Amazon Introduces Reading Sidekick with Alexa

Posted on June 29, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Amazon, Android, Cloud, Hardware, Mobile, Smart Home with 8 Comments

Amazon today announced Reading Sidekick, a new Alexa feature that requires an Amazon Kids+ subscription and reads books along with kids.

“Reading Sidekick is a fun, new Alexa learning experience that helps young readers build fluency and foster a love for reading,” an Amazon representative told me. “To get started with Reading Sidekick, a child with an Amazon Kids+ subscription can pick up a compatible physical book or eBook and say ‘Alexa, let’s read’ to any Amazon Kids-enabled Echo device. The child then tells Alexa the book’s title and Alexa asks how much do they want to read: a little, a lot, or taking turns.”

According to the Reading Sidekick website, this new Alexa feature lets Amazon’s voice assistant take turns reading with your child. She will listen, help if your child struggles, and encourage when they succeed, Amazon says. It works with any Echo Kids device an Echo device with Amazon Kids enabled.

Amazon Kids+ costs $2.99 per month or $24.99 per year and provides unlimited access to thousands of kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, games, and premium kid’s Alexa skills. Reading Sidekick works with hundreds of children’s books for ages 6 to 9.

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Comments (8)

8 responses to “Amazon Introduces Reading Sidekick with Alexa”

  1. harmjr

    Alexa would you raise my kid for me...

    Alexa: Yes as I need to delivery drives slaves so get back to work slave.

  2. cnc123

    I get that people work a lot and are busy, but reading to your kids, even a little, is important for more than a few reasons. This is a bad feature that should never have been made.

    • lvthunder

      It's not a bad feature, but it's sad and says a lot that someone thought this is needed.

  3. divodd

    Kids learning to read is a good thing, any tool that helps that is positive

    • lvthunder

      Yes, it is a good thing, but that's something that the child's parents should be doing. For both the benefit of the child and the parent.

  4. stevem

    Sadly not every child has a parent that will read with them. For those that do, then this is unlikely to be used. For those children who parents don't read with them, then hopefully this will prove useful for them and help them keep up their reading skills with those children whose parent(s) do read with them.

    I doubt a parent who currently takes the time to read with their children will stop and use Alexa.

  5. ghostrider

    Just where is this technology for technologies sake thing going to end? No-one asked for this and proper parenting is still the only thing kids need. Just who do Amazon think they are exactly? Trying to help, or just want you signed up to another subscription so they can syphon off yet more data. The world truly is doomed.

  6. red.radar

    The executive level conversation probably went like this:

    ”we need Alexa in every room to ensure good sidewalk network coverage. How can we get Alexa in children bedrooms. Come back with a plan to solve this”