Amazon is adding new skills to Alexa all the time, but it’s not always what you’d expect. This time around, the US giant is targeting children with a brand new Alexa skill called Reading Sidekick. It’s supposed to make the reading experience more fun for kids ages 6 to 9, as well as help them become better readers.The new skill requires an Amazon Kids+ subscription, a physical or digital-supported book, and a nearby Amazon Kids-enabled Echo device. But it’s not just kids that can use the new skill, as families can also take advantage of the Amazon Kids+ app on any tablet to read one of the many books in the Reading Sidekick library.
To sum it up, here is how the Reading Sidekick skill works: 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 to get started. Also, the child can tell Alexa the book’s title and Alexa will ask how much do they want to read: a little, a lot, or taking turns.
Hilariously, Amazon has designed the new skill to offer encouragement to kids who read, such as “Amazing job!” and “Way to stick with it!.” But Reading Sidekick is also meant to help children who are stuck on a word by providing the next word so that they can continue.
According to Amazon, there are hundreds of books on Reading Sidekick available right now, and hundreds more will be added each month, so there’s little to no chance that you won’t find what you like.