This story was produced in partnership with Epic.
It’s probably been a while since you last watched a DVD or listened to a CD. It’s not because you’ve given up watching movies and listening to music but rather because you can now subscribe to streaming services. Paying for access to an expansive library of titles has proven to be a more affordable, more convenient model than paying to own physical copies of individual titles, something that’s true not just of music and movies but children’s books too. Look to Epic, the children’s digital book service with 40,000 different titles. It will change the way you read books with your kids for the better. That’s saying something.
Your kids will never run out of books.
Your house only has so much space for books, but digital bookshelves are limitless. Epic has over 40,000 different titles available, all of which you can access instantly with a few taps, no waiting on shipping or for a book to be returned to the library necessary. It’s like a built-in retort to “but I have nothing to read” that never expires.
Your kids can experience Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See? in a whole new way.
Bill Martin Jr.’s story of a question-answering bear and a cadre of colorful animal pals has been a popular picture for over 50 years, and it’s even better on Epic. Eric Carle’s tissue paper collage illustrations look as beautiful on screen as they do on paper, of course, and the rhyming and predictable text are particularly suited for the audio format available on Epic.
Instead of asking you about how things work, they can read about it themselves.
National Geographic makes the kind of explanatory content that is perfect for curious kids (and parents who aren’t experts in everything). Epic has a ton of books from the brand, from the Ultimate Dinopedia to the photo-focused Look & Learn series to books about rocks, trucks, and butterflies. And if your kids need a break from reading, the platform also offers a bunch of National Geographic videos that deepen what they learn from reading.
Kids can stumble onto the perfect book.
Epic lets you search by age, grade, reading level, and even topic, so if your kid is, say, a 1st grader who’s obsessed with dinosaurs, they can read about brontosauruses and pterodactyls to their heart’s content. And if your kids don’t know what they want to read yet, Epic will provide personalized recommendations based on their past activity.
Isn’t it time your kid got acquainted with Ramona Quimby, Age 8?
Beverly Cleary recently passed away, which makes this as good a time as any for your kids to discover the precocious Ramona Quimby, an all-time great children’s book character.
Kids can learn about history—even the difficult parts.
Freedom in Congo Square tells the real-life story of the one day a week enslaved people could spend in Congo Square in New Orleans. One of the best children’s books of the past decade, it does something very difficult: educate kids about a historical injustice in a way that inspires more hope than despair.
Kids can listen too.
It’s not just regular books you can find online. Epic has a ton of audiobooks along with plenty of read-to-me books that kids can listen to while following along with the words on the screen, each of which is highlighted as it’s read. Kids can also choose the speed at which the book is read, making read-to-me an even better tool for building literacy skills.
Kids can read popular books destined to become classics.
Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type is the whimsical tale of literate cows striking against Farmer Brown. It’s a book about sounds at its heart, which is why it’s such a great fit for the audiobook format.
It’s easy for your kids to discover classic books from your own childhood.
Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey’s classic tale of Mrs. Mallard and her ducklings navigating the streets of Boston, is just as good now as when you read it as a kid. The audiobook, available on Epic, augments McCloskey’s words with a spritely soundtrack that matches them perfectly.
You can use it anywhere you bring your phone or tablet.
There’s nothing worse than losing a great book you haven’t finished yet, and it’s a lot harder to do when books—and your kids’ place in them—is stored in the Epic cloud. It also means parents can easily keep the kids entertained. For instance, if their tablet doesn’t make it to the grocery store you can simply give them your phone and they’ll be reading until checkout. And even if losing things isn’t an issue, putting their books on a device that you can control via parental controls means it’s easier to enforce a digital bedtime.
Kids can experience the magic of poetry.
Introduce your kids to poetry with All the World a Poem , that serves as a both an example and explainer of the power of poems. It can be intimidating when you’re just starting to grasp how prose works to discern the often-trickier language of poetry, but this book is designed to be encouraging and get kids excited about what language can do.
It’s a great way for kids to discover new genres.
The Blue Cat of Castle Town is a Newbery Honor-winning tale about a blue kitten in a 19th century Vermont town. It reads lik magical realism for older elementary school kids and could pique their interest in the work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende when they get older. The illustrations, in striking black and white, are also fantastic.
Parents and teachers can join kids on their reading journey.
It’s no replacement for chatting with your kids about what they’re reading, but the tools Epic provides to parents and teachers can be very valuable. Adults can see how long it’s taking kids to make it through titles at different difficulty levels even when they’re reading independently. And teachers can assign books with specific goals in mind, whether it’s learning more about American history or getting ready for a new unit designed to foster social-emotional skills.
Digital books can help entice hesitant kids into reading.
Is it underhanded to trick your kids into reading books based on their favorite TV shows? Maybe, but anything that gets them reading is a valuable tool in a parents’ arsenal. Epic has tons of Sesame Street books, a great introduction to Mr. Rogers, and the book that inspired the Pete the Cat series. All make for a seamless transition from one kind of screen time to another (better) kind of screen time.
It can also help kids learn another language.
Take La llavecita dorada. It’s a picture book that tells the story of three mouse brothers on an adventure with “The Little Golden Key.” It won an International Latino Book Award when it was released in 2016. Whether you want your kid to learn Spanish or just get exposure at an early age, reading an age-appropriate, well-illustrated book is a good place to begin. Epic has plenty of them.
When you’re ready to take advantage of everything Epic has to offer you and your family, you can sign up at getepic.com.