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? And what grandparent wouldn't like to preserve a grandchild's voice for the ages?
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.
The stories are carefully chosen and beautifully illustrated, and the recording process is practically foolproof.
Recording Your Book
These books allow for a variety of approaches. Grandparents can record them and give them to a grandchild, or a grandchild who knows how to read can record them for a grandparent. Another approach is for grandparents and grandchildren to record a book together, alternating pages.
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 batteries. Hallmark recommends that you remove the batteries if the book is not going to be used for a while.
Since I tried this product, Hallmark has made another innovation. Using a USB connector to connect the book to a computer, the recording can be saved to a personal account on Hallmark.com.
Uses for Recordable Books
Consumers have found many ingenious ways to use the books to bond family members closer together. Families of deployed servicemen, families waiting to adopt, incarcerated parents and the families of children with special needs have all used these books.
To get the best quality, you'll want to find a quiet spot where you won't be interrupted while recording.
But if the phone does ring or if you mispronounce a word, don't worry. You can do it over.
Hallmark usually offers over a dozen books in recordable format, all featuring appealing animal characters. Grandparents will be gratified to see books that are especially designed for them to record for grandchildren, such as Granddaughter [Grandson] You Make the World Grand and That's What Grandmas Do. If you are looking for cleverness or creativity, you'll have to look elsewhere, but the themes of these books will definitely resonate with most grandparents. The current selection also includes classic favorite Goodnight Moon and some religious titles.
Recordable books are really popular during the holiday season, and Hallmark usually offers several titles at that time that may not be available the rest of the year. The Night Before Christmas is a common option.
Hallmark does change titles occasionally, so check the website for the currently available titles. Discontinued titles are often available for a time on Amazon or resale websites, usually for reasonable prices but occasionally for exorbitant ones.
The titles are mostly of the sentimental variety. If you are interested in humorous or lighthearted selections, you are unlikely to find them here.
If you have someone in your family who likes to do funny voices, you probably won't find an appropriate title here.
When these books were first released, they were priced at $39.95. The regular price is now $29.95, with free shipping available for orders over $50. Another way around shipping fees is to choose the option "pick up in store." Choose this option if you have a Gold Crown Hallmark Store near you. Hallmark also runs occasional specials and promotions.
Hallmark also offers a line of personalized books, but they are far from the only company offering this type of title. At $39.95 each, these books seem a little high-priced for what you get. You can, however, modify the title character's hair, eye and skin color so that it is more like your grandchild's.