A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Parents subscribe to AMAZON RAPIDS through their Amazon account and then use their sign-in credentials to enter the app. Each kid can indicate age group and general interests to create a personalized profile and then choose from among hundreds of stories. All stories unfold through a series of dialogue with some limited graphics; tap or scroll through to advance. Kids can select words they don't know to read definitions and put them in a glossary. The Read to Me function activates a computer-generated voice reading the text. If kids love a story, they can tag it as a favorite to easily find it again.
Is it any good?
It's always a good idea to get kids interested in reading and engaged in storylines, and this unique platform might be great for some and lackluster for others. The user experience with Amazon Rapids is smooth, and many of the themes in the stories are appealing to the mid-elementary school to early middle school set. The glossary is also a nice way to allow kids to explore the definition of new words. However, rather than encouraging sustained attention for deeply creative and inspiring kids' literature, this text message style of telling a story feels superficial. Sometimes the dialogue is even a bit snarky, which may turn some parents, and kids, off. That said, the simple, straightforward delivery might be great for some kids who have trouble with longer stories or more complex text. The bottom line here -- as is so often true -- is know your kid. So while it may not be the highest-quality library available, the quick and accessible narrative style may be appealing, and this could be a positive introduction to reading. The good news is that the free trial gives families a chance to check out whether Amazon Rapids is right for them.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the stories in Amazon Rapids. What do you think about the characters? Do you like them? What do you think could happen next? What kinds of stories do you like best?
Talk to kids about different narrative styles. What's different about a story told through short pieces of dialogue versus a full book with dialogue plus description? How is this kind of story different from a play?
Provide kids with lots of age-appropriate books. Read to them, read with them, let them read on their own, and let them see you read. The more you do this, the more you'll help create a lifelong reader.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Subjects: Language & Reading: reading, vocabulary
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: September 2, 2017
- Category: Education
- Topics: Adventures, Space and Aliens
- Size: 45.90 MB
- Publisher: AMZN Mobile LLC
- Version: 1.0.18
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later; Android 5.0 and up
- Last updated: October 22, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.