Pen Pal WHIZZ review and giveaway

Raising children of the tech-savvy generation isn’t a walk in the park because as parents, we have the responsibility of limiting the use of certain gadgets. But since it’s impossible to totally cut our kids off from technology, we might as well look for educational gadgets! To be honest, I don’t usually look out for tech toys, but recently I was introduced to the Pen Pal WHIZZ and I thought I’d show you how fun it is to use, my kids love it and the bonus is that it’s educational.

pen pal whizz reviewWhat is Pen Pal Whizz?

Pen Pal Whizz is a ‘magic pointer’ that recites written text when you tap with it on the body of words, enables characters in the book to ‘speak’ when you tap on the illustrations etc. It functions also as an MP3 player so you can upload songs into it by plugging it in to your computer and transfer files. It has a 4GB memory and can storeΒ audio files of more than 100 books. When you purchase new books that are compatible with the pen, simply download the audio file from the website into the pen.

Benefits of using Pen Pal WHIZZ

When a child uses Pen Pal to tap on the book, the pre-loaded audio file is activated and spoken by the pre-recorded voice inside.Β  The interesting sounds excite the child, as the characters in the book come to live with ‘real’ voices and sometimes even with dialogue not present in the main story (only if the author has written extra scripts for the characters). I’d say Pen-Pal provides an additional dimension to reading books traditionally!

Besides, with Pen Pal, I can get to have some time to quickly whip up something in the kitchen while the kids learn using the Pen Pal on their own. Should my girl not be able to read a body of text as there are too many words she doesn’t know, she can simply tap it with Pen Pal as many times as she needs to get the words and the meaning instead of coming to me every time she meets an unfamiliar word which can be disruptive for learning. Independent learning can take place as she has to rely on her visual and listening skills to read the book with Pen Pal.

DSC_0523-1Even my little boy can have some quiet time playing with Pen Pal WHIZZ even though he’s not 2 yet!

exploring bookHere’s a video of my boy exploring one of the ABC books – he loves to tap on the pictures and listen to the sounds.

The drawback is of course he likes to tap on the pictures a lot more than on the words! For those particular about focusing on only one language at a time, unfortunately, both the English and Chinese words are read out together so there isn’t an option to listen to only one language at a time. My girl also finds it fun to read books together with her brother, allowing him to take the lead – pen pal whizz review I also like that there is book continuity so Pen Pal will continue to be useful after you have explored all the books in the initial set. As JLB Educational Technology works with many local publishers, new books which are made compatible with Pen Pal WHIZZ are launched monthly. All books that are made compatible are carefully screened through to ensure quality reading for users. Our current favourites are Emily Lim’s award-winning character building booksΒ  and Leana Lyn Doray’s Bleagh (book reviews and autographed copies for giveaway for all these books coming up soon!).

The recording function

I think what fascinated my daughter most when she used it for the first few times was the recording function of Pen Pal. Simply tap on the ‘Read with Me’ icon at the beginning of the book and the user can record the body of text after the audio recording is done then wait to listen to how the recorded version fares against the professional reading. Here’s my little girl doing a demo video (warning: you may need to turn your volume down a little for this video):

Make your own recordings

Besides allowing children to record parts of the story as they read (which is quite good preparation for oral exams in the future!), you can purchase recording stickers (sold separately) and make your child’s favourite book compatible with Penpal WHIZZ. Read and record the story and your child can listen to your voice narrating the story even if you are away on a business trip! Here’s my demo video of how to use these recording stickers –

Besides recording the story, you can also record your child’s voice and stick the recording sticker in your scrapbook album as a keepsake (to remember how cute he/she sounded at that age!)

Interactive storybooks

Here’s a video of how interactive storybooks can be with Penpal Whizz – there’s a game that quizzes the child based on what has just been read on that page or the child may be asked to point out something on the page as shown in this video (great for comprehension and observation skills):

Now, don’t you agree this is a pen worth investing in? πŸ™‚ Here’s the good news! I have 1 Pen Pal WHIZZ Special Bundle to give away on the blog! As usual, simply fill in the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: For the Pen Pal WHIZZ review, I was provided with a Pen Pal WHIZZ bundle set and some Pen Pal WHIZZ compatible storybooks. All opinions are 100% mine.

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81 Responses to Pen Pal WHIZZ review and giveaway

  1. Evonne says:

    Sorry i accidentally post empty comment.

    I like Cinderella.

  2. Diana Gale says:

    fantastic product! my favourite feature is continuity – the fact that there are new books being launched means that the pen pal whizz can be used for a long, long time!!

  3. Jorina says:

    I like the fact that they can do recording πŸ™‚

  4. Amie Chen says:

    The recording function

  5. Xgg Chan says:

    It can read to my child! Sometimes, I’m just so tired after work that I don’t have energy to read to my sons, or I’m simply too busy with household chores. This is a great invention indeed!

  6. SHENNY says:

    i am intrigue with the reading out loud features that will entice kids and even myself to tap on anywhere and have it pronouncing the correct words.

  7. Thong Hwee Hwee says:

    I like the recording function, this is good as they can record the part they like and listen and learn πŸ™‚

  8. Angie.S says:

    I love the fact that it’s interactive and allows the child to record her own reading of a story! Dana has been using some of the Ipad apps to do that, she’ll love the Pen Pal Whizz for sure πŸ™‚

  9. Liza says:

    I love that it is bilingual because my knowledge of Mandarin has severely deteriorated over the years so this will be very useful for us.

  10. Veronica says:

    Hansel and Grete

  11. Megan says:

    I love the recording function!

  12. The feature I like most is the recording feature. It means I can record any and every book I have for my son!
    Cen-Lin Ting (Miracule) recently posted…{Review} Must Have First Aid for Home – Burnaid Gel Spray and Rapaid Skin Relief CreamMy Profile

  13. Serene Leow says:

    The ability to record of the voice of my kids reading session! :))

  14. Winnie says:

    I like that it can read to the kids & hopefully let me have a little bit of time to do other chores.

  15. Adeline says:

    My favourite feature is the recording function. πŸ™‚
    Adeline recently posted…Ready or Not, Off We Go!My Profile

  16. Mae Shenoy says:

    been eye-ing on this stuff for my baby during baby fairs… hope i got this one…

  17. Susan says:

    I like the fact that the pen can read both in English and Chinese.

  18. Samantha says:

    Thanks for the giveaway. I just had a newborn, this will be very handy for my elder for independent learning when I am occupied with my newborn.

  19. Carol Lim Mei Mei says:

    the recording function is wonderful.

  20. Li Peng says:

    Am sure the ability to ‘speak’ will keep my child engaged. Also, with the large collection of books, my children will be able to learn a diverse topics.

  21. Summerbabies says:

    Love the recoding and bilingual speaking. πŸ™‚

  22. Jennifer Seah says:

    I like that my boy can use it to read independently.

  23. Jolin says:

    I like the recording function. This way I can record more books for him to read and even songs too.
    Jolin recently posted…5 Reasons to Visit the Rise & Shine Expo 2013My Profile

  24. Eunice says:

    The recording function sounds great- record my or his voice will make it even more entertaining as we read.

  25. Irene Fock says:

    I love the recording part where the child can listen to his own voice! πŸ™‚

  26. Crystal Ng Chai Hong says:

    I like the fact that my kids can do their own interaction on their own when i’m busy with household chores n the recording part cos kids will be attracted to listening to their own voice….:)

  27. Lynn Soh says:

    I love the recording feature!

  28. M Lim says:

    I love it that my child can read the book on his own!

  29. Waiwai says:

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway. I like the recording function
    Waiwai recently posted…Bento-making Tips and HygieneMy Profile

  30. EJ says:

    It encourages reading independently! πŸ™‚

  31. Swee says:

    The recording oart is awesome! Cheers.

  32. Beverly says:

    I love how it’s bilingual and that there is a recording function. Would love to win this for my daughter as she is so into reading now, and this would be awesome for her.
    Beverly recently posted…Grocery Shopping On RedMart – A Mommy’s GuideMy Profile

  33. ashmika jain says:

    Hi,

    I simply love the product features which make Reading & learning so much Fun. Every child is going to enjoy & love to explore more & more through Pen Pal Whizz. The best part for me is the BONDING time…doing something which we both are going to love & at the same time my daughter is learning to become more & more independent, building her confidence.

    Enjoyed your review & Thanks a lot for such a wonderful Giveaway.

  34. joyce koo says:

    hi,

    i like it that my 3 children can use it to read independently

  35. Ing says:

    I like the recording function. My kids can read independently and I can listen to how they read!
    Ing recently posted…Picture Composition Writing for Lower Primary: Developing the StoryMy Profile

  36. Sarina Lim says:

    I think Pen Pal Whizz is a great education tool for my toddler! I am sure her knowledge and language will improve tremendously!

  37. Tony Tan says:

    The recording function is my favourite feature of the Pen Pal WHIZZ.

  38. San says:

    I love the fact that it can read Chinese! Totally helpful for me with the boys! πŸ™‚
    San recently posted…A-splishing and a-splashing!My Profile

  39. Estella says:

    I love that JLB Educational Technology works with local authors, some of them my favourites and pen pal whizz can be used from a really young age up to when the child goes to school!

    Estella @ So Oddly Dreamlike
    Estella recently posted…I love you back.My Profile

  40. Soo Yee says:

    Seems like a cool gadget!

  41. Jingxian says:

    Make your own recording~

  42. Mingfang says:

    I love the tapping part! Will be very user friendly for the little ones!
    Really nice to see the siblings having fun and learning together.
    I hope my elder girl will also have a chance to bond with the little bro through this Pen Pal WHIZZ, just like yours πŸ˜€

  43. Ranice Wu says:

    The recording function!I can record me singing or reading the books and the boys can just play to listen,very useful when there are chores to be done yet they want me to read to them.:)

  44. Sean says:

    I love the recording function! Increadible idea!!

  45. Charlene says:

    It aids in independent reading and has a recording function.

  46. Winnie says:

    I like the recording function, which allows me to record my own voice and my child’s. So interactive & fun!
    Winnie recently posted…Review: Heart Studio September Holiday ProgramMy Profile

  47. Jim Lipscomb says:

    I like the recording function of the pen

  48. Joey says:

    Love the recording function to keep the memories. thanks for the chance to win.
    Joey recently posted…Rabbit prints Tissue Pack Covers for Sale – NEWMy Profile

  49. Evonne says:

    I like the fact that it helps in independent reading. With 5 kids including 2 toddlers, it can help my no. 2 and no. 3 in learning to read by themselves when I am unable to read with them.

  50. I love the interactive storybook. It will help my boy understand, and comprehend what he has just read. I am quite sure my boy will have hours of fun just going through the stories.
    Shermeen Ching recently posted…Of Baby Slings & CarriersMy Profile

  51. Lilium says:

    Thanks for the giveaway! I love the independent learning part but I guess my girl will love the recording part.

  52. Jess Koh says:

    I love the stories and recording function.

  53. Joanne Ho says:

    I like the recording function! And the bilingual reading will help to strengthen our son’s linguistic capacity.

  54. Shan says:

    I love the recording function!

  55. Cherie says:

    hi, i like the bilingual reading since im hopeless in mandarin!
    Cherie recently posted…Viral fever vs Dengue Fever – how to tell the difference?My Profile

  56. jaime chan says:

    would love to try this new pen!

  57. Ellena says:

    Would like to try the pen with my girl!

  58. Monika C says:

    My favourite function is the recording function. You can record mommy’s voice to make it like I am reading the book for him. Or other way is to record the kid’s own voice and let him listen to his own reading. That will be very interesting for my son.

  59. Jessie says:

    I like the fact it encourages independent reading, that will boost the child’s confidence in reading.

  60. Keith says:

    It is a great tools to encourage my kid to learn in fun way!

  61. Fion teo says:

    I love the recording function!

  62. teo kai sin says:

    I think the recording function is awesome =)

  63. koh peng jek says:

    I love the recording feature the most!

  64. teo hock koon says:

    I love that its interactive with recording function!

  65. Jacquelene Pang says:

    what a wonderful tool to aid a child’s self-directed learning!
    thank you for hosting!

  66. Priscilla Neo says:

    Looking at ways to encourage my 4 years old to learn to read. This pen is awesome!

  67. Mary Tay says:

    Hi, I like their recording feature too & hope to win it for my 2.5yrs old. thank u for organising.

  68. JayTeeZeHang says:

    Love this fantastic and cool product. My boys will like it too! The recording feature is awesome! Thanks for the chance of winning!
    JayTeeZeHang recently posted…Superb Sunday: Being part of the “Street as Social Spaces Flashmob”My Profile

  69. Su says:

    Love the recording function!

  70. Brenda says:

    i like how it is interactive.

  71. Robert Sim says:

    Hope to bless my nephew and niece with this. Nephew will be intrigued with talking books!!

  72. joyce koo says:

    love the recording function for my 3 children

  73. kevin says:

    hi,

    love it that it can read chinese

  74. Lynn Leau says:

    Need to try out that incredible recording feature for myself! This seems like a great tool to encourage interest in reading as well as keeping the intimacy of a loved one’s voice reading a beloved story as a great keepsake.

  75. Audrey says:

    Love the independent learning aspect of the Whizz pen!

    Thanks

    Audrey SOo

  76. Jeslyn gwee says:

    Love the recording function and most importantly, can have bonding moments πŸ™‚

  77. Oh Lye Choon says:

    It’s a great learning tool for kids.

  78. ChaiSK says:

    Looks great!

  79. joanna says:

    It lets my son be concentrated on the things he is doing..

  80. Cheryl Ng says:

    Love the features & most important the books are based on singapore moe standard

  81. ron says:

    Feel it simulates the mind of baby.. very good to have.

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