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* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Introduction ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
My youngest was 2 on 14th November, so got the leapfrog tag junior and a bundle of books and flash cards for his birthday. He has delayed speech and is a little slow in other areas along side the speech so my fiancé and I made the decision to put him into nursery for a few hours a day to help encourage him along. His other love is books, so while searching for birthday presents for him I decided I wanted something educational and preferably to do with books because phases come and go but he adores books, while searching on the Early Learning website I spotted this book, thinking it was a normal book at first I continued to read and thought it would be more than suitable for Oscar.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Cost And Availability ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
The book normally retails at around £9.99 at most places, such as Argos, Tesco, Toys R Us, Boots, pretty much any toy shop but Amazon often drop the price by 1/3 so I got it for £6.66. The book comes packaged in a small bit of cardboard so its very easy to get into. (The tag junior needs to be purchased separately, normally retailing around £25, but does sometimes drop to half price in argos, amazon and ELC).
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ The Book ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
It is just under 7x5 inches and is board book style with a laminated feel so is like the baby books, 6 pages full of detail (12 sides)
You will require internet connection for this book to work, as you have to download the software onto the tag junior for each book. The books work by placing the tag junior onto different pictures inside the book where the tag junior will ask you questions about the book. I was worried it would be like the biff and chip books with single words meaning he would grow out of it before age 4 but it has full sentences. The tag junior book is from 2-4years.
This book isnt a story, it begins explaining that mcqueen and mater travelled around the world, then each place explains where they go (i.e page 1 is a picture of mcqueen and mater in the city, with the word 'city'). The pictures include mcqueen, mater and francesso. It clearly states 'tag junior' in the top right hand corner so you can be sure to buy the correct books to work with the tag junior. The front is red and blue with mcqueen and mater in the city. The book is based on places (city, mountain etc) and how to get to places (train, boat, etc)
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Using the book ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Pressing the tag junior on the front of the book to hear a tune, also on various building's to hear oriental music. Other than activities and facts you can also hear the characters talking to you. On the 1st page is mcqueen and mater, Simply place the tag junior on mater to hear mater say ''Thanks for bringing me with you best buddy, this place is cool', and Mcqueen will say 'wow!'.
When you hear a bleeping noise it will set you a challenge, such as:
*Find something that moves
*Put the tag junior on the snow on top of the moutains
*Find the city
*Touch the car on top of the mountain
*Touch another boat on the water
*Who is above the bridge
*Flip through the book and touch all of the words of places
there are 25 activities in total within this book and To begin with your child will need to complete the ones listed above before moving onto the new ones set, which is ideal because it means the questions are aimed at your child's age range 2, 3 or 4 years. The progress can also be followed on the leapfrog learning path which is on their website.
Aswel as giving activities and hearing mcqueen and mater talk, you will get facts from the book such as:
*Sometimes, tunnels are dug into mountains so that trains go go through them
*Rivers run below bridges
*A cactus grows in the desert
So aswel as learning about places you will also learn what things are, and about other things on those pages.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ What does Oscar think? ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
The book is a massive hit in our house, simply because its McQueen. We have quite a few books and flash cards now and this has to be Oscar's favourite. The book is very easy to hold as its like a baby book, the thick card makes it pretty durable and great quality, so no tearing or creasing pages.
Admittedly we forgot to set the leapfrog tag junior up before Oscar's birthday so when he opened the present it wasn't ready to use so he sat and 'read' the book with daddy and his older brother I while set it up on the laptop. Oscar recognised come of the scenes from the film so would point at the boat and try to say boat etc, we were still able to point at different things within the book and try to get Oscar to say that word.
When the tag junior was set up we had to show him what to do, but he soon got the hang of it and started to move the tag junior around the book do hear the different voices and tasks.
Oscar has had the tag junior 2 weeks now and hasn't yet completed the activities because he doesn't yet understand what the different things are in the book, for example, the tag junior asks him to touch the snow at the top of the mountain, he doesn't know what a mountain is let alone snow, so its definitely something that will grow with him.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Our Thoughts? ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Because the book has a gloss feel the tag junior glides over it with ease and straight away responds to what is on the book which means you don't have to be rough with it to get a response, so is great for toddlers.
With lots of pictures it appeals to the eye, some of the pages are less busy than others, but with over 25 activities to do as well as lots of facts there is enough to keep Oscar entertained for a while
As I said above, there are 25 activities to do, as you complete a set of activities you can move on to the next questions so that it grows with you. While the first set of questions (I have listed them above) are very simple it would be nice for there to be a few even more simple questions, such as, 'Where is Mcqueen' its a simple question but is still keeping in theme with the book. Oscar only recently turned 2 and still getting to grasp what everything is means he didn't understand much of what was in the book, even though he still likes to read the book. He also does try to copy some of the things said so it will hopefully help his speech along.
When asked a question from the activity set if you placed the tag junior onto the correct place the tag junior will confirm you have got the correct answer and will explain a little more about that answer. If you place the tag junior it will just make a funny bleeping noise which stops the activity, so you cannot have a 2nd guess, which I find pretty annoying because when if you get the answer wrong you should be able to have another go otherwise he hasn't learnt.
Because the tag junior only fits 5 books on it (this will depend on what books you have) we only have 5 books in the tag junior carry bag, sometimes Oscar will seat and ready them all with the tag junior and sometimes just this book and so on, id say Oscar gets roughly 10 minutes of play with this book, but he will sometimes go back to it later in the day.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Any Negatives? ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
It only has full sentences on page 1 and the last page, which the other pages having only 1 word on them (city, mountain etc) it does seem a little basic and means that while Oscar loves this book he does get quite bored with it pretty quickly. Other books we own are a complete story such as Jake pirate or toy story, which engages Oscars attention a little longer than this book.
Sadly its also one of the shorter books with less pages than others, another reason for Oscar to quickly lose attention and being a massive cars fan im sure he would love it to be a little longer, its also pretty limited with the characters used.
* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ Final Thoughts? ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *
Personally I love these books, and so does Oscar. From a parents point of view I love my child to read, I think books are a great way to spend 'chill out' time together before bed and I love reading to my 2 boys. But with Oscar's speech delay, I felt something interactive would really help him.
While I do love these books I do feel they are overpriced, I appreciate what they do but they don't hold Oscar's attention for more than 10 minutes.
Overall they are a great invention, and have helped say a couple of new words....'WOW' thanks to Mcqueen so we are still in the early stages of using the cars book but already Oscar is trying to sound out new words which means he is learning and it also means I can wash up the dishes in peace for 10 minutes. Try and buy on sale as it will work out expensive.
Includes more than 24 playful activities and 150 audio responses Encourages little ones to explore while helping build confidence with books Internet Connection is required to download the audio for this book, Manufacturer: Leapfrog