The Cat in the Hat is now available as an app for the iTouch and the iPad. I watched a first grader read it this morning on an iTouch and she liked it. As you can see on the left, there are options for reading it to yourself or having the book read to you.
There is also a hat icon that needs an Internet connection (I really need to work on the wireless hub at home.). I think that opens a world of possibilities (games, classroom activities tied to the book, etc.) that give this format a leg up on the traditional book. You can work on fluency with an e-book as well. A student can hear an adult fluently reading the book and then read the book for themselves. There is a cost factor as well. For $2.99 you get an audiobook with extra bells and whistles. That's a pretty good deal.
Betsy Bird (Fuse #8 blog) addressed the topic of children's books on iPads in her Tuesday blog entry. You should click and read. For what it's worth, here's what I think. We're going to see more and more books published electronically as well as the bound book. Interest is high from consumers for e-books and with the arrival of the iPad, iTouch, and Kindle, we have the platform to use these books. I think there are good arguments for both e-books and bound books, but I also sense we're heading to a world where a teacher hands over an iTouch or iPad and the student has a whole library at their fingertips for independent reading.