Sesame Street Digital Books Brought to You By the Letter Y

As in, why'd you wait so long, Elmo? And hey, Cookie Monster, why is this a subscription model? Oh, and Count, why are you only releasing 100 out of the 5,000 books in your catalog?

Sesame Workshop, the drab corporate body behind the warm, suneshiney smile that is Sesame Street, has always been a little late to the digital party. This time they're nipping at the heels of Disney, which opened up its own Digital Books site in September. Well, better late than never.

Sesame Street books available digitally? Terrific. What's not so hot is how they're handling it, along with their publishing partner Impelsys. They'll start tomorrow by offering five free e-books at sesamestreet.org/ebooks, but those titles can only be read on your monitor, not downloaded. They'll introduce more titles sometime next spring, but will still leave about 98% of their back catalog to be rolled out at an indeterminate pace for an indeterminate subscription price (Disney charges around $80 a year). So let's see: a long wait for a few books that I can't download? Might have to pass on this one.

That's not even to mention the biggest inherent problem, which is that most e-readers currently available on the market aren't built for kids, and can't handle color. At least not yet they can't. And until they can, e-books for toddlers make about as much sense as Snuffleuphagus's taxonomy report. [Impelsys via WSJ]