The Bottom Line
Pure magic. That's an appropriate term for Hallmark recordable books. What child wouldn't be entranced to open a storybook and hear it read in a grandparent's voice? The stories are carefully chosen and beautifully illustrated, and the recording process is practically foolproof.
- Easy to use
- High quality construction
- Perfect for gifts
- Engaging illustrations
- Could use more variety in titles
- May sell for much higher price when supplies run out
- Various titles available
- Recording can be locked and saved
- First introduced in September 2009
- Current list contains 23 titles
- List price $19.95-$29.95
- Requires 3 AAA batteries (supplied)
Grandparents and grandchildren can share a good book almost any time if they live close together, but long-distance grandparents and grandchildren can have this experience too with Hallmark recordable books.
When I received my sample book, I wanted to capture my father's voice for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was 94 at the time and not up to recording the entire book. My 6-year-old and 13-year-old granddaughters helped him out, and the result is poignant. His inflections alternate with the piping voice of the younger grandchild and the confident tones of the older to make a book that all members of the family will enjoy for years to come.
The recording process is easy and allows for do-overs. Once you are satisfied with the recording, you use a screwdriver to lock the recording. It won't be lost even if you have to replace the battery.
Consumers have found many ingenious ways to use the books to bond family members closer together. Families of deployed servicemen, families waiting to adopt and the families of children with special needs have all used these books.
Grandparents will be gratified to see books are especially designed for them, such as I Love You, Grandma and My Grandpa and Me. My only quibble with title selection is that I would like to see more humorous or lighthearted selections. My husband loves to do voices, and few available selections lend themselves to funny dramatic reading.
When these books were first released, they were priced at $39.95. The price has dropped considerably since then, and Hallmark runs frequent online and in-store specials. If you want a book for a special occasion, order early as titles sometimes sell out.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.