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Family Story Play is an interactive book-reading system designed for two-to-four-year-olds that couples videoconferencing with paper books and interactive content to support grandparents reading together with their grandchildren over the Internet. The Story Play system is designed to improve the amount and quality of interaction between children and distant grandparents by shifting interactions from conversation to shared activities. Ethnographic methods provide a rich understanding of current family practices. Findings from this research help the authors articulate the design rationale behind Story Play and express opportunities in a broader design space for family communication.