As you know, our Hudson Valley Parent office gets lots of products to review, talk about and giveaway.  I’ve had this product on my desk for awhile, and because it has to do with reading, and encouraging connections between the generations, I wanted to try it out. 

The “Read me a book! Anybook!” product by Franklin Discover caught my eye because it allows a relative, or the child him or herself, to easily record their voice as they go from page to page.  Having lost my mom recently — a great lady who was also a Grandmother and Greatgrandmother — it would’ve been wonderful to have her voice in a recording for her grandkiddies and great-grandkiddies. 

The package, which retails for about $19.99, includes a recordable device resembling a large pen, or microphone.  Through easy to follow instructions, any age can get their voice on the recorder.  By holding the pen onto a special sticker (supplied), and holding the correct buttons, the reader’s voice is captured, and can then replayed by the child when they place the pen onto the sticker.  The playback quality is not bad considering the relatively inexpensive price.  It runs on two AAA batteries (not included), and can hold up to 60 hours of recordings.  These recordings can also be deleted if you want to add new books as your child’s reading level grows.  Some stickers come pre-recorded with fun sound effects like choo-choo train and airplane sounds that add to the fun.  I’m sure that a young one would get such a sense of success by manipulating the pen and hearing Grandpa’s voice.  It works motor skills as well. 

I wanted to give mention to the book I practiced on.  It’s new, called, The Flyaway Blanket, by Allan Peterkin.  What I liked about the book was its Note to Parents in the back which explained a little bit about the thought behind the story.  “At its heart, The Flyaway Blanket is a simple story about the strength of the bonds between parents and their children.”  The author is a Toronto-based physician and writer, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine, and Head of the Health, Arts, and Humanities at the University of Toronto.  When Peterkin writes, “Transitional objects [the blanket] symbolize a parent’s love and become a familiar presence that allows children to soothe themselves in new situations or when they feel alone or insecure,” it takes on a whole new meaning.  The book is a sweet story about a cherished blanket that flies off a clothesline and makes its way on the wind past farm animals, and country scenes.  How does it end?  Will the blanket and the child be reunited?  (I’m sure they do..but I don’t want to be a spoiler.)

The Flyaway Blanket, Magination Press, $14.95 hardcover/$9.95 softcover. 

Be the first to write MJ with the words…”I read the review” and you will be able to get the Read Me a Book Pen WITH the book I practiced on.  (Pen has been used only once..and yes, you can keep the batteries.)