What you need to know
- Google Play Books is launching new reading tools for kids.
- The new tools can read full books aloud or just selected words to help kids learn.
- These tools are launching as part of National Read Across America Day.
Last year, Google added a Kids tab to the Play Store, with a collection of kid-friendly, teacher-approved apps for your kids to download. We even have a guide to show you how to create a Google account for your kid through Family Link. This year, Google Play Books is launching new tools aimed at helping children learn to read their favorite books. These new features are rolling out as part of National Read Across America Day as an interactive way for young kids to build their reading skills and can be experienced on some of the best tablets for kids.
The first new feature is Read & Listen, which narrates the pages for your child with highlighted words to follow along, almost like an audiobook for kids. Pages can be set to turn automatically or manually, and users can even bookmark pages to come back to where they left off.
For kids who are a little further along in their reading, Google Play Books now has Tap-to-Read, which will read aloud a selected word in case your child can't read it on their own. And to enhance the experience, there's even a kid-friendly dictionary that will give comprehensible definitions of words, some of which come with illustrations so your kids can have a visual idea of what a term is.
Google states in its blog post that many of its children's books designated for ages 0-8 have these features enabled, and is even offering up a few free titles as a gift for National Read Across America Day. The titles include We're Amazing, 1-2-3!, Ara the Star Engineer, and Family Forever. Parents can even download samples of books to check if these features are enabled before deciding to purchase them.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.