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Monday, November 22, 2010

Hallmark Recordable Storybook Review & Giveaway

Congrats to the winners - Angie and Jennifer!

Last year when Joe was deployed I wanted to do something to make the holidays special for the kids. Something to have Joe involved in their Christmas as well (and we did open gifts while Joe was on the web cam so that helped!)

Then I found out about Hallmark Cards introduction of Recordable Storybooks. The voice-capture technology records the reader's voice directly into the book. When a page is turned, the book automatically plays the text on that page in the reader's voice. How perfect was that for our situation! I went to the store and bought The Night Before Christmas. I then sent it to Joe for him to record himself reading the book and he mailed it back to me to wrap up for the kids. I'm sure I don't have to tell you how absolutely excited the kids were to get this book, open it, and hear their daddy reading it to them! And of course they had to listen to it over, and over, and over again!

I really like the feature where you can flip the switch to lock in the recording so it's not accidentally erased (which I'm positive my kids would have done if it wasn't 'locked'!) Even if you change the battery out the recording is still there.

This holiday season Hallmark expanded the books to include Frosty The Snowman and a retelling of the nativity story The Very First Christmas.

Besides these Recordable Storybooks helping to make connections with loved ones far away, some families have been able to use it to help children who are struggling to read. They can listen to the story being read on every page and follow along word for word.

In addition to the 3 holiday-themed books there are also 12 other books including My Little Princess, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Bright and Beautiful, Guess How Much I Love You, I Love You, Grandma, My Grandpa and Me, Thank You, God, For Everything.

I received All The Ways I Love You for this review (and received no other compensation). What a charming book this is with soft drawings throughout of a bear and bear cub. This is a simple and easy-to-read book with sweet sayings like "I love you quicker than a minute. I love you longer than hour. I love you stronger than the wind. I love you softer than a cloud. I love you when you are quiet, and I love when you are LOUD." I can't wait to give this to the kids for Christmas with Joe and I taking turns recording each page.

If you're looking for a unique holiday gift Fleishman-Hillard and Hallmark Cards has generously donated 2 more Recordable Storybooks for me to give away to 2 of my readers. To enter please leave a comment on this post (making sure I can contact you if you're the winner) and browse through the Recordable Storybooks telling me which book you think your child would like. (I'm not sure which books will be sent to the winners though!)

I love hearing about companies that are involved in helping out in the community and with military families. Hallmark Cards has donated several of the Recordable Storybooks to military bases throughout the US via the VWF Foundation. In addition, Fleishman-Hillard helped the VWF create Return The Favor - a multimedia thank-you note wall to honor troops and veterans. Feel free to add your own post!

FYI: Thanksgiving weekend only ... get $10 off The Night Before Christmas with any purchase. No coupon necessary. Through Dec 31st use code Blogger25 to get 25% off any personalized holiday greeting.

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Becca said...

What a very cool idea!! I've love to try one of those for Samantha (I think she'd be particularly into Frosty the Snowman or My Little Princess). And definitely an amazing idea for deployed families. Thanks for posting about that! :-)

Bailey's Leaf said...

On the Night You Were Born is probably what I would choose, but we would happily love any book we won! Thank you for such a wonderful post!

quitecontrary1977 said...

My daughter would love Frosty the Snowman. I sing her the song all the time, at her request. And I would love to get my husband to record the story for her for the NEXT deployment.

By the way, your daughter is so cute. She has the sweetest smile! And please send her my compliments on her dress up clothes! Fabulous!

Anonymous said...

I'd choose The Very First Christmas but my son would probably like Frosty the Snowman.

Lindsey said...

My husband and I were thinking of doing this for our nieces and nephew, who live across the state from us. What a cool way to say I still love you even though I can't be with you every day. I think My Little Princess and Bright and Beautiful would work best for us.

Anonymous said...

I Would love to leave these books for my grandchildren when I'm gone to hear my voice. Id love to win one. My Mom's favorite story to recimynaniete was The Night before Christmas and I love to keep traditions .Happy Holidays to all Karen

AngieW said...

What a great idea. I wish it would have been around before my parents passed away. It would have been a great way to keep their memory alive for my kids. I think my boys would enjoy most of the books. But I like the Very First Christmas the best out of all of them.

Jennifer said...

I'm so glad that you posted a review about this. I was actually online looking through the books tonight, because I wanted to send one to Josh to do exactly what you did with Joe. I think that Faith would be so excited to have a book with Daddy's voice in it....and I am certain that she would listen to it over and over and over again. I was going to try to find a store that has either "Guess How Much I Love You" - which we have read to her since she was a baby...or "My Little Princess" - because that's what Josh calls her most of the time. Thanks for offering this to us all.

Anonymous said...

I love this. The night before Christmas would be perfect.


Christopher said...

Can anyone tell me how much time these books have? Is it a certain time per page or time overall? I was planning on getting these for for my nieces and have multiple people record on them since alot of our family is so spread apart. Any help would be appreciated.

Happy Holidays!