Friday, March 26, 2010
Raving about Readeo: A Review and Giveaway
Last weekend, my kids read books face-to-face with their eighteen month-old cousin who lives in Boston. And it all took place on the computer using Readeo.
I know, this sounds a bit confusing at first. I felt that same way when I met with Chicago dad Coby Neuenschwander a few months ago and he told me about his new website.
Now that I've had a chance to use the site, I think that the best way to describe it is Skype meets Kindle for kids -- users can read books online while viewing each other face-to-face. Great idea, don't you think?
Here is how Readeo works. You create a profile for your family and invite friends and relatives to join you as Guests on the site as well. Then you can peruse the "shelves" and choose books to read alone or using "BookChat."
The "BookChat" feature of Readeo is the truly amazing part. The book appears on the screen with beautiful and clear graphics. Then there is a video window that shows your face and another window showing the face of whoever you are reading with (say Grandma or Dad when he is on a business trip).
This format allows the users to connect and share a true reading experience. My kids were mesmerized by the vivid graphics in the actual books and it was fun to be able to see my niece's reaction as she was seeing and hearing the very same thing.
It took me a few minutes to navigate around and figure out how to invite others to join and then connect up on the site. Once I got that part set up, the rest of the experience was a breeze. My nearly six year-old daughter was able to choose books and get started all on her own.
Currently, Readeo offers a nice selection of books (some titles we were familiar with and others were new to us). At this point, the book selection is not huge but Coby assures me that plenty more books are being added -- including 20 new titles being introduced in the coming weeks.
I think that Readeo is something that all families could use, whether they have out-of-town relatives or not. Obviously, this is a unique opportunity for kids to connect with far-away family members that the telephone simply can't provide. Kids can also use the site to choose any one of the books in the library and read independently. The person on the other side of the screen doesn't have to live miles away -- my kids would be totally tickled to share bedtime reading with their cousins who live just a few blocks away.
If you want to try Readeo out and see for yourself, you can do so for free. Here's how: both parties should sign up as Guests and try a BookChat together using the Book of the Month.
Readeo is a new sponsor here at A Hen and Two (now Three) Chicks (you can check out their ad on the right-hand sidebar). I am excited to announce that Readeo is giving a one-year membership to Readeo to one of my readers (Member accounts are $49.95 through the end of March - regularly $99.95 annually or $9.95 monthly).
To enter, leave a comment on this post. If you follow Readeo on Twitter, that will earn you another entry. Become a fan of Readeo on Facebook and you'll get one more entry. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. All entries must be received by midnight CST on Monday, April 5, 2010. I will choose a winner using Random.org and notify that lucky individual on Tuesday, April 6th. If I don't hear back from the winner within 48 hours of my email, I will choose another winner.
So go enter! Good luck! [Amended to add: If you don't have contact info in your Blogger profile, please leave your email address so I can get in touch with you if you win.]