2-November, Seattle – Amazon announces new reading service for children that mimics the style of a texting conversation. The “Amazon Rapids” service comes with an app for iOS and Android and the subscription will cost $2.99 per month.
The idea behind it
The background of Amazon Rapids is to offer children (ages 7-12) a new exciting way to read stories and build up reading confidence. Recent years have had a strong focus on making video available to all, followed by a trend for children to prefer watching cartoons and other shows rather than reading a book.
The concept of Amazon Rapids is to transform the traditional way of storytelling into a new format. Hundreds of original stories are offered as part of this service and they are all mimicking the look and feel of a text conversation (also known as instant messaging or sending texts). By doing this they offer children a way of consuming media in a similar way to how the grownups use their phones.
The app also gives the kids functions such as a built-in glossary to easily look up words they don’t know and a “read to me” function that will read the story to them, while they are able to follow along with the text. That adds a little bit of a learning effect as they could check for the proper pronunciation of words as well.
If you’re a write yourself or have an interesting idea for a children story, you are also able to send your pitch to the Amazon Rapids team for review and consideration on their website. Whether they would monetarily reimburse you for the creative work or not is not stated. Curious about this service for your children? Start a free trial and give it a go.
“Many kids already love using phones to chat with friends and family,” said Rohit Agarwal, General Manager of Amazon K-12 Education. “We wanted to see what authors and illustrators could create with an app that made it easy to tell stories that way. We’re excited to share Amazon Rapids with parents and their kids.”
“Having been a teacher for over a decade, I’ve learned to write stories in a way that compels kids to dive in and the Amazon Rapids format is a perfect way to make that happen,” said Raymond Bean, best-selling children’s author. “In my first Amazon Rapids story, Alien Invasion, a boy named Gordon and an alien connect via a misdirected text message and hilarity ensues as they discuss the aliens’ plans to land on earth.”
YouTube: Introducing Amazon Rapids