My First Story Reader is a clamshell-shaped unit that measures roughly 9 by 9 inches. When opened, the plastic unit has an indentation in which to securely place plastic-covered cardboard books. The unit, which sells for $19.99, comes with three interchangeable Baby Einstein books: "Discover Colors," "Discover Music" and "Discover the Sky."
When a parent places a book inside the reader, it automatically reads aloud any pages that are open. The three Baby Einstein books, in rhyme, are accompanied by classical music and end with a sing-along song. Kids can add their own sound effects by pushing on one of three large geometrically-shaped, colored buttons located beneath the book.
My First Story Reader also offers a second mode of play. By pushing down on a toggle switch located on the right-hand side of the unit, My First Story Reader will ask children questions about things on the opened pages of the book. Children respond by hitting the requested button. If kids don't know their colors and shapes yet, the unit adjusts to ask open-ended questions for which any button is correct or causes the correct button to blink.
My First Story Reader can help first-time parents learn how to read to their children. It also allows older siblings to help to entertain and interact with their younger brothers and sisters.
My First Story Reader is a less expensive alternative to Fisher Price's PowerTouch Baby or Leapfrog's LittleTouch LeapPad, two interactive reading systems that respond to touches on the page. Since babies and toddlers constantly touch objects on the page, some families have disliked the vocal repetition that these touch-sensitive systems produce. With My First Story Reader, toddlers can touch the pages as much as they want, and the interactivity only occurs when they hit the three big buttons located below the book.
My First Story Reader is an excellent addition to any toddler's reading library.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.