Bringing Books to Life with AR

As educators and parents, we all appreciate the importance and benefits of stories and books. Megan and I use books as a spring board for nearly everything. We started our first Junior Library Makerspace with books and we often introduce new technologies like Makey Makey and holograms as activities after reading a story. So naturally, books that contain an element of augmented reality (the ability to produce a unique interactive experience) to supplement text is another great way to further engage students with books and stories. It also leads to discussing the how’s and why’s of the capabilities of technology.

This post shares just a few books with augmented reality which will enthrall both children and adults and lead to plenty of ‘aws’ and ‘ahs’! These books can assist with comprehension as images, figures and diagrams come to life, can increase background knowledge and build curiosity to learn new things and be immersed in another environment.

There are many fabulous AR books on the market…..I know how much dinosaur AR books fascinate our little people! #bestteachingpartnerever Megan, of Children’s Books Daily has a link to Booktopia to purchase.

I’m also very excited and can’t wait to read Megan’s book ‘Raising Readers’ which is being launched in April…..a must for everyone!

Ernie’s Wish Trail by Maia Orion

This book is a little like Edward the Emu, in every interaction Ernie has, up pops a new wish to be someone else. Ernie’s wish trail ends in rediscovering simple pleasures and the joys of being himself. Throughout the story concepts come alive like counting when pine cones drop from a tree and colours identified as the flowers are touched and how Ernie jets off using a jetpack to defy gravity! The Augmented Reality app needs to be downloaded to be immersed in 3D and sound.

Goodnight Lad by Bradley Grimm

This story is about a little boy who refuses to go to bed because he would rather play. His parents decide to take him on a trip around the world with the hopes that he will eventually fall asleep. Using the app enables interaction with the characters, listen to the narrator and search for hidden secrets.

Fairyland Magic by Carlton Books (Editor)

Fairyland Magic brings the fairies to life – fly with the fairy queen, woodland fairy and flower fairy as they flap wings and land on your hand. Each page contains three animations that will take children into a new dimension and reveals secrets of the fairy realm. The book has a CD-Rom to install so it can be enjoyed with the use of a computer.

Space Race: The Story of Space Exploration to the Moon and Beyond by Ben Hubbard

This comprehensive and richly illustrated guide tells the awe-inspiring story of space exploration, from the race for rockets and putting a man on the moon, to the International Space Station, life on Mars, finding a habitable planet, and life beyond our solar system. Using the free app children can watch NASA videos on the page and explore 360-degree models of ground-breaking spacecraft.

Animal Kingdom Education

First published in 2014, this is the first in a series of educational books for children featuring the animal kingdom. These augmented reality books use a combination of text and illustrations to describe animals in the usual encyclopedia style. However, when a smartphone or tablet is held over the illustrations, fully animated versions of each animal appear, that can be turned and manipulated by the user. These books encourage children to engage with their educational content, giving them an interactive experience that’s fun and engaging as well as informational. They also have interactive cards.

iSolar System by Carlton Kids

“The Solar System” takes the reader on a journey from the Moon, to Mars, to the outer planets and finally beyond, using stunning AR images based on the American Natural History Museum’s Beyond Planet Earth Exhibition.

Readers will learn about the history of Moon exploration, the possibilities of asteroid mining, the problems that will face future colonies on Mars and dozens of other exciting challenges that face the space scientists of today and tomorrow.Bindi and Robert Irwin.

Wild Things    Guinness World Records

Guinness World Records: Wild Things takes you on a superlative safari around the globe, revealing the best of the beasts! Meet the natural world’s largest, smallest, fastest, deadliest – and just plain oddest – creatures and find out what records they hold. Download the free AugmentifyIt® app to experience creepy-crawlies scurry and flap in front of you! Also get to know some of the biggest stars in wildlife conservation, including Sir David Attenborough, Jane Goodall, Steve Backshall, and Bindi and Robert Irwin.

Ice Age

This popular film is now available in a children’s book and contains several 3D animations. Children will have fun seeing their favourite characters pop out of the pages….I know my 25yr old did!

Monsters, Inc.

Another popular film that has turned into a 3D experience. This book talks about the characters from both Monsters Inc movies. It isn’t a story book but text appears that tells all about the furry friends.

Jack Hunter: The French Connection

This book is part of a series of books featuring the character Jack Hunter, focusing on adventure and treasure hunting. Released in 2012, author Martin King invites readers to enter the world of Jack Hunter, a 13year old boy leading a fairly normal life. Until, that is, he and his family witness a robbery and are sucked into a world of adventure and Russian spies.

I could go on adding ….but jump over to Children’s Books Daily and browse for the link to Booktopia and search for Augmented Reality books 🙂


Previous articleWhy Making to Learn?
Next articleTechnology Themed Picture Books
Jackie Child
Jackie Child has been teaching primary aged students for 40 years in a number of countries. She is passionate about how children learn through constructivist pedagogy. She is a Teacher Librarian at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School and a sessional tutor at Griffith University for pre-service teachers. Jackie doesn’t believe in standing still, there is always plenty to ‘do’ and learn!