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Old 12-08-2008, 06:42 AM
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Readeez: Volume One


Printed Word And Spoken Word in Perfect Sync; Catchy Songs and Friendly Characters in New Medium for Preschoolers

ATLANTA (Oct. 8) – The Readeez Company takes pride in announcing the release this month of its flagship product, Readeez Volume One (The Readeez Company, $18, run time 40 minutes). An original, highly entertaining DVD filled with an array of mini-videos, Readeez Volume One introduces an "immersive" approach to acquiring reading skills. As one Readeez character describes the experience, “You giggle and grin while the knowledge sneaks in.”

Readeez are a new concept in children's entertainment that combine the written word with the spoken word to give kids the best of both words. More than cartoons, Readeez are “learning disguised as smiling.” Each time a word (or song lyric) is heard on the soundtrack, the word is displayed onscreen in large, clear type and in syllable-perfect sync. With Readeez, words are the stars of the show. They're not subtitles, or sing-along lyrics, consigned to the bottom of the screen. The immersive Readeez approach doesn’t offer a one-at-a time list of random words. Rather, in Readeez videos, words are placed in unforgettable context, delighting children with stories, songs, riddles, rhymes, and distinctive characters. Kids want to have fun, and fun is what each “Readee” delivers.

Each "Readee" is about a minute long, and many feature the animated duo of Julian and Isabel Waters, an upbeat inventor-dad and his sweet, articulate daughter. Other Readeez include a live-action character named Michael -- a friendly musician with the gentle charm of Mr. Rogers or Steve from Blue's Clues. The charming illustrations, by artist Gerry O'Neill, call to mind the uncluttered, engaging style of Peanuts or Calvin & Hobbes.

Then there are the songs. Super-catchy ditties like "Circle and Square," "How 'Bout That Cow" and "Sandy Beach" remain with children throughout the day -- as do their on-screen lyrics. When these common words are encountered in other contexts, they're greeted as old friends.

More than five years in development, the Readeez method features a syllable-by-syllable approach the company calls Simulsynchrotaneous™. Striving to avoid an excessively pedantic tone, Readeez’ word-based, entertaining content effectively “teaches” reading, along with spelling, and pronunciation, with every syllable.

"The beauty of Readeez is that kids don’t suspect they’re learning from them," says creator Michael Rachap, a veteran Madison Avenue ad copywriter as well as a songwriter and musician. Rachap, a single dad, was motivated to create Readeez as a way to improve the media environment for young children who, he says, are overexposed to loud, fast-moving cartoons and the strident ads that often accompany them. "I think of this DVD as less like candy and more like fresh fruit," he explains.

The Readeez Company, founded in 2005, is already hard at work on its next DVD, expected in the spring of 2009, which will continue the narration of Isabel's and Julian's story and introduce more of the brand's signature "-eez" mini-episodes, including Historeez, Matheez, Jokeez, Mystereez and TongueTwisteez. Readeez Volume One will initially be available exclusively from the company's website,
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