Pick a Story: A Dinosaur Unicorn Robot Adventure by Sarah Coyle and Adam Walker-Parker

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Gwen was very excited about having a fancy-dress birthday party, the decorations are up and the food set out. But suddenly the birthday cake that Dad has made disappears! Who has taken it?

Well, that depends on what the reader decides because depending on whether they choose the unicorn, robot or dinosaur they are taken on a different adventure, each time being able to choose the next chapter in their story.

While choose-your-own adventures have been in novel format for years and been immensely popular because of all the possibilities they open up, a picture book format is unusual. Young readers will love the interactivity that takes them beyond the more familiar lift-the-flap and gives them the power to decide the direction of the story. And when one is told, they can return to the beginning and start another. The power of choice.

There are three in this series now - a  pirate/alien/jungle/adventure already available and a dragon/mermaid/superhero adventure to be released in time for Christmas - so all those characters that young readers love are covered and they can follow all sorts of paths and trails through the stories. Putting the reader in the writer's seat is empowering and they might even be able to suggest a new combination or adventure, teaching them that they can not only be readers but writers too. Sarah Coyle talks about her interactive Pick A Story picture books here.

Barbara Braxton