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Yeye Reviews: Anybook Reader

November 30, 2010

Reading has always been my favorite pastime. Though recent technological advancements threaten the popularity of the paper book, the AnyBook Reader by Franklin Electronic Publishers is a great way to encourage a love of reading and books in children, especially if you’re on-the-go or separated from each other. With my 6 year old niece (AD) over 600 miles away, I’d been trying to figure out how to consistently impact her literacy development and love of reading. I tested it out by recording one of my favorite childhood stories, Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe.

With the AnyBook Reader, AD can hear my animated reading voice complete with distinct characters whenever she has time.

The AnyBook Reader runs on 2 AAA batteries and comes with a generous pack of stickers that basically signal the Reader to playback sounds. There are pre-programmed stickers (that cannot be changed) for sounds like thunder, barking dogs, mooing cows, and laughing babies. Then, there are two other types of programmable stickers awaiting your creative flair. I used the plain white ones for the overall story reading, with one sticker for each page. I’m an enthusiastic…and perfectionist kind of reader, so when I felt like I couldn’t make it through an entire page before needing a splash of water, I used more than one sticker per page.

To record, you simply put the Reader in recording mode, tap the sticker you want to program with it, hold the appropriate button while speaking (or in my case, performing), release it when done.

Whenever the Reader touches the sticker, the programmed recording will play.

The last type of programmable stickers are feature cartoonish people faces. I look forward to seeing these sheets represent a variety of complexions; I could see myself using them to ask comprehension questions or offer supplementary information or sounds to complement places in a story.

This is one of the few reading tools that could actually enhance your relationship with your little one while promoting good reading.

Needless to say, I think the AnyBook Reader is fantastic and totally worth the effort. It allows your young reader to experience stories with a familiar voice and interact with physical books, while still incorporating tech savviness. I can’t wait to include it in my niece’s Kwanzaa zawadi (gift) package this year!

Note: I received no compensation for this post other than the AnyBook Reader to review. I love this blog and conversing with you too much to recommend something I didn’t actually believe in.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2010 9:05 pm

    Wow, thanks for sharing. I’d never heard of this. The kid’s grandparents got one of those recordable books from Hallmark for them, and Caleb has a Leapfrog thingy. This one seems cool though because you can pick whatever book you want–nice.

  2. December 1, 2010 1:21 am

    My niece had one of the LeapFrog things, too, but, they couldn’t keep up with purchasing the books that would work with it. I like this one because you can adapt it to any book, so you’re not committed to only using the books the company endorses. I also like that she’ll get to hear a familiar voice when she uses it. And, it’s not too expensive, like $59 or so.

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