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Tom Baker writer
Tom Baker Staff Writer Derby, UK

It can be difficult to get kids to read nowadays – why go near a dusty old paperback when there's Lego Star Wars? – and whilst tech can be helpful, you might also lose something of a personal touch. Which you could recover with, er, more tech.

A little while ago I profiled FarFaria, a cool app that offers animated storybooks for kids on the iPad. I still think it's pretty neat, but – especially with a feature that lets kids read alone – in hindsight it might spoil one of the best parts of bedtime stories: parents reading to their children.

As much of my memories of Not Now Bernard up to The Hobbit are tied into my mum and dad's performances of the character's voices as the stories themselves, something lost when you've got a professional voice artist reading aloud instead. That's where MeBooks comes in, as a happy medium.

London-based and recently launched in the US, the e-book publisher offer classic titles from Peter Rabbit to Peppa Pig, but instead of trying to compete with the likes of FarFaria, offers something unique: you can read along with kids, and then record your own narration if they want to read along themselves. Ideal for kids who crave more bed time stories than you have the time/patience for, and for encouraging reading alone without throwing them in at the deep end. Sweet dreams.

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