We get so many questions about our “Reading Pen” (Reading Wand ®), so we have collected answers to common ones here - including what is a Reading Pen, who should use it, and ultimately what makes the Habbi Habbi Reading Wand so distinct. We have designed it to be very simple, beautiful, easy to use - and also very powerful. We call it the “Ultimate” Reading Pen for kids because it is multilingual, so easy to use, very high quality, and opens an expansive suite of bilingual books (in multiple languages) and other bilingual resources (e.g. puzzles and flashcards coming soon) that are intentional in their content and messaging. Read on to learn more.
What is a Reading Pen (Reading Wand)?
Reading Pens enable print to come alive with audio, just by touching the tip of the Reading Pen on the page. As we like to say at Habbi Habbi, “All it takes is a tap.”
We personally find this technology incredibly useful when it comes to learning another language, because it makes bilingual learning accessible for all - whether they are heritage or non-native families. Without family, an immersion school, or personal tutor - learning a second language can feel daunting for some. Reading Pens make it easy - and at Habbi Habbi, we try to make it both easy *and* fun.
Who should use a Reading Pen?
While many Reading Pens are designed for kids (color and shape), they can be used by anyone, including parents. We have heard many stories of adults using them … playing (and learning) with their kids.
Sometimes people ask - What age should my child start? The answer to that question is so family dependent. Technically, a child can start as soon as they have the motor skills and coordination to hold the Reading Pen (Wand). But there are so many families who start earlier (even at birth), because they consider it a toy and tool they use *with* their babies - for example, using it as a tool to read a bilingual book during storytime.
What distinguishes Habbi Habbi from other Reading Pens?
Here at Habbi Habbi, we call our Reading Pen - a Reading Wand ® because we wanted to evoke the magic of making the page come alive, consistent with our star-design. But the main distinguishing features of Habbi Habbi versus other Reading Pens are:
- ONE MULTILINGUAL WAND: Habbi Habbi’s Reading Wand accesses anything in the Habbi Habbi library - all on one Wand. It’s not just a Chinese Reading Pen or a Spanish Reading Pen - it is a one multilingual, universal one. Currently, we offer Chinese (Mandarin Simplified), Spanish, with French, Korean, and Hindi coming soon. So you may be a family focused on Mandarin Chinese but also want your kids to learn a little bit of basic Spanish. Your Habbi Habbi Wand will work - all you have to do is tap one of our Spanish books - no need for a new or separate Wand.
- SO, SO EASY TO USE (No recording, no stickers): Habbi Habbi’s Reading Wand is so easy to use. You just turn on (press and hold the middle button) and then tap. That’s it. You can tap anywhere on any book - whether it’s the text, illustrations, white space, or even cover. You don’t need to tap a specific sticker (often young kids don’t have the motor control to tap a small, specific spot). You don’t need to record anything yourself.
- LONGEVITY: Habbi Habbi’s Reading Wand can be easily updated - so you can add on languages or new book files, even as new products are released. You don’t have to worry that your Reading Wand only works with 1-2 books.
- PLAY-BASED: The premise of the Habbi Habbi Reading Wand (and its suite of bilingual books, puzzles, flashcards, and other tools) - is that it is play based and fun. This is why every inch is tappable - so that kids get instant feedback and exposure, no matter what they tap. They will hear anything from basic vocabulary words to practical phrases to expressions to musical tunes. They think they are just playing and discovering, but they are absorbing and learning, too.
- FLEXIBLE (BILINGUAL & MONOLINGUAL MODES): Different families have different needs. Some more “heritage” families like their Reading Pens to only play the target language, to have a more immersive experience. Some families are less native or non-native and prefer to have it play both the target language and English in what we call “Bilingual mode.” At Habbi Habbi, you have incredible flexibility, because you can change modes - and play “Target language only” mode (more immersion), Bilingual mode, or even English-only mode! (This mode is helpful for a book like Maps of the World - for example - if you’re trying to learn all the US state names in English first.)
- BETTER TECHNICAL FEATURES: Though these features may seem minor, they make a huge difference in user experience:
- Rechargeable (no batteries): The micro USB cord is provided in the box when you purchase, but even if you lose it, it is a standard cord - so you likely have several at home already!
- Headphone jack: So you can use it on the road, outside, or when kids want to use it side by side!
- Turns off automatically: If you don’t use it, it will automatically turn off to preserve the battery. (Though the Wand will first prompt you by saying, “Are you still there? Let’s keep reading!”)
- Warranty: It is built to last. We have a 1 year Warranty on our Wand, but it should last much longer than that (We are still using our samples from 3 years ago in 2019!) As long as you don’t expose it to water (it is an electronic!) or extreme heat or stick play dough / kinetic sand up the tip (this is the most common issue) - your Reading Wand should last for a very long time!
Beyond the Reading Pen technicals, it is the content that matters
At the end of the day, it matters what the Reading Pen is reading. The Habbi Habbi Reading Wand accesses a global language library of bilingual books, bilingual toys, and more.
- SUITE OF LANGUAGE LEARNING MATERIAL: At Habbi Habbi, our Reading Wand accesses not only a suite of bilingual books - but also other bilingual toys and tools. The Habbi Habbi Reading Wand can be used with any of our bilingual materials including: Bilingual books (24 titles), Bilingual toys such as puzzles and flashcards (4 designs), and growing. Note: Habbi Habbi's bilingual books are hardcover board books, so they are durable in construction, will not rip, and even wipeable in case you get the occasional food or drink on it!)
- MULTILINGUAL: Currently available in Chinese (Mandarin Simplified), Spanish, with French, Korean, and Hindi coming soon - Fall 2022.
- INTENTIONAL CONTENT: At Habbi Habbi, our content not only covers basic vocabulary (first words, first phrases, animals, food, etc.) but also intentional messages and values embedded in each title …
- I Love My Body - includes not only “parts of the body” vocabulary, but also intentional messages about body image, reframing insecurities, and self love.
- Book of Chores - discusses chores and the concept of self reliance, while discussing days of the week and how to perform the chores.
- Haddie & Lulu’s Dinosaur Dissertation - is not only a fun story with dinosaur vocabulary and facts but also highlights girls in science and themes of practice and self confidence
- Book of Careers (Mom) - features moms in traditionally male careers. (Yes, we intentionally chose ‘surgeon’ over doctor / nurse and ‘professor’ over teacher.)
- So much more - e.g. Global Celebrations, Healthy Habits, and more - loosely categorized across the following "levels" - Word, Phrase, Sentence, and Story Bilingual Books.
How to purchase a Habbi Habbi Reading Wand?
The best place to purchase Habbi Habbi is on our website, and the best way to purchase is through our “Sets with Wand” - since our sets have better prices. A la carte, our Reading Wand is $55 (you can consider this a one-time purchase, since it works with any title - current or future), and our books are $20. In our Sets, there are pricing advantages. For example, our Starter Set (Wand + 5 Books) is $115, which means our Reading Wand is essentially $15. And in our Words & Phrases Set (Wand + 10 Books) at $200, our Reading Wand is essentially free.
We hope this helps! If you have any further questions about our Reading Wand, please do reach out. We make our product with love and hope you love too. xo, H&AL