LeapFrog's LeapReader pen teaches reading and writing, on sale in July for $50

With its latest device, LeapFrog's continuing to fight the good fight: teaching kids essential skills through the power of consumer electronics. LeapReader's a sort of spiritual successor to the company's Tag line, maintaining the reading tool's pen-like form factor, while adding writing to the equation. The device continues to read out words and sentences, adding in the ability to trace letters and write them out on its special paper. LeapReader encourages kids to trace the lines of letters and then try things on their own, after a couple of goes. The pen's got enough space to hold 40 books or 175 songs, which can be played through an on-board speaker or via a headphone jack on top -- and you can also play books purchased for your Tag device.

Interested parties will be able to pre-order the $50 LeapReader on June 12th. It'll be hitting retail locations and LeapFrog's site early the following month, with a few months to spare before back to school rolls around. The pen's targeted toward kids aged four to eight (and, thankfully, is designed to only write on designated books) and will come in pink and green. Check out a demo video of the device after the break.%Gallery-187119%

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LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:LF), the leader in educational entertainment, today announced LeapReader, the complete learn to read and write solution for kids. LeapReader, from the creator of the #1 selling Tag learn to read system, is the next generation of learning that helps children build literacy skills and reading confidence. With LeapReader's three essential experiences – learn to read, learn to write and learn through listening – kids sound out words and read sentences, write letters with interactive guidance, and develop comprehension skills through audio books, music and more all available in the LeapReader library of more than 150 learning experiences.

"For the last 18 years, LeapFrog has helped millions of children to learn to read," said John Barbour, chief executive officer at LeapFrog. "With LeapReader, we are taking the way children learn to read to the next level and adding writing to build a foundation for future academic success. Our highly experienced team of learning experts worked alongside our talented teams of designers and producers to create the ultimate reading tool and engaging content experiences that reinforce a child's language and literacy skills. We are extremely proud of how fun and interactive every book, workbook, map, audio book and flash card is while providing kids rich and unique learning experiences."

"The statistics are jaw-dropping – one in six children who are not reading proficiently in third grade fail to graduate from high school on time, four times the rate for children with proficient third grade reading skills.ii," said Dr. Jody Sherman LeVos, leader of LeapFrog's Learning Team. "We know that children learn to read and write better when done together. LeapReader allows these skills to be practiced concurrently using physical books along with related skills like listening comprehension. With LeapReader, as kids touch letters to hear their sounds and listen to words pronounced and sounded out, they build phonics and word recognition skills. Additionally, as they trace and write letters, they learn about proper stroke order and writing fluency."

The LeapReader Library

The LeapReader library includes more than 150 engaging and fun learning experiences such as books, audio books, flash cards, maps, learn-to-write sets, music albums and trivia challenges. The LeapReader library of content offers parents the best and most engaging, high-quality educational solutions available to help children learn to read and write:

Learn to Read: Kids learn to read by sounding out words, reading sentences and building comprehension through LeapReader books, maps and flash cards.

Learn to Write: Interactive LeapReader workbooks feature audio coaching and support to help kids learn the sequence of strokes and build writing fluency. These new workbooks feature revolutionary LeapFrog Learning Paper which contains ink embedded within the page for a mess-free writing solution.

Learn through listening: LeapReader audio books, learning songs and trivia challenges foster children's comprehension skills, vocabulary and imagination.

LeapFrog worked closely with world-class publishing partners including Random House, Scholastic Inc. and KIDZ BOP, among others, to select the best audio content for the LeapReader library. The library will feature beloved children's characters and audio books such as The Magic Tree House and Little Golden Books from Listening Library, a division of Random House Inc., and Clifford and The Velveteen Rabbit from Scholastic Inc., and today's biggest hits, sung for kids by kids, from the popular audio series, KIDZ BOP. LeapReader (MSRP $49.99 and in pink and green, for children ages 4-8) will be available for pre-order beginning June 12, and available at major retail locations and at in early July. All audio books and music albums will be available for download using LeapFrog Connect Application for LeapReader. LeapReader holds audio for up to 40 books or 175 songs at a time and works with most Tag books*.