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How to Choose the Right E-Book

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Sales are booming, but are parents overestimating the merits of e-books? Not necessarily. Just don't use them as an excuse to check out of the reading experience altogether. Your child won't get the same benefits from listening to an electronically read story alone, says Erika Burton, Ph.D., founder of Stepping Stones Together, an online reading program. “Part of the magic of books is the intimate bond between parent and child, which in turn promotes development and leads to academic success,” agrees John Hutton, M.D., pediatrician and owner of Blue Manatee Children's Bookstore in Cincinnati. Look for interactive features that help him build vocabulary, and avoid e-books with distracting video game-like enhancements or animated illustrations. Our fave new reboot: Dr. Seuss' classic And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street ($4; available on all platforms).