Representing the state of the art in multimedia applications and their promise for enhancing early literacy development, this volume broadens the field of reading research by looking beyond print-only experiences to young readers' encounters with multimedia stories on Internet and DVD. Multimedia storybooks include, in addition to static pictures and written text, features such as oral text, animations, sounds, zooms, and scaffolds designed to help convey meaning. These features are changing how young children read text, and also provide technology-based scaffolds for helping struggling readers."Multimedia and Literacy Development" reports experimental research and practices with multimedia stories indicating that new dimensions of media contribute to young children's ability to understand stories and to read texts independently. This is the first synthesis of evidence-based research in this field. Four key themes are highlighted: Understanding the multimedia environment for learning; Designing multimedia applications for learning; New approaches to storybook reading; and, Multimedia applications in classroom instruction. Written in jargon-free language for an international audience of students in university courses on literacy and information technology, researchers, policymakers, program developers, and media specialists, this volume is essential reading for all professionals interested in early literacy and early interventions.