This article describes the conceptualisation and development of a pedagogical framework to support the design of e-books for children to enhance literacy development. It emerged from research undertaken within the Q-Tales international consortium project of the EU's Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation, where the aim was to facilitate key stakeholders to collaborate and participate in the online production and publication of high-quality, educational e-books for children. The pedagogical framework described here sought to answer the question What concepts and principles undergird the effective design of pedagogically impactful e-books for children? It is grounded by the theoretical underpinnings of socio-constructivism, constructionism and skill theory, and how they relate to children's literacy development. A framework describing different narrative forms and component features, key pedagogical activities appropriate for different stages of reading development and design recommendations regarding the integration of multimedia into e-books are also central to the pedagogical framework. As well as informing the design of the Q-Tales infrastructure for children's e-book design and publication, we hope the guidelines and pedagogical activities enumerated here will be widely useful for those designing and developing digital, interactive narratives, particularly e-books to enhance children's emerging literacy.