Story Spark Review – A Useful Tool?

Posted on Nov 6, 2023

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The rapid increase in technological advancements is having unforeseen impacts across all areas of our lives.

In particular, there is a recent trend of AI driven companies who are utilizing this new technology in order to run businesses, offer services, and create products that would have in the past seemed unimaginable.

But one area that perhaps nobody would consider to have been revolutionized by AI is children’s stories. However, that is exactly what Story Spark is aiming to do.

In this review, we will be taking a deep dive into all things Story Spark including who they are, what they do and whether or not their claims regarding AI driven children’s stories hold up to scrutiny.

Story Spark Overview

There is little information to be found regarding Story Spark’s background and formation as a company, beyond some internet research showing that it was founded by Nima Amin who is based in London.

Story Spark self describes as the go to platform for kid friendly storytelling designed with heart, innovation, and inclusivity. 

Their stated goal is to make engaging and educational stories accessible to every child around the globe, no matter where they come from or the challenges they face.

They also stake a claim as being the first storytelling platform optimized for children with special needs. Every feature of their platform, from the easy to understand language to the vibrant, attention grabbing illustrations, is thoughtfully designed to accommodate and entertain all kids, especially those with specific requirements.

They go on to state that the reason for creating such a company stems from the belief that every child deserves a chance to experience the wonder of stories, to learn, dream and grow through the power of narrative. 

How does Story Spark work?

Users input various information such as story subject, type of story, mood of story, characters, and style into the tool and then the platform delivers the completed story.

There is an option as per their website to try this out for free but to have full access users will need to sign up and pay a monthly subscription fee, details of which we will touch on later in the review.

The library tab on the website showcases some of the stories that have been created but it is unclear whether or not these were done by users or examples of possible stories that the company have created themselves to showcase what Story Spark is capable of.

Reading through some of the example stories it has to be said that there is a stark contrast between the quality of the graphics and production vs the actual writing itself.

It looks and feels high end but the stories are dry and very much feel like an early version of AI has written them.

Story Spark Pricing

Story Spark has a tier of options for users to select which subscription suits them best, full details of which can be seen below.

Sparkle Lite – 1.99 Euros per month

  • 1 personalized story
  • Library of thousands of tales
  • Meditations
  • Lullabies

Sparkle Dreamer – 5.99 Euros per month

  • 10 personalized stories per month
  • Audio for stories
  • Option to download PDF
  • Story text edits
  • Option to choose more characters
  • Additional illustration style
  • Ability to buy additional story credits

Sparkle Magician – 8.99 Euros per month

  • 20 personalized stories per month
  • Audio for stories
  • Option to download PDF
  • Story text edits
  • Option to choose more characters
  • Additional illustration style
  • Ability to buy additional story credits

Sparkle Champion – 19.99 Euros per month

  • 30 personalized stories per month
  • Audio for stories
  • Option to download PDF
  • Story text edits
  • Option to choose more characters
  • Additional illustration style
  • Ability to buy additional story credits
  • Image editing
  • Longer stories (10-13 pages)
  • Enhanced image quality

This pricing page reveals some noteworthy and in truth disappointing information.

Firstly, it is only apparent upon reading the Sparkle Champion subscription option that stories have a set length and a short one at that.

Secondly, the fact that the enhanced image quality is only available in the Sparkle Champion package as well will make anyone who opts for one of the other options feel like they are getting an inferior product.

What are the alternatives to Story Spark?

When it comes to providing children with engaging and educational stories, companies such as Story Spark are just one option. In truth, there are many and likely superior alternative approaches.

Traditional Books: Traditional printed books, whether purchased or borrowed from libraries, offer a tangible and authentic reading experience for children. They also encourage a love for physical books and storytelling.

Local Libraries: Public and school libraries are treasure troves of children’s literature. They provide access to a wide range of books, storytimes, and reading programs that can foster a child’s interest in reading.

Interactive Story Apps: Many interactive story apps for kids offer a blend of technology and traditional storytelling. These apps often include games and activities that make reading more interactive and enjoyable.

Parent or Guardian-Created Stories: Parents or guardians can create personalized stories for their children. This not only strengthens the bond between adults and kids but also allows for tailor-made content based on a child’s interests.

Children’s Magazines: Children’s magazines often feature short stories, puzzles, and activities that cater to a young audience. Subscribing to such magazines can be an entertaining and educational option.

Online Reading Platforms: Websites and platforms dedicated to children’s literature, like Scholastic, offer a wide range of online books and resources for kids of all ages.

Storytelling Events: Local libraries, schools, and community centers may host storytelling events or book readings. These events can encourage social interaction and a love for reading.

Audio Books and Podcasts: Listening to stories through audiobooks or podcasts can be a captivating way to introduce children to literature, especially during car rides or bedtime.

Educational TV Shows and Cartoons: Several TV programs and animated series are based on children’s books and offer a different medium for experiencing stories.

Book Clubs for Kids: Joining a book club can encourage kids to read and discuss books with their peers, fostering a sense of community around literature.

The choice of which option to pursue will depend on a child’s age, interests, and the preferences of the parents or guardians. A combination of these options can provide a well-rounded reading experience for children and help instill a lifelong love for books and stories.

Story Spark Review – Final Thoughts

Story Spark then is clearly an innovative and creative platform that has some noble aims at least on the surface.

The basic premise of allowing input from both parents and children with regards to the stories they read is a fun concept and adds an extra layer to the experience of reading a children’s book together.

There are, however, several concerns and doubts that arise when digging deeper into Story Spark.

  • The first of these is the slightly dystopian feeling one gets that the essence of a well written story with a human touch is being taken away and therefore a large amount of the connection and joy that one has from reading.
  • Plus, the fact that these stories are available on screens rather than the page will likely cause concerns for parents who are already worried about children’s increasing time spent on screens throughout the day and a bedtime story is a chance for a welcome respite from that.
  • Finally, when libraries are such a fantastic and free resource, many parents will likely balk at the idea of paying a subscription for such a service especially when it puts the onus on them to create the story itself and may not have the time to do so.

Ultimately then, Story Spark is perhaps best explained as an example of AI and tech having input where it is not really needed and resulting in a product that feels more of a miss than a hit, at least from my perspective.

If you want to publish a children’s book and are still exploring options, feel free to book a call with our resource team by clicking the image below.

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