One of the new book titles for the LeapReader is Monsters University 3D which comes with 3D glasses. This book ties in with the Summer 2013 Monsters University movie which is a prequel to the very popular Disney Pixar Monsters Inc. This means that the book will make more sense to kids who have seen the new movie, or at least are familiar with the characters from the original movie.
Note that Monsters University 3D works with the older TAG pen as well as the new LeapReader. And the LeapReader will also work with most of the TAG titles too.
Let's take a closer look at the Monsters University 3D book.
Monsters University 3D is aimed at children aged 5-8. I've got two boys in this age range and I also help out at my local school with children who are learning to read.
"The Oozma Kappas soon got discouraged."
If we look at it as a reading book it's not a very early reader, it has some quite challenging vocabulary in it. Some of the tricky words are character names like Mike Wazowski (the little green guy with one eye) so if kids are familiar with the monsters franchise then this won't cause them any problems. The LeapReader pen can help out when kids reach a word that they can't read so they won't get frustrated so it's okay if it's a little ahead of a child's reading level.
The book also has interactive games that are played with the digital pen. These teach kids parts of speech (nouns, verbs), positional language (in front of) and logical reasoning skills. This content adds extra value over a traditional reading book and means more time will be spent using the book.
Kids can also listen to the story as an audio book which is useful, but I'd steer kids away from this feature until they have read the book for themselves as there's a risk that they'll start remembering rather than reading.
If your child is only just starting to learn to read then I'd go for a different book and save this one for when they're a bit further along so they'll get the most from it.
Then of course there's the fancy 3D feature. It's important to note that kids can still read the book and look at the pictures without the glasses - it doesn't use that weird red and blue effect. So the 3D is just an extra rather than a core part of the experience. The 3D glasses are just basic cardboard ones. It's a gimmick of course. But for some kids a gimmick is just what is needed to persuade them to take interest in a book so this might help with reluctant readers. For other kids it's just a fun extra.
This book doesn't take advantage of the new writing capability of the LeapReader pen which would have been a nice touch.
Buy: LeapFrog LeapReader 3D Book: Disney·Pixar Monsters University