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==Getting the Book==
We were lucky enough to be given a Leappad console along with lots of books and the cartridges to match for our daughter who is 5 although she was 4 when she started playing with them.
The Leappad console is a system created by Leapfrog which I have always found to be a brilliant make and always very educational and this one is no different.
You can still buy the consoles although only second hand now as Leapfrog brought out a more up to date version of the console, you can buy the books for the system on Ebay and Amazon although some are still pretty expensive like this one which is £23 on Amazon.
==The Front Cover==
The front cover of all the leappad books follow the same general layout, the cover is made of thick paper or thin card and has a glossy finish to it making it really robust and difficult to tear which is great. On the left hand a plastic bound wire spiral holds side the book together and it is really strong and doesn't bend or compress easily which is good as Sophie knows how to handle books with her being 5 but her younger sister is only 2 and still a little bit heavy handed.
On the cover you have a red strip to the left hand side which has the Leapfrog logo on it and that this booked is aimed at children up to 5 years old. The book is supposed to be for pre reading children and it teach,
As you can see this book is a pretty basic beginners book. The picture on the front of the book shows Snow White, Cinderella and Ariel, my daughter doesn't actually like the Disney films so wasn't very familiar with the characters.
To use the book you have to open the Leappad console which is done very simply by pushing in a button on the upper piece and then the console opens up like a book. You place the book you are going to play with inside the console and the spiral fits nicely into a gap in the console. You have to place the cartridge which matches the book into the console which is really easy as it can only fit in there one way and then press the on off button to start your play. The console is easy to work on my daughter is able to work the console and set up a new book on her own.
Inside the front cover you have got a little menu which tells you how to use the book and what each of the little symbols will do.
Green go circle to activate the page
Red stop octagon to stop what you are doing
Circular Snow White button so you can talk to the princess
A red crown symbol to play a game
A purple oval with repeat in it so you can repeat the question
2 triangle buttons with plus and minus in them to control the volume.
When you go to each page you have to press the Go button with the pen off the console to activate the page this way the console knows which page your child is playing on. There is a little speech bubble near to the words for the story on each page and you can press on it with the pen for the system to read the whole story or you can put the pen on one word at a time and the system will read out the story. When Sophie first started using this system she would let the system read to her but now she likes to try and read the words herself and then see if she was correct by pointing the pen to the word.
The story follows Snow White who is cleaning the cottage when Happy the dwarf comes in and tells her there is a Deer hurt, Snow White and the dwarves help the Deer who has got a thorn stuck in his foot and this makes the Deer happy before they all go home.
The second story is about Cinderella who wants to go to the ball but her dress isn't good enough so her little mice friends help her by making her a lovely dress. Cinderella's step sisters ruin her dress and then her Fairy Godmother comes and saves the day so that she can go to the ball. Cinderella goes to the ball and the story ends with her dancing around the palace with the prince.
The last story in the book is about Ariel whose older sisters were getting ready to go to a concert, Ariel ad her fish Flounder go off on an adventure and find some treasure. My daughter finds it very funny that the picture shows that Ariel thinks a fork is treasure and the first time she listened to it she said "well we have lots of treasure" A shark chase Ariel and Flounder into a cave where they hear music and remember the concert is on so they swim to it just in time to see the show.
The stories in the book are very simple and Sophie now gets pretty bored of them but of course as she is now 5 she is at the top end of the age range the book is meant to be for. I think the stories being short is a really good thing as it helps to introduce young children to the stories without them getting bored too easily I know Emily who is 2 will only sit for a few minutes before you would think she had ants in her pants.
The pages have lots of pictures on them that your child can point to and the console will tell them what the picture is and the word for the name of the object is also written below the picture an games are worked around this like can you find the Deer. When your child finds the correct item the system congratulates them. The games in this book are really simple just finding things and a couple of simple questions to test your childs memory skills which isn't any good with younger children like Emily as she can barely speak yet nevermind remember stories but she is starting to use the system to point out things and listen to stories.
This book is probably Sophie's least favourite simply because the games are too easy for her and the stories are too short to grab her attention but then the book is really only just for her age. I think the system and the books are great and they really promote learning without your child realising they are learning new things.
All the pages are really brightly coloured and the you have little animals sounds which play in the background which is nice. The console and the books are really durable and none of them have been damaged by my children so far. This book only gets a 4 star rating as it is sophie's opinion that matters more than mine and although the age of the book is up to 5 she is only 5 and it is too boring for her now so I would actually say the range of the book should probably be only up to 4 as she is an average reader so it isn't as if she is advanced for her age.
Disney Princess Stories is part of LeapFrog's range of interactive books. designed to be used with their LeapPad Learning System. The pack contains a spiral-bound book and a cartridge. Simply slot both the book and the cartridge into the appropriate areas on the LeapPad and you're ready to start.
This particular title is recommended for children at the LeapStart pre-reading stage of the LeapPad library, which is children up to five years old.
Little girls will love to join the tales, and get swept away by the magic of the Disney Princesses.