Electronic books for children can't replace traditional library books, but they can be good tools to help promote a lifelong love of reading.
What Are Electronic Books for Children?
You may remember using an audio cassette or CD to follow along with your favorite book as a child. Essentially, electronic books for children are an updated version of this concept.
Some of the reasons electronic books are popular include:
- Electronic books allow very young children to feel as though they are "reading" on their own.
- Book readers allow your child to enjoy listening to favorite stories in the car or other places where it's not practical for an adult to be reading the story.
- Electronic book readers have various sound and voice effects that make a story seem more engaging for the child.
- Some book readers also include interactive games that children can play to work on building their comprehension and vocabulary skills.
Tag Reading System from LeapFrog
LeapFrog is well known among today's parents as a maker of high quality educational toys for children. One of the newer additions to the company's product lineup is the Tag reading system. This is a battery-operated pen like device that children must move over the words in books from the Tag library in order to hear the story or play games that test their comprehension skills.
The Tag library includes many popular children's books.
- The Cat in the Hat
- Green Eggs and Ham
- The Little Engine that Could
- Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
In addition, the Tag library includes titles featuring many of your child's favorite movie and television characters.
- Scooby Doo
- Lightening McQueen
- Handy Manny
- The Little Mermaid
The current version of the Tag reading system will hold audio files for approximately 10 books. The pen attaches to your computer via an included USB cable so you can download the files from the Leapfrog Web site.
The Tag reading system is recommended for children ages 4 to 8, although the company also makes a Tag junior system that is appropriate for children ages 2 to 4.
The Story Reader by Publications International, Ltd. is another system to consider if you're interested in electronic books for children. It is undoubtedly a less sophisticated electronic book reader than the Tag reading system, but it still offers many benefits.
- No computer is required to use the Story Reader. Simply insert the correct cartridge into the Story Reader and turn the pages of the book to begin listening to the story.
- No interactive games are provided with Story Reader books, the story simply reads automatically as you turn each page. However, this does make the device easier for younger children to use.
- The Story Reader is much more affordable than the Tag reading system. The Story Reader is generally $19.99, versus $49.99 for the Tag reading system. Individual Story Reader books start at $3.99, while sets of three books start at $9.99. Books for the Tag reader are $10 to $15 each at most retail stores, although you may be able to find them on sale during the holidays.
- The Story Reader is very durable, while the Tag reading system needs to be treated much more carefully to avoid damage.
The Story Reader selection of books includes fun holiday stories, Bible stories, and stories featuring popular children's characters such as:
- Thomas and Friends
- Disney Princesses
- Winnie the Pooh
- Scooby Doo
- Mickey Mouse
The Story Reader is recommended for children ages 3 and up, although the company makes a My First Story Reader electronic book system for children ages 6 months to 3 years.