Building Memory and Memories {Hallmark Giveaway}

love you forever

Do you have any recordable books? If my children hadn’t received these as a gifts, I’m not sure I would have imagined that we would gain so much from them.

hallmark recordable books

When my older daughter, N, was one and half, her grandparents and uncle sent her recorded copy of The Night Before Christmas. They took turns recording the pages, mailed it off to us, and we all enjoy feeling a little bit closer to them when we hear their voices. They live far away on the other side of the country, and the clear sound of their voices helps us connect to them in between phone calls and visits.

Connecting with faraway family is a enough of a reason to get one of these books. What I didn’t anticipate was that N would learn to recite the entire poem, The Night Before Christmas, before her third birthday. This totally blew me away, and I’m sure it’s because she had control over listening to the passages of the poem at her own pace.

I’m not here to brag about my child’s brilliance — that’s not the point (although of course I think my kids are amazing!)– rather it’s one example of how the repetition of stories, poetry, and songs can get deep into a child’s soul, contribute to memory-building, and transform their imagination.

the night before christmasShe listened to this story over and over again, apparently soaking it all up and paying attention to Clement Clarke Moore’s complex and rich language and eventually repeated it back to the book, and then to my husband and me:

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

So when Hallmark asked if I’d like to review a couple of their recordable books, how could I say no?

love you forever

I got the chance to record my voice on the books they sent while my kids sat on my lap (not recommended unless you like the ambiant sound of your kids asking you questions and making chirping noises), and my girls now enjoy opening them up to hear me tell a story.

And this brings me to a sort of cautionary tale. I was picking up twinkly lights in the holiday aisle of our drug store last winter when I saw a woman looking at a display of recordable books. Our eyes connected and I couldn’t help but share how much my kids have gained from these books. She agreed with me and then explained that her father just passed away and she wished she had asked him to record a copy a book for her kids just a couple weeks back. How could she have known?

Not one to end on a sad note, if you click on this page you’ll see a full list of all the Hallmark Recordable books. I don’t see any holiday books there, but perhaps they’re seasonal and we’ll see them again soon.

If you’d like to enter for a chance to win your very own recordable book, Hallmark has given me two books to give away. To enter for a chance to win one, please leave a comment with the name of the book you would most like to own and why, and I’ll select a winner through Random.org. Contest is open to US residents and closes on Sunday, May 13 at 9 pm PST.

I’m in no way affiliated with Hallmark; I’m just a happy customer who looks for opportunities to share the things I love with my readers.