudice is an unprecedented kid's introduction to Jane Austen's beloved classic novel. Unlike many board books that tackle the classics, Lit for Little Hands tells the actual story in simple, engaging prose. Goregous pastoral illustrations transport the reader to the fields and estates of Lizzy's England, while tons of interactive elements invite kids to spin the dancers at the ball, care for Jane, open a shocking letter, and more! Austen fans will be delighted by the book's attention to detail and clever use of original dialog. And the book's use of super-sturdy board means everyone can enjoy this tale of wit and romance over . . . and over . . . and over again!

I Can Play book
I Can Play
Written and illustrated by Betsy Snyder
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

The finger holes for I Can Play are so fun! There are a few other books in this series, but I love that this book talks about teamwork. This book is sure to occupy little ones for a long time as they use their fingers to be limbs for all of the people in the book! I also love that this book talks about all the wonderful things we can do with our bodies: jump, kick, run, etc!

Readers make athletes splash, sprint, or score just by wiggling their fingers! Then, with two sets of hands, readers help the athletes unite as a team in the gatefold finale. Active and adorable characters model independence and teamwork, making this innovative board book perfect for interactive reading and playtime fun!

Who Wears What? book
Who Wears What?
Written and illustrated by Kathy Ireland
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is a fantastic touch-and-feel book—I have several friends who have this book when I asked them what their kids touch-and-feel books were, this came back on both of their lists! The variety of textures is great, and I love how cute (and let's face it, kind of hipster) the animals look in their scratchy sweaters, fluffy hats, and rain boots!

Who wears the fluffy hat? What about the shiny boots? Touch each page and find out which animal wears what and how it feels! A host of cute animals introduce younger children to different textures and new adjectives in this Touch and Feel board book.

Flora and the Ostrich book
Flora and the Ostrich
Written and illustrated by Molly Idle
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this lift-the-flap book! It's beautifully illustrated, and I love that it has an ostrich in it. The book is a wonderful opposites book, and it creatively uses the flaps to better demonstrate the text.

Inspired by Caldecott Honor book Flora and the Flamingo, this series of board books is perfect for the very youngest Flora fans. When a new feathered friend seems so different from her, Flora discovers that opposites, in fact, attract! Featuring fold-out pages and Molly Idle's graceful artwork, this adorable book of opposites will delight young children as they master new words and concepts.

Bunny Slopes book
Bunny Slopes
Written and illustrated by Claudia Rueda
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Goodfather

Currently one of our family's go-to favorites. The story is simple, but there are some creative elements and surprises that make it interactive and fun to read and reread.

Time to tackle the bunny slope! Shake to help Bunny make it snow, tilt to help Bunny ski down the slope, and turn to help Bunny escape a cliff in his path. Is there any obstacle Bunny can't conquer? Bringing grins and guffaws with each turn of the page, readers will find Claudia Rueda's innovative bookmaking as entertaining as the twists and turns of a ski slope—and as satisfying as a cozy cup of hot cocoa.

Light Up the Stars! book
Light Up the Stars!
Written and illustrated by Gabriele Clima
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Paint the sky with rainbows and make the stars shine with this novelty board book! Kids just pull the tabs to make colorful flowers bloom, help a ship sail the ocean, and light up an entire city. At the end, you can shut a boy's eyes to put him to sleep at night . . . and wake him in the morning. It's magical!

Color Blocked book
Color Blocked
Written by Ashley Sorenson and illustrated by David Miles
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

If books had families, this one would be a cousin to Hervé Tullet's "Press Here"—as you're instructed to shake, spin, etc. the book and then turn the page, the situation has evolved. It's a cute concept and has been applied to this new situation in a way that's clever and well-executed. It took my toddler a little bit to catch on to the full color-mixing concept, but not he's all over it and can't wait to mix, push the buttons and tilt the book to create all new colors!

The color is blocked! Readers must rub, turn, and tap the pages to straighten out pipes, unplug corks, and keep the color flowing. But watch out--the color might run faster than you can keep up! Along the way, readers will learn primary colors, how mixing colors can make secondary colors, and why you should never, ever, put a turtle in charge.

Hungry Little Lizard book
Hungry Little Lizard
Written and illustrated by Kate Stone
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book is colorful, cute, and fun! I like that it's a not-so-blatant counting book, but it promotes counting by showing how many bugs the lizard slurps up. :) The tabs you can lift up to see the inside of the lizard's mouth are fun, too!

SLURP! How many bugs did Hungry Little Lizard catch this time? Pull and Peek to find out! Hungry Little Lizard can’t get enough of those bugs! This unique board book allows kids to open Lizard’s mouth and count how many bugs he’s caught on each page. It’s a fun and silly way for kids to begin counting and practice fine motor skills.

Touch and Feel: Never Touch a Dinosaur book
Touch and Feel: Never Touch a Dinosaur
Written and illustrated by Make Believe Ideas Ltd
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The silicon touch-and-feel textures in this book are seriously so cool—some pages you just can't stop touching! The catchy text that warns you very strongly off touching a dinosaur (or else risk serious consequences!) is juxtaposed again bright, friendly-looking dinosaurs grinning at you from each page opposite and creates a humorous feel to the book.

You must never touch a dinosaur . . . except in this book! This dinosaur-themed, touch-and-feel book is perfect for young children. Little ones will love reading the funny rhyme that warns of the dangers of touching a dinosaur—and of ignoring the advice! Innovative silicone touches are featured throughout the book, with a different texture for children to discover on every spread. This tactile book offers plenty for young children to enjoy, helping to promote an early love of reading.

A B See book
A B See
Written and illustrated by Elizabeth Doyle
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This alphabet book is a little different than others that I've seen, which I like. It would be great for a toddler that's a little older and can pick things out! It's a little more interactive as you have to search in the images making up each letter for what the text is describing. The text is also full of alliteration, making it fun but also a little tricky to read. :)

A beautifully illustrated, graphic alphabet book with a fun search-and-find twist. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what’s in a single letter? Everything in A B See! Because hidden in each graphic letter are tiny troves of ABC treasures waiting to be found by sharp-eyed readers. Can you find the apple, arrow, and armor in the letter A? Or the bear, banjo, and bike buried in the letter B? Read along in this unique alphabet board book that asks audiences to A B See beyond the ABCs.

On My Beach book
On My Beach
Written and illustrated by Sara Gillingham
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Turn the colorful die-cut pages of this irresistible board book to discover just what makes little crab's beach so cozy. Is it the soft sand? Is it the salty seaweed? No, it's his loving family! Bright pictures, a sweet reassuring message, unique layered pages, and an adorable finger puppet combine to create interactive reading and playtime fun!

Don't Push the Button! book
Don't Push the Button!
Written and illustrated by Bill Cotter
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The only rule in Larry's book is that the reader not push the button, but when no one is looking, it may be irresistible.

Animal Homes book
Animal Homes
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

After a first read through on my own, I'd probably have given this a 4.5, but my toddler is obsessed with this book, as are several of our other toddler friends, so I've developed a lot of appreciation for this book. The illustrations are really cute and the interactive activity of matching animals to their homes, with the raised textures on each illustrations to add interest, makes this an enjoyable read. It's also one my son is happy to "read" to himself!

Introduce little ones to all sorts of different homes for animals! In Animal Homes, little ones will be asked which homes belong to which animals. The pages of this book are filled with familiar, kid-friendly animals such as cats, fish, dogs, birds, and more, rendered in soft colors that make this an even more enjoyable experience for babies. Each page includes an embossed animal home, creating a tactile experience for tiny hands. And on the last spread, all the animals appear with their correct homes!

The Snowman Shuffle book
The Snowman Shuffle
Written by Christianne C. Jones and illustrated by Emma Randall
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Like the other books in this series, this book is perfect for active little readers who may need to get some wiggles out—just do the snowman shuffle! The rhymes give this book rhythm, the illustrations are cute, and I always appreciate when the main character is diverse!

Spin like a snowflake, swoosh like the wind, and shuffle like a snowman in this interactive board book. The rhyming text and fun instruction will delight both adults and children and chase away any winter blues!

Tickle My Ears book
Tickle My Ears
Written and illustrated by Jorg Muhle
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

In Tickle My Ears, it’s getting late and Little Rabbit must go to bed. Can you help him? When Little Rabbit asks “Tickle My Ears?” a wonderful new bedtime ritual begins: Clap your hands, fluff the pillow, give Little Rabbit’s ears a tickle, stroke his back, pull up the covers and a goodnight kiss. And don’t forget to turn out the light: here’s the switch! Enjoy this sweet interactive animation where you can tuck Little Rabbit in, tickle his ears, kiss him goodnight and turn off the lights here.

Look Look book
Look Look
Written and illustrated by Agnese Baruzzi
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Part counting game, part guessing game, this delightful board book invites little ones to look at one thing, and guess what else it could be. Each page shows one shape, and then unfolds to reveal an ingenious surprise, sure to captivate curious toddlers.

Dive In! book
Dive In!
Written by April Jones Prince and illustrated by Michelle Berg
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

At first glance you may see a bunch of mice doing construction in a watery arena and think... weird. It turns out, however, that my toddler loves this book and now I do too. It's interactive with sturdy tabs to pull, slider bars, and wheels to turn and the rhyming text is cute and different. It starts as a construction book and builds into a bath book, which is unexpected (at least the first time) and enjoyable.

It’s a busy day on the construction site, and these industrious mice are up to something big! But what are they working on? Bold, colorful illustrations and recognizable vehicles with moving parts add to the fun, with hidden clues for the careful observer. Is that red paint . . . or red sauce? Is that a construction pit . . . or a drain? Children will delight in guessing their way to the end, when the final spread reveals a carefully constructed surprise. It’s favorite vehicles meet lunchtime and bathtime in these novelty board books with interactive mechanisms.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!