We’re including the Kindle Kids Edition on this list because you might have seen it and wondered what it is. It’s the basic version of the Kindle, which we’ve found pretty indestructible anyway, but comes with a two-year guarantee if your child does, in fact, manage to break it. It also comes with a colourful cover (green, blue or pink), and a free year of Amazon Kids+, which offers “unlimited access to 1000s of kid-friendly books.” This includes (currently) the Harry Potter series, the Geek Girls series and a few other popular kids’ books. If your kids are voracious readers, are happy to be led by titles that are put in front of them, it’s probably worth it—though a basic Kindle with a Kids+ subscription and your own choice of cover might come in at a similar price.
There is also a kids’ edition of the pricier Kindle Paperwhite. In addition to the features of the basic kids’ edition, it looks slightly nicer with a flush-front design. More importantly, it’s waterproof, in the likely event that it is dropped in water. While based on our experience the basic Kindle can survive being dropped in a shallow river for a few minutes, it’s not designed to do so, and a device “tested to withstand immersion in 2 metres of freshwater for 60 minutes” might be a safer option. The Kindle Paperwhite for kids comes with three options of cover: black, emerald forest and robot dreams.
A note from our Children’s Editor: ‘There are other e-readers on the market. I haven’t tested widely, but the Kobo Clara works well. Kobo also has a waterproof model: the Libra H2O. The situation with libraries varies. In several places, provided you have a library card, you can borrow ebooks from the public library and read them on a Kobo.
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