In an ideal world, we would read to our children every single day. But that doesn’t always happen. Time and distance can sometimes make it difficult to fulfil particular bedtime story requests – “I want that story, read by Grandma,” (Note that Grandma lives interstate and you’ve read the story a million times already and could recite it in your sleep).
This is where the AnyBook Reader fits in. The AnyBook is an interactive handheld reading device that records your child’s favourite books. It uses your own voice (or grandparents, friends, siblings and so forth) so they can hear you read to them anytime or anywhere, even when you are not there.
The technology behind the AnyBook is pretty nifty (see it in action in the video clip below). The pen-shaped device allows you to read and record each page using a special sticker. Your child then touches the sticker with the AnyBook device to hear you read the story. You can add sound effects, re-record and store up to fifteen hours of reading – that’s a lot of books!
What I really like about this gadget is that it gives you the ability to tailor your child’s stories. For example, I have read the classic Guess How Much I Love You countless times. I always read it the same way and that’s not exactly what’s written on the page. My ‘additions’ to that book make it virtually impossible for anyone else to read it to my kids because, according to them, no one else “…reads it right.”
Similarly, there are occasional language differences between Australian, British and US picture books – words like ‘lorry’, ‘pavement’ and ‘trash’ are easily adapted to suit common Australian usage.
AnyBook Reader is suitable for ages three and over. It’s priced at $69.95 (also available is the AnyBook Plus which records up to sixty hours and is $99.95) and is available online and at Dick Smith Electronics, as well as selected book, gift and stationery stores.