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I bought this toy for my son when he was about 7 months old (now nearly 3) because he loved to press buttons to make noises etc.
This is made of plastic and has a handle at the top which is useful, and a removable pillow at the back which is kind to little legs. The battery compartment is also at the back. The Leappad takes books and cartridges which you can buy separately, although depending on where you purchase the Leappad, it also comes with a book (doesn't require cartridge) and a mini musical book, which I thought was nice. The Leappad is available in pink or blue, and is aimed at 6 to 36 months-old.
This is a nicely thought-out system, with many interactive features, each page has a green "go" circle that you press to let the book know that you are on that particular page, then you can press anywhere on characters, words etc, for three different levels of interaction. Level 1 (6 months+) has noises and music, level 2 has sounding out of words and then level 3 has a description of that character/item. There is also a "light bulb" on each page which has fun games and other interactive bits.
My son did not really like to even touch the book at first, so instead I pressed the various places on the book and read the words to him as well. He only really began to get interested in trying to interact with it when he was about 18 months, and he began to enjoy it.
The pages of the books are quite robust, but saying that, I haven't tried to tear them, so I don't know if they actually do rip or not! You can wipe clean the whole product with antibacterial wipes, for example, so fairly easy to keep clean. After my experience I would recommend this for a child of 1+.