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.

sparkup magical book reader

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.

magical book reader and guide

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.

magical book reader clips onto book

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.

playing with the magical book reader

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.


  1. Gemma Chantler

    My little girls’ favourite book – “That’s not my mummy”.


    the tiger who came to tea my all time favourite.

  3. Rachel King

    Little Rabbit FooFoo – we love that story.

  4. James Eyles

    War & Peace… That should send my little one of to sleep!

  5. Michaela B

    it would have to be one of my sons Thomas books!

  6. Nancy Bradford

    Goodnight Moon. My daughter loves it.

  7. Patricia Avery

    The Big Lorry – my grandson’s favourite book 🙂

  8. Helen Garner

    Chicken Chips and Peas – my little boy’s favourite

  9. Natasha Bowler

    Room on the broom. My girls love it.

  10. Laura Corrall

    Upsy Down Town – Sue Hendra. This seems to be requested a LOT recently.

  11. Janet Bagnall

    itd have to be Guess How Much I Love You – its a favourite!

  12. My son loves anything Thomas The Tank Engine, so it would have to be Thomas The Tank Book. (:

  13. Jenny Harper

    Time for Bed Little One is our favourite at the moment.

  14. michelle bennett

    Dear zoo is my daughters favourite book 😀

  15. Sharon Wormald

    The Grinch..in time for Christmas 🙂

  16. Peppa Pig, and thomas the tank engine, ive only one of each and the girls both want them every night! sends me to sleep! and both girls know most of the words to them anyways!

  17. Stevie Fairbairn

    I’ve just seen The Night Night song on the Sparkup song. This could be very useful at bed time.

  18. Bethan Palmer

    One of my son’s Oliver Jeffers books

  19. Rosalind Blight

    Would have to be a squash and a squeeze

  20. maxine partridge

    pirates love underpants. my son loves the others in the series but weve never read this one

  21. julie munro

    the highway rat by julia donaldson is the favourite at the moment

  22. Green eggs and ham as that always gets me tongue tied!

  23. Stacy Sorrell

    It would have to be the Gruffalo, my little one’s fave at the mo xx

  24. Amy Jupp

    The Smartest Giant in Town or Monkey Puzzle…. but that’s just me! Mylah would want Gruffalo or Bear Hunt

  25. Graham Chealehay

    The Hungry Caterpillar, a favourite of my children

  26. Barbara Bunning

    Not Now Bernard – favourite in our house at the moment!

  27. Megan Adams

    I’d record ‘The Gruffalo’ – seems to be my daughter’s all time favourite!

  28. sandra rubery

    one called the skeletons from my own childhood


    ‘The Gruffalo’ my grand daughters favourite
    she even calls her Grandad ‘The Gruffalo’

  30. Kerry Manners

    Room on the broom – my daughters favourite!

  31. Philippa Turner

    The Gruffalo – I just love reading it!

  32. Lisa Everaert

    The Gruffalo – my youngest adores it.


    the dinosaur that pooped a planet 😉

  34. Barbara Handley

    Thomas the Tank Engine – Tale of the Brave.

  35. matt evans

    i’d work my way through the mr men books!

  36. vicky cockett

    brown bear brown bear what do you see?

  37. Alana Walker

    It would have to be my son’s current favourite, which is ‘Aliens Love Underpants’.xx

  38. Chris E Andrews

    What book would you record first if you won?
    The Very Hungry Caterpillar

  39. ‘Elmer The Patchwork Elephant’

    I think this is a lovely idea and so comforting for a child

  40. Lois Eaton

    Our first book would be ‘The Giant Jam Sandwich’ as this is a huge family favourite.

  41. genna st michael

    Hmmm I’d start with The Highway Rat I think as it’s our current fave!

  42. elaine dale

    not sure, maybe one of the MR Men books

  43. S Edwards

    The Gruffalo as we have heard so much about it.

  44. Niki Marie Wardle

    I would record The Tiger Who Came to Tea, it was one of my favorites growing up and my twins love it now!

  45. kim plant

    I cant say because they would pick one first I wouldn’t have a say … would make a fab xmas present x

  46. Katie Skeoch

    The Smartest Giant in Town – it’s the favourite of the moment!

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