If you don’t remember Reading Rainbow, featuring
Kunta Kinte, Geordie Laforge, LeVar Burton and a bunch of little kids doing book reports for PBS, you had a deprived childhood.
But never fear! You can make up for it now, because Reading Rainbow is now available in app form.
The app itself is free, but you have to pay to subscribe to what is essentially a bottomless pit of kids’ books. You can keep up to five books at a time downloaded in your virtual “backpack.” You can return them and swap them out for other books any time you have Internet access. The app has a fun “island” theme, where, once having chosen some topics of interest, you can visit these islands and find books there that suit your favorite things.
It costs $10 per month or $30 for six months. I just went ahead and signed up for the six months, because while $3o may sound like a lot for an app, what it is is six months of unlimited picture book access. I couldn’t buy the five picture books in the backpack for $30. So I consider it a major bargain.
And look, I hear you out there going “libraries!” And I see your wagging fingers. But electronic books and electronic access to books are a good thing too. And while a physical trip the physical library is undeniably a good thing, so is the ability to check out and return books from the kitchen table when a trip to the library is just not in the cards. And frankly, my kids are really hard on books. This way, I don’t have to worry about torn pages (a dropped iPad is another matter).
I do want my kids’ primary association with the word “book” to be a thing made out of paper. But I’m not sure if it really matters–I am even less sure if it will matter when they are older. Mainly, what I want them to do is love reading and love books. And access to so many books can never be a bad thing in my opinion.
What do you think about kids and e-books?