How did we get started?

How did we start?

The first time I had a chance to hold this intriguing device, back in 2019 when I visited my family in Slovakia I was playing with my niece in her room. It was morning in the old town of Bratislava. Windows were wide open so we could hear birds chirping and cars noise in the distance. A nice cold breeze cutting warm air in the room gave a real feel of slovak summer. The room was so overfilled with all sorts of toys, a dollhouse, kitchen, big Czechoslovakian truck Tatra, and a special section of Russian speaking toys from her grandma. She liked to show me and my son, Alex all her toys. And there was this big book shelf. She had this puzzle book with firefighter Sam. We completed the puzzle, read a short story about firefighter Sam and we were looking for answers on the quiz in there
Once she lost interest when I was going through the library, she had next to her bed. There was this “English book for children”. I’d heard of these audiobooks before. I thought to myself “what rubbish! I would not let children play with such a thing. I like reading to them!”
But equally, I was curious. What is so special about this book that other parent’s so often talk about it?
I decided to explore it. I turned the device on and listened to instructions. It said to find the turn-on icon and point on it. As I played with it, a fascination kicked in, the recognised any object in the picture and spoke to me what the word was.
Each time I touch an image or symbol on the page, it repeats the word, again and again. I found myself thinking if I had this, when I could not yet read. When I really wanted to, nobody would teach me.
Maybe this thing wasn’t that bad. I knew enough through learning english as my second language, that you have to hear the words again and again for them to become part of your vocabulary, before you can actually memorise the symbol that an actual word represents. This tool was useful.
I also knew the real reality of saying the same word over and over to my toddler in order for him to remember and comprehend what it means, so that he could learn to speak it. This pen was like a parenting hack, a hack for language and speech development and a very cool one.
How clever it is, I thought. Something that empowers children to learn independent of their caregiver, when they want. I would have loved this as a child! I was starting to love it now!
But the pen didn’t just do this, with a simple change of setting, the pen also told the story of the book.
My brain started ticking, what if I could use something like this for my son Alex, to assist him learning our native language; Slovak. As he’s lived in Australia is entire life, English often takes first priority, but I don’t want his to lose touch with his heritage.
As I explored what books had in the Slovakia shops, I found a book about Slovakia, perfect! The books brought a beautiful visual element, that we couldn’t bring to our teachings.
Through the book Alex or anyone else, can see all of the different things about Slovakia, like what the country looks like, even get a feel for what our national food dish is. He could hear the national anthem sounds and immerse himself in our culture without leaving his bedroom.
I fell in love with the new world this device could bring our children, this device.
Regular books would never be able to sing the national anthem, without me picking up the phone, look it up and play it on the phone. Whilst the internet and phones are an incredible invention with their place on the world, I can’t help but feel the reduce our attention span and limit our imagination.
We get distracted with our phones so easily. Oh missed call, wait I have a text message, I just check this notification from Facebook… Half an hour later you forgot you were meant to show your kids something important.
More and more I played with books and the device. I realised how much I would have loved to have this toy as a kid. That was the starting point of what I now know to be my business mission, to bring these books to the children of Australia so they too can discover new words through the most incredible thing we have a available to us, language.

Related Articles

When I was four

When I was four I would refuse my naps. I disliked daycare because the made me take a nap. Everyone had the same routine and…


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *