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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this smart toy is designed to read special board books aloud to toddlers and preschoolers. It can hold up to 5 books in its memory and parents can swap out which books are in the toy's memory by connecting the toy to the Internet. Connecting the toy to your computer also allows it to generate a report showing you how your child played with the toy. Parents who own last year's Tag Reading System need to know that Tag Junior cannot read Tag books.
What's it about?
From Leapfrog, the maker of last year's award-winning Tag Reading System, TAG JUNIOR brings assisted reading to a younger audience – kids ages 2 through 4. Tag Junior is a small plastic device that looks somewhat like a little chick with eyes, and it fits comfortably in little hands. This book pal can read any page of special Tag Junior board books. All kids have to do is place the Tag Junior on top of words on a page, and the Tag Junior reads them out loud. The Tag Junior also responds to illustrations on the page by making sounds, adding further dialog or creating music. The Tag Junior comes bundled with an "If I Were…" board book, and can store the audio for up to 5 books at once. Additional books cost $10.99 each, and the audio for any of the nine additional books available at launch are found online.
Is it any good?
Tag Junior works well as an electronic reader. Because it uses voice, music, and sound effects, it creates a fun, rich reading environment. For example, with the add-on book "ABC Animal Orchestra," toddlers will not only hear the letters of the alphabet, but they will also hear music from 26 alphabetical musical instruments including the baboon's bassoon and the vulture's violin.
However, the manual warns against dropping the device or getting it wet by spilling drinks on it, two events that are very likely to happen since this is a product for toddlers and preschoolers. Nonetheless, this is an excellent smart toy that can read to your child when you aren't available.
Online interaction: This online interaction is for parents. This smart toy connects to the Internet to allow parents to download new audio content. The Tag Junior can hold up to 5 books in its memory. Parents can also access reports about how their kids play with this electronic reader.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.