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Leapfrog Intros TAG Reading System

LeapFrog recently unveiled a handheld reading system targeted at kids ages 4 to 8. The TAG Reading System is designed to help children learn to read by creating an “independent and interactive reading experience for children.”

According to the company, a child can touch the handheld Tag reader anywhere on the page of a Tag-enabled book, a built-in infrared camera will recognize the words and symbols printed on the page, and the device will in turn read the story aloud to the child.

A Web-based application called LeapFrog Connect allows parents to download the audio for the stories from their PCs or Macs to the device. The reader features 16MB of onboard flash memory, allowing it to hold audio for up to five books at a time.

The system will launch this summer at a suggested retail of $49.99. At the time of the launch, an 18-volume library of “children’s classic books, activity books and activity cards” will also be made available. The books and cards have been developed with publishing partners including HarperCollins, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic and others and will showcase notable characters including Fancy Nancy, Walter the Farting Dog and Miss Spider. Tag books and activity boards will carry suggested retails of $13.99 each; activity cards will be available for $7.99.