The works, aimed at children 3 to 8 years old, include picture books, novels and a selection of enhanced editions of classics, such as "Jamberry," the tale of a boy and a bear who have a good time together finding berries.
An estimated 12,000 chapter books, among the largest digital collections for young readers, is expected to be available at NookKids.com by late Sunday. In addition, 100 or so picture books will be available in mid-November, while about 30 enhanced picture books will be available by the end of the year, or early in 2011. The collection, also available online at BarnesandNoble.com, will be accessible by year end via a Nook Kids app for Apple Inc.'s iPad and other devices.
Nook Kids will eventually have a variety of enhanced picture books. "Jamberry," published in 1985 by News Corp.'s HarperCollins Publishers Inc., features a page with a sky full of falling blueberries, which kids can pop with their fingers. Another adapted classic is P.D. Eastman's "Go, Dog. Go!," published in 1961 by Bertelsmann AG's Random House Inc. (News Corp. also publishes The Wall Street Journal.)
The enhanced titles have been designed specifically for touch-screen features that the current Nook doesn't offer. At the beginning of each book, users can tap on one of two buttons that enable them to read the work themselves, or instead have it read aloud by a narrator.
I've known for quite some time that B&N held a trademark for "Nook Kids", so I'm not surprised by the news. I had expected this to be a new ereader, actually. I think this bit fits with last week's color Nook rumor.
There's something we're missing, though. I wonder if the new features will work on the Nook for PC reading app? If the new features only work on the color Nook, then few who have a current Nook will buy them. And that would mean that the market for the NK editions is awfully small.