Apple's latest version of its iBooks app, which allows e-books to have a pictorial layout similar to printed books and supports full page illustrations, has been hailed by one publisher as being "the beginning of a phenomenally exciting phase in picture book publishing".
The new version of the online store means all publishers signed up to Apple's terms on the iBookstore, including HarperCollins, Hachette, Penguin, Pan Macmillan, Canongate and Simon & Schuster, will be able to release fully illustrated e-books.
HarperCollins Children's Books has released Oliver Jeffers' The Incredible Book Eating Boy; Emma Chichester Clark's Alice in Wonderland; Rob Scotton's Splat the Cat and Russell the Sheep; as well as Marley Goes to School by John Grogan and Not a Box by Antoinette Portis. The other titles it has released are two more in the Marley series by John Grogan, and four further titles by Scotton. All are priced £4.49.
Publishing director, picture books and colour list, Helen Mackenzie Smith, said: "Following our success with our picture book apps we are absolutely thrilled to be launching our picture e-book list with this wonderful selection of titles.
"These e-books stay faithful to the reading experience of the physical books we know and love, whilst showcasing the exquisite illustrations in a way unique to new reading devices. These editions signal the beginning of a phenomenally exciting phase in picture book publishing".
Pan Macmillan has also just added four colour illustrated books to the store, The Wanted: Our Story, Our Way; The Shark in the Dark by Peter Bently, illustrated by Ben Cort; Animal Pants by Brian Moses, illustrated by Anja Boretski; and Sparkle Street: Bubble Trouble by Vivian French, illustrated by Joanna Partis. All the titles are priced £3.99.
Pan Macmillan digital director Sara Lloyd said: "We are delighted with this first step towards expanding our e-book programme to cover our colour integrated books."
AA Publishing today released its first illustrated books on the iBookstore, Landscape Photographer of the Year 4 and British Wildlife Photography Awards 2010. Manager of AA Publishing David Watchus said: "These stunning photographic books seemed a natural choice for launching into the digital book arena. This format allows for a more graphical, artistic presentation of a digital book, which is ideal for our photographic books". Both books are priced £9.99.
Penguin has also released three titles from Ladybird's First Favourite Fairytales: Little Red Riding Hood, The Billy Goats Gruff and The Three Little Pigs, priced £2.99 each.
Simon & Schuster has also released picture books Olivia, Olivia Forms a Band, Olivia and the Missing Toy, Olivia and the Circus, Olivia Goes to Venice and Olivia Helps with Christmas, all priced £4.99, except Olivia Goes to Venice which is priced £8.49. Managing director Ian Chapman said: "They are up there and they are looking fantastic".