Hallmark is making story time all the more magical with a new range of new and exclusive Story Buddies. Using exciting, innovative playback technology, each soft, cuddly Story Buddy interacts when the story is being read, with trigger passages prompting the toy to speak and join in. A new response is revealed with each new page bringing the character and the story to life. Reading becomes a more engaging and entertaining pastime, which is perfect for children who are not as keen on sitting still for a story.
We were sent Cooper to try, a gorgeous soft and cuddly teddy bear who comes with his own story book "Big Bear Hugs".
Pressing a button on his ear activates Cooper and he is then ready to listen to the story. Certain sentences, coloured in red in the text, trigger Cooper to respond. He has a lot of different phrases that he says, keeping the experience fresh and exciting. I am such a soft touch...I've spent far too long saying "I love you, Cooper!" so he will reply "I love you too!" It is very cute!!
Cooper is joined by Watson the Inquisitive Raccoon and Jingle the Husky (a limited edition for Christmas) who both have their own story books. More Story Buddies are due to join the crew in the New Year.
At just £19.99 a Story Buddy would make an excellent Christmas gift for a young child. Pre-readers will enjoy listening to the story and will delight in their Story Buddy's responses. Children who can read independently will love to trigger the phrases themselves by speaking the words aloud.
Hallmark have developed a free down;loadable app suitable for iPhones and iPads to accompany the range which includes a short animated story, as well as puzzles and games.
You can buy Story Buddies from Hallmark.co.uk for £19.99 which includes the toy and a book. Batteries are included (big thumbs up!!) Additional books cost £5.99.
By combining a traditional and important pastime such as reading, with the latest technology, Hallmark have come up with a new and exciting story time experience that the whole family will enjoy!
Also available are recordable story books where you can read aloud each page of one of seven beautifully hand illustrated books and record your voice. As the book is read by the child they will hear your voice reading the story to them. You never have to miss a bed time story again. Perfect for Grandparents or distant relatives to buy for loved ones, they cost just £14.99 from hallmark.co.uk. I think this is a lovely idea for those who can't be there all the time to share a story with a child.