Have you ever heard of streaming children’s books?
Yes, it’s a thing. And you should be doing it.
Other names for it include “digital subscription library” or “online library”. But no matter what you call it, it’s basically an app with oodles books and lots of tools at your disposal to make reading fun and accessible for kids.
There are several online library services available for streaming children’s books, but I’m going to focus on just one for this post. FYI, this post includes referral (affiliate) links.
I signed up for Epic a few weeks ago. Or rather, I signed my kids up. Since then, my kids have logged a ton of reading time.
My kids are bookworms anyway, so adding Epic to their reading repertoire expanded their library and gave them new formats to try.
Here’s what I’m loving about Epic and why everyone should be streaming children’s books.
Better Digital Reading Experience
If you’ve ever purchased digital children’s books for your Kindle or Kindle app, you’ll know how disappointing they can be. The formatting is all wacky, the text is hard to read, and there’s a lot of wasted space.
With Epic, each book fits perfectly on the screen. The formatting is fixed, so everything looks the way it’s supposed to. It’s as close to reading a real book as you can get on a tablet or computer.
Great Selection of Books
I’ve tried independent digital libraries from the AppStore before, but I’m always disappointed in the quality of the books.
Epic features a great selection of both fiction and nonfiction books for kids up to age twelve. They have popular authors and well-known titles like Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux and Flora and Ulysses. You’ll find everything from picture book classics like Blueberries for Sal to new middle-grade titles like Big Nate and Adventure Time.
No matter what age your child is, you’ll find a large selection of quality, high-interest books.
Epic is Ad Free
With no ads or in-app purchases, it’s just you and the book. No worries about exposing your child to ads or having them “accidentally” spend all your money.
Get Kids Excited About Reading
Epic has a reward system with challenges, levels, and badges that kids can earn as they go along. The more they read, the more badges they earn and the higher their level is.
The badge gives your child something to work toward, even if it’s completely arbitrary. My kids always come and tell me how many badges they’ve earned and what level they’re on.
Plus, reading on the iPad or computer is a different experience than reading out of a paper book, and the novelty is appealing.
Explore New Formats
Epic has more than just digital versions of popular books. They also have a large selection of audiobooks, read-to-me books (books with narration), and educational videos for kids to explore. Organize your library, make collections, write reviews, and mark your favorite books for later reference.
You can read books on the web, iOS, and Android devices.
Track Their Progress
Epic sends me an email every week with my kids’ reading progress. Each kid has their own profile (you can have up to four per account) so I get a summary for each of them. I can see how many books they read, how much time they spent reading, and how many videos they watched.
This feature is great for parents and teachers who want to keep tabs on their child’s reading progress.
Which brings me to my next point.
Epic is Free for Educators
Teachers can get a free account for their classroom and give their kids access to thousands of ebooks, audiobooks, read-to-me books, and videos on Epic. Educators that use Epic say their kids read more often and enjoy it more with the app.
As a parent, I can connect my child’s account to their teachers. Epic then rewards my child’s classroom with points which can be traded for books and supplies.
Epic also has a great selection of STEM books and Spanish books.
Streaming Children’s Books is Cheap
Parents can try Epic free for 30 days. If you decide to keep it, the service only costs $4.99/month.
Five bucks a month is crazy-sauce for all those books. Even if you buy only one children’s book per month at a regular bookstore, you’ll spend at least twice that.
If you want to try out their service, just click the link below and sign up. Remember, it’s free for the first month, so if you don’t like it, you can just cancel it before you’re charged anything.