It’s no secret that we love books. I mean, just look at our home library in this post! I’ve always loved books, and started reading to all three kids when they were babies, so I’m really glad that my efforts paid off and that they’ve inherited my love for books too.
Having said that, it does get quite exhausting when the twins hand me book after book, asking me to “read just one more book, PLEASE”, especially when I’m busy with N. They haven’t learnt how to read yet, and are nowhere close to being able to read anything apart from their own names, so I’m the designated “book reader” for now. I’ve tried outsourcing the reading to N, but he doesn’t always comply, as he would rather read his own books.
Thanks to their preschool, the twins enjoy listening to Chinese stories quite a bit, which can be challenging at times for me. You’d think that Chinese storybooks for preschoolers would be easy, but nooooo… I’ve had to look up words in the dictionary way too many times for my liking, and I hate to admit it, but sometimes, just sometimes, I skip words that I don’t know, or make things up as I go along. (Please don’t judge me until you’ve been in my shoes and actually looked at the Chinese books that we have!)
We got our Luka® Hero from Luka Reads about a month ago, and all three kids are absolutely in love with it! KorKor has been using Luka® to read Chinese books, while the twins treat it like their baby, and love cradling it as they carry it around the house. In fact, Didi was most distressed the first time Luka® ran out of power, and came running to me close to tears, saying, “Mummy, help! Luka® is sick! He sneezed and sneezed, then his eyes closed!” HAHAHA.
Apart from getting Luka® to read to them, the twins also often use it to play songs for them (I added their favourite songs to the playlist via the app, so they can switch on the music mode on their own), even when they’re playing card games or engaging in pretend play.
I often hear them talking to Luka®, and I think the three kids managed to figure out how to use Luka®’s various features more than I have. I’ve had to watch the tutorials HERE to learn how to use features like Point & Read, Magic Voice Change, and Conversation with Luka®, but when I wanted to teach them how to use these features, I realised that the kids already knew how to activate those functions. (They laugh like mad when they ask Luka® to fart and it does!)
KorKor likes playing the Shake & Match game, which is great because Luka® requires him to “read” a book with it, before he can play the game. For someone who is EXTREMELY resistant to the Chinese language, this is quite a big win, as he voluntarily picks up Chinese books to read with Luka® now. He’s still “reading” mainly picture books, but I’m just happy that he’s willing to read Chinese books.
Luka® has a huge database of books stored in its system, and can recognise over 20,000 English picture books and 70,000 Chinese titles. That is AMAZING, okay. We have a lot of books in our home library, and Luka® has been able to read almost all of the Chinese books that we have. If the book isn’t in the Luka® Cloud Library, Luka® and Luka® Hero have a recording function that allows you to be extra hardworking and do a recording of yourself reading the book, complete with photos of the pages in the book! I haven’t tested out that function yet, but I know of people who have, and it works perfectly well.
The Luka® Hero comes with three sets of flashcards, as well as 18 Cambridge English Reading Adventures books. To be completely honest, I don’t really like the English pronunciation and intonation used for these books, but I do like how Luka® doesn’t just read the books, but also explains some of the key words, and asks interactive questions, getting the kids to repeat certain words after it, and giving them feedback. This is very useful for kids learning to read (like the twins), and the kids can also point at specific words that they’re unfamiliar with, so that Luka® can teach them how to pronounce those words. Don’t ask me how it works, it’s AI technology according to the website, but the twins (and I) believe that it’s MAGIC.
To be fair, I’ve tested our Luka® Hero with some other English books that we have, such as Sandra Boynton’s books, and the reading of those books has been really impressive, with correct pronunciations and intonations. I was sceptical initially, and was fully prepared to use Luka® only for Chinese books, but I think that if the books are in Luka®’s Cloud Library, they are generally read quite well. I’ve shared some videos of Luka® in action on my IG Stories, and you can see them in my IG Highlights here, under Luka Reads.
If you’re not sure about which Luka® to purchase, here’s a comparison chart of the three Luka® Reading Robots, but in my opinion, it makes the most sense to get the Luka® Hero (there’s a good reason why it’s out of stock and only available on pre-order at the moment!). The Point-and-Read function and the Repeat-and-Read function, are both very useful functions, and the flashcards are also handy for independent learning. The twins have been using the flashcards with Luka® on their own, and will randomly tell me things about what Luka® says about different letters etc.
I’m really pleased with our Luka® Hero, as it has been really well-used by all three kids. I didn’t expect it to be such a hit with KorKor, since he’s 8, so it’s a bonus that he uses Luka® to read Chinese books to him, and I’ve heard him singing Chinese songs while he’s playing, thanks to the twins’ enthusiastic use of Luka® to play songs frequently. It’s quite impressive that Luka® has so many features, and the kids, in particular, love how interactive it is. As for me, I’m just happy that I can outsource story-time to Luka®, though I still read to them daily. The twins especially get to have a lot more books read to them, which is very important at their age.
Thank you for bringing in this awesome product, Luka® Reads! I can safely say that Luka® is very well-loved by our family.
*Disclaimer: We were gifted a set of Luka® Hero for the purpose of this review. All photos and opinions are, as always, our own.
For those of you who would like to purchase a Luka® Basic or Luka® Hero, please use the code GWTT20OFF to get $20 off your purchase. Hurry, because this code is only valid till the end of December 2020!