First of all, what is considered to be a children’s book? A children’s book usually consists of pages of colorful illustrations with text. The text will often follow the contour of the illustration and may even overlap the illustration on occasion. Because of this relationship of the text to the illustrations, a children’s book is not a good candidate for a normal ePub eBook. This is because in an ePub, the text flows and changes position as the reader changes the font or font size. This means that the text can’t follow the contours of an illustration and can’t overlap any artwork.
What an author wants with a children’s book is something that will look a lot like the printed version of their book. This can be done by creating a “Fixed Layout.” With this type of ePub, the designer has complete control over the positioning of both the illustrations and the text. Not only that, but with a “Fixed Layout” the text remains live and can be selected, searched and even enlarged and still remain sharp and readable. And you can have two page spreads when viewing on an iPad in the landscape mode.
Now that’s the rub concerning “Fixed layout” ePubs. They currently are designed to work on Apple IOS devices. They can be tweaked, however, to work on other devices but that means creating an entirely separate file. “Fixed Layout” ePubs are also more difficult to create since it involves creating a file for each individual page. On a regular ePub, I need concern myself with creating a file for each chapter.
There are some other advantages to “Fixed Layout” ePubs. They can be set to have background audio play when a book is being read or you can even create the book so that text can be read aloud when selected.
One has to remember that an eBook edition of a children’s book won’t always look like the printed edition. A eBook is a totally different edition, requires its own specialized and professional layout & design, and also requires its own edition-specific ISBN.