Well I did it, I converted the code to a half way decent offline text to speech module and even made a demo. Here is the solution so far that will not require a internet connection to function. This code uses festival TTS with a updated CMU Arctic voice.
What was fed into the program to read off. It seems to skip the first word so I'm going to need to do a bit more research on that one. It does well at regular book, and children book pages to, but I did not want to get into copy right land by reading them out -
I also built more on the robot overall, mainly getting the prototype drive units finished up and the motor/Pi pico/industrial (ish) USB 3.0 hub mounted. Made a nice case for the controller with heli-coils for the lid. Need to wire them all up still.
Current full test setup.