I’ve always tried to instill a love of books in N and it seems to be working so far. He’ll choose books to look at on his own, insists on certain books at bedtime, and loves it when he finds a new book that he likes. He’s only just started thinking about liking letters (mostly recognising those in his name), so I’m hoping over the next year before starting school, he’ll start being more interested in what the words actually say.
So I was interested to see what the Sparkup Magical Book Reader was when offered it for a review, to see how it might help. Usually I’m a book person through and through, although I do have a Kindle myself, but I’m the only person who reads to N at home, so it’d be nice for him to have someone or something to read him stories if I’m out at bedtime.
It’s a really simple idea. The book reader records any book (they recommend picture books) that you’re reading, saves it, and then it will read the book back to the child by recognising the page from the camera.
When the Magical Book Reader arrived I was surprised at how small it was. Very neat and portable, handy if you’re going out and about or on holiday and have several children asking for different stories at the same time.
Using the book reader is pretty easy. It comes with the 3 AA batteries already included, so you can take it out of the box and start using it straight away. There’s a prerecorded book which explains what the book reader does – in very American spelling, ideally I’d want it with English spelling – the recording is a British accent not American though.
Recording is as simple as slotting the book into the holder, pressing the central button and then following the instructions. On the first recording effort, I had some problems – it tells you to press the record button and wait for the tone before speaking, but I couldn’t get a tone. It was easily solved by closing it up and starting again. The playback is a little echo-y although that might be because I recorded in our kitchen, rather than a curtained and carpeted area.
What I like is that if you go wrong, you can just re-record the page and it’ll override the previous wrong recording.
It holds around 50 recorded story books, or 250 minutes of audio, and you can download or upload your recordings to your computer. There are also prerecorded stories to download from the Sparkup website.
It’s aimed at 3 years plus, and I can see how useful this could be at helping readers who are just starting out on their reading journey. I’m not sure how much N likes it. He’d rather have me reading the story as he likes to stop and ask questions, and I want reading to be an interactive experience. With the book reader, the tendency is just to listen to it in one go so I’d want it to be an additional option for reading books rather than replacing usual bedtime stories.
You can see how we got on in the video below (I deleted N’s running in and chatting over my video, so it’s just me this time!).
If you’d like to get your hands on a Sparkup Magical Book Reader, worth £29.99, you can enter my giveaway to win one. Just answer the question in the comments, and enter via the rafflecopter widget. There are additional entry options if you want to increase your chance of winning.
Terms & conditions
1. UK entry only, over 18s
2. Giveaway closes 11.59pm 13th November 2014
3. Entries will be validated according to the rules of entry
4. The prize is one Sparkup Magical book reader
5. Winner will be randomly chosen, and will be shown on this post, with further notifications shared on social media.
6. Winner will be notified via email, and will need to respond with their postal address within 3 weeks otherwise a further winner will be drawn.
7. The winners details will be sent to the promoter/distributer of the prize, which will be sent out within a month.
8. This giveaway may be featured on Loquax, PrizeFinder and SuperLucky amongst others
Disclosure: I received a Sparkup Magical book reader for review purposes. All opinions and words are my own.