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Sparkup Letting You Record Books in Any Language

I was provided with a Sparkup reader so that I could provide a review. However all opinions are sincere and are my own.

girl reading with sparkup reader

My little girl reading a book about a Guatemalan girl in Spanish. She loved recording herself reading!

I’ve always been a fierce advocate for the importance of books and of reading with your kids.  This is why I was so excited to have found Sparkup Reader. The Sparkup Reader uses the latest technology to motivate kids to read books in any language. Tablets, apps and other hand held devices can be great tools for teaching kids to read in any language but in my opinion there is still nothing better than holding a beautiful, bright colored book and turning the pages. Created by parents, who just like me, felt a growing need to take kids out of these digital realms and bring them back to the tangible world around them Sparkup attaches to any picture book, allowing kids of all ages to read along with the personalized, pre-recorded voice of their dad, aunt, grandma, or any other loved one – in any language.

What is Sparkup Reader?

  • Sparkup Reader is a device that uses the latest technology to allow you to record any book, in any language so that you child can listen to it independently.
  • Its tiny camera recognizes a book’s front cover and each page, matching the recorded voice to the correct text – even if pages are turned out of order.
  • Sparkup can store up to 50 books (you can back up as many as you’d like onto your computer).

sparkup reader and book about Guatemala

Why We Love Sparkup

It’s a great tool for beginning readers.  No matter what language your little one is learning to read being able to read along while they listen to a story helps them with word recognition and pronunciation and builds confidence in their literary skills.  There are few options when it comes to books with a CD or recordable books, specially in Spanish, but with Sparkup you can record any book your child likes and that they can listen to it whenever they want to.

Sparkup helps bring families together and strengthen family ties.  We read with our kids every night and they love it. Bedtime stories are our favorite time of the day.  We all sit together and enjoy each other’s company while we read books.  I travel a lot and when I am away from home one of the things I miss the most is being there for story time.  But with Sparkup I can record my children’s favorite books and they can listen to my voice as I narrate their favorite stories even if I am far away.  Like many Latin families my kid’s grandparents live far away (in Guatemala) and my children don’t get to see them and spend time with them often.  But when the grandparents visit they can record their voice as they read a book and my kids can then listen to grandpa or grandma read a book to them and feel close to them even if they are far away.

It fosters independence.  Sometimes my kids want to read a book in Spanish but their reading skills are still a bit behind their English reading level so they will usually ask either my husband or me to read it to them.  But during the day, while we are both working it is sometimes hard for us to drop whatever we are doing and sit down to read with our kids.  With Sparkup they can choose the book they want to read by themselves, put the Sparkup on the book and sit down to read it along while they listen to the story.  Sparkup is very easy to fit into any book and both of my kids can use it independently .  Once on the book all your little one has to do is press one button and turn the pages, even very small children are able to operate the device on their own!

Ideal for language acquisition.  Reading in any language improves a child’s vocabulary and comprehension but did you know that the time spent in reading for pleasure is more valuable for second language development than time spent in direct instruction? In order for this to happen kids have to enjoy what they are reading and Sparkup lets your child record any book and as many books as they want (up to 50 on the device but you can backup as many as you want on your computer). Recording your child while they read is a great motivator and will encourage your little one to practice reading more often and help to build fluency.

Sparkup reader

The Sparkup reader is small and light and fits on any book.


Sparkup is a great tool to get kids excited about reading, in any language and would make the ideal holiday gift!  Get  Sparkup – The Magical Book Reader + 2 FREE books HERE.

To learn more about Sparkup you can visit their website at  SparkupReader.com, like their Facebook page and follow them on twitter @Sparkup Reader to stay up to date with their latest news.

About the author

Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

Paula moved from her native Guatemala to SW Florida with her husband and two children and together they are discovering what it means to live life between two languages.

Paula studied architecture who now makes a living as a freelance writer, traveler and amateur photographer. She started her writing & publishing career as the editor of Bebé y Mamá, the first parenting magazine in Guatemala. She is the founder of www.GrowingUpBilingual.com and www.365thingsswfl.com and writes articles in Spanish and English for both magazines and the web on travel, food and bicultural and bilingual parenting .

When she is not on a plane or road trip she likes to create recipes inspired in the flavors of her native Guatemala.

Permanent link to this article: http://growingupbilingual.com/2013/latino-parenting/sparkup-letting-you-record-books-in-any-language/


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  1. Casandra

    That’s awesome. My niece is slowly learning Spanish, but it’s hard when no one in her household can speak it. I would love to be able to get her a book that can read books in both English and other languages so she can enhance her vocabulary and learn to read the correct words.
    Casandra recently posted…Daily Makeup RoutineMy Profile

  2. becca

    how cool bet kids love this especially when learning a new language
    becca recently posted…Easy Canvas Print #ReviewMy Profile

  3. Pam

    This is fantastic! This would have came in so handy when my kids were young since my family lived over 2000 miles away. It would have been wonderful to have their grandparents read to them at night. Technology can be a blessing in so many ways.
    Pam recently posted…How Overcoming Body Image Issues Has Helped My CareerMy Profile

    1. Josh

      Hi Pam. So happy to hear you are excited by Sparkup! Yes, it’s great for grandparents and grand kids who live far away from each other. The Magical Book Reader is available via Amazon – http://goo.gl/BgER8N. Enjoy!

  4. Sarah Bailey

    What a great little gadget – I’m sure I would have loved it as a child x
    Sarah Bailey recently posted…Online Bingo at Butlers Bingo – The Time Has ComeMy Profile

  5. Jennifer Williams

    I would love one because while I love story time with my little one, he wants to read more than what I can do as I have to make dinner and other things. This would allow me to still help him learn while getting my mommy chores done.
    Jennifer Williams recently posted…Tuttorosso is Giving Away 3,000 Wooden Spoons!!My Profile

    1. Josh

      Hi Jennifer. You can visit Amazon (http://goo.gl/BgER8N) to purchase Sparkup and enjoy!

  6. Debi@TheSpringMount6Pack

    That would be really neat. I know my kids would be excited to have it.
    Debi@TheSpringMount6Pack recently posted…A Pumpkin and a Devil Sit Down to Eat… Cat FoodMy Profile

  7. Laurie - Steals and Deals for Kids

    I would love to record some books for my grandchildren to listen to!! How cool! Love this!!
    Laurie – Steals and Deals for Kids recently posted…Play, Stay & Dine at Disney World & Save Up To $600!!My Profile

    1. Josh

      Hi Laurie. Sparkup is perfect for grandparents and grand kids! So happy you are excited by it. You can visit Amazon to purchase – http://goo.gl/BgER8N. Check out our website for some other cool features – http://www.sparkupreader.com. Enjoy!

  8. Brittany

    This is a great giveaway! Thanks!
    Brittany recently posted…Purina ALPO Dog Food Only $0.25 Per Can at Walmart!My Profile

  9. Maria

    What a great idea!! My kids are trying to read more in Spanish and this would be perfect!

  10. Jenn

    That sounds like a great product! Thanks for the giveaway. My children are in french immersion. I love the idea that they can continue their french at home by reading books in French!
    Jenn recently posted…The Cooking with Cutco ExperienceMy Profile

  11. Nova S

    Very nice device, this would surely help my son to read new words and would even love reading more.
    Nova S recently posted…Why it is important to be knowledgeableMy Profile

  12. Becky

    What an awesome tool – I would have loved to have done this as a kiddo myself!

  13. Mel Cole

    I like the Our Song Books collection. 🙂

  14. Malia

    This really sounds like such a great product!
    Malia recently posted…Paypal Cash Giveaway – 4 Winners – $50 Each!My Profile

  15. Lexie Lane

    My son is really starting to appreciate books and having someone read to him. I’m sure this would be great for him.

    1. Josh

      Hi Lexie. Sounds like it would be a perfect fit! Sparkup is availible from Amazon – http://goo.gl/BgER8N or our website http://www.sparkupreader.com. So happy to hear your son is falling in love with reading and his books!

  16. Jess C

    WOW! Technology these days continues to amaze me.. What a wonderful idea

  17. Eileen

    This is an awesome learning tool. I feel that learning a language opens doors for opportunities. I am a lover of languages, I have attended Spanish classes in high school and college. I have learned Mandarin when I worked in Taiwan for two years. English is my second language. I constantly encourage my children to do the same. This device would help jumpstart their learning a new language. Thank you for sharing!
    Eileen recently posted…The Women in my LifeMy Profile

    1. Josh

      Hi Eileen. Yes, it is an awesome tool for languages! We’re so glad to be able to help kids and adults learn new languages and maintain existing ones – and fall in love with reading!

  18. Michelle G

    How absolutely fantastic! Definitely a neat gadget to have! Thanks for sharing!
    Michelle G recently posted…Sisters In Bloom by Melissa FosterMy Profile

  19. Adin B

    It sounds like a very useful reading tool especially for Bilingual kids like your adorable kids. I have never really heard or seen it before and it is nice to know new products. Awesome giveaway! Good luck!

  20. Tory Blum

    Learning languages is really important, it opens up the world for sure 🙂

  21. Chubskulit Rose

    Spanish language is something that I want to learn.
    Chubskulit Rose recently posted…Hoodied Sweatshirt from Allied ShirtsMy Profile

  22. Sara-Jayne @ Keep Up With The Jones Family

    I’m a MFL teacher, this looks brilliant!

  23. Denis

    Hi Paula, as a developer of this gadget I enjoyed your review greatly, with its unique perspective and beautiful pictures! 🙂 My son is 2 year old and literacy is not very relevant for him yet :), but he enjoys listening to familiar voices when flipping through his board books. We also have grandparents in another country who recorded two long picture books for him last time they visited, leaving a real treasure for the little one to enjoy.

  24. Katherine Bartlett

    That sounds like a fun product for kids!
    Katherine Bartlett recently posted…Shopping at andRuby and Getting the #thebestdealsMy Profile

  25. jheylo

    How cool! So innovative. I want to teach my kids Filipino language too, wonder if they have it available to.
    jheylo recently posted…Out with the old, In with the newMy Profile

    1. Paula Bendfeldt-Diaz

      Jheylo you record the book in the language you want so this would work great for your kids to learn Filipino.

  26. Rachel

    This is awesome! I think that it would be so helpful for long car rides!
    Rachel recently posted…Easy Canvas Prints ReviewMy Profile

  27. Melinda Dunne

    Oh my gosh I LOVE this! I would love to get this for my grandson he is learning to read. I think it would be really neat to give this to him with me and my husband reading the stories.
    Melinda Dunne recently posted…Give The Gift Of Beauty With Beauty Box 5My Profile

  28. Jenn

    VERY cool! Technology has come such a long way, I wish I had this in high school. Other languages were not my thing.Thanks for the giveaway too!
    Jenn recently posted…The Truth About Being a Stay At Home MomMy Profile

  29. Jessica Hehir

    This is great! It is hard for me to help all three of my children read at the same time. This would help cover the gaps as I work with the others individually. I like that the device recognizes a skipped page too. So cleaver.
    Jessica Hehir recently posted…Sea Salt and Rosemary Pumpkin SeedsMy Profile

  30. April McGregor

    that is so cool. I would love one for my kiddo.
    April McGregor recently posted…Watch Your WordsMy Profile

  31. Garf

    It is definitely a great tool to get the kids excited to read. I will suggest this to my younger sisters.
    Garf recently posted…The Importance of Pre-Natal CareMy Profile

  32. Elizabeth

    That would be awesome for in the car on long trips!

  33. Shanna

    That’s a fun idea! I would love to do this in Spanish!

  34. Beth

    This has to be on the “best toy” list every year! This is awesome!

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