Digital Book Award

These criteria draw on the theoretical and empirical work by Kucirkova, Littleton and Cremin, 2016 (Knowledge Transfer Partnership between BookTrust and the Open University), adopted and refined in conversation with UK primary school teachers and literacy specialists.  For examples of literacy apps and information about children’s digital books corresponding to these and other criteria, check the Literacy Apps guide from the National Literacy Trust and information on the UKLA Special Interest Group for children’s digital books and literacy apps.

UKLA Digital Book Award Criteria ©2017. UKLA

Your Details



App Rating

1. Lots of fun (Affective engagement)

This indicator relates to feelings and the app is fun and makes children feel included and empowered, through the response of the screen, e.g. touches/tapping/swiping etc.


This indicator relates to feelings and behavioural engagement, it is about how the child feels when using a digital book

Minumum score (1):

The digital book is unlikely to interest the child to engage with it.

It is likely that with the digital book, the child will not ‘wonder and ponder’, or ‘look and feel’ over the digital book.

Maximum score (5):

The digital book is highly likely to absorb the child and immerse her/him in the e-reading, clearly taking delight in interacting with the resource.

It is highly likely that with the digital book, the child will take delight in the reading experience.

2. Play together (Shared engagement)

This indicator relates to collaboration and the app allows the child to play with others either in person or virtually.


This indicator relates to collaboration and a feeling of shared experience during the reading experience

Minimum score (1):

The digital book is designed for predominantly individual engagement; there are no possibilities for sharing the book with others immediately present.

There are no possibilities for sharing perspectives and experiences with the digital book, there are no multimedia features that present additional information which can be shared and modified.

The digital book fosters predominantly a passive relationship between the reader and the content.



Maximum score (5):

The contents and reading experience can be shared easily with others who are present physically as well as remotely.

Children can build and develop ideas together using the digital book, e.g. finishing a chapter of a digital book and share this with someone across the network.

The book contains several cues and challenges which would be beneficial to solve through collaboration.

3. Play by yourself (Interactive engagement)

The app has goals, rules and gives clear feedback or encouragement when the child engages with it.


These goals and rules can be adjusted to suit the child.

Minimum score (1):

The digital book can be read in a chronological order only.

There is no embedded support concerning how to achieve various reading goals.

There are many distractions outside the main storyline.



Maximum score (5):

There are various interactive ways in which readers can enter and leave the digital book, e.g. children can dip into a particular page or skip to the end.

There is constructive and personalised feedback for various aspects of the reading experience.

All interactivity features have a clear connection to the main narrative.

4. Loads to do (Sustained engagement)

The app gives children different activities, characters and stories to be involved with


This indicator relates, in this case, to real-time presence during the reading experience, concentrated attention and focus on the reading resource

Minimum score (1):

There is no inbuilt possibility to capture and save reading/engagement progress.

There is no possibility for the child to adopt/play roles and vicariously live through experiences of the story characters.

There are no embedded features for offering feedback to the reader.



Maximum score (5):

The digital book saves reading progress and can be revisited later, eg digital bookmarks, indexes for easy reference, highlighter features.

The digital book offers authentic and meaningful possibilities to think about alternative points of view and consider multiple perspectives.

The digital book contains effective and thoughtful surveys, possibilities to send emails to the app developers/ digital book authors/ or forums to engage with other readers.

5. Innovate (Creative engagement)

The app lets children use their imagination, make new stories or change what is happening.


This indicator relates to an immersive experience which encourages children to entertain ‘what if’ scenarios and possibilities

Minimum score (1):

There is no possibility for encouraging the child to pose questions and generate ideas; no possibility to experiment with the content.



Maximum score:

The digital book encourages children to envision story alternatives which can be embedded in the book in different modes (sounds, pictures, written text).

6. Make it your own (Personalised engagement)

The app can be changed to relate to the child i.e. adding voices, pictures or by creating their own characters.


This indicator relates to relates to experiences individualised for each child, personally meaningful for him/her

Minimum score (1):

There is no possibility of adjusting the digital book’s display of content.

Customisation features are template-based only.

There are no possibilities to pace the reading engagement according to the reader’s competencies.



Maximum score (5):

There are many possibilities to customise the appearance of text (font size, style), reading speed of audio-recorded narratives, define new favourite menu, create new keyboard shortcuts.

There are various, diverse ways for children to personalise the book content, e.g. children can insert their own pictures, sounds and written texts.

In addition to self-paced reading scaffolds (eg readers can read/listen to sentences in a word-by-word or phrase-by-phrase fashion by pressing a button), readers can also add their own notes and digitally capture their reading progress.

Note: If you are not part of the Judging Teachers' Network, please do not submit this form. If you are interested in becoming a judge for this Award please email Natalia Kucirkova at [email protected] UKLA Digital Book Award Judging Teachers: you will receive a confirmation email after submitting this form and your scores will be taken into account.