Sunday, October 11, 2009

TOS Crew review --Guardian Angel Publishing

Homeschoolers can never get enough books -- curriculum, e-books, classics, library books, used books, new books -- most homeschoolers struggle with balance in this area, and our kids reap the benefits of our lack of moderation.

Guardian Angel Publishing works to put into print books that they consider safe for children. Their collection continues to grow and they even have a few free downloads available, and some Spanish titles.

Product: Ebooks from Guardian Angel Publishing (see various titles below)
Details: Various topics and content. All geared toward children including picture books, early readers, and more independent readers. Topics include religious, fiction, and educational.
: $5 for most ebook downloads or PRINT Book $10.95+$6.95 S&H

We had the opportunity to review five of their ebooks. A brief summary and our thoughts on each:

No Bones About It shares a lighthearted look at our bony frame. Throughout the illustrations they show each bone and discuss its placement in the body structure. If you want a handy rhyme for your children to memorize to learn the locations of various bones, this book provides that as well. The book doesn't get bogged down in details, but walks you quickly through each bone in the body, offering some interesting facts along the way.

My kids enjoyed this book, and it gave us lots to talk and think about. My younger kids got a little spooked by some of the pictures, but my 8-12 year olds did not have a problem with all the bones. We still have a long way to go to actually know the names of all the bones, but at least now we have a tool to help in the process.

In Gifts from God, Cynthia Reeg pairs Scripture verses with real life pictures to help children see the gifts of God in the world around them. She tries to reveal the emotions of God in the blessings He pours out on us -- the warm light is like His smile, the cooing doves like a song,

While I recognize that every good and perfect gift comes from God, at times I felt like the books was stretching to put God in the tangible surroundings. Saying "God flows beneath me" with a picture of a person boating in a river didn't sound right to me. I appreciated the reminder to recognize God's gifts all around me, but didn't always like the length that the author went to stress that.

Andy and Spirit Go to the Fair is part of a series of books that build on the friendship between a boy in a wheelchair and an albino horse named Spirit. While the illustrations were a bit stiff, my horse loving kids were drawn in to the story. The story is simple and straightforward, but shares encouragement for anyone who has felt a little different at times. I'm sure we would enjoy the other stories in the series as well.

Rainbow Sheep offers a cute story with unique illustrations made of various fiber crafts.

At the end of the book the creator offers some background information on felting as well as instructions to complete a couple felting projects at home if you are interested. I always enjoy books that give you a hands on way to bring the book into the school day. We have made felted soaps in the past, so my children were already familiar with this process, and had a greater appreciation for the pictures in the book as a result. Of all the books we received, Rainbow Sheep was my favorite.

Earthquake provides lots of information at a child's level on this incredible natural disaster. The book is written in a conversational tone, and at times oversimplified (classifying earthquakes as smaller, medium and bigger, for example, although still with an explanation of the Richter scale). The book does offer some interesting information on earthquake preparedness, which it encourages everyone to take advantage of because almost every state has had an earthquake at some time or another.

Overall, while I didn't feel the book was well organized or a very challenging read, it does contain a lot of information, interesting trivia, and colorful graphics that most kids would enjoy reading along with. And, especially boys seem to have a fascination with disastrous events.

In general, the quality of the illustrations in most of the books did not impress me, but their content generally had a lot to offer. They would be a bit pricey if ordering the print editions, taking shipping into consideration, but the downloadable ebooks would be perfect for a variety of unit studies. Especially if you have limited access to a library, Guardian Angel Publishing could help provide you with more information in a concise, visual format to supplement your study.

For more TOS Crew reviews on this product, check out the TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer: These ebooks were provided to me free of charge from Guardian Angel Publishing as part of my participation in The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. I received no additional compensation and the opinions expressed here come from my personal experiences and thoughts.

No comments: