Cleveland-based Findaway gets most of its attention on this blog for its audiobook distribution (as well as services like Chirp) but in the library market it is better known for Playaway, a pre-loaded audiobook player, and Launchpad, a pre-loaded Android tablet.
Wonderbook features a hardcover book with a Playaway-inspired pre-loaded audiobook player permanently attached to the inside cover. Designed for circulation in the school and library market, Wonderbook gives beginning readers a new way to experience books.
“We’re incredibly excited to debut Wonderbook and change the way kids learn to read along,” said Brittany Gonzalez, Head of Marketing & Strategy for Playaway. “Studies show that when print and audio are combined, immediate recall in children increases to 100%. Wonderbook delivers a powerful experience that encourages a love of reading at every level.”
At launch, the Wonderbook catalog includes 175 titles from a number of publishers, including Scholastic, Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster. Findaway plans to add 500 more titles in by the end of the year and continue to add more titles each season.
Around 25% of Wonderbook's catalog are new productions exclusive to Findaway, and were developed via Findaway Voices. The recordings feature narration enhanced by read-along elements including page-turn prompts, music, and sound effects.
Prices for the Wonderbooks start at $39.99. According to PW, the hardware has a 10-hour battery life and can play for up to 50 listens before it has to be plugged in to be recharged.