Story Telling Time 

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"Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin by reading you a story with the assistance of a new app entitled Readmio".

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Readmio, the company, is a Czech start-up that has the desired aim of creating a meaningful bonding experience between the parent and the child.  This is through the natural process of the telling and listening to a story partnership.  To this end the company has developed an app, sharing the company name of Readmio.  This app, available for either the iOS or Android platform offers to bring stories to life through the use of sound effects and appropriate music that is triggered by the use of keywords found within the text of the story.

I decided to take a look at the Android version of the app and, as a result, felt it was entirely appropriate to use the excellent Readme smartphone for this purpose.  Following a trouble-free download and installation of the app, I was offered a choice of working with English, Slovak or Czech language (German is due to be added to this app later in the year).

As downloaded, the app provides access to a number of features that are split between the four sections entitled New Books, Categories, My Library and Profile.  The Readmio app has access to over 100 stories which have been categorised in various ways.  There are categories relating to the child's age with sections for 3 - 5 years, 5 - 8 years and 8 - 11 years.  There are also categories such as Editor's Picks, About Animals, Folk tales and Aesop's fables.  New titles are added on a regular basis.

By cherry picking from the available stories, you can build up the My Library sections as the stories are displayed with appropriate thumbnail icons.  You can then click on a chosen story and move automatically to the telling and recording stage of the procedure.  The text of the story will be displayed on screen.  Options are available to switch between the normal and larger size font for the text plus a choice of combining white text on a black background or black text on a white background.  You can also adjust the brightness level of the display to compensate for different lighting conditions.

As you read through the text, appropriate sound effects will be added to the recording being made of the reader's voice.  These additions occur whenever you encounter bolded text within the story.  You are also offered the opportunity to have some mood music played before the text reading.  If necessary you can pause and restart the recording at any time allowing the reader to take a break.

Once the story has been read and the recording completed then you will probably want to play back the recording to check the quality.  However this is not possible until you have agreed to subscribe to an additional feature known as Readmio Membership.  The subscription will cost £49.99 per annum.  You are allowed an initial 7-day free trial but this only becomes available once the valid credit card details have been entered.  Having signed up to Readmio Membership you will have access to features such as playing recordings and print out the text of the various stories.  I have a rule whereby I never offer my credit card for a free trial even when I have an option to cancel.

Some Available Sample Stories
3 - 5 years The Frog King Brothers Grimm
The Three Little Pigs Joseph Jacobs
5 - 8 years The Fairies Charles Perrauit
The Bees and the Beekeeper Aesop
8 - 11 years The Magic Sandals Peruvian folk tale
Mary and the Twelve Months Pavol Dobsinsky
Editor's Picks Puss in Boots Charles Perrauit
The Honest Woodcutter Aesop
About Animals The Ugly Duckling Hands Christian Anderson
The Hunter and the Snake Indian Tale
Folk Tales The Gingerbread House Brothers Grimm
The Three Sillies English folk tale
Aesop Fables The Dog and the Lion Aesop
The Mouse and the Bull Aesop

Readmio | Enjoy interactive children stories with sounds!

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