Monday, October 25, 2010

LeapFrog Tag Jr Book Pal Review and Giveaway (Closed)

I am very happy to tell you that Mason LOVES to read books.  I have been reading to him since I brought him home from the hospital.  I know it might seem silly to read to a 1 or 2 month old since they mainly lay around like a ball of mush, but I felt the time we spent reading together was great bonding time. 

Now that Mason is 18 months old, he continues to read with me, but he also likes to read independently.  The fact that I can have my son sit for 20 or 30 minutes with a pile of books makes me so happy.  He points and talks to the pictures, makes animal sounds at the pictures and even gives the occasional kiss to another child that is pictured in the book.  My heart just melts.

I don't think you can ever have too many book.  As a matter of fact, I still have some of my easy reader books from when I was a child.  And yes, I have already added these books to Mason's collection. 

I realize that since Mason is reading independently, he is ready for the next step.  Enter LeapFrog Tag Junior Book Pal and Books.  First off, these are interactive board books.  This is perfect since anything resembling paper in my house immediately become shredded.  There are 22 books and games offered in the Tag Jr series, each of which offers a different pre-school skill.  You will find titles from Sesame Street, Curious George, Dora the Explorer, Thomas and Friends, etc.  I think any parent would be hard pressed to find a book in this series that their child would not like.

The Tag Jr set I received included the Tag Jr Book Pal, a USB Cable to download the audio for the books, a Parent guide, and a sampler book, If I were....  This sampler book was already downloaded into the Tag Jr PAL.

Since this is my first experience with the Tag Jr, I had to download the Tag Junior LEAPFROG Connect Application to my computer.  This was easy enough!  Once I installed the program, I was able to download the audio for any of the Tag Junior Books.  There is also an option to personalize the Tag Jr with your child's name.  Your child will be greeted by hearing their name when it is turned on!

I played with the book and the Tag Jr Pal before giving it to Mason.  I wanted to see how sensitive the reader was and accurate the response was. I first tried the book, Monster Faces by Sesame Street.  This book is super cute and goes through emotions like happy, worried, sad, and proud.  You will also find all the Sesame Street characters that your child has come to love.  Each picture says a couple of different sayings before it repeats.  Also, I really like the fact that the voice on the Tag Jr Pal uses a child-like voice that is easy to understand.  Because of this, I believe that children will relate better to the books and have an overall better reading experience. 

I showed the Tag Jr Pal to Mason and the books that accompanied it. He squealed when saw Elmo on the front page of the Monster Faces book.  I showed him the Pal and he swiped it from my hand and started to press the on/off button.  Everything and anything with buttons is a hit with him!  I opened the book for him and showed him how to press the Pal on the page so he would get a response.  As soon as he hear Elmo's voice, he started to giggle and moved the Pal all over the page.  I was glad to see that, as I expected, he had no trouble holding the Pal, as it is definitely made for little hands to use.  Mason also went through the starter book, If I were..., which is an imaginative book about what you would do if you were an animal, and the Toy Story 3 book, which features adventures with the Toy Story gang.

This series is geared for ages 2-4, so this is definitely something Mason will grow into over the next few months.  However, I do not foresee any problems with letting him play with the reader or books now.  It seems durable enough to withstand the occasional fall.  It's compact size will also make it great for travel, taking along in the car, at the doctor's office, or in a restaurant.

As a former teacher and parent, I have no doubt that Mason will learn from using the Tag Jr reading system.  These books can only help to enhance the early reading experience.  Knowing my son it a typical toddler, I believe this will give him a sense of independence that he craves.

Don't forget to check out  You will find other resources for parents and teachers.  You will also find printable activities on that go along with each book in the series.  This is yet another way for you child to be actively involved while learning new skills.

LeapFrog provided me with the product reviewed above in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.

Winner of the Tag Jr is Therri D!  The winner will be contacted via email and has 48 hours to respond to my email.  If not, another winner will be chosen. 

There are three things you can do to earn an entry.  Please fill out the form for EACH entry, including the bonus entries.  You may enter once a day, including the bonus entries.  Multiple entries other than daily entries and bonus entries will be deleted.  This Giveaway will run from 12:00pm on 10/25/10 until 12:00pm on 11/1/10.

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