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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
55
4.7 out of 5 stars
Price:£19.97+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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This is a brilliant introduction to reading for your little one and will help encourage them to get excited about reading too. I bought the Violet book pal for my daughter and I bought the Scout book pal for my 2 year old son as he has been struggling with his speech and I thought that this reading system would help him along with more words. I'm pleased to say that I do think the junior book pal has actually helped him although I do still need to encourage him to use the book pal as he loves sitting there just looking at the books without it too. The book pals are identical apart from the colours and one being called Violet and the other Scout. I love that you can personalise Violet and Scout so that when you turn them on and off they say your childs name as this makes it feel like they are actually talking to your little one and immediately you can see it encourages them to use Violet and Scout.

I'll get my negative 'niggles' out of the way straight away and the first is the memory storage on the book pal is absolutely awful as it only has 8MB of on-board memory however you only actually have 5.3MB of that free as the book pal has already used the difference of 2.7MB for it's normal programming. This has been mentioned countless times by other reviewers on here and I would have thought Leapfrog would have increased the memory by now especially as the book pal has been released for over three years now according to the release information on the product page (October 2011). Unfortunately this means you can only pre-load Scout or Violet with 4 or 5 books at a time (depending on which books you are loading and their size) and this means having to unload and reload the different books all the time which whilst reasonably quick to do is a nuisance and would be so much better if the memory was upgraded to at least 32MB like the tag reading system as then you could have pretty much all the junior books loaded onto them at the same time. It is for this reason that I have deducted a star from my marking for the book pal as really it should be sorted out by now.
Two of my other niggles are that the product description page is incorrect as it states you get the book "Scout & Friends" with the junior book pal and you do not and again this has been mentioned bu countless reviewers and still not corrected. The book you get is "Lets Read Together" which is basically just an advert book for all of the other books available so if you are buying this book pal for your little one you might want to consider purchasing a book to go along with it so that they can start reading properly with the book pal straight away. The other niggle is that the product description page advises the book pal comes with the 2 AAA batteries it needs to work and it doesn't so please bear this is mind too. Also I used a cheaper brand batteries in the book pal at first and they didn't even last to upload all of the books onto it and so it's worth getting a well known quality brand of battery to use too as these last much longer.

Anyway onto the normal points about the book pal now I have got the negatives out of the way. The books are very easy to load and unload once you download the Leapfrog Connect to your computer and I have done this several times now (because of the small memory) with none of the issues some of the other reviewers report and so it would seem any initial bugs in the system have been completely rectified by Leapfrog now. Both Scout and Violet come with a USB lead and to connect them to your computer you remove the battery cover which is where both the batteries are stored and the USB connection is. You don't need a screwdriver to open them either as you can open them with a 1p coin just as well.

The books themselves are brilliant and we have quite a few of them now with Leapfrog Tag Junior Jake And The Neverland Pirates Book and LeapFrog LeapReader/Tag Junior Book: Dora the Explorer 1, 2, 3 Dora! being two of our favourites at the moment. Not only does the book pal read the main words but when you put them on other parts such as drums or coconuts etc it either does music and sound effects or says "coconuts" etc and so there are lots of other interactive points in the books than just the main wordings.

Scout and Violet are very easy to hold for little hands and along with their main power button they also have a volume button too. Scout and Violet are the same size and both measure approx 10cm high by 6cm wide and 6cm deep at their tummy which is their widest point and they have been very cleverly designed to fit into your little ones hand. Your little one doesn't need to swipe them across any writing for them to read it and they just need to tap or touch the writing and both will read the whole paragraph or sentence. For most of the books they speaks in a British accent but for the LeapFrog LeapReader/Tag Junior Book Set: Toddler Milestones set for example it is all spoken in very American accented tones. The individual characters in the books such as Dora, Jake, Izzy, Hook, Rory etc are all in their 'real' voices which I thought was very good and which my son especially enjoys. Scout and Violet both come in a lovely presentation box with the advert book "Lets Read Together" and some other websites show this packaging in their product pictures if it is important for you to see what it looks like. I have actually also bought the LeapFrog LeapReader Junior Scout Book Pal for my son as mentioned above along with Violet for my daughter and as a Christmas present for a niece as I am very impressed with the book pals except for the lack of storage.

If you are considering getting one of these for your little one then I can recommend them but do bear in mind the potential frustration at times when your little one picks up a book and it's not one of the ones programmed at the time and you have to load up the computer, delete a book off the book pal and load that book on as it can be a bit annoying. I wouldn't say it was annoying enough to put me off the book pals but Leapfrog do need to listen to their customers and fix the storage issue. A brilliant little introduction toy to reading for your little one and very good and interactive.
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on 29 June 2015
It's only a four and not a five because it's a gift and although I've played around with it loads to download books for it, our daughter hasn't got her mitts on it yet. It was very easy to get up and running, we already had a leapfrog account due to the fact we have violet (like scout but purple) but from what I can remember signing up for an account is fairly straight forward. It took about 15 minutes to download a couple of books to the account (you need the physical books for the child to use/read) and put them on the Violet leap reader junior and the books themselves are board and look straightforward enough for a child the same age as our daughter (she'll be three when she has it). It feels fairly tough as well, can use Tag Junior books too.
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on 27 January 2016
My little girl is only 18 months but loves this pen. She has already worked out how the pen works. The pen comes with a demo book which she enjoys looking at and we have picked up a few additional books cheaply. It's definitely something that will have a good few years of use. It was straightforward to register the pen and the books are easy to load. It is one of my favourite things that Santa brought her (and hers too, of course!).
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on 10 March 2016
Fun item, bought as the little one went through a Violet phase, when you get new books you need to register and download the content. Its a bit of a faff and I am not sure how much value and use we got out of this toy.
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on 26 November 2014
My little niece loves it. It is a very fun way of learning numbers and letters. Im impressed with this technology. The Leapreader is strong robust hard plastic and is unlikely to break easily. Definitely recommended
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on 30 December 2013
I bought this as a last minute Christmas present for my 2 year old daughter. I also purchased an extra book which I would recommend as the book that comes with the product is more of a selection of the books you could purchase. However I have programmed it so it says my daughters name when switched on or off and she loves it. I have caught her playing with it by herself and following along to the instructions when I was out of the room. In the short space she has had it I have already noticed the change of how she is using it in reference to the pictures. Have just purchased more books to go with it. :)
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on 12 October 2013
Great toy but you need to spend money on it. You need to buy new books for the little dog to read. We have not yet bought any extra books
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on 29 January 2014
The book included was more of an advert for other books available to purchase- than a book itself "scout and friends" as expected! Upon reading the small print I found that it states a sample book accompanies the book pal, however this is not made very clear, leading to disappointment up son arrival! Other than that the book pal iself is great and delivery was fast.
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on 22 September 2013
My great granddaughter is 3 and she loved it, very well made and a good educational toy for her to learn from I'm sure she will get lots of enjoyment and well packaged for delivery
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on 15 May 2013
I have always found leapfrog products very good as learning toys for young children I bought this for my grandaughter who is 1year and she loves it.She finds it easy to manouvre violet so going over words and sounds is great fun and educational at the same time.
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