Anything that promotes and encourages reading for kids is a good thing in my book (excuse the pun). In this digital age of e-books, e-readers, animated storybooks and swipes instead of page turns, sometimes it’s nice for a child to sit down with a good ‘ol fashioned paper book. There certainly are a lot of great electronic reading devices on the market, but one I recently came across gives children and parents a unique way to read traditional books together, even when mommy or daddy is away.
The Franklin AnyBook Reader is a clever electronic device that lets you record your voice on any page of any book. The reader comes with a big pack of stickers that you affix to each page of the book you want to narrate. You tap on the sticker, record your voice reading the page and then when your child runs the reader over the sticker, your voice magically appears.
The unit is easy to use, but the controls take some getting used to at first. There are only three buttons on the reader, but it would have been nice if Franklin had included a dedicated “record” button, rather than having to hold the “volume up” button and wait for a succession of beeps to enable the recording function.
In any regard, the concept is fantastic and what I really like about it is that the reader is all you need. It works with any existing book in your library and you’re not relegated to buying only Franklin-branded books and accessories.
This is a great electronic gadget to have for kids with parents who frequently travel, grandparents or family members who live far away, or for parents who just need a bedtime story-reading break every now and again.
AnyBook Reader comes in two models that differ by memory size: Model DRP-3000 allows you to record up to 15 hours of your voice and retails for $39.99 and Model DRP-4000 allows you up to 60 hours of content and retails for $59.99. Extra sticker packs can also be purchased separately.
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