Frequently Asked Questions
Curious about new languages like French or Korean or Hindi? Looking for Traditional or Cantonese? Want to get the Wand to speak only one language? Wondering how to "add on" titles to your library? Below, we have included answers to the most frequently asked questions we get. If you have any others, feel free to DM us on Instagram or email us at email@example.com!
Our Habbi Habbi Reading Wand makes learning a second language fun and easy - just turn on, tap, and watch the book come alive!
Every inch of the book is tappable (text, image, even the white space and cover). Kids love the instant feedback, and parents love that kids are learning while having fun. Read our introduction, watch our 30-second experience and original launch video to learn more!
Do I need multiple Wands for different books?
No! The magic of our Wand is that you need 1 Habbi Habbi Wand - to access any of our books, in any language - current or future title. The same Wand works with our Chinese, Spanish, French, Korean and Hindi books, as well as our Puzzles and Flashcards. You don't need to switch functions or tap anywhere specific. Just turn on and tap any of our products and it will work seamlessly. For future titles, you may need to update your Wand, but it is free and easy (like swapping a file on a USB drive!)
How does it work? Just turn on & tap!
Turn it on by pressing and holding the middle button until you hear the greeting. You have to hold it for a few seconds; we purposely made it this way - otherwise it would accidentally be turning off and on all the time, from kids accidentally bumping it.) Tap lightly - don't scan, don't hold to page, don't need to press hard - just tap! Tap with the end of the wand - not with the star (the stars is the speaker!).
Some other product features, some folks don't realize
It is rechargeable (USB cable provided). When it is recharging, there is a soft red glow in the top back of the star. When it is finished charging, the red glow will disappear. There is a headphone jack! (For car rides, airplanes, etc.!)
It really depends on your family and needs! Some families have more language exposure (e.g. one / both of the parents have exposure to the language), some have no exposure, some are fully fluent! We've designed it for preschool and early elementary - but the content is suitable for a wide range, depending on your home environment and interest in getting started. We have had parents of kids from pre-birth to age 10 buy our product. We also have had non-native parents remark that it's great for adults to learn alongside their kids.
To be helpful, we have split our products into the following types, loosely correlated with difficulty:
Words: Feature more basic words and vocabulary - covering popular topics like First Words, In My Home, Animals Plants & Places, Foodie Friends, and Things That Go!
Phrases: Include basic phrases or very short sentences - which look something like "I am happy" or "Every morning... I make my bed."
Sentences: Contains fuller phrases or complete sentences. There are typically 4 - 8 on each spread, with fuller descriptions. For example, describe what Mommy does at work or what a Healthy Habit entails. Note: Families still love Sentence books for their young children, because every inch of the illustrations is tappable, with lots of basic words, object names and phrases!
Stories: Comparable level of difficulty as Sentence books - but in a story format, following the adventures of Haddie & Lulu. We hope the broader themes (resilience, collaboration, intellectual curiosity & more) of these simple stories resonate with too!
In case helpful, here is an observation from consumer feedback:
More bilingual families (have exposure to the language): Typically buy it when kids are very young (0-3). When the kids are teeny tiny, parents may tap together and explore *with* them. As kids grow older and can grasp / hold the wand and understanding how it works, they start "stabbing" the book. In this form, they are just playing (which is terrific). And because each inch is tappable - no matter where they tap, they can hear something (and learn with the text - or - have fun with the music / sound effects!)
More monolingual families: Usually start (2-6) when they feel more prepared to start. They also follow a similar progression and it is also starts with "play."
Kids (6-9): Still use it too! Their behavior is more intentional - they tap purposefully on what they want to read. We have heard parents say this is often great reinforcement for some kids.
No matter what age your kids(s) are, there are 3 general principles we encourage:
Play = Exposure = Learning: Young kids "play" - and because every inch is tappable, they will always hear something (and it will be target language first). And no matter which book it is, we are intentional about the content - it is not about "leveled" character recognition. Our focus is on practicality. We are very topic focused. What would our kids be interested in? (Animals, Things That Go) What would we talk to them about? (Chores and Healthy Habits) What should they be able to say? (Describe what Mommy and Daddy do!)
Show interest as a parent: We are busy parents too, so we are not suggesting you need to always sit with them! One of the beautiful things of our product is that it faciltiates independent play. But it is great to occasionally engage - whether that is asking what a word is, playing a game, learning a new phrase together. We loved the way our friend Yvonne put it when she said "Showing curiosity, openness, respect, and interest in the language - says a lot to our kids."
Give the books "space": We will always have more English books at home, so they will may naturally gravitate to them. Occasionally it's helpful to give the books "space" by putting them in a prominent play area (so they can see it) or suggesting it lightly "What about this?"
Our Wand comes ready to use in 'Bilingual' mode - which means, it is almost always Target language (Chinese, Spanish, French, Korean, Hindi) first - followed by English. You can also turn off the English to promote more immersion - or - even play the books in English only.
To switch between these 3 modes (Bilingual, Target lanugage only, English only), you just need to tap the buttons. These buttons are available in:
1. Inner cover pages of your books (some of our titles in Spanish and Chinese do not yet have it, in which case you can switch through any of the below methods)
2. Flashcards (A card is included)
3. Puzzle (Bottom right part of puzzle & on information page)
4. Cover of the introduction manual in your Wand box
5. If you don't have any of the above, you can use our individual mode card.
Philosophy: Our Wand is programmed with BIlingual mode as the default - with the intention to maximize exposure, while being approachable. One of our two primary principles is *accessibility* - We want language learning to be approachable, especially for non-native families. This includes those who may have grown up with the language but who find it challenging when they encounter more difficult vocabulary outside daily life.
When you tap the Target language text, illustrations, white space, etc - it will *always* start with the target language first. It will always say both languages together - so kids can hear both and associate them together. Every inch is tappable & every book also includes musical tunes -which kids love and reinforces our goal to make it fun NOTE: If your Wand is still playing English first (i.e. you purchased your wand before March 23, 2020), it is not updated! We strongly suggest you update it (free!), so it speaks the Target language first!
Example of accessibility:
Every inch of our book is tappable. This means there is tons of content beyond the text printed on the page. And without the English in the audio, it could be intimidating to tap an illustration (with no text), hear an expression, and have no idea what it says. For example, in many of our books - you can tap the characters in the illustration to hear their conversation. If you tapped the child in the photo, and he said "蛋糕来了 (dàn gāo lái le), it helps that the audio is followed by "The cake is here!" to help a non-native speaker (both child and parent) understand the book. This is a simpler example. But there are others; for example, in our 7 Wishes book, each page has a "value" - if you tap "同理心 (tóng lǐ xīn)" and it did not say "Empathy," you might feel frustrated.
In summary, our BIlingual-Mode design principles:
Makes it approachable- one of the challenges of materials from other countries (that have no English) is that they feel intimidating for many families. Enables bilingual learning - kids always hear both phrases - so they link the two together (e.g. 黑莓 hēi méi - Blackberry). Ease of use (simplicity) - all you have to do it is turn on and tap; nothing else. No need to toggle between function or tap a specific sticker - if you don't know what it says. The English will just repeat after the Target language. We have noticed that kids (especially younger kids) aren't reading the book to learn; they are tapping the book to play. So they will tap anywhere. And because they tap anywhere, we wanted to make sure the exposure was fun (sound effects, musical notes) while being practical (hearing target language first) and intentional (content we chose). Ultimately our goal is to maximize fun (so they come back to it) and keep learning (what they pick up and repeat back!)
You must have one of our original Wands when we first launched and had not introduced the 3 modes (Bilingual, Target only, English only).
No worries though! Your Wand just needs to be updated. Please see instructions here. It should be straightforward like adding a file onto a USB drive. Please make sure to do BOTH updates
1. Update C - outside the book folder
2. BNL updates - inside the book folder
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are new to Habbi Habbi
You can purchase 'a la carte' (Books/Flashcards/Puzzles are $20-25 and Wand is $65) - or - in Sets with Wand, where there is advantaged "bundle pricing."
Our Starter Set includes a selection across book types.
Our Assortment Set is a lovely medley that shows the breadth of our collection, including items like puzzles and flashcards - also tappable!
Our Everything Set has every item we offer in your language of choice and is our richest experience and best value.
For those who have our Reading Wand
We offer 4 ways to add to your library, from completing your collection all at once to adding on 5/10/15-book custom bundles where you can choose your preferred titles. You can also purchase items a la carte, including tappable puzzles and flashcards. Learn more here.
Right now we have 5 languages: Mandarin Chinese (Simplified), Spanish, French, Korean, and Hindi. Our 6th, Cantonese, is coming Fall 2024!
For Chinese & Spanish, we have in each language:
- 24 books
- 2 puzzles
- 2 flashcard sets
For Korean we have
- 23 books
- 1 flashcard set
For French, we have
- 12 books
- 1 flashcard set
For Hindi we have
- 11 books
Do you have [X] language?
This is by far the most frequent question we get! So far we have Chinese (Simplified - with pinyin), Spanish, French, Korean, and Hindi. We are building a global library and look forward to building out languages, as we grow, scale, and build out the platform. If you are interested in joining to be part of our language & culture team (there are paid and volunteer positions), please let us know HERE!
If you are reading this question, we'd love your input! Please tell us HERE what language(s) you're excited about, so we can keep an ongoing tally and let you know if and when they are released. Thank you for your enthusiasm about what we are building; it means a lot.
On Traditional Mandarin: We understand and would LOVE to build out Traditional as an option. (Fun fact: H learned Traditional first when she was young, since her family is from Taiwan.) As a small business run by two moms, we are just a bit constrained by print minimums, so we have chosen to print only Simplified for now. We do know many families with both resources in their homes (H has books from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and more). Especially because our books focus on audio - listening comprehension and speaking - we hope that even if you prefer Traditional, you may give us a try too. :) Regardless if you are here and reading this, we appreciate your interest in what we are building! Thank you for taking the time to learn more about us, our product, and our story. xo
This was a decision of practicality vs. purity. We understand there is a school of thought that says - 'no pinyin' - to encourage character recognition and not develop pinyin as a crutch. That being said, we also know tons of parents with some Chinese background (ABCs) who feel that typical Chinese books or learning materials are inaccessible and daunting because they don't have pinyin. So this was a conscious decision to say - Learning Chinese in the US (and other English-dominant countries) is already hard enough; let's make it as easy as possible. And if our kids' language capability grows to be so good, they have limitless options of Chinese books without pinyin that they can also read from.
Our "Language & Culture team" responsible for our translations - are native speakers in their respective languages. Our translation process includes 3 formal steps and multiple reviews with 10+ different readers, representing different regions. It also includes many, many, many discussions, since there can be different opinions about what is a better translation ...
Some things have different names across regions (e.g. Mexico vs. Spain, China vs. Taiwan vs. Hong Kong). For example: Butter (黄油 Huángyóu, 奶油 Nǎiyóu, 牛油 Niú yóu). Some things are pronounced differently across regions - e.g. 头发 is tóu fàin China and tóu fǎ in Taiwan. Some words are generational - e.g. 'board game' 桌游 (zhuō yóu) is a more recent term; older generations might just call them 'games' - 游戏 (yóu xì). Some are contextual- for example, calling a young student's verbal presentation 报告 (bàogào) or 演讲 (yǎnjiǎng).
Native speakers in different regions feel quite passionately that their choice is right, likely due to the different contexts where these words are used. Some are a preference of formality- some prefer more conversational translations (每天下午我会看书), while some find that too casual for printed text and prefer a slightly more formal translation (每天下午是我的阅读时间). Some intentional words we use don't exist - e.g. 'giving jar' (not to be confused with a generic piggy bank). In this case, we write what we think is best, based on our team / panel's collective discussion.
These differences come up across Chinese, Spanish, French, Korean and Hindi - and our translation process and teams have been built to encourage discussion and intentional choices when they do.
In general, you'll observe we lean more China (vs. Taiwan) given we use Simplified, more Mexico (vs. other regions), and more France (vs. Canada and other regions). For Hindi, we lean more colloquial vs. formal, use some Urdu and English words where more common. Across all our translations, please note - there is no political connotation in this decision. It is driven by practicality (e.g. What type of Spanish is used more in the US? Is Simplified or Traditional taught more in colleges or countries like Singapore who require Chinese as a mandatory second language?)
[Note about Traditional since may of you ask: In the future as we scale, we'd love to add Traditional Chinese; but unfortunately for now, we are constrained by our print minimums. Fun fact: H learned Traditional first, when she was young!]
For our 'Voices' (the audio you hear when you tap the books), there is again the question of 'accent' even among native voices. We tried to choose a more 'neutral' (news broadcaster) accent. Analogy for English would be: California - vs - Boston, Chicago, Texas, Southern US.
Note: Translation and language is an art, and things vary so much across regions. We are always used to what we individually have grown up with, but it's good to recognize that it's different for everyone!
We don't do traditional discounting (% off) - so our community knows they don't have to time their purchase.
But we do love to celebrate the holidays and will always have a few high-value bundles coming for 4 days (Black Friday - Cyber Monday!)
Best way to find out what they are - is to be on our email list! We always give a preview of the packages before they go live on Black Friday!
If you have any further questions, feel free to email us at email@example.com!
1 year Reading Wand warranty: We stand behind our product quality. If your Wand is defective or faulty, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your proof of purchase, and we will arrange for a replacement product. We are happy to replace it for free within 1 year of purchase.
Please understand we will not replace any orders from misuse of product (water damage, grit inside the bottom of wand, overexposure to heat, etc.). Please also kindly understand you are responsible for the cost of shipping the wand back to us, for review. Should the wand be deemed faulty, your shipping cost will be refunded.
If your Wand is not working:
Are you using it indoors or in the shade? The Wand is meant to be an indoor product - and will not work under the glare of the sun.
Are you tapping with the end (vs the star)? It's the tip of the wand that should tap the book; the star is the speaker.
Is it charged? Please plug in the micro USB cable. There is a soft red glow at the back of the wand if it is charging. If there is no glow, charge is complete.
Did you turn it on? Press and hold the middle button until you hear the greeting. It takes a couple of seconds. We designed it this way, so the wand isn't accidentally turning on and off from an accidental touch of the button.
Is it speaking Chinese only? You might have turned on 'Testing mode' by accident. Just turn it off (press & hold middle button) and turn it on again (press & hold middle button).
Still not working? Contact us at email@example.com
If you lost your charging cable:
No worries - easy fix. :) It's a standard micro USB cord, which you probably have at home. We just provide the cord in the box for convenience!
We LOVE the enthusiasm we are getting across the world - and would love to get our product to as many of you as possible.
You can purchase on our site and ship internationally, but it is expensive! We do NOT mark up our shipping - we charge at cost and try to offer as many reliable carriers as possible - but books are heavy, and there aren't great options. (If you do know of any, please send us an email, and we would love to explore it.)
Please kindly note that we are not responsible for any duties, VAT, customs charges that your country may impose on the package.
Please kindly note that International orders are not refundable (shipping cost back and forth is prohibitive).
We are just starting to explore this, based on incoming requests. You can purchase our Starter Set from lovely mom-owned businesses at:
Canada: Little Kozzi
Singapore: Savvy Mama
If you are interested in seeing Habbi Habbi in your country, please help us keep tally by filling out this form!
If you are interested in being a stockist for Habbi Habbi, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have had requests for schools, hospitals, party favors, stocking up on client gifts and more - and we are happy to put something together for you! Send us an email at email@example.com - and we are happy to discuss further.
We wanted to create a brand independent of association with existing words - so we made our own word. We threw the letters of our names into a hat and then came out with different mash-ups. We liked Habbi Habbi because 1 - It sounded like 'Happy Happy' and we were in the midst of toddlers starting to talk, and 2 - There are two of us - H&AL. :) Learn more about our story here: About Us.
We are so appreciative of our community - you are all THE BEST! There are so, so many ways you can help - including just helping spread the word and sharing the love about Habbi Habbi (it can be a post on social, thinking of us for your school book fair, or just telling a friend.) Our goal is to make language learning accessible (and fun!) for all families - so thank you for helping us and being a part of our journey!
If you're interested in helping in a bigger capacity, we would love to speak with you too! See HERE for more about roles and things we are looking for!
We'd love to hear from you! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on Instagram @behabbi