Amazon announced today that it has launched a new app for children called Rapids, which features “fun, engaging short stories told in a unique chat style.”
The app is available for iOS, Android and Amazon Fire devices, and a subscription costs $2.99 a month.
“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.”
The Rapids short stories are illustrated, and what perhaps distinguishes Rapids from similar kids’ reading apps most is that its stories are told through characters speaking with each other one line at a time.
Rapids comes with hundreds of stories, and, according to TechCrunch, Amazon will be adding dozens more each month. The stories span a wide variety of genres, including adventure, fantasy, humor, mystery, science fiction and sports.
Rapids features a built-in glossary so that kids look up a word’s definition and pronunciation; each time readers look up a word, it is automatically added to their personal glossary for later reference.
Rapids also contains a “read to me” feature that allows kids to have stories read to them aloud while they follow along with the text.
All content on Rapids is suitable for kids ages 7-12.
“Having been a teacher for over a decade,” said Raymond Bean, a best-selling children’s author, 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.”
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