When Hallmark asked us if we'd like to give a home to the lovely Abigail Bunny and write a review about her, I was over the moon. We'd already reviewed Watson the raccoon (a review you can read here) and found the idea of the Story Buddies fabulous so we couldn't wait to discover the lastest friend to join the gang.
In case you're unfamiliar with the concept of Interactive Story Buddies, they are very clever soft toys that have voice recognition technology that makes them talk when you say certain key phrases. They feature in a series of story books which incorporate these key phrases into the text so, as you're reading the story, they will chip in with reactions to what you're saying. Even as a grown up, it's quite magical so you can imagine how excited the kids get !
This really inspires beginner readers, such a Juliette, to try reading out loud because it acts as a reward and makes her very proud when the characters understand what she is reading and react. Sophie loves reading to Pierre too because he gets incredibly excited. Just as a soft toy, they're totally adorable, with really appealing faces and ultra soft fur. Pierre hasn't stopped hugging Abigail and playing with her floppy ears since she arrived !
The books are also really well produced with interesting tales, great life lessons for kids and lovely illustrations. I'd be happy enough to buy them and read them just as normal books, so the whole interactive part is just an added bonus which takes the reading experience to a completely different level !
Abigail comes with one book, ‘Abigail and the Balance Beam’, in which she tries to make her mum proud by doing gymnastics. Additional books featuring Abigail are also available, including, ‘Abigail and the Tea Party’ and ‘Abigail and the Lost Purse’.
For even more story time fun with Abigail, there is also a downloadable app suitable for use on iPhones and iPads, to accompany the playful bunny. The free app includes a short animated story that can be played aloud through the app’s internal narrator or recorded by a loved one to add a personal touch to the tale. The app also includes child-friendly puzzles and an interactive game that lets your child play dress-up with Abigail, just like in the book!
Our Abigail bunny was a jetsetter who came all the way from America for us to review her, so you'll have to wait until next month to find them in the UK shops, I'm afraid. She's the absolutely perfect alternative for Easter if you want your kids to eat less chocolate without complaining !
star rating : 5/5
RRP : £19.99 (extra books £5.99)
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