Summer is in full swing in our home. The kids are playing more video games, watching more television, and soaking in plenty of sun. Even though we’re relaxing this summer, I want to make sure the kids do plenty of reading. I had a chance to test out a new subscription based reading app called Epic! geared for kids 12 and under. It’s like having an entire library of high quality ebooks by authors you already know and love. You’ll want to grab the free 30-day trial for your kids’ summer reading!
As you know, my 8-year-old is a voracious reader. During the summer, we visit our local library twice a week just so she has enough books to read. I’m sending her to my parents for the summer and thanks to Epic! on our iPad, I don’t have to worry about her running out of books. Sure, she has a Kindle, but it can get really expensive to buy her so many e-books. We borrow e-books from our library, but there’s not enough selection for Sophia’s love of fantasy books. Epic! works with publishers to curate a diverse collection of books for kids 2-12 years old. Jaxson can read his Scaredy Squirrel books and Sophia is discovering new to her books like The Man of the Moon by William Joyce.
I was very impressed by the selection and range of books available. There’s plenty of picture books, but Epic!’s library has many chapter books available for elementary aged student. The Suzie Woo and Lulu chapter book series from my 18 Diverse Chapter Book Series for Kids are available on Epic! When I told co-founder Kevin Donahue about how glad I was to see these books on the app, he told me they’re committed to bringing more diverse books to Epic!
Epic! is adding new books every month, so your library will grow as they grow. In fact, Kevin was inspired by his daughter’s love of books and tablets in creating the app. For a monthly rate of $4.99, kids will have access to all the books in Epic!’s library. Books can be streamed through a wifi connection or, if your child really loves it, downloaded to the iPad for offline reading. (A great idea if you’re traveling!)
With a background in children’s television, Kevin was able to create a bright, colorful interface that appeals to kids without making it too busy for parents. When we first set up the Epic! app on our iPad, each child was able to personalize their profile by indicating the types of stories they were interested in: adventure, mystery, science, etc. The app then offers them book recommendations based on what they like. These can be adjusted at any time. After they finish reading a book,they can rate it to further customize recommendations. Kids also earn badges based on time read, books read and other achievements. I was shocked by how motivated my kids were by the badges!
As a parent, I also have a profile where I can check on Sophia and Jaxson’s progress. I can see how much time they’ve.Jaxson can’t read the words on his own yet, but that doesn’t stop him from reading. Sometimes he and I will read together. Other times he’ll “read” by himself. Once he read by himself and the app actually said it wouldn’t count his book because he read too fast! I was pretty impressed with that feature.
While there’s a plethora of reading apps and e-books geared towards preschoolers, it’s been challenging to find e-book apps that are age-appropriate for Sophia. She found books she wanted to read right away and was actually sad when I told her to put away the iPad at bedtime. This coming for a girl who prefers print books over e-books!
Have I convinced you to try out Epic! yet? It is currently only available on the iPad but they’re working on an Android version.
Try it out and let me know what you think? If you can’t tell, I’m very excited about this app and how it will encourage our kids to read by offering books they really want to read.
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