Choose Your Own Adventure with Amazon Alexa and Audible

By
&
Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Aug 6, 2021
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Aug 6, 2021

Chooseco, a company that publishes Choose Your Own Adventure books, has partnered with Amazon Alexa and Audible to create an interactive book series. The Alexa skill is available for two Choose Your Own Adventure books by R.A Montgomery, Journey Under the Sea, and The Abominable Snowman. To begin either book, users can say “Alexa, open Choose Your Own Adventure”.

How Chooseco Turned Books Into Alexa Audio

Chooseco1 spent years trying to convert their books into audio, facing numerous challenges.

“There are critical elements of CYOA in print form that keep reluctant readers engaged—illustrations, text from other storylines to encourage readers to explore more than one storyline in the book, the ability to ‘turn back a page’ after an unfortunate choice—and it was a challenge to replicate this experience with e-books,”

said Shannon Gilligan, CEO, and Publisher of Chooseco. Audible, the leading audiobook provider and a subsidiary of Amazon, provided the sound team with the necessary expertise to create a seamless user experience. The Choose Your Own Adventure2 is available as of February 4th, 2019 on all Alexa-enabled devices.

Children’s Books on Google Home

Chooseco is not the only way that users can listen to children’s books on their smart home platforms. Last fall, Google Home partnered with Disney to create read-along books. Users can skip parts and take breaks, making the stories more convenient. Newer titles like Moana and Coco are available, as well as older classics like Peter Pan. Aside from stories, Disney has created Choose Your Own Adventure games for kids available on Google Home.

Other Smart Home Tech for Kids

As children become more and more comfortable with technology, smart home companies rush to create content and products to suit their needs. Last Spring, Amazon created the Echo Dot Kids Edition, which comes with a “kid-friendly case” and parental controls. As the smart home market grows exponentially, read-along kids books and games are expected to increase in numbers.

Keeping Your Kids Safe Online

However, with IoT technology aimed at kids come digital security concerns, from child identity theft to simply viewing or hearing inappropriate content. Here are a few ways you can protect your child online:

  • Monitor your child’s usage of the internet, especially who they’re speaking to online; this is essentially important to prevent cyberbullying from taking place.
  • Make sure all of your child’s accounts, including their Alexa or Google Assistant accounts, have their own unique passwords.
  • Install antivirus software on their devices to prevent malware from taking root.
  • Turn off any Echo or Nest devices with speakers and microphones when they’re not in use.
  • Enable two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication on your child’s accounts to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Make sure your child’s devices are all up to date in terms of software; that’ll ensure that they have the latest security methods.
  • Train your child on how to recognize phishing scams and avoid clicking on unfamiliar emails, attachments and links.
  • Use a parental control software to block your child from seeing certain websites or using certain keywords; many antivirus programs include parental controls in discounted bundles.

While using voice assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant to tell your child stories is fun, hackers may see things a little bit differently. However, with some easy safety precautions, you can keep storytime safe for you and your child.

Citations
  1. Choose Your Own Adventure. (2019). Choose Your Own Adventure: An Audible Experience.
    cyoa.com/blogs/chooseco-publishing-blog/choose-your-own-adventure-an-audible-experience

  2. Audible. (2020). Choose Your Own Adventure.
    audible.com/ep/chooseyourownadventure