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Delaware Headlines

Tonieboxes for children now available in all Delaware Public Libraries

Tonie Box.jpg

A new interactive literacy tool for children is coming to all Delaware public libraries.

State Rep. Bryan Shupe (R-Milford), First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney and State Librarian Annie Norman unveiled the Tonie Box on Wednesday at the Milford Public Library.

“The Tonie Box is a really innovative way to hear stories for children," said Shupe. "It’s a soft, little box that you put the tonies on - they’re little figurines - and they tell the stories to children. They either play songs or they tell stories from their favorite books.”

Shupe says his wife discovered the international, German-based company known as Tonies online - and they purchased one for their daughter; after just a few months of using it, he says they noticed that her vocabulary had exploded.

He wanted to bring the devices to the First State for all children to have access too.

The Toniebox is an audio storytelling product made by the company, Tonies. The company shares its name with the figurines or “Tonies” that can be placed on Tonieboxes to change which story will play.

“Rep. Shule arranged that the vendor of Tonie Boxes donate three of them per library," said State Librarian Annie Norman. "So that’s a total of 100 Tonie Boxes.”

And Norman says the device is completely screen free, so it allows children to use their imagination to picture a story in their mind.

“It’s a pilot to see if all children love them as much as Rep. Shupe’s children love them," said Norman. "The boxes are an innovation; it’s another way to encourage children to read or to be read to and to engage with reading and with books. So we’re really excited; we love trying new things and it will be fun.”

The boxes use content from National Geographic, Penguin Random House and Levar Burton to tell stories, sing songs and give children activities to do.

Children are welcome to come into the library and use the device, or check them out and take them home to play with.