With e-readers, tablets and mobile phones, how we obtain and consume books have changed significantly over the years. It’s much easier to search a book that we are interested in reading and have it delivered instantly to our mobile devices at any place or time.
The latest episode of MashUp Radio with Peter Biddle hosted San Francisco entrepreneurs from FarFaria, Drawp, and PlayTell to discuss how the delivery and consumption of children’s books has evolved and what these companies are doing to encourage children to read more and further explore their world. The panel discussion ranged from technological advancements and use of cloud-computing, to the startup founders’ favorite stories growing up.
FarFaria CEO, Ajay Godhwani talked about how children will benefit whether it is reading a story or listening to an audio book on an electronic device on their own or being read to by their teachers and parents. Ana Albir and Kunal Jham, co-founders of Drawp, discussed how their respective love for books as children paved the way for the two to create a storytelling app.
The startup founders and Peter also exchanged ideas on how they would change children’s education if they had a single swipe of a magic wand. Drawp founders said they would add scent to reading and merge the world of physical and digital. PlayTell chief product officer Jason DePerro, would equip every child with the tools and resources to be passionate, curious, and truly love learning; a wish that would significantly benefit future generations.
While the benefits of reading are undisputable, the data can be astounding. According to The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, children who were read to at least three times a week by a family member were almost twice as likely to score in the top 25 percent in reading compared to children who were read to less. Beyond that, by the age of 2, children who are read to regularly display greater language comprehension, larger vocabularies, and higher cognitive skills than their peers.
Regardless of age, it’s never too early (or late) to pick up a new book and start reading – for yourself or with a child. Here’s a list of children’s book reviews from The New York Times to help get you started.