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Reading and Recording Books with the Sparkup Book Reader


Have you heard of Sparkup? This magical book reader allows you to record and listen to any book! We were sent a Sparkup device to try out, and we have really enjoyed using it! It is very easy to use – seven-year-old Emma has recorded a few books, and four-year-old Lily especially enjoys listening to them back.


The Sparkup reader clips onto any book. When you turn it on, a tiny camera identifies the book. If the book is already recorded; it starts reading the story. Because it uses image recognition, it will read whichever page the book is open to, even if you skip pages and move backwards and forwards! This makes it a great learning-to-read tool, and perfect for children listening to books quietly on the couch.

We have really enjoyed recording books onto the Sparkup reader, and one of my favorite uses for it is narrating photo books! We like to have our photos printed full page, with no text. With the Sparkup reader, we can add narration without having to print words on the pages!


It’s hard to capture this device only with photos, so I also included this video of Emma recording a book and Johnny and Lily listening to narration for one of our family photo books:

I lived within driving distance of both grandparents until I was six years old. When we moved away, my grandfather used to record picture books on tape, sending us both the book and tape every Christmas. My parents have continued this tradition of buying grandchildren books, and next time we’ll have to have them record the books before they return home! You can upload recordings to the computer for safe keeping, and you can also purchase professional recordings of books and songs through Sparkup.


What book would you record?

We were sent a Sparkup reader to try out. We received no other compensation, and all opinions are our own.


MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

20 thoughts on “Reading and Recording Books with the Sparkup Book Reader”

  1. How amazing!!

    And can I ask where you had those beautiful photo books made? I’m planning to make a blog book soon.

    1. I make all of our photo books through Winkflash. Every once in a while they have a flat rate sale, where you can get up to 100 pages for one flat rate. That is when I place my order, but you can build the books anytime!

  2. very cool. Some apps now allow recording your own voice – but this makes it possible to add voice to print books. I like it being able to recognize pictures.

  3. This is such a great idea. My parents have given my children recordable story books so that they can hear their voices regularly even through we live so far away but of course the selection is limited. This would open up a lot more opportunities. It is so lovely to see my children sit and hear a story read to them from by Mom Mom and Pop Pop.

  4. So how exactly does this work? You have to read the story into the machine like a tape recorder and then it read back as it sees that page?

  5. That does look cool. My kids all have Tag readers and when they were younger we used them SOOOOOO much. They still pull them out from time to time.

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