Kobo signed a new deal with the Sesame Workshop on Tuesday which added Sesame Street titles to the Kobo ebookstore. Readers of all ages will now be able to find 50 Sesame Street titles, including The Monster at the End of This Book, Count to 10, and How To Be A Grouch, at Kobo.
To celebrate the launch, The ABCs of Cookies, a read-along audio-enhanced ebook,will be discounted to under a buck until 22 March.
The Sesame Street titles are joining the nearly 100,000 titles currently in the Kobo Kids Store. This section of the Kobo site, which launched in October 2013, offers parents a kid safe place where kids can read age-appropriate content. It's only available in the US and Canada, and it enables each kid to have their own account where they can read ebooks but cannot access the payment info or the possibly inappropriate content in the parent account.
"We are thrilled to make the Sesame Street titles available to Kobo customers," said Michael Tamblyn, Chief Content Officer, Kobo. "Sesame Street is one of the world’s premier children’s entertainment organizations. We have always wanted to work with them and knew that making their books available to our customers was one of the best ways to round out our Kids’ Store catalog."
I reviewed the Kobo Kids Store in November, and while I can attest to its kid-safe nature I can also foresee that the restrictions are going to cause problems. There's no way for a parent to decide whether titles are age appropriate, nor is it possible for a parent to share a kid's ebook; they must buy separate copies.
And as kids grow up and no longer need to have their reading material approved by their parents, the limitations enacted by Kobo will eventually chafe (for example, when teenagers need to start reading college-level books). Some of us reached that point at the age of 12 (or younger), so for some of us Kobo's solution for a safe reading environment causes more problems than it solves.