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First Read

Record The First Steps, Why Not The First Book?
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We all know of the books designed to aid a child's learning that read the words and have the child mimic them. My idea is to turn that concept around, and make children's books that record the child reading their favorites for years to come.

Many precious memories can happen behind closed doors, and every parent wants to see (if not capture) every moment of their child's development. Children learning to read can be a tough journey, and they are always so proud once they finally do it. So, why not, in the same style as the read along books, have a children’s book with a recording device that records the child reading it? It would be triggered by the opening of the book, and since both recording and storage devices are getting smaller by the day, it wouldn't be all too encumbering (possibly even make it attachable to most any book).

Once the child finally finishes the book, they could proudly announce it to the parents, and the parents would then have both a happy child and a precious memory. The storage would obviously be digital and perhaps even have a USB attachment, so the WAV/MP3 could be put on the computer, and sent to relatives. This would be great for those children who seem to love to read independently, and also give the child a sense that they did it on their own (although still getting praised for the accomplishment).

NeverDie, Oct 24 2002

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       My daughter would love this and so would my wife.   

       Imagine the pressure a small child feels when learning to read. I don't think that putting them "in the spotlight" would make it any easier to actually learn to read... Besides, I sat with my younger sister learning to read, and it consumes alot of patience during the course of many months (years?), maybe it would be easier to have daddy videotape little bobby when he's reading with mommy (candid - from say, another room?). Think of how much reading footage will there be... I mean, most kids don't learn to read in one sitting.   

       The book itself is a personal treasure.
Slayter, Oct 24 2002
  

       That wouldn't be nearly so satisfying as having the recording stored in the book itself, at least, that's how I think about it.   

       Home videos gather dust. Does anybody _ever_ watch them?
bristolz, Oct 24 2002
  

       ++++ I love this, and so would my daughter. ++++
blissmiss, Oct 24 2002
  

       I saw this idea last night, and something about it still makes me want to run shrieking for the hills. Maybe it was just the treacly ad I saw five minutes before for an electronic learn-to-read book.   

       (Though I am all for video taping junior's achievements for posterity.)   

       (bristolz: so do most electronic gadgets after three or four days; once our PCs are big enough to comfortably store video, the problem with video clips will go away.)   

       (And my son's first books were the Rosemary Wells' wonderful Max series; these board books were chewed to a pulp by the time he finished with them, not a good prospect for electronic equipment.)
DrCurry, Oct 24 2002
  

       "(... once our PCs are big enough to comfortably store video, the problem with video clips will go away.)"   

       No, the problem won't go away, it's not an issue of storage, [DrCurry].   

       "(... these board books were chewed to a pulp by the time he finished with them, not a good prospect for electronic equipment.)"   

       Your son was still chewing books to a pulp when he was learning to read, [DrCurry]? Odd. I think for most normal kids the two phases are separated by some years. Maybe your boy began to read at an especially young age, while still teething.
bristolz, Oct 24 2002
  

       Maybe he has his son and his son's puppy confused again...
blissmiss, Oct 24 2002
  

       There is the danger of an endless regress here: if everything we do is recorded, and we later watch it, all we will ever see is ourselves looking at ourselves looking at...well, maybe not with the first book.
ldischler, Oct 24 2002
  

       I believe that *board* books are the very thick-page picture books for the very young.
po, Oct 24 2002
  

       [bristolz: I don't think this is worth a mountain of words, but when videos are as easy to retrieve as mp3's, then yes, I think we will be watching them on a regular basis. And I said "first books", though my comment stands even for children old enough to read. None of the various electronic books we picked up along the way survived the trip.]
DrCurry, Oct 24 2002
  

       Ah, a very big change from your original statement. Simplicity of retrieval is a much different topic than storage size. Also, equating home movies to highly produced audio tracks is a little wonky. One has been pre-digested for you.   

       One thing to think about: why are people's photos so often looked at? Certainly hauling down the old photo albums and paging through them is a hassle, arguably more of a hassle than just popping in a videotape . . . yet photos are much more popular and generally do not languish unviewed.   

       It's not that people are unwilling to sit down in front of a TV and it's not about the bother of loading a videocassette.   

       But, no more on this, after all, who wishes to expend a mountain of words on it?
bristolz, Oct 24 2002
  

       Anyone read Neal Stephenson's _The Diamond Age_? The Primer could do this, I bet.
toomuchmike, Feb 03 2004
  
      
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