There is nothing I like better than receiving new books so when we were given an opportunity to review three titles from Weigl Publishers I jumped at the chance. Not only did we receive a PDF version of each book but we also got to check out the online enhancements to them.
Our first book, and the simplest in terms of enhancements, There Once was a Cowpoke who Swallowed an Ant, comes from Weigl’s AV2 Fiction Readalong series. This amusingly illustrated book is aimed at kids in the K-2 range although our 11-year-old grandson had a chuckle when he listened to it. He said it was like the old woman who swallowed the fly, just slower (I think he meant the narration that is well paced little ones to follow along.)
Our second book was also aimed at kids in the K-2 range. This one, A Lion’s World, is from the Eye Discover series and offers a step further in media enhancements but it also has fewer words on each page so it will be easier for your child to read on their own. More a first reader than a read aloud and easy for your child to read offline on a tablet.
I like that your child can take their time reading this one. There is a narrator who reads the words on the page but once you are logged into the interactive website, there are videos to go along with each page. These run on a loop so your child controls when they want to move on to the next page (of course this may lead to you hearing a lot of lion roaring going on.) Again, EJ is above the age for this one but laughed when he saw the cubs climbing on the “daddy” lion, he said it reminded him of his little brother climbing on their dad!
I have to admit it was a little overwhelming when we first logged onto the website. There is so much to see and do that we bounced around the pages and activities for a while just to see what was there. EJ especially liked the video of a glacier calving (it is quite amazing) and watched it over a few times.
Once we went back to the beginning of the book and started to work through it I quickly realized it could become an entire unit study on its own.
EJ took some pictures while he was watching one of the videos to share with you in a slideshow (above.) He says it would be neat to go into the cave underneath the glacier that they showed (even if he would be a little scared to go into it.)
Living in southern Alberta we are fortunate to be a short drive from a huge glacial erratic (a giant rock that was dragged by a glacier and dropped in a new location) so we decided to go for a visit.
I like that we were able to use the PDF of the book while we were offline but it would have been nice to be able to watch some of the slide shows and video. Of course, I should have known I was missing something (as EJ quickly pointed out.) Many of the videos and slideshows can be downloaded to watch offline. This is a terrific feature for a family like ours who are often working offline.
The activity sheets can also be done online or offline, a feature I really like since EJ often does better with paper and pencil rather than typing answers in. The sheets can be downloaded and completed on the computer when offline as well. (I know I stress the offline features a lot but they can be important to families like ours who don’t always have internet access.)
Another thing I like about these books is that they are ours to keep forever, including the online enhancements, not a subscription that will expire so we can enjoy them for a long time to come.
These books are a good fit for our family and I’m sure for many of yours as well. For more Review Crew posts on this product please click the image below.