Until now, there has never been a Kids Edition of any of Amazon’s eReaders. Based on the 10th-generation Kindle, the regular version which now has a built-in light, the Kids Edition has tweaks to make it easier for young readers to find books to read, and tools to help them build their vocabulary.
When is the Kindle Kids Edition release date?
You can pre-order a Kindle Kids Edition right now, but the first orders will arrive on 30 October.
How much does the Kindle Kids Edition cost?
It’s £99.99 / $99.99, and the price includes the 10th-gen Kindle – the latest model launched in April 2019 – plus a protective cover (pink or blue), a two-year worry-free warranty (just like the Fire Kids Edition tablets) and a year’s access to Fire for Kids Unlimited, or FreeTime Unlimited if you’re in the US.
On the Kindle, those subscriptions give kids access to around a thousand age-appropriate books to read, including Harry Potter and Princess Diaries. It also includes Audible books, which can be heard via headphones or a Bluetooth speaker, but Amazon says they will arrive on the Kindle Kids Edition “soon”.
Fire for Kids / FreeTime Unlimited also includes videos, games and apps which you can access if you have a Fire tablet, but obviously these aren’t available on the Kindle because it’s an eReader.
But you can access them if you have a Fire tablet, and you can use the Amazon Parent Dashboard website from a tablet or phone and see what your child has been reading.
What child-friendly features does the Kindle Kids Edition have?
Amazon has tailored the usual Kindle interface to make it easier for kids to discover more books to read. Just like on the Fire tablets, there are themes and characters which they can tap on to see related books. The search system doesn't require kids to be able to spell titles precisely, and understands what they mean.
There’s also a reward system where children can earn progress badges the more they read: Amazon says this gamification is aimed at kids which need a little encouragement to read.
As in the regular Kindle, reviewed, kids can tap on a word and see its definition thanks to Word Wise. That’s a feature which was added to the Kindle back in 2015, but it’s still very welcome here. A slider lets you choose how many ‘difficult’ words are underlined and you can see a history of the words that have been looked up, with the ability to say a particular word has been mastered, which removes it from the list.