Review of Bugsby Reading System from VTech

I'm kind of a collector of "reading systems" -- I'll admit. I love the thought of getting kids involved with a toy that also slyly teaches them to read. While I've really enjoyed some of the more popular systems over the years, some of them get to be more complicated than they should... which makes them inappropriate for the age group that I really want reading early (my preschoolers!)

The Bugsby Reading System from VTech is one that I can't say enough good things about. Simple to use, it's a large bug-shaped pen (like a gloworm) that you insert a cartridge into (just slide it into his back.) In seconds, your child can be using the Bugsby to read, sing, play games, and just learn about the pages of each Bugsby-compatible book. Here are the top 3 things that make me want to cheer for this system:

1. There is a cartridge for each book BUT unlike other systems (that usually end up with lost cartridges within days), these books have a little slot on the inside cover that the cartridge snaps into. Even my 2-year-old can put the cartridge in a "safe place" when he's done with the book. (We've had this system for over 2 weeks, and no lost cartridges yet!)

2. The books are for various ages, but they make it easy to figure out who it's designed for. The Wonder Pets book is for ages 3-5, and it held the attention of both my 2.5 and 4 year old boys. The older books (up to age 7) kept my age 6 guy entertained. My boys loved to watch over each other's shoulders to see what the other one was doing.

3. The books themselves have regular paper pages, but the binding and covers are SUPER strong hardbacks. As long as you can trust your little one to not rip out the pages, you can rest assured that these will probably last a long time. Unlike some other systems with spiral-bound soft-cover books, these are looking really nice (even after suffering through hours of really aggressive pen-pressing.)

This is a reading system that I pull out every two days or so, and the boys get excited still. Perfect for complimenting a homeschool reading program, or for long car trips, the Bugsby system is a wonderful product! (And did I mention that there is a headphone jack? Bless you, VTech.)

Check out all the Bugsby excitement at (You can find out how to win great prizes, too!)

*Sample was received for this review.