Mar 27, 2021 - Technology

What kids really want to read: Owls beat chickens but poop is king

Two CatNinja ebook covers, one of a cat and another of an owl.
"Cat Ninja" has been Epic's most popular digital series. Photo: Epic

Epic, a subscription reading platform that has doubled its reach to 50 million kids during the pandemic, tracks searches and uses the data to create new books, The Wall Street Journal reports (subscription).

Why it matters: "When a kid’s sticky fingers search for something to read, Epic captures that activity and feeds the information into its book recommendation engine—a tool that also informs the creation of new titles in-house," the journal explains. Epic's algorithm knows...

  • "[C]hildren prefer owls to chickens and chickens to hedgehogs. Kids hunt for unicorns almost twice as often as they look for mermaids."
  • "[O]wls score higher than koalas, worms rack up more hits than kangaroos and ferocious beasts have a loyal following, as does the grumpy-faced blobfish."
  • "Volcanoes are more popular than tsunamis, which are more popular than earthquakes. The Titanic is bigger than cowboys, pizza is bigger than cake, science is bigger than art and 'poop' is bigger than all of them."
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