Saturday, October 10, 2009

Review: Guardian Angel Publishing

I recently received six free ebooks from Guardian Angel Publishing to read and review.

The first we read was a lighthearted story Are we Flamingos.  Two young flamingos are concerned that they don't look like the other members of their flock.  After being reassured by their mom that the pink coloring will come in time from their diet, the siblings amuse themselves by drawing pictures of what they might look like if they diets consisted of other foods.  That night at bedtime their mother shares that it's not what they look like but what's inside that counts. 

This story might be good for the one red-headed child in the family who has been teased into beleiving they were adopted.   Fritz is an only child, but he did enjoy the story.  The vived pictures really captured his immagination, especially the  "pepperoni pizza flamingo."

Our next selection was the Rainbow Sheep.  This was another story with terribly creative illustrations--in this case they were photographs of pictures made with felt.   This one had much more reading per page than the flamingo book but Fritz was interested enough in the picture details that he didn't seem to mind.   In the story a young shepherdess uses her imagination to tell stories to amuse (and brighten) a rainbow bored with life. 

Perhaps I'm being nit-picky here, but  in the first picture Fritz asked why there were snakes slithering among the sheep.  "Wouldn't that scare them?" he asked.  The text has a simile "Rain fell from the sky, like snakes slithering down the hill."   Having actual snakes complete with eyes and a forked tongues made it hard to explain that it was just a figure of speech.

Parts of speech is a good segue to our next book, Hamster Holidays .  This book about fictional holidays has color coded words--blue for nouns and red for adjectives.  I appreciated the definition for noun: a word that names a person, place or thing.  I grew up in the era of Schoolhouse Rock on Saturday mornings and the song "A Noun is a Person, Place, or Thing."  A grammar lesson by Joyce Herzog helped me identify that faulty logic (I am a person, therefore I am a noun).   After learning what nouns and adjectives are in the introduction, we couldn't practice identifying them in the story because the work had been done for us.  There were some activities in the back of the book, including a uncolored story, to reinforce the grammar lesson.   We did not use them at this time.

Andy & Spirit Go to the Fair shares the experience of a  boy participating in a 4H horse show.  He overcomes not only his physical disabilities but self-doubt and bullying to take the top prize.  This story didn't keep Fritz's interest, through no fault of the story.  I think he's a little too young for it.

I did not share The Sum of our Parts with Fritz.  Frankly, I found some of the pictures (like what we would look like without bones) disturbing.  I'm having a hard time figuring out the target audience for this book.  The subject matter and vocabulary would suggest an older student, but I'm not sure they would appreciate the Dr. Suess'ish rhyming or the cartoonish smiley faces drawn on each of the bones.

Earthquake may prove to be the most useful book for our family.  We live in the region of the New Madrid fault.  As a child I can still remember four different earthquakes and I'm sure we will experience more now that we've returned.  This book helps youngsters to know what to expect during and after a quake in terms they can relate to (big quakes are like roller coaster rides .... they can sound like a train, etc).  There are also practical ideas to be ready for an earthquake: don't mount picture frames over your bed, make an emergency bed pocket to hold glasses and a flashlight, have an emergency back pack.  If you live in an area where earthquakes are possible (and according to the book 46 of 50 states did have one between 1975 - 1995) this book may be a good investment.

 This is just a sampling of the books available from Guardian Angel Publishing.   Downloadable ebooks sell for $5.00.   There are several free samples available on their website. If you prefer reading in an easy chair instead of in front of a computer screen, you can order actual books for slightly more plus  shipping charges.

You can see what others on the Homeschool Crew thought about Guardian Angel Publishing by clicking here.

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