Review: Watson the Story Buddy

A raccoon called Watson arrived at our house recently for our family to review. Watson is a story buddy, made by Hallmark. The idea is that as you read the story to your children, certain phrases you say trigger a response from Watson. It's a good idea and our son loved him. He particularly enjoyed Watson's input into the story and it definitely made storytime more entertaining.

I was impressed that Watson has more than one response for each trigger. So you are not just hearing the same responses all the time from him. My son was a little disappointed that he couldn't make Watson talk. Given that he's only two and a half, this isn't any great surprise although he's not far off being able to clearly say the sentences. My daughter has also had fun with Watson, just stroking and playing with him.
Today I sent Watson and his book with my children to the childminder. She looks after four children under five and three older children after school. They thought Watson was brilliant, although the childminder did say that it might help if the book were a little more interesting. You can get other Watson stories which he interacts with, and maybe these are a little more captivating.

The range has three different story buddies, two of them have their own collection of books. Accompanying the buddies is a free downloadable app for the iPhone or iPad. The app includes an animated story about each character as well as games and quizzes to play. As I don't have an iPhone, this is of no use to me and, I would suggest to Hallmark that they broaden the app to be downloaded on android and smart phones to include those of us not fortunate enough to have an iPhone.

I have to admit that a story buddy isn't something that I would normally think about buying for my children, but I have been swayed by Watson and I will definitely consider buying a story buddy as a gift for one of my nieces or nephews this Christmas. They are £19.99 and are can be purchased here and at Hallmark Shops.