Since moving far away from family last summer, we’ve become quite familiar with our webcams. Video chatting has allowed my family the chance to watch Kieran show off her latest ballet moves and the chance to see Brendan when he was just days old. Now enter Readeo.com, which takes the idea of video chatting a whole new direction. This brand new online service provides numerous popular children’s books available for reading between two parties. Video is combined to create a shared reading experience called BookChatTM. These scanned books have a realistic flipping action of the pages that bring the idea of story-time online to life. Kieran and I tested it out with her grandparents. She couldn’t get enough! After the first book she asked her grandma to “read another book, please”. This went on for about four more books. The only reason we tended to stop at each session was because the grandparents had to leave!
Readeo was born of the idea to connect families across the miles through story time. They realize that families nowadays are scattered not just across the country, but across the world. From parents in the military stationed overseas to grandparents across town, Readeo provides the opportunity for families to connect in a new and fun way.
One charming aspect of the site—you can create “bookshelves” and put your favorite titles on it for quick and easy access. The picture quality is excellent. It really is like looking at the book. Kieran even got excited the last time we were loading it up, commenting “Oooooh, I like this Readeo thing!” Readeo keeps my almost three-year-old’s attention as much as reading to her in the home, if not more. She enjoyed having the video at the bottom of the screen as well so she could see her grandparents. While my daughter was enjoying story-time with her grandparents, I would sit next to her on the floor and have some extra playtime with my three month old. It was a win-win situation!
There were a few things, however, that should be addressed. It appears everything about the book is the same as in the original book, right down to the blank pages. In starting “The Biggest Job of All”, after you read the cover page, there are 2 blank pages. For a bit, we wondered if the pages were still loading up, but realized that wasn’t the case. It was, simply, 2 blank pages. I think for an online version there should be a way to streamline this. Also, the size of the words in some of the books were quite difficult to read for Kieran’s sight-impaired grandparents. In some books, the text was so small it seemed like were reading the book in 6 point font (The Boy Who Painted Dragons). If it’s possible, I think it would be nice for a user to zoom in on the text, without affecting the other users screen so they can see the print better. In another book, the text color was black on a dark blue background (The Circus Ship), again making it difficult to read. An easy solution was to just pick a different book, which suited us fine. All in all, this is a great concept and Kieran and I really enjoyed using it.
That’s IT Mommy Friends Heather, Kieran & Brendan
Readeo.com is offering five (5) winners a one-year subscription to their online service.
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