innovativeKids Goes Toe to Toe with Toys

June 2005
by Jenny McCune

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Michael Levins, CEO of innovativeKids, sees the biggest challenge facing the book publishing industry as the decline in reading. “We have to find a way to revive an interest in reading,” he says, voicing a widespread worry. Then Levins goes on to talk about context: “Children today are awash in options for filling their time, and in many cases children are voting for activities other than reading,” which is why his company publishes “books that go toe to toe with other established alternatives such as toys, Internet, and electronic games. Our books can almost be classified as toys that read like books or books that play like toys, all while the kids are learning something.”

One example is the Now I’m Reading series, whose titles feature “cool packaging” that pleases children’s book buyers like Brian Monahan of Barnes & Noble and B. Dalton in New York City. Now I’m Reading books come in a case “about the size of a CD jewel case, only thicker and with a magnetic flap that opens up to 10 little books, each in its own vinyl sleeve,” Levins says. “Kids can easily peruse and see each book, unlike a competing product that’s in a box where you can’t see anything.” The series also includes four-color drawings designed to entice children to read, which compare favorably, Levins reports, with the black-and-white stick figures used in a competing series. Now I’m ReadingIBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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