"Don't take up a man's time talking about the smartness of you children; he wants to talk to you about the smartness of his children."

It's science: Picture books are best for little brains

In the era of handheld video and Audible subscriptions we have so many high tech things we can use to tell our kids stories.

There are so many options, and many parents are drawn to the convenience of tablet-based books, but researchers say old-fashioned picture books are still the best bet for little brains.

A study published this week in the journal Pediatrics found that parents and toddler interact and collaborate more when reading paper books than when reading e-books on a tablet. Researchers videotaped 37 parent-toddler pairs reading three types of books: Regular old print books, basic e-books and enhanced e-books with sound effects or animation. They found parents and tots "verbalized less" when reading together on a tablet, and recommend print to increase interactions.

This follows another study by researchers at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, that also found printed picture books to be better for preschoolers and parents.

The study's authors exposed 27 children between 3 and 5 years old to Canadian author Robert Munsch's classic stories in three different formats — as audio only, as a picture book with audio, and as an animated video — to find out what happens in...

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