HarperCollins Children’s Books is teaming with both the Apple iBookstore and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Bookstore to launch digital editions of its popular I Can Read early reader series. Harper will set up I Can Read digital boutiques at each online store, launching with 80 titles with plans for more to come.

The I Can Read e-book editions will feature sound-effects and audio read-along functionality synched to each word on the page. The books are designed to transition early readers from assisted reading to reading on their own. The titles are priced at $4.99 and to promote the launch HC is giving away Dixie for free. I Can Read now has a Facebook page where parents can comment and offer their own early-reader tips and exchange information on reading.

Originally launched in 1957, HarperCollins’ I Can Read series has sold more than 140 million copies. The series features more than 400 titles by such authors as Stan, Jan, and Mike Berenstain, Arnold Lobel, Rob Scotton, Jane O’Connor, and Robin Preiss Glasser.

Susan Katz, president and publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books, said, “I Can Read is perfectly suited for the e-book format and now families can have access to this valuable and essential early reading tool at home and on the go.”