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Amazon has launched a new platform that gives children a new way to enjoy reading. It’s called Amazon Rapids and it offers entertaining kid stories that are delivered in a unique form that resembles a chat application.
You will see in the video below how this chat-style narration works. The stories from Amazon Rapids are told just like the characters were chatting with each other. Opposite to regular chat apps, however, these stories are beautifully illustrated.
Amazon Rapids is subscription-based. Instead of buying separate stories, you can subscribe to get unlimited access to the entire catalog.
The subscription fee for Rapids is $2.99/month. In a press announcement, Amazon stated that this is “a special introductory rate,” so we have to be prepared for the increase.
What’s important, Amazon Rapids subscription is family-friendly. All your kids can access the same account from their devices and use it at the same time.
Unlike other Amazon subscriptions, the free trial period is only 14 days. You can sign up to Amazon Rapids via Amazon Membership and Subscriptions Hub.
At launch, the platform offered a few hundred original short stories, from different categories, including:
- fantasy and science-fiction,
- suspense and mystery,
All stories were written and developed exclusively for Amazon Rapids. They are age appropriate and come with the built-in glossary so that kids can independently look up the definition and pronunciation of words.
Is chat the good way to get kids excited about reading? In my opinion, it is.
Obviously, the chat app will never replace the real book, but it gets very close to where kids’ activity is. What’s more, the pattern of reading in short chunks can encourage children to reach for the story more often.
Rohit Agarwal, General Manager of Amazon K-12 Education, explains:
Many kids already love using phones to chat with friends and family. We wanted to see what authors and illustrators could create with an app that made it easy to tell stories that way.
As the stories are being told in a unique interactive way, you can’t read them on a Kindle or in a Kindle app.
The stories can only be read in these exclusive apps. There is no way to access and enjoy them on a computer, for instance, in a web browser.
Unique chat style
Stories are told through the lens of characters chatting with each other, letting stories come to life one message at a time.
Hundreds of original stories
Kids can explore a large and growing library that’s filled with original stories spanning adventure, fantasy, humor, mystery, science fiction and sports.
Kids can easily look up the definition and pronunciation of words to help build their reading confidence. Each time they look up a word, it is automatically added to their personal glossary for easy reference.
All content is thoughtfully edited to be appropriate for kids ages 7-12.
“Read to me”
Kids can have stories read aloud to them while they follow along with the text.
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