In our house we just love to read and that includes the children. The children were encouraged to read from an early age, and that started with reading them bedtime stories every night. So, as you can imagine, our house has lots of books (and eReaders to store even more!). But sometimes we are just a bit too tired to concentrate on reading and audio books are our saviour. Now the kids can listen to their stories and escape into an imaginary world as well with the My Fabulous Storyteller from Lunii.
Lunii’s My Fabulous Storyteller is a very innocuous looking turquoise box with yellow buttons and integrated speaker containing 48 audio stories. At first glance, this child-sized storytelling box doesn’t seem anything to get overexcited about, except with the My Fabulous Storyteller the listener gets to choose the hero, the location, the companion and the object to star in the story, creating their own story and audiobook all in a very child-friendly and easy to use way. And it has no screen!
In the box is: 1x Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller with 48 pre-installed stories, a user manual and a micro-USB cable.
- 48 Audio Stories Included
- Integrated Speaker with 5 volume levels
- 3.5mm Headphones Jack (headphones are not included)
- 30 Hours of stories can be stored
- 10 Hours of Listening Time
- No Screen
- Rechargeable via micro-USB
- Compatible with Mac, PC and Linux
- Hundreds of stories to download
- Available in 8 languages (can be ordered in 6 languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. Stories can also be ordered in Flemish and Russian)
- Length: 17.2cm
- Width: 4.7cm
- Height: 9cm
- Lithium-Ion battery included
The storyteller is for children aged 3-8+ years and has stories for little ones (3 years +), medium ones (5 years +) and big ones (7 years +).
So what is this box all about? Basically it is a player of audio stories where the listener chooses four components of the story. With all the different variants, children can create up to 48 different stories from the pre-loaded stories that come supplied with it and can purchase other stories to expand their library. The included stories are all about a boy or a girl called Ben and Suzanne (although the manual says it is Susan) and have a total runtime of 3 hours and 27 minutes, enough for a good few night of bedtime listening.
With this interactive story creator box children are able to create their own audio story. Each story lasts a couple of minutes. When switched on by turning the dial on the on the side of the box, which is also the volume knob with five sound levels, you are asked to pick your options from various options given (audibly through the speaker and visually through a hidden display on the front of the box). First you choose your character by turning the selection wheel on the front of the box to scroll through the options, in this case it was either Ben or Suzanne, and press the OK button on the one you want. Second you choose your location from options such as castle, at the sea, in a forest and at home and press the OK button when ready. Third you select a secondary character from options such as wolf, witch, imp, ghost or princess and press the OK button on the desired option. And lastly, you select an object that will be used within the story such as flashlight, reel of thread, keyring or mushroom. You might get different options depending on the previous option that you have chosen. Once the four options are chosen the story will begin playing.
We think the storyteller is an excellent idea and a good solid product. The box is very lightweight and portable and has a very minimal look making it easy to use, especially for the younger audience. The stories (if downloaded in English) all have a British accent (which we love – we’re fed up of the kids’ fake ‘American’ accents) and are clear and easy to understand, you can download stories in other languages as well.
Adding more stories is simple. You need to connect the storyteller to a computer using the supplied micro-USB cable and download the Luniistore app (a free application that is compatible with PC and Mac) and register (once registered you can get the Good Night stories for free). You need to register your storyteller with the app (3 can be registered) and then you can purchase new stories, prices start from €2.90. You can also use the Luniistore to manage what is already on the storyteller, using it to add or delete stories (they still remain in your library so you can always put them back on should your want to). You get about 30 hours of storage on the device itself so there is plenty of space to fill it up for even the longest of journeys. The Luniistore features a vast choice of stories for different age groups including Roger Hargreaves’ beloved Mr Men Little Miss collection and a selection of bedtime stories to help little one’s drift off into a good night’s sleep.
We have loved listening to the stories on the box and the kids think that it is so easy to use and the sound very clear (you can also use it with headphones). It is a lightweight box making it very portable and has a battery that will last for 10 hours of constant listening. It even has a shutoff feature to conserve the battery, so if it is left not playing a story for 5 minutes it will go into standby mode, and you just press OK to wake it up and continue.
Charging is simple. When the battery is low a low battery image will be displayed on the front of the box. You can plug into a computer using a micro-USB cable or plug into a wall socket if you have a USB plug (one is not supplied). The LED will be red whilst charging and change to solid green when fully charged.
The Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller is an excellent screen-free activity that will open children’s minds up to imaginative stories and will help with creativity, listening skills and vocabulary and so easy to operate, especially for little hands. We think it is a great device for book lovers as well as reluctant readers and cold be used for bedtime stories. Should you want to be the one that reads them their bedtime story but can’t, you can even download the Lunii Studio app on to your phone and record your own story that can be played back through the My Fabulous Storyteller.