23 May 2014

Interactive Story Books by Hallmark UK - Review and Giveaway

Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while will be well aware of J's fondness of books. The child loves to read. Well, not so much read as look at the pages and jabber away endlessly. He does love a good story though, and sits uncharacteristically still when he is being read to.

                                                          Interactive Storybooks 
by Hallmark UK
Now there are your standard, run-of-the-mill printed books. And then you have your textured books, pop-up books and e-books. But how about a book that actually interacts with you as you read it? Fascinating, was the first thought that popped into my head when Hallmark UK approached me about reviewing a couple of their interactive story books.

Fantastic, was my reaction as J and I made our way through first one, and then the second of the interactive story books Hallmark UK sent us. And I think J concurs on both counts.

These interactive books really are nothing short of interesting, intriguing and innovative. They are very well made. Encased in a sturdy hardboard cover are 24 brightly coloured pages that tell a story.

And the best part is Hallmark's I Reply Technology, which brings the stories to life. When you read and respond to certain key phrases throughout the book, you get a unique response from the narrator of the book, Connor the Conductor or Fairy Grandmother, depending on which book you are reading. So in essence, it is this interaction between the reader and the narrator that carries the story along.

Microphone and Speakers for Hallmark's I Reply Technology
It took us a reading or two to get the hang of how the book responds. Actually, it was me. I was so excited, I was reading very rapidly. And then I figured out I just had to read as I normally would, clearly enunciating the key phrases so that the microphone at the head-end of the book picks them up, allowing the book to respond.

J needed a little bit of initial prompting to shout out the answers, for he too, in all the excitement, was screaming. Not necessarily the answers, just screaming like an excited 3-year old. Oh, I forget. He is a 3 year old! And he was excited to have his storybook talk to him.

There were places in the story where J had to reply to a question. At other times, he had to choose between a couple of options he was offered. The story would progress based on his response. Couple of words, small changes to the story, but enough to keep a child rivetted.

I can only imagine how thrilled J must be feeling to be part of the story, to be the decision-maker in the plot-line. I suppose that is what makes these interactive storybooks so special. They give the child the opportunity to choose, to decide, to be part of the action. The other benefits of reading to children - the development of language skills, of comprehension, of attention spans and focus, all those hold for these books as well.

J and the interactive storybooks
We have thoroughly enjoyed reading our interactive books. You could too. I have a pair of these  interactive storybooks by Hallmark UK to giveaway. Just enter via the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Wow, so excited about these, they look fantastic! Fingers crossed....

  2. I love the idea of this, but I've yet to find a book like this in which the story doesn't suffer? I also think books are a window into an exciting other world - but then i guess "going there" by being included is even more exciting!

  3. The fact that the books talk back makes them super awesome!!

  4. These look so great, I love the interactivity. I think children will love that. Fingers crossed x

  5. Lynsey Buchanan24 May 2014 at 22:52

    They are easy to use and great to entertain

  6. I think these look absolutely brilliant. I remember I book I had as a child which had my name in and that was exciting enough. Would have loved this. Not surprised he got excited!!
    (I'm over at http://familytraveltimes.blogspot.co.uk/ if you want a peek!)

  7. What a lovely idea!! Fantastic! Mine are a little old now though :(

  8. What a super idea! Anything that gets children excited about reading is a winner in my book :-)
    Love Vicky
    Around and Upside Down

  9. What an interesting idea.

  10. I love these books: so much fun (yet educational) for the little ones xx

  11. Oh wow never seen them books, love the look of them .x

  12. These look brilliant - great for encouraging young readers

  13. It makes it even more exciting for the children.

  14. These look amazing, anything to encourage the next generation to read is good in my book (pardon the pun)

  15. I've never seen these before they look really fun for kids to use! x

  16. They are a special experience for a child :)

  17. Much more fun then your standard books

  18. I find that interactive stuff really grips my younger kids attention

  19. Makes it more exciting and interesting for children

  20. Wow I love how they involve the child in the story. How much are they? its my sons 2nd birthday next month and I said I had gotten all his presents but I think my little bookworm needs these too ;)

  21. Live the look of these, something different


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