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Leapfrog will be introducing a new reading tool for kids this summer. Children 4 to 8 will be able to use the Leapfrog pen equipped with a tiny infrared camera to read lines and words off the pages of books in the special Leapfrog TAG reader collection.

Kids can hear books read aloud line-by-line or just individual words as they learn to be better readers.

So if you’re not always around to help your kids with their reading they can still learn how to do things on their own.

The pen itself will debut for about $49.99 with activity books reasonably priced at about $13.99 (wherever smart toys are sold.) The pen has 16MB of memory on board and can manage about five books at a time with a simple drag-and-drop interface once connected to either a Mac or PC.

Parents can monitor their child’s progress using a free web application available from Leapfrog.

It sounds great, but it doesn’t come close to the value of sitting down and reading with your kids.

catch the buzz … pass it on.

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