As you may have already gathered the monkeys love books, big monkey more so now he is reading well. We also have Grandparents and other family members whom we don't see very often, so this SparkUp Reader seemed the ideal gadget to review.
The SparkUp Reader is a magical book reader that uses camera sensing technology to record and read aloud any picture book anywhere, thus making it ideal for Grandparents to use to record their own voice whilst reading their grandchild's favourite book for example, meaning those not seen often are not forgotten and are still 'close' by. It stores up to fifty books, you can download pre-recorded books if you wish and record any book in your own words. It works with any picture books already owned too.
Inside the box comes the reader, complete with 3 AA batteries. A USB cable, user guide and a pre-recorded 'My Magical Book Reader' demo book. There is a 'How does it work' section on the side of the box and the user manual has all the info you need to get started.
On using the SparkUp reader it guides you through which buttons are for what and how to use the record and playback functions. The reader is made form sturdy plastic with a clip attached that you slide onto the back page of the book you wish to use.
Both monkeys were keen to see and hear how it worked and big monkey was most impressed with it's ability to record my voice and recognise the words from the book we used. I tested the reader with the demo book first, then we used the Dinosaur Roar! book we were sent with this kit. I attached the reader, set it to record and read through the book from start to finish. Afterwards I pressed play on the reader and listened to my own voice!
You have to use the SparkUp reader in a quiet place (not the easiest task in this household). Any background noise will be picked up on the recording. Each page has to be recorded individually. You can make a dedication which I think is a fab idea, especially if like I said earlier loved ones not seen often use it. Just remember to use the USB cable to transfer any saved recordings to your computer.
I especially love that it encourages independent reading and a strong connection between those recorded on it and the child. It takes a bit of getting used to...remembering to record each page individually but overall I think this is a fab gadget and ingenious too! An innovative bit of kit that aids reading and listening for all budding book readers. I thoroughly recommend it. Big monkey was most impressed too.