Amazon turns stories into chat strings. Will it help kids read?

On Wednesday, Amazon released an app for children. Called “Rapids,” it presents hundreds of children’s stories from various genres in the form of illustrated text message dialogue between characters.

In developing the app, Amazon wanted to get children ages 7 to 12 engaged in the reading process in a way that feels natural to the digital natives. However, while reading in any form is good for kids, some education experts wonder how beneficial and applicable this new genre of children’s stories will prove in practice.

“We know that many kids already enjoy chatting with friends and family on their devices,” Michael Robinson, director of consumer products for Amazon Education, said in a statement. “Embracing this, we wanted to see what authors and illustrators could create with an app that made it easy to tell stories that way.” READ MORE.