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I saw Devpost was hosting an Alexa Kids Skill Challenge and thought it would be fun and interesting to try my hand at it. I'm always looking for something new to learn. I had previously thought an illustrated kids book of fun, animal-themed alliterations would be cool. So, when I was thinking about the challenge, it seemed to be a natural fit.

What it does

My skill is very simplistic but I hope kids still find it fun. The child says a name and Alexa speaks an alliterative sentence using that name.

Alexa, ask Uncle Tony about Hannah.
Hannah, the hopefully horse, had a happy heart, having heard Henry, the hamster’s, heavenly harp.

The skill will then asks for a different name and gives a new sentence. It will continue until the child says "Stop" or "Cancel." The child can also ask for the previous sentence to be repeated. In order to make nice long sentences, it uses some sophisticated sentence structure and vocabulary. Hopefully, this will educate and inspire not frustrate.

Challenges I ran into - Accomplishments that I'm proud of - What I learned

Although I have previously created a couple of Alexa skills for my personal use, this is the first skill I tried to certify and publish. Both creating and publishing Alexa skills is surprisingly simple. Using the AWS SDK for JavaScript in Node.js in an AWS Lambda made incorporating an S3 bucket - for saving metrics and pics for creating Alexa app cards - very simple even though I am a JavaScript novice. It looks like incorporating any of the AWS services would be fairly straight forward using the SDK.

What's next for Uncle Tony

If my skill is well received, I hope to continue adding content. There are currently only 3 to 4 sentences for each letter. I hope to add several more. I have also added a few special cases like a name starting with "Ch" will result in a "Ch" alliteration instead of "C" only. I hope to add more of these as well.

Alexa, ask Uncle Tony about Chase.
Chase, the chubby chimpanzee, cheerfully chased Chester, the cheetah, around the churchyard while the children cheered and chuckled.

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