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A few words about the top toys


Editor's note: On Sunday, reading specialist Susan Rapp discussed the benefits of electronic toys and provided guidelines for selecting them. Today, she reviews specific toys appropriate for emerging readers.

These electronic toys are recommended for their reading activities because they: (1) have a curriculum developed by consultation with renowned educators or teacher's advisory panels; (2) were found to be durable, portable and appealing; (3) have won top honors or awards from the nation's most prestigious toy test and award programs; and (4) offer a variety of interesting activities.

Find out more about many of these and other highly rated toys on the Internet at www.drtoy. com. Prices from $15 to $60.

VTECH -, 800-521-2010.

Little Smart Storytime Rhymes (6 months and up)

This electronic book of classic bedtime rhyming stories with songs, voices and fun sounds helps very young children learn to appreciate interactive play.

Little Smart Letter Fun with Phonics (ages 3 to 6)

Large LCD screen features engaging animation that encourages play. Good phonemic awareness skills and a variety of game activities. Excellent sound quality and verbal cues.

Tiger Electronics - www.tiger, 800-844-3733

Lap Top Smarts (ages 6 to 10)

A child's laptop computer with spelling, math, reading puzzles and more. LCD screen with animation and additional cartridges available.

LeapFrog - www.leapfrogtoys.

com, 800-701-LEAP (5327).

Phonics Read & Write Desk (ages 4 to 8)

One of the few devices that allows children to practice their writing skills as they learn the alphabet, letter sounds and spelling. Additional word cards are available.

Phonics ProReader (ages 5 to 9)

Teaches lower-case alphabet, phonics, spelling, reading and rhyming skills using an effective multisensory approach. Has an LCD screen, well-designed carrying case and additional word cards are available.

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